The Colgate women’s basketball team went out with a bang this past Sunday as they left Cotterell Court with a 62-58 victory over Bucknell. They followed up this win with a 78-65 home loss to Holy Cross last night.
“Simply, great teamwork on both ends of the court,” Head Coach Pam Bass said of the Bucknell game. “We were able to attack Bucknell in transition. This really forced our opponents to get caught on their heels. Even if we do not get the initial score, it makes it easier to attack them in the half court.”
Junior forward Krista Moser dominated the Bucknell defense in the first half of the game. Moser was on fire, as she was able to drain seven of her eight attempted jump shots, while she was also able to frequently post up for possession on the inside for a few easy lay-ups. Moser accounted for 14 of Colgate’s first 20 points of the game.
“Most importantly, you need to credit Krista Moser,” Coach Bass said. “She was in the zone scoring 14 points early in the half. By having a strong post presence, it freed up our guards to attack off the dribble. Defensively, we moved much better both in our pick and roll defense and by boxing out.”
Despite Moser’s best efforts, Bucknell still held a 21-20 lead late into the first half. Sophomore guard Candace Green was able to put the Raider’s back up for good though when she hit a clutch three-pointer from the corner. A free throw from Bucknell then acted as a catalyst for a 13-0 Raider run. Junior Taylor Wejnert scored five points during this time, including a three-point play from a lay-up and successive free throw. The Raiders took a sizeable 39-27 advantage into the half.
Unfortunately for Colgate, Bucknell staged a major defensive turnaround at the beginning of the second half. In 16-and-a-half minutes, the women were only able to score a total of 12 points. This stagnation in offense allowed Bucknell to creep within three points of the Raiders, with a score of 51-49.
The Raiders’ attention to technique proved to be a crucial key to victory. For some time around the two-minute mark, all of the game’s offense belonged to sophomore forward Tricia Oakes and Bucknell forward Cosima Higham. In a strange succession of events, Oakes was able to sink two free throws and then Higham followed with a basket for Bucknell. The same events would repeat themselves on the subsequent Colgate and Bucknell drives.
“Tricia Oakes, Tayler Wejnert and Jhazmine Lynch all hit some major foul shots down the stretch,” Coach Bass said. “Every foul shot is important in a game, we just tend to remember the clutch ones down the stretch more.”
Wejnert was able to really make things happen in the closing minutes of the quarter for Colgate. After giving the women a four-point lead with a successful jump shot, she got an offensive board from a missed rebound and then got fouled herself. Her good fortunes continued from the line when she hit both free throws to put Colgate ahead by a score of 59-53. Three more made free throws by the Raiders would win the game for Colgate, 62-58.
Moser was the high scorer on the night. The junior posted a total of 16 points. Wejnert also had a big night, scoring 12 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Green also was able to contribute 10 points to the victory.
Last night, the Raiders suffered a difficult defeat to Holy Cross at home on Cotterell Court. The Raiders led periodically throughout the first half, but it was mostly a game of catch-up, and Colgate went into the halftime break down by ninepoints, the scoreboard reading 37-28.
Holy Cross ran away with the momentum at the beginning of the second half, pulling even further away from the struggling Raiders.
With about five minutes of play remaining, Colgate seemed to get a short second wind, bringing the margin back into single digits, after a shot by Wejnert brought the team within eight points. The Raiders got within eight once more about one minute later thanks to a layup by Lynch, but sadly they were not able to close the gap any further.
Holy Cross again ran away with the lead and they were able to finish off the contest with an (un)lucky 13 points over the Raiders, locking the score at 78-65.
Wednesday night’s results placed Colgate and Holy Cross dead even in Patriot League records, with both teams now at 5-8.
The Raiders will close out their regular season against Navy on Saturday in Annapolis, before kicking off the Patriot League Tournament on March 6 in Worcester, MA.