After losing three starting seniors from last year’s squad the men’s basketball team opened its season on a strong note by claiming the Rick Martin Holiday Inn Express Tip-Off Tournament last weekend.

In the tournament’s opening match, the team beat Elms College handily 77-57. The Polar Bears stormed out of the gate to gain a 15 point halftime lead. Although their defense let up a little in the second half, Bowdoin was able to keep its double digit lead for the last 30 minutes of the game.

The Polar Bears’ starting five controlled the game with their balanced attack, with each starter scoring in double digits. John Swords ’15 continued where he left off last season, anchoring the team with 16 points and eight rebounds. But it was Lucas Hausman ’16, last year’s sixth man, who led the team in scoring with 22 points.

In the tournament’s final against Westfield State University, the team went down late in the first half after Swords had to go to the bench with early foul trouble. The Polar Bears were able to cut down the Owls’ lead and take a two point lead of their own into halftime.

The Polar Bears opened up the second half with an early 8-0 run and never gave up the lead after that, ultimately beating the Owls 68-56.

Despite his extended time on the bench due to the early foul trouble, Swords finished the game with a 20-point, 16-rebound performance, helping him earn tournament MVP honors. While the starters continued their impressive play, the bench contributed only four points to the team’s total.

The Polar Bears hope to continue their perfect start to the season when they travel to Saint Joseph’s College tomorrow.