David Falls Just Short Against Goliath

Paul Kasabian

On paper, last week’s men’s basketball game between Colgate and Holy Cross seemed to be one of the biggest mismatches of the season. Last place Colgate was having trouble shooting the ball and had missed all fourteen of its three-pointers in its last game against Bucknell. Meanwhile, first place Holy Cross rolled into Hamilton with the best trio of players in the Patriot League. But paper doesn’t tell the whole story.

Undaunted, the Raiders ran on all cylinders throughout the game, and were up by 11 points in the first half and 10 points in the second half. Unfortunately, Holy Cross’ talented trio of senior Keith Simmons, senior Torey Thomas, and junior Tim Clifford took over down the stretch. Down 47-37 with 10:39 to play, the Crusaders racked up 12 straight points to take a two point lead. Two possessions later, though, senior Jon Simon hit his fifth three-pointer of the game to put Colgate up by one.

“I thought Jon Simon (22 points) had a phenomenal game for us shooting the ball,” Head Coach Emmett Davis said. “He’s got to continue to do that.”

After trading points the next couple of minutes, Holy Cross had the ball with less than two minutes remaining and the score tied at 53. Thomas drove the lane and ran into redshirt sophomore Alex Woodhouse, who seemed to have his feet planted underneath the basket. The basket went in, but no call was made for charging. The ref’s no call on Thomas was one of many dubious officiating moves made throughout the night.

Simon answered back with a long two-pointer to tie the game once again, but Keith Simmons showed why he is the best player in the Patriot League by hitting a clutch three-pointer to put Holy Cross up for good with 20 seconds left on the clock. Colgate junior Kyle Chones’ three-pointer fell short, and the game ended with Holy Cross winning, by a 58-55, final score.

The Raiders could have let the disappointment of their loss affect them in their showdown against Navy last Saturday, but the team stayed strong and defeated the Midshipmen, 66-58. Colgate took the lead for good with 2:47 to go in the first half and never looked back. Kyle Chones led Colgate with 13 points in the absence of second-leading scorer Kendall Chones and shot blocking machine Alex Woodhouse. One-man-team and Navy junior Greg Sprink scored 23 points in the game.

Two impressive statistics stood out in this contest. Colgate stole the ball thirteen times against Navy, which tied their previous season high for steals against Bucknell. Also, the Raiders’ bench had one of their best games of the season, tallying 31 of the team’s 66 points.

“It was certainly a great performance,” Davis said regarding the bench’s play. “Certainly, when you look at the 31-16 (bench) scoring disparity, that tells a lot, but I thought they did a lot of other good things defensively.”

Despite some first-half disappointments, the Raiders, who are 2-5 in conference play, have a great chance to build on their success against Navy and rise to fourth place in the Patriot League. Army currently holds that position with a 3-4 Patriot League record.