It was a rough week for the Colgate women’s basketball team as they ended their regular season with a loss to Holy Cross (74-72) on Saturday afternoon. The game was heartbreaking in many regards, as the loss places Colgate in the sixth seed in the Patriot League Tournament, and the game was unbelievably close. First-year guard Missy Repoli scored a career-high 22 points in the game, with senior Tricia Oakes putting up 16 points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Jhazmine Lynch added 12 points, four assists and two steals to the team’s effort. Senior Candice Green recorded a team-high six assists, bringing her to a total of 104 assists for the season. She becomes the first ever Raider to record more than 100 assists in a single season since Megan Ballard in the 2004-05 campaign. Despite the loss, the women laid everything down in their last game of the regular season.
“It is so bittersweet,” senior guard Kelly Korkowski said. “Looking back on all the memories, from 5 a.m. practices to crazy preseason workouts, that court was our home away from home. I truly believe not only did we grow as basketball players, but more so as people. I’ve learned so much over these past four years on that court. I would not trade any of it for the world.”
The game between the Raiders and Crusaders was neck-and-neck through all of regulation, with the difference never exceeding eight points. With 1:24 left, the score was tied at 70, and after a quick layup from Oakes and some foul shots bucketed by the Crusaders, the game was yet again tied up at 72. With a missed jump shot by Lynch with just seconds left, Holy Cross regained possession and easily drove in a layup, giving the Raiders only seven seconds to counter the 74-72 score. With another missed jumper by Lynch and a failed attempt by Repoli to put it back up in time, the Raiders fell short by two when the buzzer sounded.
Although it seems like the game was merely lost in the last few minutes of playing time, Colgate was out-rebounded 36-30 by the Crusaders and hit only seven of eight free throws. The Crusaders nailed all 15 of their free throws, giving them easy points the Raiders needed to prevent.
This week was not all bad for the Raiders, though, as they dominated Lafayette (69-60) last Wednesday, February 22. This was the last home game of the season, and Oakes recorded her fifth double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Lynch also contributed 21 points with five assists. Sophomore Lauryn Kobiela added a season-high 12 points and six assists.
Colgate stayed ahead throughout the first half, with 12 points separating them from the Leopards going into the second half of the game. Although Lafayette pushed the game until the end, they could not defeat the Raiders, who were victorious in their fourth consecutive win at home. The women shot better than their average, hitting 45.3 percent from the field. They also hit 80 percent of their free throws.
The Raiders are now seeded sixth in the Patriot League going into the tournament this week. They face off against No. 3 Navy tonight, for the quarterfinals at 7 p.m. The game will be streamed live on Patriot League All-Access.
“We faced them in the first round when we were sophomores,” Korkowski said. “Let’s just say we owe them one.”
If the women can overtake Navy, they will move on to play on March 5 in the semifinals, and maybe ultimately on March 10 in the Patriot League Championship.
“Playing at Navy is always a challenge in and of itself, regardless of the Navy ‘Midshipwomen.’ They always have a great crowd; it is a very tough place to play. We have to bring our ‘A’ game on Thursday to move on to the next round. I know this team though, and I know we will do just that.”
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