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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Raiders beat Eagles at home

Colgate finds American’s offensive cavity

The American University women’s basketball team (9-18) lost 72-60 in their second conference matchup against Colgate University (16-11) in Bender Arena on Feb. 24. 

Following two losses on the road, the Eagles hoped to return home and secure a win. American last faced Colgate in Hamilton, New York, on Jan 27. where it edged out a victory over the Raiders 56-54. Now, in their second meeting of the season, the Eagles looked to sweep the Raiders for the season. 

Graduate student forward Lauren Stack won the tip-off and passed the ball to senior guard Anna LeMaster, immediately bringing the ball down-court. Senior guard Kayla Henning hit a jumper to put the first points on the board, but Colgate responded with three buckets of their own. 

Senior forward Emily Johns sank another jumper and drained three free throws, putting the Eagles in the lead 7-6. A steal from Stack and a jumper from senior guard Ivy Bales gave American the edge over Colgate once more, but the Raiders responded with a bucket outside the paint. 

A series of free throws helped Colgate grow their lead while Henning put up another jumper in an attempt to catch the Raiders. Colgate ended the quarter with a last-second layup, putting the team up 21-13 over American. 

Henning began the second quarter with a jumper, chipping away at the Raiders’ lead. 4 points by Johns put the Eagles down by only 4, and a block by Stack kept the ball in the Eagles’ talons. With under five minutes remaining in the half, both teams had scored only a combined eight points, showcasing the strengths of both defenses. 

The Raiders finally came back to shoot four from the field, but a layup and shot from outside the paint by LeMaster kept the Eagles hot on Colgate’s heels. While a jumper by sophomore forward Molly Lavin brought the Eagles to trail by only 5 points, the Raiders shot one last layup. At the half, American trailed Colgate 33-26. 

Johns was the first half’s top scorer, with a total of 9 points. Henning and Sophia Diehl, Taylor Golembiewski and Ella Meabon of Colgate all tied for second with six points each. LeMaster tied for third with Colgate’s Madison Schiller, each scoring 5 points. 

Colgate began the third quarter with a jumper while Henning immediately retaliated with a basket of her own. The Eagles’ defense forced a shot-clock violation from the Raiders while they struggled to find the gap in American’s fortress-like guarding. 

Nevertheless, the Raiders continued to sink free throws, growing their lead slowly but surely. Henning and Johns continued to put up points for the Eagles, but Colgate’s rapid-fire offense continued to perform in the paint. With under two minutes remaining, the Raiders had once again increased their lead to ten points. 

LeMaster put up another layup, hoping to whittle away at Colgate’s lead as the quarter came to a close. Despite her efforts, the Raiders responded with two free throws in the final moments of play, putting Colgate back up 48-38 with just a quarter left of play. 

Bales, LeMaster and Johns each shot from the paint to begin the final quarter, trying to catch the Raiders’ offense. Colgate went on a 7-0 run late in the quarter, gaining a 61-46 lead over American. 

Henning made two free throws, but the Raiders responded with a fastbreak and another layup. LeMaster shot a jumper in the paint and was fouled while going up, yet missed the free throw. Colgate responded by making two free throws, continuing to display their offensive capabilities. 

LeMaster sank a shot from outside the paint, still working to catch the Raiders. Colgate hit multiple free throws in response, further widening the gap between American. Lavin concluded the game with a layup, but at the buzzer, the Eagles fell short 72-60. 

Johns was the game’s top scorer with 21 points, just a point shy of her season record. Golembiewski held second with a total of 15 points while LeMaster and Schiller tied for third with 14 points each. 

As the regular season winds down, the Eagles are turning their efforts to their last few games with the hope of improving conference standings. 

“I think it comes down to defense for us, I think defensive pressure and just working on making sure we get that back,” head coach Tiffany Coll said. “That’s what did help us in the beginning of the league.” 

The Eagles will play their final game of the regular season on March 6 against Loyola Maryland in Baltimore. 

This article was edited by Penelope Jennings, Delaney Hoke and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks and Liah Argiropoulos.

sports@theeagleonline.com


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