Army Drops Patriot League Opener To Colgate

Colgate 64, Army 42

WEST POINT, N.Y. The Army men’s basketball team opened its 2009 Patriot League schedule with a 64-42 loss to Colgate on Saturday afternoon at Christl Arena. Freshman G Julian Simmons recorded his third straight double-digit scoring effort with a team-high 13 points in the loss.

Army (4-11, 0-1) made five of its first seven shots, but finished the game 10 of its last 48 for a season-low 27.3 field-goal percentage en route to a season-low scoring output. Colgate (5-9, 1-0) also came out hot, hitting 6 of 8, including four straight three-pointers, but did not cool off. The Raiders shot 52.3 percent, including 6 of 17 from long range (.353).

For the second straight game, Simmons was the only Army player in double figures. Sophomore F Jeremy Hence scored six points and pulled down a career-high seven rebounds, while junior G Josh Miller dished out four assists.

Yaw Gyawu led the Raiders with a game-high 15 points. Mike Venezia also finished in double figures with 10 points. Alex Woodhouse and Nick Pascale each corralled seven rebounds.

Miller hit a three just one pass off the opening tip to give the Black Knights a 3-0 lead, but Anthony Hill came right back with a triple as the shot clock expired to tie the game at 3-3. The teams exchanged baskets, knotting the game at 8-8 with 17:24 to go, but the Raiders went on an 8-2 run to claim a 16-10 advantage with 15:35 left in half. Simmons scored his 10th point of the half to cut the deficit to 20-17 with 13:16 remaining, but the Raiders scored the next seven points to open up a 10-point advantage 9:45 to go.

Kenny Brewer’s jumper cut the Colgate lead to 27-19 with 9:32 to go before both teams went ice cold from the floor, missing their next 10 field goal attempts. A Hence free throw trimmed the lead to seven points, but the Raiders got back on track with four straight points to re-establish a double-digit lead at 31-20 with 3:33 to go. Eric Zastoupil ended the Black Knights’ six-minute and 35-second field goal drought to get the deficit back under 10, but again Colgate responded with six consecutive points to take its largest lead of the half at 37-22 with 35 seconds left. Neither team found the net for the remainder of the half, and the Raiders took their 15-point lead into the locker room.

After hits hot start from the floor, Army missed 17 of its final 21 shots of the half to finish at 37.5 percent from the field. The Raiders hit 58.3 percent of their first-half attempts (14-24). Colgate also held a commanding 21-11 lead on the glass in the first half.

Simmons led all scorers with 10 points in the opening stanza. Hill topped the Raiders’ first-half scoring list with eight points, including a 2-for-3 showing from beyond the arc.

The Raiders opened the second half where they left off, scoring nine of the first 11 points to take a 46-24 lead with 15:59 left in the game. Army scored the next four points, including Simmons’ third three-pointer of the game to trim the deficit to 18 points, but that was as close as the Black Knights would get. Colgate led by as many as 25 before taking the 22-point victory.

The Black Knights’ shooting woes continued in the second half. Army was 6 of 27 (.222) from the floor after halftime. Colgate shot 45.0 percent (9-20) in the second half.

The victory was the Raiders eighth in the last nine meetings with the Black Knights and broke a 51-51 tie in the all-time series.

Army finishes its three-game homestand on Wednesday, Jan. 14 when it hosts Holy Cross at 7 p.m. The Black Knights and Crusaders split the season series a year ago with each team earning road wins.

Game Notes: Army  used its seventh different starting lineup of the season with Josh Miller in place of Kenny Brewer, who had started the previous two games ... Julian Simmons missed his first free throw of the season (7-7). The freebie would have given him his second four-point play in as many games ... Simmons is averaging 15.7 points per game in his three starts ... Army’s 22-point loss was its worst of the season and largest margin of defeat since an 83-58 loss at Lafayette last season ... One game after going 8 for 8 from the free throw line, the Black Knights were 7 of 15 on Saturday ... Army was outrebounded 43-28, its largest rebounding deficit of the season. It was the fifth straight game the Black Knights were at a disadvantage on the glass ... All 15 players in uniform saw game action. Senior Curtis Koszuta made his first appearance of the season and finished with one rebound.

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