Written by Miguel Mendez
The Colorado College men’s basketball team competed in the SCAC tournament last weekend and played back-to-back games against Austin College and Texas Lutheran University.
Colorado College entered the tournament as the number two seed with an automatic semifinal berth. The Tigers played Austin College on Saturday after the Austin Kangaroos upset the Southwestern Pirates the day before.
“I told the team we needed to be ourselves at both ends of the court,” said Head Coach Andy Partee. “Based on Austin College’s upset win over Southwestern, we knew it would be a hard-fought game. We wanted to establish our inside-out attack. Defensively we wanted to limit dribble penetration and force Austin to shoot the ball from the perimeter.”
The Tigers jumped out to an early lead with a 7-0 run in the first two minutes of the game. The Kangaroos finally gained some traction and were able to get the lead only three minutes later. The two teams fought back and forth for the rest of the half. There were 11 lead changes total in the first half. The half ended with Colorado College holding onto the narrowest of leads with the score at 37-36.
The second half was more of the same intense give and take. The largest lead was six points for the Tigers and even that didn’t last long as the Kangaroos came right back and kept the game close. The score at the end of regulation was 76-76.
The Tigers finally pulled away with some valuable free throws in overtime. Thirteen out of the seventeen points scored by CC in the overtime period came from free throws. Overtime ended with a solid win for the Tigers, 93-83. The victory sent the Tigers on to the SCAC tournament final.
Sophomore Andrew Maddock was a star in the Austin College game. Maddock recorded a double-double with 46 points and 12 total rebounds to lead his team to the final. Maddock shot 16-22 from the field and added a perfect 14-14 from the free throw line.
“I was just trying to do everything I could to help our team win the game. Justin Berardino did a great job of reading the defense and feeding me the ball in areas I could score pretty easily,” said Maddock. “It was just one of those nights where I felt like I couldn’t miss. It didn’t really hit me that I had scored that many until after the game. I never thought I’d score over 40 in my career.”
It was a memorable night for Maddock as well as for SCAC tournament history. Maddock set the record for most points by an individual player in the SCAC tournament.
CC continued their tournament run on Sunday against Texas Lutheran University. The first half of the game was close as neither team was able to hold on to a large lead for long. At one point, CC led by eight but only for 20 seconds—Texas Lutheran answered with a 6-0 run in the next two minutes. Texas Lutheran pulled into the lead. The half ended with the Texas Lutheran Pirates up by a score of 41-35.
“We had a solid game plan. There was no need to change what we were doing,” said Partee about the first half. “We simply needed to limit mistakes on both ends of the court, and execute much better in the second half.”
The second half was a struggle for the Tigers as Texas Lutheran held onto the lead, halting the Tigers’ efforts to overtake them. The Tigers pulled within one at the 11-minute mark but were never able to close that final gap. Still fighting, the Tigers were right behind the Pirates, keeping the deficit down to three points. When the game ended, the score was 80-77.
This loss marked the end of the Tigers’ impressive season. The team did not receive a bid for the NCAA tournament. Though this year’s journey is over, the future of the team looks bright.
“The hard work and togetherness the team brought to practices on a daily basis was the defining factor of this season,” said Partee. “We have a very talented sophomore and freshman class, and we look forward to them becoming the future leaders of our team.”