Raider Women Hold Off Army In Quarterfinals

In a Patriot League quarterfinal contest played last night in Bethlehem, PA, the Raiders faced a situation that was completely opposite to the last meeting between Colgate and Army. Colgate played very well in the first half and then barely held off a huge Black Knight comeback, eventually pulling out a 78-75 quarterfinal victory.The sixth-seeded Raiders came out very strong and controlled the contest for the first 30 minutes of action. Colgate shot over 51 percent from the field in the first half and headed into the break with a 14-point advantage, something that the team hasn’t done in many of its recent games. In the last meeting between these two teams, Colgate entered the break down by 16 points.The Raiders seemed to learn their lesson and didn’t let up to begin the second half, out-scoring Army, 13-4, in the first 6:19 of the second stanza. The team built up a second-half lead that grew to 26 points with 10:58 remaining, giving Colgate a seemingly insurmountable lead.But this time it was third-seeded Army that performed a furious second-half comeback. The team went on a 23-4 run, helped along by Raider turnovers and poor shooting, that cut the Raider lead to four with 3:11 left. The Knights then dwindled the Raider lead to only one point with five seconds remaining, but junior guard Megan Ballard hit two free throws to give Colgate a three-point cushion. In the final four seconds, Army was forced to call two timeouts, and the team was unable to get a game-tying shot attempt off before time expired.The Raiders had four players reach double figures, with senior Allison Lipinski tying the team lead with 13 points. Ballard also added 12 points, but the biggest contributions came from the bench. Junior guard Meghan Curtin scored 13 points, including 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc, and classmate Devon Warwick added a season-high 12 points on nearly perfect 6-of-7 shooting. The Raider win overshadowed the tremendous performance by Army first-year Cara Enright. Enright showed why she was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year by dropping 30 points and 11 rebounds on Colgate. But in the end, Enright’s individual performance could not overcome a solid team effort by the Raiders, who won despite only getting eight points from their star, senior Emily Braseth, who spent much of the evening in foul trouble and fouled out with 3:11 remaining.With the victory, the Raiders move on to the Patriot League semifinals, where they will face off with second-seeded Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks and Raiders split the season series between the two teams, but the Hawks have the advantage of playing on their home court, where they beat Colgate by 13 points earlier in the season. Offense will surely be the key in this contest, as the game will feature the top two offenses in the Patriot League and four of the top five scorers from the regular season, and Colgate will need another fast start to keep up with the host Hawks.