Men’s basketball bounces back from Lehigh loss with home win over Colgate

Michael Caruso, Contributing Writer

The Orange and Blue continued to thrive in league play when they posted a notable 75-58 win over Colgate on Feb. 13, bringing their season record to 20-7 overall and 12-2 in the Patriot League. It is the 13th 20-win season in program history. Stephen Brown ’18 led the way for the Bison, finishing with 15 points and seven assists. With the strong performance, Brown surpassed Russell Peyton ’93 on the all-time career assist list, moving to the number eight spot.

The Bison got off to a slow start, trailing 9-4 after opening 1-for-6 shooting from the field. This came as a bit of a surprise to those watching, as the team is notorious for starting the game with momentum. However, it was John Azzinaro ’17, D.J. MacLeay ’17, and Brown who sparked a 12-0 run to permanently capture the lead for the Orange and Blue. They finished the first half in dominant fashion over Colgate, shooting over 58 percent from the field and over 36 percent from the three-point line. The Bison led 37-29 at the half.

In the second half, the Orange and Blue maintained their momentum by shooting 5-for-8 from the field, and Colgate could not find an answer for the Bison offense. The team finished shooting at 49.1 percent overall and around 37 percent from beyond the arc. Azzinaro and MacLeay played crucial roles in securing the victory. Azzinaro finished with 12 points, shooting 5-for-7 in 17 minutes and MacLeay recorded five points, eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 14 minutes.

Ball movement was crucial to the Orange and Blue’s success, as it has been all season, with all players focused on finding the open man. Brown led the team in assists and controlled the tempo of the offense well, making sure his teammates got opportunities for open shots.

“I saw that they were clogging the paint due to our post presence early on in the game, which opened up a lot of opportunities for the guards to shoot the ball or drive,” Brown said.

Although the bench contributed heavily, starters Zach Thomas ’18 and Nana Foulland ’18 came up with stellar performances as well. Thomas finished with 17 points and a career-high four steals while Foulland finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds, recording his 10th double-double of the season. Both players had strong physical play throughout the contest and came up with many crucial rebounds. After the game, Foulland discussed the significance of showing dominance on the glass against Colgate.

“[Rebounding] was really important. It is always good to limit a team to one shot per possession and on the offensive end, it is important to get extra shots for your team,” Foulland said.

With the win, the Bison clinched at least a top-four seed in the Patriot League Tournament. They now lead the league standings by two games. The team will next travel to Boston University on Feb. 19.

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