Men’s Basketball Picks Up Big Win At American

Matthew Washuta

The Colgate Raiders men’s basketball team took the court at American University on Saturday hoping to secure its first win on American’s home court in program history. The Raiders did exactly that as they walked off the court with a 63-60 win over the Eagles.

Colgate opened the first half with a strong offensive performance and looked to maintain the consistency throughout the half. Sophomore guard Austin Tillotson paced the Raiders offense and created many scoring opportunities for the team. His eight points also contributed to the team’s solid offense in the first half.

Junior forward Ethan Jacobs also provided some stellar play on the offensive end giving the Raiders the spark they needed to pull away with a solid lead. Jacobs proved to be a nightmare for the American defense as the big man knocked down several threes and also remained a force in the paint. His 11 points led all scorers in the first half.

The Raiders shut down American on the defensive end as well. The Eagles struggled to consistently facilitate the offense as the Raiders forced turnovers after five steals in the first half, three of which came from senior forward Murphy Burnatowski. American wound up committing nine turnovers in the first half leading to many opportunities for the Raiders to build a lead.

Colgate junior guard Damon Sherman-Newsome proved to be a strong defensive asset for the team coming off the bench in the first half. His four defensive boards limited American’s opportunity to find additional scoring opportunities. Sherman-Newsome’s offensive effort was also a strong asset as he scored five points in the first half.        

The Raiders bench needed to continue to perform well and provide a cushion for the team to build a lead. The bench did exactly that combining for a quick seven points, five rebounds and two assists. The effort confounded the Eagles bench and left them scoreless in the first half.

The strong offensive and defensive effort led to a 33-26 Raiders lead going into the second half.

Tillotson once again paced the Raider offense in the second half with a nine-point second half effort, culminating in a game-high 17 points on the day. Junior forward Matt McMullen also provided a strong second-half performance, which allowed for the team to consistently find scoring opportunities as the Eagles attempted to storm back. Six of McMullen’s eight points came in the second half as the junior quickly contributed to the offense coming off the bench.

The Raiders continued to shoot well in the second half to provide a bit of a cushion as the Eagles started to catch up and looked to take over the game.

Eagles junior guard John Schoof scored 15 points on the day but his 11 points in the second half provided the boost the Eagles needed to compete with the Raiders. Sophomore guard Jesse Reed added to the Eagles’ offense scoring nine of his 15 points in the second half.

However, the Raiders kept their composure with their consistent offense and trusted their defensive abilities. They held the Eagles’ bench scoreless in the second half once again limiting the scoring distribution the Eagles would need if they wanted to win.

Despite the hot shooting of the Eagles’ guards in the second half, the Raiders maintained their poise and closed out a close win. The Raider win created a tie between American and Boston University for the lead in the Patriot League. The win gives the Raiders added momentum leading into Saturday night’s 7 p.m. duel with Boston University at Cotterell Court.

                                                                                Contact Matthew Washuta at [email protected]