Nov. 9, 2012
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Seventh-year head coach Dave Magarity recorded a milestone win on Friday night with a 65-62 victory at Wagner. Magarity became the third Army women’s basketball coach in program history to reach 100 wins, simultaneously ending a 27-year, 15-game losing streak of road-game season openers for the Black Knights.
Magarity’s Black Knights (1-0) got a huge boost from freshman Aimee Oertner, making her collegiate debut against the Seahawks (0-1). Oertner racked up a double-double with a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with tying the game high of 18 points. Junior Jen Hazlett shared the scoring lead with Oertner with 18 points, 15 of which came in an explosive second half.
Oertner led the Army rebounding charge which combined for 54 total boards, the most by a Black Knight squad since Dec. 19, 2005, in a win against Gardner-Webb. The 54 rebounds also sparked Army’s scoring contingent, as the Black Knights racked up 23 second-chance points.
Army trailed at the half, 32-28, due in large part to shooting just 28.6 percent (10-of-35) from the floor, including 2-of-8 from three.
Despite the slow start by the team as a whole, freshman Kelsey Minato came out firing after getting the start at the point in her first collegiate competition. Minato was 4-for-8 from the field, collecting nine points and four rebounds during her first half of college basketball.
The visiting Black Knights grabbed the lead just once in the first half, 8-7 at 15:25.
The second half was a different story for Army, despite Wagner striking first and matching its largest lead of the game (six). The Black Knights chipped away at the Seahawks’ lead as sophomore Olivia Schretzman scored two of her 11 points on Army’s second possession of the half.
Wagner maintained a two-to-four point lead through much of the first half of the final stanza, until Army captured its first lead of the half at the 9:58 mark off a Hazlett fast-break feed from senior Anna Simmers.
The lead changed four more times until the Black Knights grasped it at 3:03 when Oertner drilled a pair of free-throws, despite going to the line with a 0-for-4 mark against her in the second half. The plebe finished the game with a 4-for-9 showing from the charity stripe.
Wagner tied the game at 59-59 with 2:38 remaining when Chanez Robinson finished a layup. Robinson was one of three Seahawks to reach double figures with her 12-point output. Marie Archambault totaled a team-best 17 points, including five baskets from long range, while Stephanie Blais added 13.
The final two minutes was Hazlett’s time to shine as she hit the go-ahead jumper while also added a pair of game-clinching free throws with 13 seconds remaining.
Army had a three-point lead when Wagner got the ball back with 13 seconds left, and it was Hazlett’s defensive tie-up that caused the Seahawks to burn a trio of timeouts and eventually throw the ball away, turning the ball back over to the Black Knights who ran out the final seconds.
Magarity, who collected his 400th career win a season ago, joins Harold Johnson (123; 1980-87) and Lynn Chiavaro (132; 1987-98) as 100-win head coaches in Army women’s basketball history.
The win at Wagner was the Black Knights’ first on the road in a season opener since 1985, and also their first triumph over the Seahawks away from West Point. Army improved to 5-3 against Wagner in a series which dates back to the 1978-79 season.
“Our girls played so hard, we had to earn this win,” said Magarity after the game. “You can’t say enough about our freshmen – those two kids (Oertner and Minato) were unbelievable in their first collegiate games. A pair of other freshmen, Bridget Ryan and Jean Parker, gave us some good minutes as well, they did a nice job. Jen Hazlett had a great second half. This game really comes down to those two freshmen having a breakout game for us.
“We won this game, it was not given to us. I thought our kids kept their composure, they never put their heads down, they battled and we won. It’s a real credit to our kids; I’m really thrilled for them.”
As for his marquee win, Magarity joked “Well, that’s just from being around so long! Sooner or later you have to get it! It’s a big game for me, last year was a real rollercoaster year and I wish had gotten it then, but it’s great to get it in the opener.”
The Black Knights will have a quick turnaround as they prepare to host St. Francis (N.Y.) on Monday at West Point’s Christl Arena. The Monday night showdown marks the first of the season for the visiting Terriers. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.