Women’s Basketball Dominates Lehigh

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Emily Brand, Maroon-News Staff

The Colgate Raiders women’s basketball team has secured the home game for the Patriot League Tournament and are coming in hot after a well-fought winning streak. The team took down both Lafayette and Lehigh last week, recording their first three-game Patriot League win-streak since 2010. With these victories under their belt, the Raiders are now 8-21 overall and 7-11 in the Patriot League. They are hoping to keep this momentum right through the tournament. 

The score may be misleading in the match-up against Lafayette as it proved to be a true battle to decide who would come out on top; Colgate secured the win in the end, 49-36. The halves each had a different tone, as Lafayette led for almost 20 minutes of the first half, and Colgate for about 16 minutes of the second half. Junior Randyll Butler scored Colgate’s first seven points. It was just her baskets against Lafayette’s 16 points until senior Mariah Jones drained a jump shot with 8:12 left in the first half. 

The halftime score marked the Raiders trailing 20-17 and in need of some offense. Colgate battled back and was up 35-32 with just over 7 minutes remaining. The team ended the game with a 14-4 run. Overall, Colgate was able to force 24 Lafayette turnovers. Junior Josie Stockill came out strong on defense, and had four of Colgate’s eight blocked shots. Butler also had a noteworthy game, leading all scorers with 14 points. This win was significant as it marked the first time Colgate has won consecutive games this season. 

A final boost of energy is exactly what the Raiders are hoping will send them into the tournament with a drive to dominate. 

“Hitting the three game winning streak was something that needed to happen. So many times this year we fell to close games; so being able to finish out all these close games at the end of the year is just what we need to propel us into the Patriot League Tournament,” Butler said.

The match-up against Lehigh gave the fans a nail-biting ending. Butler was able to score a jump shot with just 6.3 seconds remaining, giving the Raiders the win 61-60. The victory boosted Colgate into the seventh position, ahead of Lafayette. 

Both teams battled for the lead throughout the second half. At one point, Colgate was down 45-37 until senior Mariah Jones and senior Carole Harris brought them back. With just over 10 minutes left to play, they were tied up at 47 points each. The Mountain Hawks snagged the lead after Kerry Kinek made two free throws, but Jones quickly struck back with a layup, making it a one-point game. Butler finally sealed her team’s fate, as she was able to drive up the middle and hit a jump shot. 

“My defender was all over me, allowing Randyll to have an open lane to the rim with no help defense. Randyll has been a very productive player for us on the court, and we all had confidence in her to take that shot,” senior guard Missy Repoli said. 

Up next for the Raiders is the Patriot League Tournament. Colgate will first face off against Boston University at home on March 4 at 7 p.m. Head Coach Nicci Hays Fort’s main focus is making sure that the team stays mentally focused, especially on the defensive end.

“This is what you play for, this is it. I just want our team to have no regrets. I want them to be mentally focused and not have any lapses so when we walk off that court for the last time, we know that we gave everything we could to win a championship,” when she discussed her goals for the tournament.

Repoli expressed her big goals for the Patriot League tournament.

“As a senior, this is my last time playing in the Patriot League Tournament. I have had great experiences playing in both the regular season and tournament,” she said. 

“But, of course, I would love to come out on top and win the whole thing. Our goal is to get into the NCAA tournament. But, we can only focus on one game. We can’t look ahead to anyone else. As seniors, this is it.”