At some point, the Colgate Raiders will find a way to win in the Patriot League, but that point did not come at home on Saturday against the American Eagles. The visitors came into Cotterell Court and walked away with a 69-62 win after overcoming a first-half that saw Colgate make 71 percent of its shots while American dealt with foul trouble.
John Schoof's three with 10:54 to play in the second half erased Colgate's seven-point halftime lead and started the game anew for the Eagles. From that point on, American outscored Colgate 22-15 and improved to 4-0 in the Patriot League while Colgate falls to 0-4.
Schoof (15 points) was also the one to deal the final blow to the Raiders' chances when he hit his third three-pointer of the game with 49 seconds left. That basket, which came out of a timeout and with seven seconds left on the shot clock, widened American's lead to five and kept Colgate from having a chance at regaining its lead.
Darius Gardner scored a game-high 21 points for American while Ethan Jacobs scored 19 for Colgate. Tony Wroblicky, the who's numbers spoke for themselves over the course of the first week of Patriot League play, was held relatively quiet with nine points, seven rebounds, six assists, and a steal.
What Colgate was successful in doing on Saturday was limiting American's easy baskets off the back cuts the Eagles like to run. In its last two wins, American had assisted on 42 of its 52 made baskets, but on Saturday the Eagles only managed 12 assists on 25 made baskets. The result was a much more stagnant offense and less ball control, both of which played right into Colgate's hands.
The Raiders are a good team that has lost its four games to teams expected to finish in the top half of the Patriot League. It's hard to imagine that they won't figure it out as they face some of the league's weaker teams and should be better the second time around with these last four teams.
As for the Eagles, this team is for real. Wroblicky and Kager are a formidable front court, Schoof can schoof the ball (see what I did there?) and Gardner is one of the best play makers in the league. Their Jan. 22 meeting with Boston University will be a slugfest and I, for one, can't wait to see who gets the last punch in.