After a Tough Loss to Holy Cross, Defense Dominates for the Raiders

Last Wednesday’s game against Holy Cross was a typical one for the Women’s Basketball team this season; the game featured a strong individual performance, but it did not translate into a strong team performance. Junior Melanie Cargle was the strong individual performer, posting 20 points and six rebounds, but the team struggled in a 75-59 loss to the Crusaders. The 20 point effort was Cargle’s third straight game of 20 or more points. The Raiders shot well from the floor, sinking 46.2 percent of their field goals, but turnovers once again doomed the offense. Colgate turned the ball over a whopping 26 times over the course of the game. The Raiders played well early and clung to an 11-9 lead before a 19-4 run by Holy Cross put Colgate in a 28-15 hole with 6:57 remaining in the first half. The Crusaders never looked back from that point. Colgate’s loss against Holy Cross was its fourth straight defeat.

Colgate’s next game was Saturday at Navy, and the results were much better, with the Raiders winning 55-44. The 44 points allowed was a season low for Colgate. The Raiders’ defense also held Navy to just one field goal in the last 9:54 of the game.

“In practice on Thursday we came in after the Holy Cross game and really focused on defense,” Head Coach Kristen Hughes said. “The players really worked hard in practice and then during the game everyone stepped up. The result was that we played our best half court and transition defense of the year.”

However, the game didn’t start out very well for the Raiders. Colgate fell behind early and was facing a 16-5 deficit at the midpoint of the first half. Coach Hughes called a timeout, which turned out to be a momentum changer for the team. The Raiders finished the half with a 19-3 run to take a 24-19 halftime lead. The run started with first-year Katie Garman hitting back-to-back three pointers.

“After the timeout we changed what we were running,” Coach Hughes said. “We weren’t getting the kinds of looks we wanted so we had to change our offensive sets.”

In the second half, the Midshipmen cut the Raider lead down to one, but they never got closer than that as Colgate’s stifling defense allowed them to cruise to an 11 point victory. Cargle once again led the way for the Raiders, scoring 17 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

The Raiders next game is Saturday at Army. The Black Knights come into the game boasting an impressive 18-4 record, but Coach Hughes is not intimidated.

“We believe that we can beat any team in the Patriot League,” she said. “What the game will come down to is whether we reach our goals on defense, and make sure to execute on offense.”