AU men’s basketball remains in fourth place after overtime loss to Colgate
Four Eagles honored before the game on Senior Day
After a 9-0 run to start the game, AU men’s basketball fell 83-81 to the Colgate Raiders in overtime on Saturday in Bender Arena.
AU (13-12, 7-7 PL) was unable to hold a big lead, entering the half up 36-31. The Raiders continued to claw their way back, tying the game with 28 seconds left in regulation on a 3-pointer by Francisco Amiel.
In overtime, the Eagles were outscored 12-10. Colgate led by five (80-75) after a 3-pointer from Rapolas Ivanauskas. AU had a chance to win it on the last possession, but sophomore forward Sam Iorio’s shot was off the mark at the buzzer.
Junior guard Sa’eed Nelson led all scorers with 27 points on 9 of 17 from the field. Stacy Beckton Jr. had another big performance on both ends of the court, as the sophomore guard added 17 points, four rebounds and three blocks. Colgate’s Jordan Burns finished with 20 points.
“They’re a good team with a bunch of veteran players,” said head coach Mike Brennan of the Raiders. “I thought we played well for a majority of the game, but you gotta have a good last three minutes and we didn’t have a good last three minutes.”
The versatile Ivanauskas proved to be an issue for the Eagles’ defense.
“He can move and he can make plays, so that’s a challenge for Mark [Gasperini],” Brennan said. “It’s something we didn’t do a ton of in practice with Mark … so we gotta make sure we address that.”
With the loss, AU remains tied for fourth place with Army in the Patriot League standings. In terms of sizing up the last stretch of the season, Brennan said the key is for his team to “finish up strong” and to have these losses “affect [the team] in a positive way to help you come back and practice and work harder.”
Iorio, who was reintegrated into the lineup last week after being sidelined by a concussion, shot 0 of 8 from the 3-point line.
“I expect him to continue to work, he’s one of our hardest workers,” Brennan said. “He shows up and is zeroed in, and I’m sure he’ll get himself back quickly.”
Prior to the game, the Eagles honored their four seniors during the Senior Day ceremony: forward Matt Cimino and guards Larry Motuzis, Cheikh ‘CB’ Diallo and Justin Perez.
AU will hit the road for a pair of away games against Lafayette and Army West Point before returning home to face Lehigh on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.