When: Sunday February 7 @ 12 Noon (TV: CBS College Sports)
Where: West Point, NY at Christl Arena
For Army it is nice to be home after three straight disappointing road losses. Colgate comes into this contest following an old ABA- like shoot out loss to Navy (100-91). The Colgate Raiders have won their last three games against Army. Colgate beat Army (68-58) in overtime in the Patriot League season opener for both teams. Kyle Roemer scored a season high 26 points to lead Colgate to the win on January 9.
Colgate has loss five of its last six games. They are not a very good shooting team. Overall the Raiders are hitting on just 42.4 percent of their shots from the field. They rely on the two man game of senior guard Kyle Roemer who averages 19.5 ppg and sophomore forward Yaw Gyawu who contributes 15.5 ppg for their offense.
Roemer hit a huge three-point basket with just 35 second left in the game to force overtime in the first meeting. In overtime the Raiders outscored the Black Knights 15-5 to seal the win. The big key in Colgate's win was their success on the free throw line. They hit 80.8% of their free throws on 26 attempts despite the fact the Raiders have a 69.5% success rate as a team for the year. Colgate is an inconsistent shooting team that relies on Roemer. It's imperative that the Black Knights make him work for every shot.
Army enters this game looking for answers on the offensive end. The Black Knights have struggled to score points since the Patriot League season began. Army looks like two different teams on the floor.
At the defensive end they are the league's best. They play aggressive man-to-man defense. They rotate well, help each other and get in passing lanes causing steals. Coach Zach Spiker said it best after the Bucknell loss "If you would have told me we held them to 32% shooting and 1-18 from (three point range) before the game, I'd take that."
It's the lack of a consistent offensive flow that has hurt this Army team. The Black Knights stand around too much; do not cut enough without the ball while tending to pound the dribble outside the arc. Army's guards must lead the league in lazy passes that lead to turnovers. The Black Knights too often end up with three point shots from long range with the shot clock running down. Not a recipe for success if your a poor shooting team.
Cleveland Richard, to his credit has, stepped it up and took the ball to the rim aggressively against Bucknell. It led to him hitting eight of nine field throw attempts. This is important because Army needs to put more pressure on the opposition and draw more fouls. The Black Knights have allowed 120 more free throws than they have attempted. That deferential has caused Army to lose three Patriot League games despite the fact they outscored their opponents from the field.
Richard has scored 30% of Army's points the last two games. He just needs to finish near the rim better. Coach Spiker needs to find a way to get sophomore guard Julian Simmons more shots. Simmons is far and away the best pure shooter on the team hitting 44% of his shots from three-point range.
Army is 8-1 at home and Colgate is 1-8 on the road
Since 1980 Army is only 9-37 against Colgate