The Colgate men’s basketball team looked to keep the season alive on Wednesday night against American University in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League conference tournament. The Eagles wound up victorious, however, winning 59-50 and ending the Raiders’ season.
The Eagles jumped out to a hot start in the first half with some solid shooting and effective ball handling in the paint. Both teams struggled from behind the arc and had to rely on their inside game in their
attempt to secure a lead.
The Eagles were led by senior center Tony Wroblicky, who was able to find many scoring opportunities in the paint, contributing to the Eagles’ early run. All of his 14 points came from his inside game, highlighting the effectiveness of the Eagles’ paint attack. He also found scoring opportunities for many of his teammates, dishing out five assists.
Though the Eagles struggled from the three-point line, junior guard John Schoof was able to find some opportunities and bank a couple threes, which spread the Eagles’ offensive attack and gave the team more momentum throughout. His 16 points led all players during the game and helped provide the bulk of the support the Eagles needed to secure a strong lead over the Raiders.
The Eagles’ defense was also strong in the paint. Wroblicky was able to limit many scoring opportunities and restrict any second chance opportunities with his eight defensive rebounds, two blocks and one steal.
The Raiders made every effort to find scoring opportunities in the paint and inside the three-point arc, as the Eagles did a stellar job shutting down many scoring chances for the Raiders from downtown. Junior center Ethan Jacobs provided many scoring chances for the team and helped the Raider attempt to keep pace with the Eagles. Sophomore point guard Austin Tillotson contributed to the effort with some strong drives, which opened up the floor for his teammates to find some quick scoring opportunities and close in on the Eagles’ lead.
Though the Raiders were in a deep hole in the second half, as the Eagles led by as many as 17 points, the team was not about to give up on its season. Senior captain and forward Murphy Burnatowski led the charge. He sought to make up for the Raiders’ early struggles from downtown by driving and drawing several fouls. His 15 points included four points from the charity stripe, highlighting his effectiveness in drawing fouls and frustrating the Eagles’ defense. He also collected three offensive boards, providing the Raiders many additional scoring chances to close in on the lead.
His efforts helped make the game a thriller in the end, as the Raiders were able to slow down the Eagles’ offense and successfully take advantage of many of their own scoring opportunities. Sixth man junior guard Damon Sherman-Newsome helped the Raider attempt to complete a comeback, banking a couple threes and dishing out several assists. His 10 points and three assists off the bench provided the Raiders with some much-needed momentum to close down on American in the final minutes.
Despite the Raiders’ heroics and discipline, the Eagles were able to successfully execute some critical offensive plays and run down the clock, sending the Raiders home with a 59-50 loss.
The Raiders’ season may be over but the future is quite bright. Though the Raiders will sorely miss their senior captains Murphy Burnatowski, Chad Johnson and Clayton Graham, the team still retains a young core that can build on the foundation that these seniors helped build over their careers at Colgate.
Contact Matt Waashuta at [email protected]