Men’s Basketball Defeats Navy in Conference Play

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Junior guard Francisco Amiel (above) scored 12 points against Navy, contributing to the team’s overall success and eventual 69-64 win.  

Kate Kelly, Maroon-News Staff

The Colgate men’s basketball team played against Navy on Sunday, February 4, and pulled out a victory in the last few minutes of the nationally-televised game. The game was back and forth, with Navy holding a 47-39 lead with a little less than 11 minutes left in regulation time. Colgate responded by going 14-for-15 on free throws and earning a 30-17 run to put them ahead of Navy. This win was curcial for the Raiders as it solidified its second place ranking in the Patriot League, a spot it shares with the Boston University Terriers.

Navy began the first half with an early lead, but Colgate responded right away. The Raiders bounced back with three back-to-back three pointers to go on a 13-5 run to take the lead 16-12. They continued on this trend with more three pointers from Colgate senior forward Jordan Swopshire and senior guard Jordan Robertson to gain an even bigger lead of 26-19 with 7:16 left on the clock. Colgate held this lead until Navy went on a 6-1 run to end the half with Colgate hanging on to the lead by just one point.  

The second half continued with a back-and-forth contest between the two teams. Navy started the half with a 9-3 run to gain the lead, moving the score to 42-37. Robertson responded with a pair of free throws to get Colgate back within just three points of Navy. However, Navy fought right back and increased their lead, forcing Colgate to call a timeout to figure out a new game plan. This “regroup” seemed to reinvigorate the team as they went out on a 14-5 run following the timeout, putting the Raidrs one point ahead of Navy. The Raiders continued to push and the game appeared quite close, 66-64 Colgate, with just 57 seconds left on the clock. The Raiders kept Navy from scoring, and then Swopshire scored a three pointer at the end of the game to secure the win, 69-64.

“Navy is a really good team and it is hard to win games on the road. We knew we were going to have to match their intensity on both offense and defense. I think we did a great job of moving the ball and getting good shots and we did enough to get the win. It was a big win for us to take us to second place in the league,” senior guard Sean O’Brien said.

O’Brien had an incredible performance, contributing 12 points and three assists to the Colgate win.

“This really good team win tonight a lot of guys stepped up against a really tough Navy team,” sophomore forward Will Rayman said.

“Navy is always a very hard-fought game. You know it’s going to be a game you have to grind out, not a high-offense and flowing type game. I was proud of our guys for sticking true to who we are and kicking, scratching and clawing our way back into the game in the second half,” head Coach Matt Langel commented.

The Raiders are on the road again next week, when they will travel to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to take Bucknell on Monday, February 12. The Bison currently hold the top spot in the Patriot League, while the Raiders are tied for second place with Boston University. Be sure to cheer on the Raiders, tipoff begins at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.  

Contact Kate Kelly at [email protected]