And Here We Go Again: Women’s Hoops Continues to Struggle Against PL Competition

It has been a rough season for Colgate women’s basketball, and the bumps on the road just keep on coming. The two most recent bumps were a pair of home tilts against Bucknell and Holy Cross.

Colgate got down early on Saturday afternoon against Bucknell and never recovered. Bucknell stampeded out of the gate and scored 15 of the first 17 points. Colgate tried to get back into the game with an 8-3 run, which cut the lead to 18-10. Sophomore guard Sami Kozlowski, junior guard Katie Garman, sophomore guard Tayler Wejnert and first-year center Tricia Oakes each had two points in the run. Unfortunately, Bucknell went on a 14-2 run to take a 32-12 lead with 6:56 left in the half. Bucknell continued to role for the rest of the first session, shooting an astounding 69.0% from the field and an incredible 71.4% for the half. Not surprisingly, the Bison’s amazing shooting resulted in a commanding 48-21 lead at the half.

Obviously, defense was a huge problem for the Raiders.

“We struggled a lot with our communication in the Bucknell game,” junior tri-captain Katie Garman said regarding her team’s problems on defense. “We got down by a little bit and we kind of stopped talking which is obviously the opposite of what you want to happen. We really needed to step up our communication and talk through the problems we were having and we just didn’t do that very well.”

Bucknell continued to dominate the Raiders in the second half and Colgate found itself down 61-32 with 14:18 left in the game. It looked like Colgate might make a game of it though, as they scored eight straight points thanks to a three and layup from senior guard Gretchen Polinski and a three from sophomore guard Sami Kozlowski. The run cut the lead to 61-40. However, Colgate could not get the deficit back under 20 and Bucknell actually built their lead before the conclusion of the game, winning by an 86-54 margin.

Once again, turnovers were a big issue for the Raiders, as they committed 22 to Bucknell’s 10 on the afternoon. Furthermore Bucknell out shot Colgate 55.6% to 42.2% from the floor and 52.4% to 35.7% from three-point range. The huge gap in shooting and turnovers added up to a blowout. Bucknell’s star guard Amanda Brown had a bad shooting day, but she filled up the box score with eight points, 10 assists and eight steals. Bucknell had a three-way tie atop the scoring column as forward Lauren Schober, forward Cosima Higham and super sub Morgan Wrightson all had 16 points. Colgate was once again led in scoring by Tricia Oakes, who scored 10 points to go with seven rebounds. On Monday, after the Bucknell game, she picked up her sixth Patriot League Rookie of the Week on the year. Tayler Wejnert and Gretchen Polinski contributed nine points each. Polinski has a solid shooting day, going 3-5 from the field, while Wejnert’s output was her best scoring performance in a while. Both earned a start against Holy Cross after their performances against Bucknell.

Most people probably projected the contest between Colgate and Holy Cross in Hamilton last night to go much like the shooting contest between former Colgate basketball player Tim Pounds and some guy I had never seen before that took place at halftime. One side was clearly the favorite going in, and it was not the Raiders. However, Colgate looked very good early. With the Raiders down 8-6 with 14:43 left in the half, first-year forward Holly Havenstein nailed back-to-back layups to put Colgate up 10-8. Havenstein got the start because Tricia Oakes was inactive for the game. Colgate then extended the lead when Sami Kozlowski dished to Candice Green, who nailed a three to up the advantage to five. The threes continued to roll as Green drained another one from downtown, this time off an assist from Tayler Wejnert. Holy Cross did nail a two to pull within four, but then Kozlowski nailed another three to put Colgate up 19-10. It was Colgate’s fifth three in the first eight minutes and the cheerleaders actually ran out of “tees for threes” after the shot. However, even if there were more, they wouldn’t have had much use for them, as Colgate suddenly went cold. They scored just six points (none from downtown) for the remainder of the half and found themselves down 37-25 at halftime.

The cold shooting continued in the second half as the Raiders shot just 21.9% from the floor in the frame. Needless to say they were unable to make the comeback and fell by a 72-52 score.

Turnovers were actually not the culprit this time out, as Colgate only lost the turnover battle 16-13. As is probably obvious, it was a big gap in shooting that doomed the Raiders. Holy Cross out shot the Raiders 55.6% to 29.3% from the field for the game. Even Colgate’s leading scorers struggled shooting. Tayler Wejnert led the team in scoring with 15 points, but shot just 3-16 on the night. Sami Kozlowski was second with 14 points, but shot just 4-16 from the floor. Colgate did possess a huge advantage in offensive boards with 16 to Holy Cross’ three. This was extremely impressive since they were without their leading rebounder, Tricia Oakes. Colgate rebounded well from the guard position with Wejnert puling down eight offensive boards and Gretchen Polinski pulling down four. However, the Raiders were all too often unable to capitalize on their second chances. On the Holy Cross side of things, guard Briana McFadden led the way with 18 points.

The two losses drop Colgate to 4-17 overall and 0-6 in the Patriot League. The Raiders will next be in action on Saturday at Annapolis against Navy. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.