Colgate 55, Army 53
HAMILTON, N.Y. Alex Woodhouse blocked Josh Miller’s game-tying attempt at the rim with less than five seconds left to preserve a 55-53 Colgate victory over Army at Cotterell Court on Saturday afternoon. The Black Knights trailed by 14 at halftime, but outscored the Raiders 36-24 in the second half.
A furious final three minutes set up the frantic ending. Army (7-15, 3-5) had cut the Raiders halftime lead to five points with 8:36 to go, but a 6-0 Colgate (8-14, 4-5) run pushed its advantage to 49-38 with 4:20 to go in the game. The two teams traded baskets, but junior F Cleveland Richard hit Army’s first three of the game to make it 51-43 with 2:42 to go. The Black Knights’ full-court pressure forced two straight turnovers which led to three-pointers by Richard and Miller that capped a 9-0 run in a span of 37 seconds and pulled Army within two at 51-49 with 2:02 remaining.
After the Raiders went back up by four points at 55-51 on two free throws by Woodhouse, a high-arching bank shot by freshman G Julian Simmons brought the Black Knights back within a basket with 52.3 seconds left. Army fouled Alex Morse with 12.8 seconds to go, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one. Miller raced the ball the length of the floor and went up for the game-tying layup, but Woodhouse recorded his sixth blocked shot of the game to deny the Black Knights a shot at overtime. Colgate came up with the rebound, but Army had one last ditch effort after Morse missed another one-and-one with 1.3 seconds left. Richard’s three-quarter court toss missed wide to the right as the horn sounded.
Miller led all scorers with a season-high 18 points in 31 minutes off the bench. Richard was also in double figures with 12 points, all in the second half. He also led the Black Knights with five rebounds.
Yaw Gyawu paced the Raiders with 12 points, while Mike Venezia chipped in with 10 points. In addition to his blocked shots, Woodhouse scored nine points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.
After a 6 for 21 showing in the first half, the Black Knights shot 48.4 percent (15-31) in the second half to finish at 40.4 percent for the game. The Raiders held a slim 29-28 advantage on the glass.
The Raiders never trailed in the game, jumping out to a 6-0 lead. A jumper by junior G Jon Sizemore ended the Black Knights three-minute, 48-second scoring drought to start the game. Colgate scored the next five points to claim an 11-2 lead with 11:52 left in the half.
The Black Knights hit back-to-back baskets to close within five points, but the Raiders scored seven of the next nine points and took their first double-digit lead at 18-8 on a three-pointer by Venezia. Colgate maintained its 10-point advantage until Joe Hoban drilled a three-pointer as he was fouled. He did not complete the four-point play, however, keeping the Raiders lead at 26-13 with 4:28 left.
Army scored its final four points at the foul line as the Black Knights went the final five minutes, 21 seconds without a field goal. Hill drained a three-pointer with 13 seconds left in the half to give the Raiders their largest lead of the half at 31-17, which remained the halftime score.
Army shot just 28.6 percent in the opening 20 minutes, while the Raiders connected on 61.1 percent of their shots (11-18), including 55.6 percent from three-point range (5-9). Miller led the Black Knights with six first-half points, while Venezia and Gyawu each had eight for the Raiders.
The Black Knights scored 12 of the first 17 points after halftime. A layup by junior C Chris Walker brought Army to within seven at 36-29 with 16:23 left. After the Raiders pushed their lead back to eight points, Army went on a 4-1 run capped by a dunk by senior F Kenny Brewer that trimmed the Black Knights’ deficit to 39-33 with 12:00 left. Colgate scored the next four points, but a three-point play by Miller and a lay in off an out-of-bounds play by Richard got Army to within five. The Raiders then used their 6-0 run to reclaim an 11-point lead and set up the dramatic ending.
The Black Knights have now lost five straight games at Cotterell Court, and Colgate earned a sweep of the regular-season series.
Army concludes its three-game road trip on Wednesday, Feb. 11 at league-leading Holy Cross. The Crusaders took a 47-36 decision earlier this season at Christl Arena.
Game Notes: Army used its 10th starting lineup of the season. Jon Sizemore drew his first starting assignment of the season ... Army’s 17-point first half was its third consecutive period scoring 17 points ... Army scored its 18th point of the second half in only nine minutes, 52 seconds of game time ... The Black Knights have been outrebounded in 12 straight games ... The Black Knights nearly scored their first victory of the season when trailing at halftime (0-13) ... Marcus Nelson made two steals and is now only two away from becoming the first player in Army history with 200 assists, 100 steals and 40 blocked shots. Nelson’s 22 blocks this season is tied for second in Academy history. He also ranks in the top five all-time at Army ... Several of “The CREWs,” Army’s cadet fan section, made the three-hour trip to Hamilton.