The Colgate Men’s Basketball team notched two impressive victories this past week to push their win streak to six games and move into second place in the Patriot League.
The Raiders started the week on Tuesday, February 19 with a victory over defending league champion and first place Bucknell. It was the first victory for Colgate over the Bison in the past six meetings, a streak that dates over three years. Colgate took a lead early in the first half and despite being pushed to a tie score multiple times, the Raiders were able to maintain their advantage and go into halftime with a 37-30 lead.
Throughout the beginning of the second half, the team was able to keep the lead in the double digits, responding to every Bucknell basket with a score of their own. However, with the lead at 14 points with just over nine minutes remaining, the Bison took a time out and got back on track. They were able to put together a late rally and pull within four points at 62-58 but Colgate responded with an 11-4 run of their own to seal the game and take the victory, 75-64.
The win over Bucknell was also revenge for last year’s Patriot League Championship game, where the Bison beat the Raiders 83-54. The win on Tuesday pulled the Raiders within just a single match of Bucknell in the league standings.
In their second game of the week on Saturday, February 23, the team took on Navy to celebrate senior day at Cottrell Court. Before the game, the team honored seniors Francisco Amiel, Dana Batt, Sam Lindgren and Malcolm Regisford.
The Raiders once again came out firing, building an early 18-4 lead. They kept the momentum going and were able to expand the difference to 20 points by halftime at 52-32, and eventually to a 93-71 victory. It was an all-around team effort as three players recorded over 20 points. Sophomore guard Jordan Burns lead the way with 27 points, including seven three-pointers showing that he hadn’t lost a step despite missing multiple games during the month due to injury. Junior forward Will Rayman added 21 points and shot 4-4 from beyond the arc with junior forward Rapolas Ivanauskas adding 20 points of his own. The team had a total of 17 three-pointers, just one shy of the Patriot League and program record.
The win over Navy gave the team 19 wins on the season, pushing their record to 19-10. This is the most regular season wins by a Colgate team and is tied for the number of total wins. The win also helped the Raiders clinch a bye in the first round of the Patriot League tournament as well as home court advantage. The team is now guaranteed to not finish below fourth. This is significant as the Raiders are currently 11-1 on home court and just 8-9 away from home.
The Raiders will play on Saturday, March 2 at Lafayette. The two teams last met in Hamilton in January, a game the the Raiders won 57-47 in a defensive struggle. The team will then start the Patriot League tournament on Thursday, March 7 at home against the winner of the battle between the leagues seventh and tenth place team. The tournament game will be held at Cotterell Court.
Contact Gideon Hamot at [email protected]