Men’s Basketball Victorious Over Leopards

Matthew Washuta

The Colgate Raiders men’s basketball team rebounded from a string of losses on Monday night against the Lafayette Leopards. The Raiders showcased their strong win on CBS Sports Network, drawing much national attention for the program and the school.

The 75-68 win against Lafayette helped the Raiders regain their confidence in finishing out games and the win was secured with a signature strong team effort.

The first half was a nail-biting back-and-forth 20 minutes as both teams executed offense flawlessly. Raiders junior guard Luke Roh provided the offensive spark for the Raiders in the first half shooting a perfect five-for-five on the floor to secure 10 points for the team and help pace the team’s offense. Junior center Ethan Jacobs proved to be a strong force in the paint with his six points in the first half including drawing a foul and with his two blocks and four total rebounds. His presence in the paint was needed to keep the Leopards from finding quick scoring options in the post.

Junior guard Damon Sherman-Newsome had a stellar all-around performance in the first half. Coupled with banking a couple shots from downtown, the guard collected five defensive rebounds to prevent the Leopards from securing some quick second-chance points.

The Raiders were able to use strong, first half offense to maintain the lead despite a stellar opening half from Lafayette. Leopards junior guard Joey Ptasinski lit the Raiders up from downtown with four-three pointers and scored a total of 16 points in the first half. The Raiders secured a 38-30 lead going into halftime, but would need to continue their strong offensive and defensive effort if they wanted to leave Easton with a win.

They did exactly that as sophomore point guard Austin Tillotson provided the second-half spark for the team’s offense. His 13 second-half points gave much of the cushion the Raiders needed in order to extend the lead. He also collected three offensive rebounds to give the Raiders some quality second-chance scoring options. Coupled with Sherman-Newsome’s eight points, the team was able to continue its offensive firepower. However, it would need to make some stops and slow down the Leopards offense.

The Raiders slowed down Ptasinski in the second half and prevented many scoring opportunities for the junior; he would muster a mere five points in his

second-half effort, which was far fewer than his 16 first-half points. Lafayette sophomore guard Bryce Scott and freshman guard Nick Lindner combined for 15 points in the second-half, which helped the Leopards’ attempt to keep pace with the Raiders.

However, the Raider defense proved too much as Jacobs maintained his strong inside presence, recording his third block of the night, and senior forward Clayton Graham forced several turnovers and collected two steals in the process. Sherman-Newsome continued his strong

rebounding in the second half, collecting five more defensive rebounds and finishing the night with a phenomenal 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Raiders finished the game on a high note, hitting some much-needed free throws and banking a solid 45.3 percent of its shots to maintain the lead and close out the game.

The solid team effort gives the Raiders their first win over the Leopards since the 2009-2010 season. The team returns for a home stand against Bucknell Saturday at 2 p.m. kicking off its second-half slate of conference play for the season.

Contact Matthew Washuta at [email protected]