HAMILTON, N.Y. The Army men’s basketball team opened its 2008 Patriot League schedule with a 50-44 loss at Colgate on Saturday, Jan. 12. The Black Knights dropped to 7-8 overall and 0-1 in the conference, while the Raiders improved to 9-6 and 1-0 in league play.
Both defenses clamped down on the opponents’ top scorer. Colgate’s Kyle Roemer entered the game averaging more than 16 points per game, but the Black Knights’ defense limited him to seven on 3 of 10 shooting. Army’s Jarell Brown came in averaging better than 20 points per game, but was held to eight markers on 3 of 11 from the floor, snapping his run of 11 straight games in double figures.
Tyrell Thompson was the Black Knights’ top scorer with a season-high 10 points. Doug Williams paced the Black Knights with five rebounds.
Mike Venezia was the only Colgate player in double figures with 10 markers. Kendall Chones chipped in with nine points, while Alex Woodhouse pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.
Army committed 22 turnovers for the game, leading to 19 Colgate points. The Raiders outshot the Black Knights, 44.4 percent to 40.9 percent and held a 31-24 advantage on the glass.
The Raiders scored the first five points of the game before Williams hit a jumper in the lane to pull Army within 5-2. The Black Knights trailed 7-4 after a bucket by Josh Miller, but the Raiders scored the next 10 points to take a 17-4 advantage with 11:44 left. Army stopped the run and countered with a 7-0 spurt of its own to pull within six points at 17-11 with 9:04 to go following a three-point play by Thompson. Colgate answered with six straight points to re-establish a 12-point lead with 6:42 left in the half. Brown stopped the run with a baseline jumper that ignited a 7-2 scoring spurt that reduced the Black Knights’ deficit to seven points at 25-18. Colgate closed the first-half scoring with a three-pointer by Venezia to send the Raiders into the locker room with a 28-18 advantage.
The Raiders outshot Army in the opening half, 50.0 percent to 34.8 percent. The Black Knights offense was also hampered by 13 turnovers in the first 20 minutes of play. Brown led Army with five first-half points, while Venezia paced the Raiders with seven markers.
Colgate scored the first four points of the second half to take their largest lead of the game at 32-18 with 18:34 left. The Black Knights rallied with seven straight points to cut the deficit to seven points with 16:10 to go. Venezia countered for the Raiders with his second three-pointer of the game to push the lead back to double digits at 35-25, but the Black Knights scored the next four points to close within 35-29. Peter Minchell converted a three-point play for the Raiders to extend their lead back to nine points with 11:12 left. Army closed to within 44-38 and had two chances to pull even closer, but a missed shot and a turnover kept the margin at six points with less than two minutes to play. Roemer hit his first three-pointer of the game to push the lead to nine points, but John Moonshower came right back with a triple of his own to make it 47-41. The Black Knights again had a chance to cut it to four, but committed a turnover to give Colgate the ball with just more than a minute to play. Chones hit one of two free throws to make it 48-41, but Thompson drilled his first three-pointer of the season with 24.8 seconds left to cut it to 48-44, Colgate broke Army’s full-court pressure for a layup to stretch the lead back to six points. The Black Knights missed a jumper and was forced to foul. Colgate missed the one-and-one, but Army could not score on its final possession, completing the 50-44 Raiders’ victory.
Colgate has now won seven straight versus the Black Knights, including four consecutive wins at Cotterell Court.
Army finishes its three-game road swing on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at Patriot League preseason favorite Holy Cross. The Black Knights play their first Patriot League home game on Sunday, Jan. 20 versus Lehigh at 3 p.m.
Game Notes: Army used its eighth starting lineup of the season when Cleveland Richard and Corban Bates were inserted into the first five in place of Marcus Nelson and John Moonshower ... Nelson’s appearance off the bench stopped his streak of games started at 33 ... Colgate’s win extended Army’s losing streak in conference openers to six ... Saturday’s game marked the fourth straight season the Black Knights and Raiders met to open Patriot League play ... Army has lost back-to-back games for the first time since its third and fourth games of the season ... The Black Knights are below .500 for the first time since they were 4-5 following a loss to Quinnipiac on Dec. 9 ... Army committed 20 turnovers in a game for the first time since a season-high 27 miscues in the win at VMI ... The 50 points allowed marked the fewest in an Army loss since a 42-38 loss to Colgate last season at Christl Arena.