The Colonels played five games over the Thanksgiving break, four of which were part of the 2016 Cancun Challenge.
The first two games saw the Colonels in a true road environment as they traveled to Auburn University and Texas Tech. However, the Colonels could not overcome the talent disparity, losing 85-64 to Auburn and 90-71 to Texas Tech.
Despite the Colonels losing both games by a total of 40 points, competing against the highest competition, like these two teams, will only help them going forward.
The Colonels then traveled to Cancun for the second half of the tournament, winning their first game in an overtime thriller against Idaho State 91-82. Sophomore forward Nick Mayo led the Colonels with a double-double, posting 21 points and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes. Mayo also had 4 assists and 2 steals.
The Colonels could not win their last game of the tournament, however, losing 82-65 to Georgia State. Mayo did all he could, posting another 21 points and shooting 7-11 from the field. Freshman guard Asante Gist contributed 16 points and 5 assists, but turned the ball over six times. This will be something Head coach Dan McHale will have to work with going forward, as Gist currently has 26 assists but 24 turnovers.
The Colonels returned to Richmond Saturday to take on Berea college in a game that wasn’t very close, as the Colonels won 92-64. Mayo continued to lead the Colonels, putting up 19 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. The game solidified Mayo as the OVC player of the week, averaging 20 points, 8 rebounds and almost 4 assists.
But the Colonels had their sights set on something bigger: the game against rival Western Kentucky this past Wednesday.