The men's basketball team has opened up its season with a 3-2 record, with both losses determined in the final seconds.
In their opening game, the Polar Bears traveled to UMass-Dartmouth where they won the 2011 Hampton Inn Classic. After a routine 72-38 win over the University of Maine-Farmington, the Polar Bears overcame their hosts in the tournament final 66-61.
Captain Will Hanley '12 was named Tournament MVP, and fellow captain Ryan O'Connell '12 and Andrew Madlinger '14 joined him on the All-Tournament team.
In their home opener on November 22, the Polar Bears fell to an unbeaten St. Joseph's team. Although the Polar Bears had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, an offensive rebound by Madlinger was knocked loose, giving the Monks a 70-68 victory.
"St. Joseph's is a veteran team that played very well that night," said Head Coach Tim Gilbride. "They didn't give us many opportunities, but I was happy with how we fought from behind the entire game. We gave ourselves a chance to win it in the end, but it just didn't work out."
St. Joseph's is still undefeated, and was ranked No. 1 in Maine in the most recent D-III poll. The Polar Bears were ranked No. 2.
Last Sunday, Bowdoin rebounded and dominated Husson 94-54. Hanley and O'Connell led the team with 16 points, while Madlinger totaled 15.
On Tuesday, the Polar Bears lost to the University of Southern Maine, again in dramatic fashion. Down 63-51 with six minutes left to play, the Polar Bears nailed five 3-pointers, but came up short in the final seconds, falling 80-79.
Southern Maine improved to 4-1, with its only loss coming in overtime against St. Joseph's.
Hanley, who finished with a season-high 31 points against Southern Maine, has led the Polar Bears this season after being named First Team All-NESCAC last year.
The senior guard/forward was named NESCAC Player of the Week following Bowdoin's sweep of the Hampton Inn Classic, and prior to the game against St. Joseph's, Hanley was honored in a pre-game ceremony, as he became the 21st player to reach 1,000 career points in program history last year.
"Will is a very talented player who has worked extremely hard and keeps getting better every year," said Gilbride. "He has started off this year just where he ended last year, and has taken another step. He is a key guy for us, and does a bit of everything, making him one of the better players in the conference."
Gilbride said he is also impressed with Madlinger and O'Connell, who both are shooting better than 60 percent from the 3-point line.
Starting guard Matt Mathias '14 has also helped the squad, posting a 15-7 assist to turnover ratio.
"We have a lot of depth this year, and a number of players have been making big contributions so far, from our seniors to our freshmen," Gilbride said.
Tomorrow, the Polar Bears will continue their non-conference play against the University of Maine-Presque Isle (2-2) at 3 p.m. in Morrell Gymnasium.
Bowdoin will travel to take on Maine Maritime Academy (1-3) on Monday.
"We have a nice blend of experienced and young players this year," said Gilbride. "I think we can definitely be a factor in the conference this year, and I hope people will come out and take a look at us."