Men's Basketball Falls in Season Opener

Men's Basketball Falls in Season Opener

BABSON PARK, Mass. – Colby College shot 54.2 percent in the second half to pull away the Wentworth Institute of Technology on Saturday night, as the Mules picked up a 74-61 victory over the Leopards in the semifinal round of the 2012 Babson Invitational Men's Basketball Tournament at Staake Gymnasium.

With the win, Colby (1-0) will play host Babson in Sunday's championship game at 4 p.m., while Wentworth (0-1) will take on Salve Regina University in the consolation game at 2 p.m.

Colby was led by the first-year duo of John Gallego (Old Bethpage, N.Y.) and Chris Hudnut (Chevy Chase, Md.), who each scored 12 points in their first collegiate contest. First-year Luke Westman (Newton, Mass.) also enjoyed a solid debut, scoring 10 points to go with five rebounds, and sophomore Danny Chase (Weston, Conn.) and Connor O'Neil (Freeport, Maine) added nine and eight points, respectively.

Wentworth received a game-high 18 points and eight rebounds from senior Corey Therriault (Auburn, Maine), as well as 16 points, nine rebounds, and three assists from junior Derek Mayo (Casco, Maine). The Leopards shot just 32.8 percent from the floor (20-for-61) and 58.6 percent from the free throw line (17-for-29), while Colby shot 50.0 percent from the field (24-for-48) and 75.9 percent from the stripe (22-for-29).

The Leopards led for the majority of the first half, building a 21-12 cushion after a Therriault lay-up with 6:41 to play in the period. The lead was still nine after two free throws from Mayo made it 24-15 with 4:43 on the clock, but the Mules rallied with 17-6 run over the remainder of the session. After a Therriault three-pointer gave Wentworth a 27-19 advantage, Gallego sparked a 9-0 burst with a conventional three-point play that cut it to five,  and Westman followed with six straight points to five the Mules their first lead of the contest, 28-27, with 2:09 left. Therriault then drained another trifecta to put his team back in front by two, but a Ryan Jann (Westford, Mass.) lay-in and two freebies by sophomore Jack Crampton (Madison, Conn.) gave Colby a 32-30 edge heading into the break.

The two teams exchanged leads early in the second half, with the Mules eventually moving ahead to stay when sophomore Shane Rogers (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) netted four straight points to give his team a 48-44 advantage. It was still just a two-point game at 52-50 with nine minutes remaining, but Gallego buried a three to spark a 12-4 run that would essentially put the game away. Chase scored the final seven points of the outburst, including a lay-up that gave the Mules a 64-54 lead with 4:35 to go.

Wentworth would cut it back to single digits twice down the stretch, but Colby sank eight of its final 12 free throws to extend its lead to 15 at 74-59 with under a minute remaining. Therriault then hit a pair of foul shots for the Leopards that accounted for the 74-61 final.

This game was just the second meeting between these two schools and the first since 1996.

(Recap courtesy of Babson Sports Information)