Women’s Basketball Protects House

After last year’s 9-20 season, the Colgate women’s basketball team received a clean slate last weekend with the start of the 2006-2007 campaign. After dropping their opening game to Niagara on Friday, the team rebounded by knocking off Canisius at home on Tuesday to begin the season 1-1.

At the Gallagher Center at Niagara University, the Raiders led by five at halftime, but could not maintain the lead as the Purple Eagles won 76-62. After the teams went tic for tat in the first half, Colgate could not keep up with Niagara in the second half; turnovers and poor shooting spoiled what could have been a big opening game win on the road.

Junior forward Caitlin Gillard led the Raiders’ offensive charge with 22 points and 13 rebounds, good enough for her first career double-double. First-year Katie Garman put up seven points while grabbing eight rebounds for Colgate in her first career collegiate game and junior Shevorne Martin set a career high with ten points in the contest.

Putting the loss behind them, the Raiders returned to the friendly confines of Cotterell Court and won a thriller for their home crowd. Against a competitive Canisius team, the Raiders took control of the game late in overtime and pulled out a victory 62-57.

Junior Melanie Cargle scored 6 of her 16 points in overtime to ensure the win and sophomore Gretchen Polinski registered the team’s second double-double in as many games with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Polinski also sank two key free throws with 11.7 seconds left in overtime to put a damper on Canisius’ hopes for a comeback. Junior Caitlin Gillard had another excellent game, shooting six of ten from the field for 15 points, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking two shots.

Importantly, Colgate shot 33.3% from three-point range against Canisius after going only 11.1% from behind the arc against Niagara.

The Raiders have another mid-week contest lined up this week as they face national power UConn on Thursday. The game is set to begin at 7:30 at Gampel Pavilion, with the Raiders hoping for a big upset.