The Navy women’s basketball team was unable to get its offense in gear on Thursday night as it dropped a 64-34 decision to Colgate at Alumni Hall. Drawing within three points late in the first quarter, a lengthy 14-2 drought put the Mids (0-14, 0-3 PL) in a double-digit deficit midway through the second period that the visiting Raiders (8-6, 2-1 PL) never allowed them to fight out of.
The duo of Kate Samson (Fr., Richmond, Va.) and Sydne Watts (Jr., Canton, Ga.) paced Navy’s offense as both players reached double figures, 14 for Samson and 10 for Watts. Morganne Andrews (Jr., Martinsburg, W.Va.) added to the Mids’ list of superlatives on Thursday as she grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
“We never got into a good rhythm tonight,” remarked head coach Tim Taylor. “They [Colgate] were pressuring us full court and were constantly changing defenses, that made it difficult for our offense. Being in foul trouble also hurt us. The story of the game was we couldn’t guard the ball. They scored 64 points and only had seven assists, so that means that they were driving on us. We just couldn’t guard the ball. We talked about using our size and controlling the paint. They’re a smaller team, but they ended up with 10 offensive rebounds and we only got four. That’s an effort issue.
“I said it at the beginning of the year, I thought Colgate was a sleeper team. I think they’re really good. They’re talented with their guards and are tough to match up against. We had no answer tonight on how to guard them. Once we got in foul trouble it was really difficult for us. Hopefully, we’ll be getting some of our injured guards back to bolster our depth and attack soon. That should definitely help.”
The action started slowly on Thursday night as the teams combined for just six points over the initial four minutes of play, 4-2 in favor of Colgate. The score increased to 6-4 by the 4:16 mark when Morgan Demos (Fr., Downers Grove, Ill.) muscled down an offensive rebound and immediately laid the ball in for a Navy basket. Four consecutive points by the Raiders helped the visitors build out a six-point lead before Watts ended the short run with a three-pointer from the top of the arc with 48 seconds left in the quarter. A basket on Colgate’s final possession left the score at the end of the period, 12-7.
That late field goal by the Raiders kick-started a 14-2 run of play that broke the game open for the visitors to the tune of 24-9 by the 4:28 mark of the second quarter. A crisp bounce pass from Andrews to an on-coming Gia Pissott (Fr., Toms River, N.J.) resulted in an easy basket for the Mids to end the squad’s nearly five-minute scoring drought.
Andrews also facilitated Navy’s next successful hoop as she passed out of the high post to Maren Louridas (Fr., Delmar, N.Y.) for the freshman’s first three-pointer of the game at 2:07. Louridas’ basket made it a 28-14 game. Each team registered one field goal over the final two minutes to send the contest into halftime at 30-16. While Navy was held back by its 28.0 percent (7-25) shooting performance in the first half, a substantial 11-2 advantage in free throw attempts helped Colgate add eight points from the charity stripe.
A quick 5-2 run to open the second half by the Mids drew the host’s deficit to 11 points, 32-21. A jumper and ‘and-one’ conversion by Watts started the streak before Samson spun around her defender in the post for a clean layup at 7:56. A strong 8-0 rebuttal by Colgate over the next 2:02 extended its lead out to a then- game-high 19 points. Back-to-back baskets by Samson and Watts on the ensuing two possessions positively affected the Mids’ scoring effort and made it 40-25 by 4:51. Unfortunately, those were the final successful field goals of the quarter for Navy, who added just one free threw to its total. Through 30 minutes of action, it was 49-26, Colgate.
The Mids’ offensive struggles carried on into the fourth quarter as the team netted only eight points over the final 10 minutes. The Raiders countered with 15 points of their own to conclude the game at 64-34. Of note, all eight of Navy’s points came courtesy of Samson, who shot 4-6 in the period.
“They guarded us really well tonight,” concluded Taylor. “Because of that we had to we work the ball into Kate a lot. When she got her drop-step going she was really effective in the low post. She was a bright spot for us. We’ve got to continue working and getting better, this is a long season, there is always something to learn from.”
For the game, Colgate outshot Navy, 38.3 percent (23-60) to 29.4 (15-51) from the field and 75.0 percent (15-20) to 40.0 (2-5) from the foul line. The Raiders also had a marginal advantage in three-point shooting, 17.6 percent (3-17) to 15.4 (2-13).
The Raiders won the rebounding battle, 43-33 with a 10-4 edge in offensive caroms. Andrews led all players on Thursday with 10 rebounds. Through three Patriot League games so far this season, the junior has grabbed 29 total boards.
The Mids distributed the ball well with 11 assists on 15 made baskets. Andrews paced Navy with three helpers.
Navy will be back in action on Sunday with a road tilt at Lehigh. Tip-off between the Mids and Mountain Hawks is slated for 2 p.m. at Stabler Arena.