A Tale of Two Problems

A Tale of Two Problems

Paul Kasabian

The way the Raiders had trouble hanging onto the ball, one would have sworn they were playing outdoors. Before the day of the Lafayette game, when 8-10 inches of snow fell in the Chenango Valley, Colgate had serious issues with losing the basketball. In four of its seven December games, Colgate turned the ball over on more than a quarter of their possessions. Heading into Patriot League play, it seemed that turnovers would continue to be the team’s Achilles heel.

The turnover problem did not persist as they opened their conference schedule against Army, who fell to Colgate 73-71 in overtime despite junior guard Jarell Brown’s 30 points. Four Raiders finished in double digits in scoring, with junior forward Kyle Chones leading the team with 16 points.

Their second Patriot League game against Lafayette on Jan. 6 did not prove as successful. The way the Raiders shot, one would have sworn they were back outside; their shooting was an ice cold 29% from the field in the first half, during which they were down 13-0 within four minutes. They ultimately lost 71-65.

“They’re not trying to miss,” Coach Emmett Davis joked. “They’re working hard. They’re in the gym a lot practicing their shooting.”

The cold shooting, like the cold weather, lingered as they took on American, making only fourteen baskets in its 70-48 loss. The contest was close early, as Colgate only trailed by three after 8:30 of play, but Eagles senior guard Andre Ingram netted 14 of his 24 points in the last 11:30 of the first half to put American ahead by 20 at halftime.

After their demoralizing loss to American, the Raiders traveled to Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks jumped out to a quick 15-2 lead in the first half, and stayed ahead of the Raiders for the rest of the game. Even senior guard Jon Simon, the Raiders’ team captain who passed 1,000 career points against Lehigh and went on the biggest offensive tear of his Colgate career, couldn’t push the Raiders past Lehigh. Simon scored 15 of his 28 points in the last 6:38 of the game to turn a blowout into a hard-fought 60-59 loss.

“(Simon’s) had some marvelous games for us this year,” Coach Davis said. “For us to be successful, he has to score.”

Colgate’s 50-36 loss against Bucknell was both their best defensive game and worst offensive game of the young Patriot League season. The Raiders did not let the Bison score a point in the first 4:56 of the game and forced Bucknell to turn the ball over 20 times. Colgate couldn’t turn their great defensive aptitude into offensive production, however. Colgate only made 12 baskets and missed all 14 of its three-pointers.

Although Colgate is 1-4 in conference play, the Raiders still have a shot to host a first-round Patriot League tournament game. A new rule states that the top four conference finishers play their first round games at home. Colgate is only two games behind Army for fourth place in the Patriot League. Anything is possible with the parity of the Patriot League this season.

“I’ve told this team from day one that every game is winnable and every game is losable,” Coach Davis said. “The teams are that evenly matched.”