Black Knights Deal Cargle-less Raiders a Wallop at West Point

Bill Stoklosa

Already facing a formidable opponent, Colgate’s Women’s Basketball team found their game against Army on Saturday to be an even greater challenge than they had expected when the Lady Raiders had to play without leading scorer Melanie Cargle, whose 12.1 points per game make her the only Raider averaging double digits this year. It is unclear how much time Cargle will miss. Cargle’s absence spelled doom for an already sputtering offense, as the Black Knights defeated the Raiders 65-48.

Army started well early, with a quick strike that was reminiscent of a tomahawk missile. In the first 5:49 of the game Army outscored Colgate 15-0. It was obvious from the outset that Colgate’s offense was in trouble without Cargle.

“Obviously, anytime a starter is out of the line-up it will have an effect on a team,” Head Coach Kristen Hughes said. “We have had to use a number of different combinations of players this season, so the team is somewhat used to it. Melanie was shooting the ball often and well, so we need to spread that offense out over the rest of the team now to make up for her absence.”

Army on the other hand benefited from a very balanced offensive attack. Four of their five starters contributed 2 or more points to the run. Junior Molly Patterson finally put the Raiders on the board with a 3 point bucket at the 14:11 mark of the first half. Patterson finished the day in double digits with 11 points. Army later pushed their lead to as many as 19, but the Raiders were able to cut the lead back down to 12 by halftime. After the poor start the Raiders offense was able to put up 26 points in the remaining three quarters of the half, and trailed at the break 38-26.

Colgate couldn’t dig themselves out of the hole they created early. They never got any closer than 11 points in the second half, and they trailed by as many as 23, ultimately losing by 17. Turnovers once again proved to be a huge detriment to the team as Army scored 27 of its 65 points off turnovers, accounting for over 41% of Army’s offense. Army did shoot the ball well, too, sporting a 46% field goal percentage. The Raiders shot just 34% from the floor, though, losing the rebound war by nine as well.

Guard Alex McGuire led Army on offense, scoring 18 points and shooting 7-14 from the field. For Colgate, sophomore Gretchen Polinski and junior Caitlin Gillard stepped up in Cargle’s absence to lead the team in scoring, notching 13 points each.

“Cait and Gretchen are both very capable of putting up big numbers,” Coach Hughes said.”The team did a good job finding them within our offense and they both did a good job converting.Hopefully we can continue to build on that.”

Another bright spot for Colgate was their bench play. Colgate’s reserves outscored Army’s 48-17. Colgate will hope to have Cargle back soon as they finish up their league schedule this month, taking on American on Saturday at 1:00.