Colgate accomplished something the team has only done once before in the last 24 years of the program–win double-digit Patriot League games. The Raiders now sit second in the Patriot League with a 13-16 overall record to accompany a 10-6 conference record. They are second only to Buckell who has a league record of 12-4.
After a slow start, the Raiders got ahead 20-12 with 12:41 remaining in the first. A couple of steals by senior guard Luke Roh and some easy backdoor cuts for layups helped the Raiders get a nice lead against the Army midway through the first half.
With just under eight minutes remaining in the first half, senior center Ethan Jacobs set a pick for senior guard Damon Sherman-Newsome. As Sherman-Newsome came over the top, Jacobs rolled to the basket, caught a floater from Sherman-Newsome and flushed an easy dunk that fired up the crowd.
A notably unique aspect to this game was Colgate’s clear intention to push the ball. Off of rebounds and made baskets, sophomore center John Fenton and Jacobs were keen to get quick outlet passes to junior guard Austin Tillotson. These passes translated to easy buckets for the Raiders, as Tillotson, who was donning a Rip Hamilton-esque facemask, was able to dish it off to Roh, who made three and-ones in the first half alone.
In what you’d expect to be typical Army basketball, the Black Knights were unwilling to give up free layups, often delivering hard fouls, but Roh was able to make them pay by converting the field goal and the free-throw multiple times for the old-fashioned three-point play. Roh finished the game with a career-high 25 points to accompany 10 rebounds.
After the best half of Colgate basketball I’ve seen this season, the Raiders relented in the final two minutes of the first half, heading into halftime with a 46-36 lead albeit an absolute dominance in the half.
The second half featured much of the same for the Raiders–quick pace off of missed shots and an utter control of the paint. Colgate cruised to an 84-69 win against Army. Sunday’s game at Loyola proved to be a much tougher challenge for the Raiders. Colgate suffered a devastating loss 78-80 in a game that took three overtimes to decide the winner.
Sherman-Newsome converted on two clutch free throws late in the first overtime to tie things up and send it to a second overtime. Colgate got ahead in the second overtime, and it appeared as though the Raiders were going to close it out. Unfortunately, Loyola star Andre Walker was able to convert on a floater to tie the game up with one second remaining.
In the third overtime, the Raiders looked to Jacobs on multiple possessions, where he converted a couple jump hooks to give the Raiders some breathing room. The Greyhounds however, were able to convert free throws down the stretch. Another layup by Walker gave Loyola the lead and the win, as a last-second heave by senior forward Matty McMullen came up short. McMullen finished with an incredible career-high 19 points and 17 rebounds.
Colgate hosts Lehigh and heads to Lafayette this week as their last two games before the Patriot League tournament. The Raiders travel to Easton, Pa. this Wednesday to battle it out with Lafayette and then host Lehigh this Saturday, February 28 at 12p.m. for the regular season finale on Cotterell Court. Previously, the Raiders beat the Mountain Hawks 68-61 on Lehigh’s home court just before the new year. Both of these games are huge for the Raiders: getting these last two wins might be exactly what they need for a successful post-season run.