The women’s basketball season came to a close this week with a pair of distressing losses to Holy Cross and Navy. The Holy Cross loss was upsetting because the Raiders lost by twenty, while the Navy loss was hard to take due to a huge comeback falling painfully short.
Last Tuesday Colgate ventured to Worchester, Massachusetts to take on the Crusaders of Holy Cross. Colgate stayed with Holy Cross early in the first half, before the Crusaders closed the half on a 13-3 run to take a 26-18 advantage into the break. Colgate came back early in the second half, starting on an 8-2 run to tie the game at 28. The Crusaders took control back with an 11-0 run, and never looked back, winning by a final score of 67-47. Colgate was once again led by first-year guard TaHara Williams who netted 11 points, while dishing out six assists, and only turning the ball over twice. For her efforts, she was recently named to the Patriot League All-Rookie Team.
Colgate entered their final game of the regular season last Saturday in last place in the Patriot League, but nevertheless possessed a ray of hope. A win over Navy could vault them as high as fifth place, but a loss would assure an eighth place finish and a match-up with a very talented Bucknell team in the upcoming PL Tournament. Things didn’t start out well for Colgate offensively as the Raiders scored only 12 points in the entire first half. Luckily their defense was strong holding Navy to just 20 first half points, and keeping the lead at only eight. However, Navy came out of the locker room strong and their lead was at 19 with 5:21 left on the clock. That’s when Colgate commenced an improbable run. Colgate went on to score the next 11 points to cut the lead to eight with a little over two minutes remaining.
“There were two things we did different during the run,” Head Coach Kristen Hughes remarked. “One was that we put on a lot of defensive pressure and that led to more transition points. Also we ran different sets that opened up driving lanes.”
Navy hit a free throw to stop the run, but Colgate first-year guard Katie Garman came right back and nailed a clutch three to cut the lead to 52-46. After a Navy turnover, Garman came up huge again, hitting two free throws to cut the lead to 4. TaHara Williams also had some key baskets down the stretch, and led all scorers with 17 points. Colgate continue to chip away, and with 11 seconds left Colgate got the lead down to two, and after two missed free throws by Navy they had a chance to win the game. Colgate got the ball up to junior guard Melanie Cargle, who launched a three that could have won the game. Unfortunately the ball hit the front rim, and Colgate lost 54-52.
“They sagged off Melanie (Cargle) and it was a good look, it just didn’t go in,” Head Coach Kristen Hughes said.
The loss means the Raiders will be the eighth seed in the Patriot League Tournament, and will face the Bucknell Bison March 3rd at 11:00 A.M. in Annapolis. To keep their season alive, Colgate will have to tackle the most formidable team in the Patriot League; hopefully they will be up to the challenge.