The men’s basketball team opened the season 1-1 at the Eastern Connecticut Tip-Off Tournament on the weekend of November 16.
The Polar Bears fell to Clark University 55-54, in a back-and-forth contest. Andrew Madlinger ’14 and Keegan Pieri ’15 led Bowdoin’s scoring with 15 and 14 points respectively. But Clark hit a three-pointer with only  five seconds left on the clock, securing the win. 
“We actually defended well. They were in a little bit of a panic mode,” said Head Coach Tim Gilbride of the game’s final basket. “Sometimes those things happen.”
The Polar Bears used Pieri’s 17 points and sophomore Bryan Hurley’s ten assists to get past Western New England, 72-63. 
“Our offense for the first two games was really rough,” said Madlinger. “We had five practices before the first game when other teams had two weeks. Playing against defenses we hadn’t seen really threw us off.”
“I wasn’t really sure what to expect,” said Gilbride. “I thought we got some good performances from a lot of guys. We were a little inconsistent. We had some stretches where we looked okay and some where we didn’t.”
After only a few days of rest, Bowdoin lost 82-62 at St. Joseph’s on November 20.
“[St. Joseph’s] is a good team and they shot extremely well,” said Gilbride. “They were 11-16 from three-point range. Obviously we would’ve liked to have tightened up the perimeter defense. That was their first home game and they played very well.”
On Tuesday, the Polar Bears outscored the University of Southern Maine by 29 points in the second half to beat the Huskies, 82-45.
Madlinger propelled the Polar Bear offense with a career-high 28 points, including six three-pointers. Pieri added 16 points and nine rebounds.
After jumping to a 34-26 halftime lead, the Bears tightened up their 2-3 zone defense in the second half to blow by the Huskies.
“The big difference was defensive stops, which led to tons of transition points. Everybody played and everyone was hitting shots,” said Madlinger.
“We didn’t make any specific adjustments; we just knew our game plan was going to work eventually,” said Pieri. “We kept playing hard and things fell our way.”
Pieri also said that the Polar Bears carried a chip on their shoulders into their USM game after the loss to St. Joseph’s.
“You never like to lose by that much, so we definitely came out with a lot of fire tonight,” Pieri said after the victory over Southern Maine. “We wanted to play how we’ve been practicing for a month and execute the way we know we can. We were able to do that tonight.”
The Polar Bears will look to move above .500 at home against Maine Maritime Academy on Saturday before starting NESCAC play at Bates on Thursday. Saturday’s tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.