Colgate Basketball Endures Opening Round Tournament Loss to Texas

Colgate men’s basketball, the fifteen seed in the midwest for the NCAA March Madness tournament, suffered a twenty-point loss against two-seed University of Texas on Thursday, Mar. 16. Throughout the game, the Raiders did seem to keep within striking distance. The Raiders were able to keep most of the game competitive as they were only down nine at halftime. They were never able to close that gap, finding themselves down by nine with just six minutes left to go in the second half. At the six-minute mark, Texas managed to pull away in the final minutes.

Despite the unfortunate loss, senior guard Tucker Richardson still had words of encouragement for the team: “I think we competed and left it all out on the court against a Texas team that is one of the hottest teams in the country. I am still so proud of the way we battled and proud of our fans and the Colgate community for supporting us.”

Although the Raiders put up a tough fight, the Texas offense proved to have too much firepower for the Raiders to keep up with. For the Longhorns, senior guard Sir’Jabari Rice had seven three-pointers, with four of them drained in a row. Senior guard Marcus Carr put up 17 points and went 4/6 from three. The Longhorns shot a whopping 56.5 percent from three. For the Raiders it was the opposite story.  The Texas defense proved to be just as, if not more, menacing than their offense. Coming into this game the Raiders led the nation in three-point percentage at 40.34 percent. Unfortunately, Texas knew this was how the Raiders could beat them and limited Colgate to just 3/15 from three-point range. Colgate was able to remain competitive by scoring in the paint. Colgate’s starting big man, senior forward Keegan Records, tied for a team-high with 13 points and shot an efficient 6/9 from the field. The Raiders did have success down low, but not being able to go to the bread and butter of their offense definitely hurt the Raiders in the long run of this game.

“They were very aggressive in the passing lanes and really tried to run us off the three-point line,” explained senior guard Oliver Lynch Daniels. “Their overall game was to not give up any open three, so they made it quite difficult.”

Despite the loss, the Raiders have a lot to be proud of. The Raiders once again won the Patriot League Championship. This continues a trend of massive success as they have now won four championships in the last five years.  The repetitive success has given the Raiders an almost dynasty-like feel in recent years. They also had an incredible 26-9 record. Even more unbelievable, despite some out-of-conference woes, the Raiders had a dominant 17-1 conference record.

“I’m really proud of the team,” said junior forward Jeff Woodward. “Everyone stayed bought into the goal and we really were a super connected group this year.”

Having played his last game as a Raider, Richardson, the 2023 Patriot League Player of the year, remains proud of what his team has accomplished this season. “ What we did this season was special, and nothing can take away from that.” 

Despite the season ending on a tough note, there is no doubt that the Raiders’ season was a success. Head coach Matt Langel led the team to a record-breaking 17-1 record in the Patriot League. Despite some tough departures for the Raiders after this season, the future continues to look bright in Hamilton with Langel at the helm.