March 5, 2008
HAMILTON, N.Y. -
Lafayette men's basketball's season came to an end in a heartbreaking 76-74 loss to Colgate on Wednesday night at Cotterell Court. The Leopards erased a 17-point second-half deficit and Matt Betley's potential game-winning three-point attempt with two seconds left hit the side rim as Colgate survived.
Three Lafayette players scored in double figures led by 23 points from Bilal Abdullah, 12 points from Andrew Brown and 11 from Paul Cummins. Abdullah finishes ranked 13th on the Lafayette career scoring list with 1,253 points.
With 6:31 left in the game, Mike Venezia hit a three-pointer to hand Colgate its biggest lead of the game (74-57). Kyle Roemer led the Raiders with 11 points in a 17-10 run that also included a Kendall Chones layup, a jumper from Ben Jonson and a three from Venezia. Roemer finished the night with a career-high 32 points, including an 11-of-16 effort from the floor.
Abdullah scored seven points in an 11-0 Leopard spurt to trim the deficit to 74-68 with 4:19 left. Cummins added a three-pointer, Ted Detmer contributed two free throws and Andrew Brown made one-of-two in the span.
Two Abdullah free throws with 2:49 left trimmed the margin to 75-70. Lafayette stopped Colgate on the next possession and Betley was fouled on the defensive rebound. Betley missed the first shot strong off the rim, but made the second to cut the lead to 75-71 with 2:27 remaining. On the next possession, Brown's 18-footer missed. Lafayette was forced to foul Daniel Waddy who missed the 1-and-1. The Raiders regained possession, however, the Leopards could not secure the rebound and still trailed 75-71.
stole the ball back and dished it off to Abdullah who drove the lane and dropped to the ground, but his shot fell with 1:06 to make it 75-73. After a Daniel Waddy missed jumper, Kari got the rebound and pushed it out on the break. Kari was fouled at half court and went to the line for two with 30.2 seconds remaining. The first shot went in and out, but his second made it 75-74.
The Leopards fouled Chones, a 73 percent free throw shooter, who was attempting his first free throws of the game. Chones sunk the first of two as the Raiders led 76-74. Abdullah corralled the rebound and the Leopards called timeout with 16.4 seconds left. Betley's three-point attempt missed as the clock ran out.
Chones was the only other Colgate player in double figures scoring 11 points and pulling down six rebounds.
The Raiders used a balanced scoring effort with five players contributing four or more points in the Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinal victory. Colgate (17-13, 7-7) will continue the season, hosting No. 7 seed Bucknell on Sunday, March 9. The Leopards conclude their season with a 15-15 overall record and 6-8 mark in conference play.