By Charlie Lynch
The Colorado College Tigers prowled onto the basketball scene this previous weekend at Centenary College to compete on the road against Centenary and then at home against the University of St. Thomas.
The team has had highly contested games with both these opponents earlier in the season. CC needed wins this past weekend in order to cement its competitive race for the sixth and final spot in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament at the end of the season. With only eight games left, the Tigers needed a boost to help secure their hopes.
Coming off of two tough losses in games that could have gone either way, the Tigers brought energy and focus to their game on Friday against Centenary College.
Men’s basketball dominated the game, only ceding the lead once when Centenary erased the 10 point lead that CC had established to go ahead 53-52. However, that lead did not last long, with CC going on a 7-1 tear at the end of the game, securing the lead and holding onto it. The Tigers eventually won 72-67, with the whole team pitching in for points.
“Highlights from this weekend would be that after two hard-fought games the team played very hard and it felt like in both games we gave ourselves a chance to win,” guard Sam Kinney ’22 said. “When we won the first game, it felt really good because we had lost to that team in a nail biter down at their place. Some takeaways are that we readjusted the starting lineup, moving our rotations like subbing guys in, in a much shorter run. It seems to be working because we are working at a much faster pace.”
A hard fought first game against Centenary gave the Tigers a win, Scott Cunningham ’22 said: “Winning a close one felt good. We have had a bunch of close games this year, we’ve lost a bunch of them, but it was good to be in a tight one and come out with a win.”
The Tigers then returned home to Reid Arena to play St. Thomas, whom the team had just barely lost to in another tug-of-war like game. The game had ebbs and flows with both teams overtaking one another in a struggle until the very end.
Unfortunately, the Tigers could not pull through in the end with St. Thomas eventually winning 92-79 and putting a dent in the men’s basketball SCAC tournament opportunity.
Cunningham was proud of his team’s performance despite the unfortunate final score. “I think some of the takeaways are that we played St. Thomas tough through the second half even though they are a sixteen and one team,” Cunningham said. “Other takeaways are that we can really compete with anyone after almost beating St. Thomas who is sixteen and one. We also beat Centenary: another good team in our league. To get into the SCAC conference tournament we need a few wins and so it is a big confidence booster playing against that sort of team, especially going into the last eight games.”
The Tigers move on to play Austin College and University of Dallas in Texas this upcoming weekend.