Navy Crushes Women’s Basketball on Senior Day

Navy Crushes Women's Basketball on Senior Day

Paul Kasabian

Senior guard Gretchen Polinski and sophomore guard Sami Kozlowski scored nine points apiece in Colgate’s 65-35 loss to Navy last Saturday at Cotterell Court. Navy’s Kalen Kropa and Emily Cordle each scored 11 points to pace Navy.

This was a game that Colgate wouls like to forget. The Navy bench scored as many points (35) as Colgate did overall. Furthermore, Navy shot 52 percent to Colgate’s 26 percent.

Navy jumped out to a 15-4 lead early after a jumper from Cassie Consedine, but Colgate stormed back with a 6-0 run thanks to a Candice Green three-pointer and three free throws. The teams traded scores for a few minutes before Navy closed out the half on a 13-3 run, giving the Mids a 32-17 halftime advantage. Turnovers were a key issue for ‘Gate, as they coughed up the ball four times during that closing stretch.

Polinski opened the second half with a jumper to pull Colgate within 13, but that was as close as the Raiders would get. Eight different Mids scored points in the second half, helping stretch their lead to as many as 31 points before the end of the game.

“Navy is just always a consistent team,” junior guard Katie Garman said. “You know what they’re going to bring to the court every single game; they always bring a consistent effort and consistent team play.”

The Raiders will now face first-place Lehigh in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament on Saturday, March 7 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at noon. This is the third consecutive year that Colgate has finished in last place in the regular season, giving the Raiders the eighth seed in the conference tournament. Two years ago, Colgate stunned the Patriot League by upsetting first-place Bucknell 69-62, which was the first time in Patriot League history that an eight seed beat a one seed in any sport. Last year, American downed Colgate, 70-46.

This time around, Colgate plays a Lehigh team that is 12-2 in conference play and 23-6 overall. The Mountain Hawks are led by guard Erica Prosser, who has averaged 14.4 points and 4.4 assists per game. Lehigh also has the best scoring margin in the league, outscoring its opponents at 11 points per game.

“We had a conversation about [the Bucknell upset] last week and that anything can happen in the Patriot League, so [the underclassmen] should be excited about this weekend,” Garman said.

Historically, Colgate has not beaten Lehigh in its last seven tries. In January, the Raiders were beating Lehigh 28-22 at halftime before getting outscored 39-15 in the second half en route to a 61-43 defeat in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In February, Lehigh crushed Colgate 71-42 in Hamilton.

So what will it take for Colgate to grab its second huge upset in three years?

“I think the biggest thing is knowing that we can do it,” Garman said. “It’s tough to take out Lehigh on their home court. We need to play as a team; team effort is going to be huge. We have shown how capable we have been in pieces, but we have to put a game together. I know we can do it.”