Men’s Basketball Splits Yet Another PL Pair of Games

Men's Basketball Splits Yet Another PL Pair of Games

Paul Kasabian

The men’s basketball team lost 75-64 to Navy last Saturday and defeated Bucknell 68-57 last night. Both games were at Cotterell Court.

The Raiders executed well against Navy and committed only nine turnovers, but they were inept from the three-point (18%) and free throw lines (64%). Furthermore, the Raiders had no answer for Navy center Mark Veazey, who scored all 17 of his points in the second half.

Navy started the game on an 11-2 run thanks to a trio of three-pointers and a layup, but Colgate tied the game at 15 after back-to-back jumpers from junior forward Ben Jonson. With just under five minutes remaining and the score tied at 23, Navy guard Chris Harris drove into the lane and leaned into sophomore shooting guard Mike Venezia as he took a jumper. The referee called a questionable shooting foul on Venezia, and Colgate Head Coach Emmett Davis, irate over the call, received a technical for arguing with an official. Harris made four free throws as a result of both fouls, and the Midshipmen took a 27-23 lead. Venezia scored five points down the stretch, though, and Colgate was able to tie the score at 32 going into halftime.

The Raiders opened the second half on an 8-2 run, but it was all Veazey from that moment on. Veazey made seven layups and three free throws, turning the paint into his own personal kingdom. Three of Veazey’s layups came after he grabbed offensive rebounds. As Veazey heated up, Colgate cooled down, missing 19 of 26 shots in the last 16 minutes of the game.

“Veazey played with a lot of energy; more than some of our guys played with,” Coach Davis said. “He’s 6’11”, bouncy and has played well for Navy all year. I was disappointed in the play of our big guys because we had an advantage there, but he definitely took advantage of us.”

Navy took the lead for good after Harris made a three-point play with 14:05 left, giving the Midshipmen a 43-42 lead. Navy continued to apply the pressure and knock down its layups and free throws, taking a 63-53 lead with just over five minutes left. The closest Colgate would come to Navy down the stretch was six points.

Gyawu and Jonson each had 16 points for the Raiders. For Navy, Harris had 17 points, and forward Kaleo Kina had 15. It was the first time since 2004-05 season that Navy beat ‘Gate.

Last night against Bucknell was marked by three runs. This isn’t unusual for Colgate, because as Coach Davis said, “All year long with our team, we’ve had games of runs.” Thankfully, Colgate was on the right end of two of them and managed to jump out of the Patriot League cellar with a big win.

The first half was marked by prolonged offensive slumps by both teams. Bucknell started the game on a 15-2 run, but its dominance would not last long. Coach Davis, sensing the game was getting out of hand, went to his bench looking for some solid production, and he received quality minutes from a few subs, namely senior Tre Vinson and first-year Sterling Melville. After making only two field goals in the first 10 minutes, Colgate managed to make some layups and get to the line, making 10-of-13 free throws during the half. The Raiders tied the game at 19 after two Sterling Melville free throws and took the lead on the following possession when Gyawu hit a jumper, but Bucknell eventually took a 26-23 lead into intermission.

“I thought we got some really good looks early in the game,” Coach Davis said. “We just couldn’t get going offensively. The bench gave us some energy and got back into the game, and the veteran guys then played the way they’re capable of playing the rest of the game.”

In the second half, Bucknell forward G.W. Boon started the half with a jumper, but Colgate wrested control of the game with a 13-0 run. Bryan Cohen stopped Bucknell’s bleeding with a three-pointer, but Anthony Hill hit two straight three-pointers to give Colgate a 44-35 lead. The Raiders kept its distance from Bucknell throughout the second half by playing solid defense and moving the ball quickly on offense. Colgate, especially Alex Woodhouse, found much success in the paint offensively and defensively in the second half. Woodhouse scored all 13 of his points in the second half.With 1:12 left in the game, Cohen hit a three-pointer to bring Bucknell within six points, but that was as close as the Bison would get at this stage of the game. Colgate made six of its nine free throw attempts after the Cohen shot to seal the win. For the game, the Raiders hit 28 of its 35 free throw attempts, which was a big plus after its poor night from the charity stripe against Navy.

Hill scored a career-high 14 points to lead Colgate, six of which came on free throws in the last couple minutes of the game when Bucknell was fouling to stay alive. In his last two games, Hill has averaged 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds.

“Anthony had a terrific game for us,” Coach Davis said. “He’s a great three-point shooter when his feet are set. The threes he hit were big, and the free throws he hit were huge. He did a good job of defending Darryl Shazier and had a good floor game.”

Woodhouse scored 13, grabbed eight boards and blocked five Bucknell shots. Gyawu and Venezia chipped in 10 points each. For Bucknell, Patrick Behan scored 18 points. Justin Castleberry scored 13.

The Raiders continue their home stand with a 2 p.m. game against Army on Saturday and a 7 p.m. contest against Lafayette on Wednesday.