Murphy Burnatowski had a game-high 24 points but Colgate dropped an 80-67 decision to Lafayette College Wednesday night. (Photo by Bob Cornell)

By Kat Castner



Raiders Fall to Lafayette 80-67 in Last Regular Season Home Game

(Hamilton, NY – Feb. 27, 2013)  In his first year in a Colgate uniform, Murphy Burnatowski tallied 24 points Wednesday night to push him over the 500-point mark on the season. The Raiders dropped an 80-67 decision to Lafayette in their home finale.

“We got off to a poor start in the first half, we spotted them eight points and that truly ended up being the difference in the game,” head coach Matt Langel said.

“There are a veteran team in their point guard position. If you look at Tony Johnson’s play over the last few weeks it’s been as fine as anyone in the country. He had a game winner against Holy Cross and he leads his team to victories over Lehigh and Bucknell, so he’s playing terrific.”

Colgate (11-19, 5-8 PL) was led by Burnatowski, who went 5-of-8 from downtown. He also added a team-high two blocks in the contest. Burnatowski started the night needing 10 points to surpass 500 points and he more than doubled that with his 26th double-digit game this season.

Mitch Rolls, Luke Roh, Chad Johnson, and Clayton Graham all notched six points in the game. Johnson’s six points were a season-high as he went 3-of-4 from the floor. Damon Sherman-Newsome pulled down a team-high seven rebounds while Roh added six.

The Raiders outrebounded the Leopards 32-30 and converted 12 points off fast break opportunities. Colgate shot 42.4 percent from the floor making 25 of its 59 attempts. The Raiders also hit eight from behind the arc for 36.4 percent shooting from long range.

“It’s that time of year,” Langel added. We don’t have a lot of time to think about a game that just passed, we have to move forward. You’ve kind of decided who you’re going to be at this point, what you’re going to do, and who you are going to rely on.

“We can’t hang our heads, we have a quick turnaround when we go to Worcester on Saturday for an early afternoon game. I think we are continuing to show signs of improvement and our league has shown that on any given night a team can find a way to win and that’s where our focus needs to be now.”

Lafayette (16-14, 9-4 PL) made 11 of their 20 attempts from downtown for 55 percent shooting from deep. They also saw five different players in double figures with Tony Johnson leading the way with 17. Seth Hinrichs (15 points), Dan Trist (14 points), Joey Ptasinski (12 points) and Bryce Scott (10 points) all added to the Leopards total. Hinrichs went 3-of-5 from downtown while Scott, Ptasinski, and Levi Giese all notched two.

The Leopards shot 51.8 percent on the night hitting 29 of their 56 shots. In the first half alone Lafayette shot 59.3 percent from the floor and 60 percent from behind the arc.

Lafayette scored the first four baskets of the game taking the earl 8-0 lead. Johnson scored six of those points during the opening minutes. Roh found Pat Moore in the corner to finally ended the Raiders drought as he hit a 3-pointer off the fast break, getting Colgate on the board, 8-3.

The Raiders got the score down to three (13-10) after Roh made a layup but the Leopards quickly answered with one of Scott’s two 3-pointers to increase their lead back to six.

Graham followed up his own miss with a bucket and-one that sparked a 13-2 run. He completed the 3-point play, pulling Colgate to within one at 21-20 with 8:57 remaining. After two free throws by Trist, Graham yet again earned a 3-point play opportunity when he muscled his way underneath getting fouled as he put in the basket. His made from the charity stripe tied the game at 23 all.

The Raiders took their first lead of the night after Sherman-Newsome fed Burnatowski at the top of the key for a wide open 3-pointer. But the Leopards would not go away as they went on an 11-2 run to close out the first half, taking a 41-31 lead into the break.

Colgate slowly started chipping away at the Leopards lead and midway through the second half the Raiders had cut the advantage down to only three at 51-48 after Johnson hit a jumper. Lafayette answered with a 5-3 run but a jumper by Burnatowski cut the lead back down to three, forcing the Leopards to call a timeout with 8:10 left to play.

After Lafayette had increased their lead to six, Rolls drained a 3-pointer to yet again pull the Raiders to within three (66-63) with under five minutes to play. That would be the closest Colgate would get throughout the remainder of the game however, as the Leopards went on a 10-2 run to push their lead back to double digits.

The Leopards sealed the win making all six of their free throws in the closing minute of play to extend their final advantage to 13.

Colgate heads to Worcester, Mass. for their last regular season game against Holy Cross. The game is Saturday and is scheduled for a noon tip.

“Holy Cross is a really good team. They don’t have a great record in the league but they’ve lost very close games, in heartbreaking fashion so I’m sure their focus will be to end the regular season on a good note, just like ours is.”


By martha

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