Men's basketball takes key NESCAC victory over Wesleyan, 90-80

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- The Colby College men's basketball team opened up a 54-28 halftime lead and then fought off a furious Wesleyan University comeback in the second half to take a key 90-80 NESCAC victory Friday night.
 
The Mules improve to 16-7 overall and 4-5 in the league, but have not yet clinched a playoff spot. Colby, which plays at Connecticut College (0-9 league) on Saturday at 3 p.m., is tied with Tufts University and Bowdoin College at 4-5 in the league. 
 
"We played some of our best combination of offense and defense through the first half," Colby head coach Damien Strahorn said. "We knew Wesleyan would not go quietly and I thought our guys showed great toughness and togetherness to finish it to the end after Wesleyan cut our lead to one. Another important road win and brings us to a new and equally important challenge ahead of our game against Conn College."

By the numbers

* Matt Hanna led the Mules with 19 points on 6-for-11 shooting and 5-of-7 from 3-point range. Noah Tyson (pictured) hit four from long range on the way to 17 points and 10 rebounds (all 10 defensive).
 
* Sam Jefferson finished with 15 points, four assists, and nailed four shots from 3-point range. Alex Dorion went 3-for-7 from three and had 11 points, while Wallace Tucker scored nine and dished a game-high six assists.
 
* Ty Williams led the Mules in steals with three. Ronan Schwarz and Sean Gilmore both had six points.
 
* Austin Hutcherson had a game-high 26 points for the Cardinals (15-8 overall, 5-4 NESCAC).
 
* Colby was 18-for-39 from 3-point range for 46.2 percent shooting.
 
Game highlights
* Colby, winners of three straight league road games, took an early 9-8 lead and used a 19-0 scoring run to stun the host school. Ethan Schlager nailed a 3-point shot with 13:34 remaining to make it 28-8.
 
* The Mules continued to play well the rest of the half and took a 54-28 halftime margin.
 
* Colby led 60-37 in the second half when the Cardinals used a 15-2 scoring run to cut the lead to 62-52 with 11:08 remaining. Wesleyan kept coming and cut the lead to 76-75. Tyson hit back-to-back 3-point shots with 3:30 and 2:27 remaining to push Colby's lead to 82-75. After Wesleyan hit two free throws, Hanna nailed another 3-point shot for an 85-77 margin.
 
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