AUBURN — The Central Maine Community College men’s basketball team cleansed its palate with a 107-52 victory over Paul Smith’s College on Saturday on Dave Gonyea Court.

The win improves the Mustangs’ record to 4-6 and puts an end to a three-game losing streak.

“It was definitely a good win,” CMCC freshman Eli Bigelow, a Lewiston High School graduate, said. “We were on a losing streak, we haven’t had the best start to the season, so I think this one’s kind of like a confidence booster for us, shows us what we can do when we’re playing at our full potential.”

The Mustangs’ previous three losses were by five points, two points and then an 11-point overtime defeat to UMaine-Augusta on Tuesday night.

“It feels amazing,” Boston Caldwell said. “We’ve been unlucky with all the games we’ve lost have been real tight toward the end, but today it felt really good to get a long stretch and everyone contributed to that win, not just seven, eight players.”

Caldwell is CMCC’s top scorer at 17.1 points per game, and he put up a game-high 19 points Saturday, but for the first time this season he started the game on the bench.


“I wanted to go with what I thought were our best defensive players to start the game,” Central Maine coach Dave Gonyea said. “I wanted to shift the mindset from offense to defense.”

Gonyea added sophomores Malik Foster, a Lewiston High School graduate, and Colin Wilson to the starting lineup alongside usual starters Cam Pollock, Jackson Birmingham and Harry Bates.

“Malik’s our energy guy, and I hoped that we could start the game off with energy, and I think we did that,” Gonyea said.

“Just urgency and intensity and playing together as one really helped us today,” Foster said. “Because all we cared about today was winning, and I think it shows by the score at the end of the game that we all worked together and got the job done.”

Caldwell and third-leading scorer Wyatt Hathaway (11 ppg), a former Leavitt Area High School basketball and football standout, started the game on the bench but were on the court when CMCC made its first big run.

The Mustangs and the Bobcats (0-8) stayed close and swapped the lead a few times in the opening five-plus minutes. After Paul Smith’s went up 11-10, Central Maine took control with a 12-0 run, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers by Caldwell, and led 22-11 with 11:51 left in the first half.


“Obviously, credit to my teammates for passing me the ball,” Caldwell said. “But it was just one of those things … we went with a different starting lineup tonight, which definitely worked, so coming out, I was able to get going straight away, I was more relaxed and we just kind of went on from there.”

The Mustangs continued to add to their lead the remainder of the half, which ended with CMCC up 55-32.

All 14 Mustangs who suited up played in the opening half, and 12 of them scored at least two points, led by Caldwell’s 11.

CMCC’s lead grew to 39 points through a 19-2 run early in the second half that made the score 76-37 with 13:29 left in the game.

“Honestly, I thought our first half was really good, but we left our second half upstairs in the locker room. It never came down with us,” said Brad Rideout, who is the head coach of Paul Smith’s men’s and women’s basketball teams. “Matter of fact, at one point, I looked over and saw our offense and defense waving to me in that window up there.”

After a 3-pointer by Paul Smith’s Isaiah Evans made it an 85-47 game with 5:49 remaining, the Mustangs scored the next 17 points over 4 minutes, 46 seconds, to extend their lead to a game-high 55 points, 105-50, with 1:03 left.


The Bobcats and the Mustangs each added a basket in the final minute to wrap up the scoring.

All 14 Central Maine players scored. That includes players who don’t typically play a lot of minutes. Among those is a pair of former area high school standouts: Bigelow, who finished with eight points in 13 minutes, and Poland’s Hunter Brackett, who had five points in six minutes.

The 13 minutes and eight points are highs for Bigelow in his first season of college basketball, and his four field goals are the first he’s made. He said he’s working hard to earn more minutes.

“It’s college level, it’s not really high school; you’re always the best player on your high school team, and college, you’re not, everyone else is just as good as you,” Bigelow, who starred in football, basketball and lacrosse for Lewiston, said. “So when you’re out there, you just got to kind of make the best of what you can.”

Birmingham, CMCC’s second-leading scorer (14.2 ppg) finished with 12 points, while Wilson contributed 10. Ashanti Haywood had nine points, and Hathaway, who got in early foul trouble, and Foster each tallied eight.

“It’s always good when you can get everyone in the game, and everybody scored on our team. We played a lot of guys,” Gonyea said. “Right now, it feels really good after losing three games that they played together, worked hard together, and I just thought we looked pretty good.”


Michael Soto made four 3-pointers and led Paul Smith’s with 17 points, while Anthony Miller Jr. and Willie Jennings IV scored 10 apiece.

“I thought coming in, we were going to play hard, which we did,” Rideout said. “We just right now are not clicking on all cylinders, offensively or defensively.”

The Mustangs hope Saturday’s win is the beginning of a turnaround. They return to action Sunday when they host Vermont State University Randolph at 6 p.m.

“Good win today,” Foster said. “I think we need to keep our heads level, keep working hard each day, want to get better. We have a big game tomorrow, so get some rest tonight, come back with the same energy tomorrow.”

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: