The Raiders separated themselves from the rest of the Patriot League this week, taking sole possession of first place after beating Bucknell.
Earlier in the week, the Raiders lost to Lafayette 54-59. Colgate maintained a minimal lead for much of the game, and it wasn’t until late in the second half when the Raider offense stalled that the Leopards were able to steal the lead. Senior center Ethan Jacobs led the Raiders with 14 points on the day, while fellow senior Luke Roh pulled down seven boards in this tough loss. From this writer’s perspective, this was a game Colgate let slide away from them, and one I hope doesn’t come back to haunt the Raiders as they strive for a Patriot League title.
One could see it on the faces of the Colgate players as they trudged off the floor, knowing this was a game where they simply didn’t execute near their typical elite level of play we’ve come to expect this season. Colgate shot 23.5 percent from downtown, a number that pales in comparison to their season average of nearly 45 percent. Of course when Colgate can’t hit the three-ball, it condenses the opponent’s defense as they don’t have to worry about shooters, and makes it very difficult to drive to
After sharing the Patriot League lead with Bucknell for roughly one week, the Raiders marched in to Sojka Pavilion and emerged victorious. Junior guard Austin Tillotson had a monster game, scoring 24 points while shooting an incredible 77 percent from the floor.
With Colgate losing 69-64 and only two minutes remaining, Tillotson decided to take matters into his own hands. After knocking down a jumper from the elbow, Tillotson came back on the next possession to hit a massive three to knot the score up.
After a turnover by the Bison, the Raiders had one final possession to win the game. Senior guard David Sherman-Newsome, who hit a game winner recently against Loyola, drew up a play to use himself as a diversion, as Bucknell had likely just seen tape of his game winner when scouting to play Colgate. After coming off a screen from senior guard Luke Roh, Tillotson got another pick from Sherman-Newsome, who drew much of the defense with his danger of rolling to the hoop. Tillotson pulled up and sank a smooth jumper to win Colgate the game.
Colgate looks ahead to more Patriot League action this week, hosting American University at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 7, and traveling to Beantown to take on the Terriers at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 11. One might recall that the Eagles ousted Colgate from the Patriot League tournament last spring and went on to receive an NCAA birth before losing in a lopsided game to Wisconsin. The Raiders will surely be looking to enact their revenge, and one should expect this game to be played Philly-style with both teams scrapping and fighting in the paint as they try to out-brawl their way to a win.