MIAMI, Okla. — The Colgan Lady Panthers traveled to unchartered waters, Oklahoma, to take on the Miami Wardogs Tuesday night.
Colgan sprinted out to a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter and never looked back. Behind a pressure defense — led by Haydn Dawson and Aubri Piccini — and a balanced offensive attack, Colgan was able to breeze to a 53-37 victory.
The game featured nine Panthers scoring in the win, led by Emily Paterni’s 10 points.
Colgan’s pressure defense was causing problems for the Wardogs from the opening tip, as the Panthers were able to force turnovers on six of Miami’s first eight possessions.
The frustrations of the Wardog players manifested itself into early foul trouble for Miami, as they committed six fouls just over five minutes into the contest. Miami was able to get on the board with 90 seconds left in the quarter.
Six different Panthers scored in the opening quarter, and they led 18-4.
The Panthers were able to maintain their double-digit lead throughout the first half by playing unselfish, fundamentally-sound basketball. This was led by Piccini’s pressure defense and ability to find the open player while running the offense, and Dawson and senior Emily Paterni dominating the boards, especially on the offensive end.
Miami ended the first half on a 5-0 run to cut the Panther lead to 28-17 heading into the locker room.
Miami was able to trim the SMC lead to only nine points on their first offensive possession of the second half, but that is as close as the Wardogs would get for the rest of the evening.
Piccini, who had been terrorizing Miami’s guards all game, began to score as well, adding five of the Panthers’ first seven points of the third quarter.
Dawson’s hard work on the glass and ability to win virtually every loose ball was rewarded with back-to-back baskets towards the end of the quarter. She sparked a 6-0 run that saw Colgan go back up 39-23.
The balanced scoring by Colgan was most evident in the fourth quarter as Synclaire Borum and Kate Radell led the Panthers in scoring with 9 combined points in the quarter.
Miami cut the lead to 11 with two minutes to go thanks in large part to the Panthers’ inability to hit free throws.
In the last minute, however, Colgan started knocking down shots from the charity stripe and pulled away for the comfortable 53-37 victory.
Paterni led Colgan with 10 points, the only player in double figures, with Radell, Sydney Russell, and Marci VanBecelaere adding eight points each.
Colgan boys' comeback comes up short
Despite a furious comeback in the fourth quarter, the visiting Colgan boys fell to the Miami Wardogs Tuesday night by the score of 58-43.
The Panthers scored 20 of their total points in the final six minutes of the game, but could not overcome a hot start shooting by Miami, which as high as 23 points.
Junior Simon Higginbotham paced the Panthers in scoring with 17 points, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter.
Miami began the night with an NBA 3-pointer by point guard Caden Merer,which would be a precursor of the first quarter. Following a heat-check three by Mercer just over three minutes into the game, his third made triple of the game put the Wardogs up 11-5.
The size of Miami seemed to bother Colgan all night because of the Panthers inability to grab offensive rebounds and get second-chance opportunities. With the Wardogs filling up the basket from downtown and their ability to own the boards, Miami raced out to a 17-8 first quarter lead.
Every break seemed to go Miami’s way against Colgan, evidenced by a loose ball that found the hands of a Wardog player with less than one second to go in the first half, which he promptly put up and in to stretch Miami’s margin going into the locker room to 32-18.
The third quarter is a quarter that Colgan will be happy to forget moving forward in their season. Miami began with a 6-0 run to go up by 20 points, 38-18, before beginning to slow the game down offensively. Colgan was only able to score five points in the entire quarter, three of which came on Brown’s bucket and subsequent free throw midway through the quarter. Heading into the fourth, the Panthers were down 44-23.
With just over six minutes to go in the game, Colgan trailed 46-23.
Over the next four minutes, the Panthers would go on a 17-4 run, led by Higginbotham’s eight points in the run, to cut Miami’s lead to 50-40.
A questionable technical foul on Colgan’s coaching staff ended any momentum, however, and the Wardogs were able to hit their free throws down the stretch and escape with a 58-43 win.
Higginbotham led Colgan with 17 points, 15 in the second half, while Dominic Piccini added 7 and Brown added 6.