After being dealt another tough loss on January 28 against Lafayette, the Raiders turned their luck around when they claimed a win against Bucknell on January 31. Lafayette was able to come away with a victory by just two points, after being down for the majority of the game. Despite leading 42-19 at halftime, the Raiders found themselves out-scored in the final 20 minutes, losing 56-58.
Lafayette was able to attack hard in the final minutes of the game, handing Colgate their fourth two-point defeat in the conference. The team held their lead until the final two minutes, when Lafayette’s Anna Ptasinski drained her third three-pointer of the night giving her team the advantage 56-54. Senior Mariah Jones tied it up with a jump shot, but with only 53 seconds remaining, Lafayette struck back with the game’s final basket scored by Jamie O’Hare. O’Hare led all scorers with 18 points.
The Lafayette matchup marked senior Missy Repoli’s 100th collegiate game. The senior Raider was 2-of-3 on three-pointers to reach the 150-mark for her career. Junior Josie Stockill finished with 14 points, and senior Carole Harris contributed 10. Harris also came up with three of Colgate’s six steals. Coach Nicci Hays Fort said that they always acknowledge their tough losses, but are constantly focusing on the present.
“We just focus on a couple little things at practice and we went out in the Bucknell game and I think we executed really well,”
she said. “We really focused on the defense and rebounding and what we needed to do to earn a really hard-fought, deserving win.”
Senior captain Mariah Jones expressed determination in proving that the team could overcome close losses, and turn them around in the future.
“We were very focused on the first time we played Bucknell this season when we lost by 2 in overtime, so we felt like we needed to redeem ourselves for letting that one slip away,” she said.
Colgate certainly found their rhythm against the Bucknell Bison when they took them down 54-41. This day held more significance than just a victory for the Raiders, as they held the annual Play 4 Kay Pink Game and celebrated National Girls & Women in Sports Day. The team’s defense was consistently stout, as they managed to keep Bucknell from stealing the lead in the entire second half. The win allowed Colgate to improve to 4-17 overall and 3-7 in the Patriot League.
Senior captain Carole Harris saw it all come together well for her team against Bucknell.
“Our team plays great defense when we are all working together and communicating, and I think that was shown in the game against Bucknell,” she said.“We shut down their posts, which was a huge key. On the offensive end, we were finding open players and looking to attack, leading to baskets.”
Harris tied her senior co-captain, Missy Repoli, with 16 points, and added a game-high 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season and 11th of her career.
Coach Hays Fort felt that the ability to bring awareness to such worthwhile causes was what made the day so successful overall. She contributed $1 per Colgate point in the game and $100 for every Colgate made three-pointer, making $864 for the Play 4 Kay Foundation.
“Our pink game, our Play 4 Kay game, is important because I think every single person has known someone that has been affected by breast cancer in some way, whether it be a mom, an aunt, a grandparent, a friend, a sister, we’ve all been there unfortunately,” she said. “It’s just about bringing awareness to the cause and uniting together, because if we can unite together, then we’re going to beat this.”
Harris also recognized how many opportunities have been made available from the men and women who have paved the way for equality in sports.
“Donating to Play 4 Kay by hosting the Pink game is the least we can do to give back to our community,” she said. “As for National Girls & Women in Sports Day, none of us would be playing at this level if it weren’t for the women basketball pioneers that came before us. We truly stand on the shoulders of giants, and we can only scratch the surface in an effort to do the same for the aspiring basketball players that came to the game on Saturday.”