Men’s Basketball Plays Quartet of PL Games

After starting the season 0-9, the men’s basketball team rebounded to win five of its next six games, including a thrilling 68-58 overtime win over Army to open the Patriot League campaign. However, the team now sits in the Patriot League basement with a 1-3 record to go along with a 5-13 overall mark. Losses to Lafayette, American and Lehigh followed the Army win.

On Saturday, January 9, Colgate defeated Army, which came into Cotterell Court with a 10-4 non-conference mark, the best in the league. Senior guard Kyle Roemer poured in 26 points even though he was guarded by reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Nelson for the majority of the game. Sophomore forward Yaw Gyawu put in 15. Cleveland Richard led Army with 20 points and nine boards.

The Raiders did not lead until sophomore forward Yaw Gyawu posted his man, drove to his right and put in a running layup to give ‘Gate a 50-49 edge with 1:09 left. Cleveland Richard immediately responded with a three-pointer, giving ‘Gate the ball down two with 53 seconds left. Roemer missed the mark on a three, and Colgate was forced to foul. Nelson went to the line and made one-of-two free throws. Down three, Roemer took a pass from junior guard Smokin’ Joe Hoban and nailed a turnaround three-pointer to tie the game. Richard was the go-to-guy on Army’s last effort to win in regulation, but senior forward Ben Jonson made the defensive play of the year by swatting Richard’s last-second layup off the backboard. In overtime, Roemer dominated and scored nine points to buoy ‘Gate to the win.

Running on a four-game win streak at this point, Colgate could not sustain its momentum and dropped a 95-82 decision to Lafayette at home. The Leopards, which currently reside at 4-0 in the Patriot League, led for the majority of the night and shot 57 percent for the game. Jared Mintz led three other Leopards in double figures with 22 points. Ryan Willen pitched in 19 in 19 minutes. Roemer led all scorers with 31 points and Gyawu scored 22. Colgate trailed by ten at halftime and could not cut Lafayette’s deficit to less than nine in the second half, as the Leopards put on a passing, screening and shooting clinic at Cotterell last Wednesday night with an incredibly fluid offense.

‘Gate looked to break the Bender Arena jinx against American in the nation’s capitol last Sunday afternoon in a game televised on CBS College Sports, for the Raiders have not won there since the Eagles joined the Patriot League in 2001. While ‘Gate led 30-27 at halftime, the Raiders missed 10 layups in the second half and could not contain the hot shooting of several Eagles, leading to a 73-63 Raider defeat. Stephen Lumpkins scored 19 for American, while Steve Luptak and Vlad Moldoveanu had 18 and 16 respectively. Gyawu led all scorers with 22, and Roemer had 19 points to go along with six boards.

Colgate lost a 74-60 contest to Lehigh last night, dropping the Raiders to 1-3 on the season. Box scores were unavailable at press time. The Raiders trailed 30-27 at halftime.

Undoubtedly, the loss of junior shooting guard Mike Venezia is hurting the team. Venezia, who averaged over ten points per game last year, is currently out with a foot injury sustained during a 77-63 loss to Texas Christian University last November. It is undetermined when Venezia will return to the Raiders, though the hot shooter is off crutches. The Raiders have also had much trouble in the second half of games, getting outscored in that stanza in all three of their Patriot League losses, twice by more than ten points.

Colgate will play Bucknell on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. before they face Holy Cross on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Both games are at Cotterell Court.