The Colgate Raiders played against the Holy Cross Crusaders on Sunday afternoon at Cotterell Court in the Patriot League Semifinals. It was a huge win for the Raiders, who came out on top 62-55 and secured their place in the championship game for the first time in 10 years. This year’s team set a program record with their nineteenth season win, tying a previous record with 13 home wins during the 1926-27 season.
Sophomore forward Will Rayman led the Raiders with an incredible game of 22 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals in a total of 33 minutes. This was Rayman’s sixth 20-plus point performance this season. Senior forward Jordan Swopshire and junior center Dana Batt each had eight points, and first-year guard Jordan Burns added seven to the score.
The Raiders started the game with ten unanswered points before Holy Cross got on the board. During this streak, Rayman had two three-pointers. The Crusaders brought it back to a five-point difference at 12-7, but Colgate increased the lead as senior guard Jordan Robertson scored a jumpshot and first-year guard Jack Ferguson scored a three-pointer. With 10:23 left on the clock in the first half, the Raiders maintained a strong 20-7 lead.
By the time the clock wound down to 3:48, Holy Cross responded with a 12-2 run to bring the score back within three points. Before the half ended, Rayman added four more points to the board, but the whistle blew ending the first half with the Raiders up 26-23.
Less than a minute into the second half the Crusaders hit a three-pointer to tie the game, but Colgate quickly regained the lead. Swopshire made a three-pointer and Burns quickly added four straight points to increase the Raiders’ lead to 33-26 with 17:13 left in the game.
Holy Cross rallied for 12 of the next 16 points to gain their first lead of the game, with the Crusaders up 38-37 at the 12:50 mark. Within the next five minutes of play, Ferguson hit a corner three-pointer and capped off a 7-2 Raider run to give Colgate a lead of 44-40 with 7:38 left in the game.
The Crusaders were able to tie the game back up 48-48 at the 5:51 mark. Soon after, senior guard Sean O’Brien made three free throws and Burns hit a clean three-pointer to give the Raiders a 54-48 lead with less than three minutes left on the clock.
In the final minute of the game, Colgate was able to secure a 62-55 victory over Holy Cross, bringing them to their first championship game in 10 years and one step closer to their ultimate goal of winning a championship.
“It was a great win for our team and our program. The fans at today’s game were great and really helped us out with their support. Our goal has always been to compete for a championship and then to win one and now we have given ourselves that opportunity. We’re all very excited and can’t wait for Wednesday’s game against Bucknell,” Robertson said.
With this victory, the Raiders’ overall record improves to 19-12, while Holy Cross ends their season with an overall record of 12-19.
Contact Annie Hayes at [email protected]
Note: At the time of print publication, Colgate had yet to face Bucknell in the championship game. The results will be updated and posted on our website in an upcoming article.