Raider Backcourt Duo Help Sink Midshipmen

John Kelly

In their final regular season game of the year, the Raiders headed to Annapolis to take on the Midshipmen of Navy. With their post-season status in the air, the Raiders knew that a win would secure them fourth place heading into the conference tournament. Unfortunately, Navy had other plans and the Midshipmen pulled away in the waning minutes of the second half to secure a tight 65-60 victory. With this loss the Raiders fall to 8-19 on the season and 6-8 in league play. A highlight of the game included sophomore shooting guard Melanie Cargle’s 14 points.

The game’s sloppy start saw both teams committing turnovers on six of the first eight possessions. Once they settled their nerves both teams picked up the pace and engaged in a thrilling back-and-forth battle, exchanging six ties and five lead changes. At the 11:37 mark senior Megan Ballard ignited the team by draining two consecutive long range threes to give Colgate a 15-12 lead. With 5 minutes remaining Colgate took its largest lead of the afternoon at 23-17. However, Navy closed the half on a demoralizing 12-6 run to secure a 30-29 lead heading into the break. In the first half Colgate connected on 37.5 percent of its shots, while shooting a stellar 50 percent from behind the 3-point line. Meanwhile, Navy shot 41.4 percent from the field but a measly 25 percent behind the arc.

Navy emerged from the locker room determined to put the game away and used a 10-2 run to go ahead 42-34. However, the feisty Raiders responded with a 14-2 run of their own to take a 48-44 lead with 8:25 left on the clock. In a game marked by runs, the Midshipmen would have the last scoring burst of the day to secure a 65-60 win.

Colgate was led by the solid play of senior Megan Curtin who scored 11 points and connected on 3-7 from long range. First-year Gretchen Polinski picked up her fifth double-double of the year by scoring 14 and securing a team high 10 rebounds.

On the return trip to Hamilton, the Raiders learned that Lehigh’s loss to Holy Cross secured them the fifth playoff spot in the Patriot League Tourney. The Raiders will head to tournament host Army to take on the fourth-seeded Navy Midshipmen. The teams last met in the Patriot League Tournament on Feb. 26, 1999 with Navy securing a 60-59 victory. Hopefully for Colgate the third time will be a charm.