Jan. 23, 2013
Army 51, Colgate 48
WEST POINT, N.Y. – In what could have been a trap game for Army women’s basketball, the Black Knights held on to defeat Colgate 51-48 on Wednesday evening at Christl Arena. Army was coming off an emotional win against Navy on Sunday afternoon and was facing the last-place Raiders, but freshman Kelsey Minato once again rallied the Black Knights to power Army to victory. Minato tallied 22 points, the third consecutive contest she’s recorded a game high.
With American falling at Navy 61-42 on Wednesday night, Army becomes the lone undefeated team in Patriot League play with a 4-0 record. The Black Knights improve to 15-4 overall, while the Raiders drop to 6-12, including 0-4 in conference play.
On paper, the Black Knights should have run away with this one, but in reality Colgate battled hard as Army never led by more than six and trailed by as many as four. The Raiders entered the contest the seventh-lowest scoring team in the league and were losers of four straight, while Army was riding a four-game winning streak and shooting at its highest percentage all season, with four consecutive games of 40-percent-or-better from the floor.
The Black Knights led from the gate and most of the first half, as freshman Aimee Oertner scored Army’s first six points en route to her first double-double since Dec. 10. Oertner finished with 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for her team-leading sixth double-double of the season.
Freshmen got things going for Army in the first as Minato scored 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting, including 3-for-4 from outside in the first stanza. The freshman play caller entered the night as the league’s top scorer in conference games at 18.7 points per contest. The 13 points in the first 20 minutes was her highest total since registering 17 against Bryant in the first 20 minutes on Dec. 30. Army held a 28-26 advantage at intermission.
The Black Knights struck first to start the second after a jumper by Oertner, but Colgate responded and would take the lead with 16:30 remaining. Army recaptured the lead after another Oertner bucket just 35 seconds later, an advantage they would never relinquish despite the Raiders knocking on the door.
The game remained within two possessions the rest of the way, getting down to a one-point Army lead four times, including within the final minute. With two of Army’s leading scorers on the season, Anna Simmers and Jen Hazlett, struggling from the floor (the duo combined for a 3-for-26 clip), the game fell into the hands of the younger members of the squad, including sophomore Olivia Schretzman.
With Army leading by one with 17 seconds left, Colgate’s Jhazmine Lynch drove to the lane but was rejected by Oertner, one of four blocks by the freshman. Seconds later, Schretzman was fouled as the Black Knights attempted to inbound the ball. The sophomore went to the line for a 1-and-1 and despite shooting just 63.2 percent from the line this season, she sank both to force Colgate to attempt a desperation three which fell short.
The Black Knights shot just 35.7 percent from the floor, their lowest since making 22.6 percent of their shots at Brown on Jan. 2. Army won the battle of the boards 40-36. Lynch and Jose Stockill had 13 points apiece, while Stockill also swatted five shots and grabbed five rebounds.
Army will hit the road for its next contest as the Black Knights travel to American on Saturday. The Eagles lost at Navy Wednesday night for their first conference setback and are 10-8 overall. Tipoff on Saturday in Washington, D.C., is slated for 2 p.m. American defeated Army in both contests a season ago, with the Black Knights last winning on Jan. 19, 2011.
Game Notes: With a 15-4 record, Army has its highest win total since 2008-09 (19-12) … the Black Knights are 4-0 to start Patriot League play for just the second time in conference history … Army has a five-game winning streak for the second time this season … Army improved to 33-19 all-time against Colgate, the most wins against any opponent in Army’s 36 seasons … the win over the Raiders was the fifth consecutive, the longest active streak against any scheduled opponents in 2012-13 … head coach Dave Magarity improved to 114-84 at Army and 427-418 in 30 years as a head coach.