Men’s Basketball Takes Down No. 1 Lehigh

The Colgate Raiders defeated the first-place Lehigh Mountain Hawks 64-60 with a stellar team performance in their home court. The game was dedicated to LGBTQ awareness and a huge crowd showed up to support the cause and the Raiders basketball team. Players and coaches alike represented their support for the cause with the players wearing rainbow socks and the coaches wearing rainbow ties.

The Raiders played their best basketball of the season throughout the first half keeping the crowd on their feet. The incredible first half was marked by an effective offense and a strangling defense, which bogged down Lehigh, the defending Patriot League champions.

The Raider offense was flawless in its execution; players played selflessly and patiently looked for strong scoring opportunities. Colgate junior guard Pat Moore made certain that those scoring opportunities would be successfully converted into a strong lead. Moore led all scorers in the first half with 12 points, and banked two of his three shots from downtown. The team was also incredibly successful behind the arc banking five of its 10 attempts adding to a significant lead.

But Moore wasn’t the only highlight for the Raider offense as multiple players stepped up and contributed to a valiant offensive effort throughout the first half. Senior guard Mitch Rolls and sophomore guard Luke Roh fearlessly led the Raider offense with effective pass distribution and leadership providing a wealth of scoring opportunities, which the Raiders needed to compete against a tough Lehigh defense. Colgate senior forward Brandon James was extremely effective off the bench helping to create open shots for his teammates and finding some successful looks of his own. The Raiders consistently scored, making a stellar 50 percent of their shot attempts

throughout the first half.

The Raider defense held strong against a determined Lehigh offense. Senior center John Brandenburg had one of his best defensive efforts of the season in the paint. Brandenburg helped coordinate the defense in the paint and the team blocked shots left and right eliminating any Lehigh chance of keeping up with the Raiders. Roh helped make sure that these blocks and forced turnovers would lead to efficient scoring opportunities as he grabbed rebounds, and along with Rolls, charged down the court looking for open players and quick points. As a result, the team was able to grab a dominant 15 points off of Lehigh turnovers.The Raiders effectively shut down Lehigh going into halftime with a 41-25 advantage.

The second half was tight as the Mountain Hawks charged back and matched Colgate’s offensive and defensive intensity. Colgate struggled to score for periods of time due to some offensive miscommunications. But the Raiders wouldn’t let Lehigh dominate for too long and returned to form later in the half. Junior forward Murphy Burnatowski helped provide Colgate with the scoring it needed to maintain its lead. He led all scorers in the game with 19 points. Moore also remained consistent adding more points of his own and ultimately finishing the game with 17 points.

Colgate’s shooting wasn’t as successful in the second half so the Raiders focused on defense to shut down the Mountain Hawks. The Raiders forced Lehigh to take many outside shots as they clamped down on defense in the paint. Lehigh was able to successfully convert some of these shots to keep pace with the Raiders.

The Raiders kept their composure, however, and were able to make some clutch plays and free throws in the final minutes resulting in a win.

The win gives Colgate a 4-6 record in conference play and sends Lehigh to its second loss in conference play. Going into the game the Mountain Hawks were ranked as the 13th best mid-major basketball program in the country according to ESPN. Colgate will look to continue its recent dominant play on the road against Army on Wednesday night. The Raiders will return home on Saturday to play Navy at 12 p.m. Saturday’s home game against Navy will promote

Alzheimer’s awareness.

Contact Matt Washuta at

[email protected].