Men’s Basketball Parties Like It’s 1979

Men's Basketball Parties Like It's 1979

Larry Schweitzer

The men’s basketball team continued their hot start by defeating Texas State and host Kennesaw State in the 100 Club Classic, giving the team its first 4-0 start since the 1979-80 season. Unfortunately, Colgate then fell in consecutive home games against Marist and Dartmouth over Thanksgiving Break. After the brief home stand, the Raiders hit the road again, losing to Big East opponent Notre Dame to drop their record to 4-3. During the winning streak, junior guard Kyle Roemer was awarded the Patriot League Player of the Week.

The Raiders’ 100 Club Classic win was the team’s first in-season, non-conference championship since the 1991-1992 season. Colgate scored over 80 points in both games and was paced on offense by Roemer, who scored at least 24 points and was named the tournament MVP. The first round game took place on Friday, November 16 and the Raiders beat Texas State, 83-77. No team led by more than five points in the first half, which ended with the two teams tied at 43. Less than a minute into the second half, the Raiders took a one point lead on a lay-up by senior Pete Minchella. Colgate led by as much as 13 in the half and never trailed again. Roemer scored 24 points with six rebounds and senior Tim Pounds added a career high 19 points. Junior Alex Woodhouse led the team with nine rebounds to go with seven points, three blocks, two steals and two assists and senior Kendall Chones added a strong game with 11 points, five rebounds and four assists.

On the next day, the Raiders outgunned Kennesaw State in their 81-53 victory. The Owls actually jumped out to an early eight point lead, but were silenced by a 19-2 Colgate run en route to a 30-21 lead into halftime. In the second half, it was all Colgate, as the Raiders dominated the frame by outscoring the Owls, 51-32. Once again Roemer led all scorers with a career high 25 points. Sophomore Ben Jonson came off the bench to score 15 points and grab seven rebounds. Both were career-high marks for Jonson, but even more noteworthy was the fact that he put up those numbers while playing only 19 minutes in the game. Pounds continued his scoring streak, adding 12 points. Both Jonson and Pounds were named to the all-tournament team.

The Raiders attempted to celebrate Thanksgiving by coming home for their only games until 2008, but the holiday was spoiled with losses to Marist and Dartmouth. On Wednesday, November 21, Colgate played a back-and-forth battle with the Marist Red Foxes. The Raiders rallied back from being down by 10 to tie the game 58 with 2:30 left on a Woodhouse dunk. After Marist’s Ben Farmer committed a technical foul, Roemer hit two free throws to give Colgate its first lead since the end of the first half. Unfortunately, Colgate could not close out the game. Down one with seven second left, Marist’s Spongy Benjamin made a put-back layup to give Marist a one-point lead. Senior guard Daniel Waddy attempted a three-pointer for the win as the buzzer sounded, but he failed to find the bottom of the net, and the Raiders lost 61-60 in their lowest scoring output of the season. Once again, Roemer led the team in scoring with 15, and Waddy had another double-digit game with 13 points. Jonson continued his strong scoring output by adding 10 of his own.

Last Saturday, the Raiders could not reverse their fortunes, losing to Dartmouth 81-76. The matchup was another see-saw affair, as the game featured 10 ties and six lead changes before Dartmouth grabbed the scoring advantage for good with five minutes left in the game. The lead widened to six points with less than a minute left, but the Raiders cut it back to two. However, the Raiders could do nothing to stop Dartmouth’s phenomenal late free throw shooting. The Big Green held on to their lead by hitting nine-of-eleven free throws in the final minute alone despite shooting under 50% from the charity stripe in the other 39 minutes of play.

Roemer netted a new career-high 26 points, topping his 25 from the week before. Senior Kendall Chones also set a career-high, scoring 20 points. Waddy had 15 points and led the team in rebounds (six), assists (five) and steals (4).

Last Monday in South Bend, Notre Dame defeated Colgate, 94-63 in a game that the Raiders never led. Colgate held its own against the Fighting Irish early by hitting its three pointers, including six of its first 10. A trey by junior guard Willie Morse cut the Irish lead to seven with less than two minutes left in the first half, but despite the sharp shooting, the first half closed 46-33 in Notre Dame’s favor after Kyle McAlarney nailed two of his seven three-pointers to close out the frame.

The Irish controlled the second half, outscoring Colgate, 48-30. McAlarney scored a game high 25 points and was aided by forward Rob Kurz’s 20 points and reserve Luke Zeller’s 14 points on 4-5 three-point shooting in just 16 minutes of play. For the Raiders, Roemer led the way with 13 points and senior Daniel Waddy added 10 more from the point guard spot. The Raiders, as they have done all season, shot the lights out from beyond the arc, but they were done in thanks to their 17-8 turnover differential.

The Raiders have been much more of an offensive force this season, scoring at least 60 points in each of their contests, which is something that they only did nine times last year. The scoring output has been fueled by hot shooting, including 47% shooting from the floor and an astounding 45% from beyond the arc for a team that averages nearly 15 attempts from long range per game. In each game, Roemer has led the team in points. He has matched and topped previous career highs in points three times this season. In seven games, he has averaged over 19 points per game, and the team has six individuals averaging above six points per game, something that only three players managed to do last season. Waddy, Chones, Pounds, Morse and Jonson all are averaging between six and nine points per game.

The Raiders will now travel to Cornell and Binghamton during the first week in December before their annual matchup at Big East rival Syracuse during the weekend after finals. After the ‘Cuse game, the Raiders will continue on the road trip to play Penn State. Following a game at New Hampshire, the Raiders will end their road trip by playing Maine on January 2nd.