Men’s B-Ball Grabs Two League Wins

Paul Kasabian

“Basketball is a game of runs,” Men’s Basketball Head Coach said in an interview last Tuesday.

Clearly, this was the case in Colgate’s most recent trio of games, starting with its 76-75 road win over Lafayette on Wednesday, February 12. The Leopards leaped out to a 10-2 lead, but Colgate went on a vociferous 24-13 run to close the first frame with a 36-32 halftime lead. The undaunted Lafayette squad failed to surrender and started the second half on a 11-0 run of its own thanks in part to five lay-ups and a free throw. Even though Lafayette had little trouble scoring down low, Colgate refused to quit and went on a monstrous 19-4 run over a seven-minute period. Pounds, junior Kyle Roemer and first-year Mike Venezia scored 15 of those 19 points. Pounds in particular shined on this night, as he scored 18 points and grabbed five rebounds in just 29 minutes.

“That was Tim Pounds’ best game of his career,” Davis said. He played great defense and got on the offensive glass.”

After a Pounds lay-up cemented the run and gave Colgate a 55-47 lead, both teams traded buckets until the 6:19 mark, when Lafayette began a lightning-fast 12-3 run over 2:16. Let’s fast-forward to the waning seconds of the game. Colgate has a 75-73 lead with 20 seconds left thanks to some made Colgate free throws and a handful of Lafayette turnovers. Pounds got fouled and made one of two free throws. On the other end, three-point assassin Matt Betley missed a three for the tie, but Roemer fouled him behind the arc with seven-tenths of a second left! Betley made the first charity shot and the second, but he clanked iron on the third! Sophomore Ben Jonson grabbed the rebound, and Colgate escaped with the win. Besides Pounds, Chones(17 points), Roemer(12 points), Waddy(12 points) and Venezia(10 points) reached the double-digit mark on this night. Betley led Lafayette with fifteen points.

“That was really a team win,” Coach Davis said.

Could the team make some runs and beat first-place American on ESPNU last Sunday? Yes and no. While Colgate went on some great runs during the game, American dominated the second half and came away with a 68-60 victory. The two teams were all square at 21 roughly 13 minutes into the game, when Colgate went crazy and went on a defensively-minded 13-4 stretch to close the half. Jonson had himself a heck of a half by scoring six points and grabbing some tough boards.

But Murphy’s Law was in action for Colgate in the second half, as anything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. Three early and sloppy ‘Gate turnovers led to eight points for American, and the Eagles took a 42-40 lead before the fans could blink.

“We had some real defensive breakdowns in the second half,” Davis said. “The defensive intensity in the first 20 minutes was vastly different from the second 20 minutes.”

American players shot wide-open three pointers, as Colgate defenders were not even in the same zipcode of some of the shooters. Also, American’s Garrison Carr scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half. By the 4:54 mark of the second half, Carr hit four of the team’s seven second-half treys to give American a 61-50 lead that Colgate did not recover from. Mercer (18 points) and Carr combined to score 42 of American’s 68 points, while Roemer played a supremely competitive game by scoring 20 points to lead Colgate.

In last night’s home game against Lehigh, Colgate led for virtually the entire game and went on to win, 71-63. The Raiders jumped out to an eight-point lead early in the first half and maintained that lead until Lehigh’s Marquise Hall scored nine points in the latter portion of the first half to help Lehigh take the lead, 35-33. However, Waddy hit a three-pointer, and Pounds hit a buzzer-beating three of his own to give Colgate a four-point the half. Colgate built off that momentum by starting the second half on an 8-0 run to push the lead to twelve points. Back-and-forth action ensued, and the Raiders had a ten-point advantage with eight-and-a-half minutes left. Three key Raider plays down the stretch sealed the win for Colgate. First, Chones hit a lay-up with 2:44 left to give Colgate a six-point lead. Secondly, with the shot clock winding down, Roemer hit a fallaway NBA-three with a hand in his face to give Colgate a seven-point advantage with 1:42 left. Lastly, Venezia and Roemer hit clutch free throws to put the nail in the coffin. Woodhouse scored 12 points, grabbed 13 boards and swatted three shots for a monster night. Roemer’s four three-pointers helped him get 18 points, and Chones scored 14 points on an economic five-of-seven shooting night. Hall led Lehigh with a monstrous 29-point effort.

Colgate will play North Carolina Central at home before traveling to Holy Cross on Wednesday night.