BRUNSWICK—On Wednesday night in Morrell Gymnasium, the Bowdoin Polar Bears (3–3; 0–0 NESCAC) fell to the Colby College Mules (7–0; 0–0 NESCAC) by a score of 68–52.
The action was close for most of the first half with guard James McGowan ’25 leading the charge for Bowdoin with 16 points, but Colby, buoyed by 11 3-pointers, was able to pull away in the second half.
Head Coach Alex Lloyd maintained a deep rotation, with eleven Polar Bears touching the floor over the course of the game, five of whom were first years.
For the first eight minutes of action, the Polar Bears and Mules traded baskets. The scoring was spread out among the team, with five Bowdoin players able to get on the scoreboard. With 11:30 left in the first half, the Mules led 14–13.
After a Bowdoin timeout, three different Colby players connected from deep. Forward Jack Shea ’23 contributed a layup for the Polar Bears as the Colby lead grew to eight with under nine minutes left in the half.
McGowan tried his best to shoot the Polar Bears back into the game, contributing 10 of Bowdoin’s last 12 points in the half, but going into halftime, Colby still led 35–27.
McGowan attributed much of his offensive dominance to the help he gets from his teammates.
“I just try and make the right play,” McGowan said. “A lot of times it ends up being scoring, because you know, my teammates will be on the wing and force defenders to look after them, or some of the big guys will set screens.”
Colby was particularly able to differentiate itself from Bowdoin in the first half from the three-point line, with the Mules draining seven threes to the Polars Bears’ three.
Additionally, Colby’s bench had 23 points in the half compared to five from Bowdoin.
At the beginning of the second half, the Polar Bears and Mules traded shots, with Colby’s lead jumping to 13 points with 14:08 remaining in the half.
After a nearly four minute scoring drought, the Polar Bears went on a five point run, punctuated by a putback dunk thrown down by forward Nolan Bessire ’26 to put Bowdoin within 8 points with 10:42 remaining in the second half.
Following that dunk, the Mules pulled far ahead, maintaining their convincing lead for the rest of the game, with their biggest lead of 60–42 coming at the 5:48 mark.
A positive spot on the night was Bowdoin’s ability to get to the free throw line, with the Polar Bears shooting 19 free throws to Colby’s five. Forward Xander Werkman ’23 in particular shined in this area, getting to the line five separate times for nine free throws, of which he converted six.
“That’s what my coach tells me to do and what the team relies on my position [to do],” Werkman said. “We really tried to get into the paint, and they were luckily calling fouls last night.”
Though the rivalry loss stings, Werkman is optimistic about the season ahead.
“We’re a pretty young team this year, so it’s a good learning lesson,” Werkman said. “We just had a great one from Babson, and we learned from that as well. We’re just trying to level up every game.”
McGowan shares Werkman’s positive outlook.
“I think that just shows the level that we need to get to, the level that a good team [in the] NESCAC will be. We played Swarthmore. We’re playing Rochester this weekend, who’s top ten in the country. I think playing those teams and even taking some losses in the long run is going to help us be a lot better and compete with those high level teams,” McGowan said.
The men’s basketball team takes on the University of Rochester (5–6) for the UAA/NESCAC Challenge in Rochester, NY, on Saturday, December 3, and Carnegie Mellon University on Sunday, December 4.