In the last game of the season, Colgate’s mens basketball team took a heartbreaking loss to number three seed Lehigh University. The game ended with a score of 77-72. First-year forward Will Rayman, who won Patriot League Rookie of the Year, led Colgate with 20 points. Also on top of the scoreboard were junior forward Tom Rivard and junior guard Sean O’Brien.
The Raiders started off the game strong, successfully keeping the Lehigh Mountain Hawks off the board for the opening 3:51. Going into the first media timeout, the score was just 3-3. Colgate then put together a 10-6 run, propelling them forward to lead 13-9.
This cushion didn’t last long, though, as Lehigh quickly returned to make it 23-22 Mountain Hawks with 4:30 still left on the clock before halftime. In the next three minutes, primarily thanks to the strong arm of Rivard, Colgate had a 9-0 run to turn the advantage and lead 31-23 with just 1:28 left before halftime. However, due to an untimely Raider turnover, the halftime buzzer rang with the score stuck at 33-32 for the Raiders.
Both teams came out swinging in the second half, and continued to trade leads until Rivard pushed Colgate forward 37-36 with a layup and 17:42 still showing on the clock. Colgate managed to hang onto a tight lead until Rayman was fouled on a shot with 14:40 showing on the clock. The ensuing free throw allowed Colgate to take a sizable 48-43 lead.
Then with only 9:32 left to play in the game, Lehigh took the lead 57-53 after a quick 8-2 spurt in which Colgate missed a few crucial shots that could have aided them in maintaining their lead. Over a span of 6:49 in the second half, the Mountain Hawks outscored Colgate 18-8, building Lehigh’s lead over the Raiders. With 3:51 left, Lehigh lead 69-60 after a couple of close range shots.
Sophomore guard Francisco Amiel knocked down a critical three-pointer with 51 seconds left to play and Colgate narrowed the lead to 71-66 as Rayman added a free throw. Rayman had one more three-pointer at the buzzer and thus ended the game by only a five-point margin.
Earlier in the season, Lehigh beat Colgate by a double digit margin. Colgate
undoubtedly came out strong, but they simply could not hold off the Mountain Hawks as the Raiders took their seventh straight Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals loss.
The Colgate men’s basketball team finished their season 10-22 overall, and finished league play at 8-10. Rayman’s 20-point game was his seventh 20-plus point effort this season, just another reason he was the recipient of the Rookie of the Year award. This was only the second time this season that the Raiders lost after leading at halftime.
“I think our effort and focus in preparation for our quarterfinal matchup was where it needed to be in order to compete with such a strong team. We executed our game plan well in large part; unfortunately, their seniors were able to make big plays down the stretch when they needed to. This season certainly didn’t meet the expectations we held for ourselves, but I think it served as a great lesson on the need for consistency in how we approach each practice and game. We return a large group of contributors from this team next season, and I’m really looking forward to our collective development in the next several months,” Rivard said.