In the first game of their Thanksgiving Break the Raiders played the Harvard Crimson Tide. Despite a career performance from Lauryn Kobiela, Colgate fell to Harvard 91-76. Kobiela played a nearly flawless game shooting 10 for 11 from the floor with 4 for 4 shooting from behind the three point arc. The opening half of the game saw Colgate hanging with the Crimson but by the end of the half, Harvard caught fire. Over a span of 3:16, Harvard outscored Colgate 15-6 due in large part to four three-pointers during the streak. Harvard continued its quality shooting into the second half of the game and was able to hold on in the final minutes, defeating the Raiders and improving to 5-1 on the season. The win was the 500th of Harvard’s head coach’s career.
Colgate traveled the following day to Durham to take on the University of New Hampshire (UNH). In a tight contest, the Raiders’ Kelly Reid played well, scoring eight of her 12 points in the opening 10 minutes. Although Reid had a strong performance, the Raiders fell to UNH 63-58. With 10:34 remaining in the first half Colgate led UNH 12-11. After giving up the lead with eight minutes left in the first half, Colgate was down 19-15. After making a few corrections on defense, Colgate was able to prevent the Wildcats from scoring until the 3:05 mark and were able to tie the game at 19. “Defense was not a problem tonight,” said head coach Nicci Hays Fort. “We held them to 63 points and it would have been under 60 if not for having to foul there at the end.”
The second half was very exciting with Colgate going on another defensive run to go ahead 46-44 with 8:40 remaining in the second half. After a series of trade-offs, the Raiders took the lead 48-46 with 7:44 left on a Carole Harris steal and score. This, unfortunately, would be mark the end of the Raiders’ hot offense. In the final three minutes of the game, UNH was able to hit two consecutive three pointers which put the Raiders behind by six. Reid was able to stop the slide with four straight free throws, allowing Colgate to pull within two points with 1:26 remaining. The Raiders, however, were not able to capitalize in the final minute and were forced to foul UNH to stay alive. The players subsequently made their free throws and the game was effectively over.
In their next game, the Raiders faced the 24th ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs. Anticipating a great crowd, head coach Hays Fort had this to say, “This is a special opportunity. Why would we want to go all the way out there? Because it’s Gonzaga. They’re a top-25 team and I always want to take our team to great women’s basketball environments.” The Raiders may have enjoyed a great environment, but they did not enjoy a great result, falling to the powerhouse 81-31. It was not a pretty game for Colgate but there were a few bright spots. Coach Hays Fort commended the girls for playing tough defense against one of the best teams in the country. Offensively, the Raiders failed to produce any sort of rhythm against a stalwart Bulldogs defense. Hays Fort had this to say about the game, “If we can score against Gonzaga, a top-25 team, then we can score in the Patriot League. It’s going to propel us for the rest of this preseason and into the conference schedule.”
Contact J.P. Letourneau at [email protected]