By Hayden Cogswell
The Colorado College men’s basketball team went 1-1 over the break as they took on Sul Ross State University and Whitman College.
The first match came on Friday Nov. 29 as the Tigers hosted Sul Ross State. The Tigers came out hot from the gates, going on a 15-0 run to build a commanding 22-4 lead in the first quarter. Following a basket from JJ Woods ’21, the Tigers had a strong foothold on the game with a 26-10 lead. However, following a disappointing start, the Lobos worked their way back into the game, and a scoreless period of 4:26 minutes allowed for an unanswered 12-point run.
“In our first game we got out to a hot start but couldn’t quite finish them off,” said Eric Jonas ’20.
CC dropped the contest with a final score of 74-67. Jonas finished with a season high of 18 points on the night while CooXooEii Black ’20 recorded a double-double.
The following day the Tigers took on the Whitman College, the No. 21 ranked team in the nation. After dropping the contest against Sul Ross State, the Tigers found more success on the back of strong performances from their senior core once again.
Jonas bested his total from the previous night, dropping 26 points on their night including six points in the final 30 seconds to seal a thrilling victory. The Tigers led for a total of 32 minutes on the night, proving that they could go neck and neck with a nationally ranked opponent. Black finished with another double-double, recording 18 points and 11 assists to compliment Jonas’ leading performance. The Tigers hadn’t recorded a victory over a top-25 opponent since 2013.
“We needed to have a bounce back game against Whitman but realized that it wasn’t going to be easy,” Jonas said. “We played them close all game but made the big plays we needed in order to knock them off.”
“In both games Eric played really well,” Sam Kinney ’22 said. “CooXooEii had a really good game as well in both games. But in both runs the team played well all around and came together on defense.”
The team needed to stay focused over the break on the upcoming games, but still made time to celebrate the holidays with their families.
“We got our rest and treatment, and then most guys spent a lot of time with their families,” Kinney said. “We have this actually wonderful dinner with all the families that can make it and players and coaches. It is always nice to have that thankful space full of people you really care about.”
As well as spending time with their families, the team took the time to relax and bond with one another over the break.
“When we weren’t practicing or playing, the team spent a lot of time together watching the NBA and playing board games,” Jonas said. “Settlers of Catan is a team favorite.”