Patriot League Women's Basketball Release - 1.3.12

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Army's Jen Hazlett averaged 19.0 points per game last week, including a 21-point effort against Quinnipiac.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG
Army's Jen Hazlett averaged 19.0 points per game last week, including a 21-point effort against Quinnipiac.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG

Jan. 3, 2012

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — It hadn’t been done at all in the 21-year history of the Patriot League, but now this season it’s happened twice.

Patriot League Women's Basketball Release - 1.3.12 Get Acrobat Reader

Lafayette freshman Emily Homan was named both the Patriot League Anaconda Player and Rookie of the Week Tuesday after three stellar performances in the seven-day period ending Jan. 1. Homan matched her career best with 13 points against No. 5/5 Maryland, then surpassed it with a 26-point effort in a seven-point win over East Carolina and added 22 more in Saturday’s overtime loss at Pittsburgh. The rookie forward out of Upper Darby, Pa., also tallied her first career double-double with 12 rebounds against the Pirates.

Homan became the second Patriot League student-athlete this season to be named to both awards. Bucknell’s Amy Zehner was the first (Nov. 21).

Homan’s performances were part of an up-and-down week for Patriot League teams between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Teams are now focusing this week on getting set for the 14-game Patriot League schedule that begins Saturday.

There is some business to attend to before the busiest stretch of the season tips off this weekend. Tuesday’s slate features four non-League teams while there’s another contest on Wednesday. Tuesday’s schedule starts with Army’s 3 p.m. visit to Bryant, while the other three League teams are in action at 7 p.m., and they’re all at home. Holy Cross hosts Dartmouth, Navy entertains NJIT and Bucknell welcomes Yale.

Lafayette hosts Columbia Wednesday at 5 p.m. to conclude the non-League slate for 2011-12 for the eight squads, with the exception of one game in the middle of January.

Once League play begins Saturday, teams will be gunning for position in the League Tournament, set to begin with the quarterfinals March 1, continue with the semifinals March 5 and conclude March 10 at 6 p.m. on CBS Sports Network with the championship game.

Patriot League Weekly Awards (12.26-1.1)

ANACONDA PLAYER AND ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
EMILY HOMAN, LAFAYETTE Fr., F, Upper Darby, Pa.
Homan becomes the second player this season, after Bucknell’s Amy Zehner back in November, to be named both the Patriot League Anaconda Player and Rookie of the Week for the same period. Homan averaged 20.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in three games last week for the Leopards, including a 64-57 win over East Carolina and a 74-69 overtime loss at Pittsburgh. She opened the week with a game-high 13 points against No. 5 and undefeated Maryland, then tallied a career-high 26 points with 12 rebounds for her first career double-double in the victory over the Pirates. She followed it up with 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting and a pair of blocks against Pitt. Her 26 points against East Carolina are the most by a Patriot Leaguer this season and helped her earn a spot on the All-Tournament Team at the Terrapin Classic. Her 22 points against the Panthers were also a game high. After it not having happened in the first 21 years of the League’s existence, there now have been two student-athletes in 2011-12 who have garnered both weekly awards at the same time. It’s the second and third career weekly awards for Homan, who was named Rookie of the Week Dec. 5.

HONORABLE MENTIONS
JEN DUMIAK, AMERICAN Fr., G, Carlsbad, Calif.
Dumiak averaged 15.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game and shot 73.3 percent during a 1-1 week for the Eagles. She tallied career-high point totals in consecutive games against Quinnipiac and Western Michigan.

JEN HAZLETT, ARMY So., G/F, Syracuse, Utah
Hazlett shot 52 percent from the field last week and averaged 19.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in a pair of close losses for the Black Knights.

ALEX SMITH, HOLY CROSS So., G, Delran, N.J.
Smith hit on 50 percent of her shots and averaged 15.0 points and 3.5 assists per game as the Crusaders came away with a victory in the consolation game of the Miami Holiday Tournament.

EMILY GRATCH, LEHIGH Sr., F, Holicong, Pa.
Gratch averaged a double-double with 10.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game as Lehigh went 1-1 at its own Christmas City Classic. She had 11 points and 11 boards in an 11-point win over Rhode Island.

JADE GEIF, NAVY So., F, Lakeville, Minn.
Like Gratch, Geif averaged a double-double with 14.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game and was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Fordham Holiday Classic. She had 17 points against the host Rams and 13 boards versus Boston University.

Patriot League Notebook

THE COUNTDOWN IS ON
The most important stretch of the season gets underway Saturday with the beginning of Patriot League play. All eight teams start their 14-game slate, with the day starting at 2 p.m. when Lehigh hosts Holy Cross. Defending League champion Navy visits Lafayette at 3 p.m., while American goes to Colgate at 4 p.m. and Bucknell hosts Army at 7 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal.

BIG WEEK FOR DUMIAK
In a season where rookies have made significant contributions for several League teams, Jen Dumiak of American became the latest to emerge last week. She tallied a career-high 12 points and added three assists, a pair of rebounds and two steals in American’s 72-59 loss to Quinnipiac Wednesday, then topped herself with 19 points and five boards in Friday’s 77-52 win over Western Michigan. Dumiak averaged 15.5 points per game and shot a blistering 73.3 percent (11 of 15) from the field while averaging 30.5 minutes per contest.

HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT RECAP
The four League teams to participate in holiday tournaments last week - Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh and Navy - combined for a 3-5 record during competition. The Crusaders, Leopards and Mountain Hawks each picked up one win apiece, while the Mids fell in both games at the Fordham Holiday Classic. Navy dropped the two contests by a combined six points. Holy Cross and Lafayette picked up victories in the consolation games of the Miami Holiday and Terrapin Classic tournaments, respectively, while Lehigh opened its Christmas City Classic with a win.

ALL-ACCESS HAS YOU COVERED
Once again this season, over 100 Patriot League men’s and women’s basketball contests are available with a subscription to Patriot League All-Access. For $7.95 a month or $19.95 for a year, fans can watch a vast majority of the League’s basketball contests, along with watching archived coverage of fall championships and having access to available winter and spring championships for the rest of the 2011-12 academic year. For more, visit http://www.patriotleague.org/allaccess.

WRAPPING UP THE NON-LEAGUE SLATE
Seven of the eight League teams are finishing off their non-League schedules this week, while one - Holy Cross - has its final non-League contest slated for later in January. American finished its non-League schedule 8-6 after Monday’s loss at George Washington, while Colgate sits 3-12 after dropping a contest at Syracuse on Saturday and Lehigh concluded its non-League tuneups with a 7-7 mark following a loss last week to Richmond at home. Army and Bucknell wrap up their non-conference tilts Tuesday, while Lafayette wraps its up Wednesday. Holy Cross has two non-League matchups remaining, including Tuesday’s against Dartmouth and Jan. 16 at Brown.

FIACCO REMAINS A TOP SHOT BLOCKER
Lafayette sophomore Danielle Fiacco again remains near the top of the NCAA statistics in shot blocking. According to the latest NCAA stats released Monday, the 6-foot-7 Fiacco is second in the nation in both total blocks (61) and blocks per game (4.4). She trails Baylor’s Brittney Griner in both categories. Fiacco posted 71 blocks last year as a freshman, the 11th-highest single-season tally in League history, and appears poised to surpass that total with 61 already this season. With 132 stuffs for her career, Fiacco sits 11th all-time in Patriot League annals and four shy of the top 10.

CRUSADERS RIDE OFFENSE TO 7-6 START
With a 7-6 record so far on the season, Holy Cross is one of three League teams at or above .500 on the eve of Patriot League play. The Crusaders are leading the League averaging 63.6 points per contest and are shooting a League-best 40.4 percent from the field. Individually, Holy Cross also has a League-high three players averaging in double figures in points, with Alex Smith’s 13.5 points per game leading the way.

500!
Bill Gibbons became the second head coach in the Patriot League to reach a significant victory milestone this season when Holy Cross defeated New Hampshire 61-50 earlier this season. It was the 500th win of his career, which is now in its 27th season and has spent its entire duration on the Crusader sidelines. Gibbons joins Lafayette’s Dianne Nolan as the only two League coaches with at least 500 career wins. Earlier this season Army’s Dave Magarity collected his 400th coaching victory when Army defeated St. Francis (N.Y.).

NEXT UP ON THE MILESTONE PARADE
With two victory plateaus having been reached, there’s now a third on the way that seems likely this season. Navy head coach Stefanie Pemper, who is in her fourth season in Annapolis, has 294 career victories after the Mids capped off a five-game win streak with an impressive 65-52 win over Princeton Dec. 9 at Alumni Hall.

CBS SPORTS NETWORK BROADCASTS THE PATRIOT LEAGUE
Three Patriot League contests are scheduled to be televised on CBS Sports Network, with two featuring one of the most vaunted rivalry in intercollegiate athletics. Both regular season contests between Army and Navy will be shown on the network, with the Jan. 14 game hailing from Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Md., and the Feb. 11 contest at Christl Arena at West Point, N.Y. Both games will tip at 12 p.m. CBS Sports Network will also televise the Patriot League championship on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 6 p.m.

ZEHNER’S HISTORIC FEAT
It was bound to happen at some point, and Bucknell freshman Amy Zehner finally accomplished it earlier this season when she was named to both the Patriot League Anaconda Player and Rookie of the Week awards after averaging 22.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, 3.0 steals and 2.5 assists per game for the Bison. Her 25-point outburst against Youngstown State was the largest point total by a Patriot Leaguer this season, and she became the eighth freshman in Bucknell history to record back-to-back games of at least 20 points when she scored 20 at Buffalo.

MAGARITY REACHES 400 PLATEAU
Jen Hazlett scored a career-high 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting to lead Army to its 59-43 win at St. Francis (N.Y.) Nov. 16, delivering head coach Dave Magarity the 400th victory of his career, which has spanned three decades and now approaches 100 wins at West Point. Army led by five at the half after shooting 57 percent from the floor, and pulled away in the second half as the team collected 21 bucks and 17 assists. Magarity is now the third coach in the League with at least 400 career victories, joining Lafayette’s Dianne Nolan and Bill Gibbons of Holy Cross.

AMERICAN NAMED PRESEASON FAVORITE
With 94 points and 11 first-place votes, American topped the 2011-12 Patriot League Preseason Women’s Basketball Poll. The Eagles will aim to capture their first League crown in program history after reaching the title game in each of the last two seasons. American finished ahead of second-place Lehigh, which totaled 83 points and three first-place votes. Defending League champion Navy took third with 74 points and the last two remaining first-place ballots. Bucknell finished fourth in the poll, the same position in which the Bison ended the regular season a year ago. They collected 58 points, followed by Holy Cross in fifth with 52. Rounding out the poll were Lafayette (38 points), Army (26) and Colgate (23).

NAVY’S GEIF NAMED PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Navy’s Jade Geif got better and better as the 2010-11 season went on, and the hardware began adding up quickly. She was named Patriot League Rookie of the Year at the end of the regular season and added Patriot League Tournament Most Valuable Player honors after helping lead the Midshipmen to their first League crown in program history. Geif was recognized again by the League’s eight head coaches and women’s basketball sports information directors with the Preseason Player of the Year honor and a spot on the Preseason All-League team. In nearly 30 minutes per game a season ago, Geif was second in the League averaging 7.9 rebounds per game and is Navy’s top returning scorer (9.6 ppg). Geif became the first player named Rookie of the Year and Tournament MVP in the same season since Bethany O’Dell of Holy Cross in 2007.

HAYS FORT TAKES THE REIGNS AT COLGATE
The Patriot League features one new face on the sidelines in 2011-12, with Nicci Hays Fort entering her first season at Colgate. Entering the season with over a decade of coaching experience, Hays Fort comes to Hamilton, N.Y., after serving as the associate head coach on Doug Bruno’s staff at DePaul. Coincidentally, one of Hays Fort’s last contests coaching the Blue Demons was in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament, when DePaul faced off with Navy. The Raiders look to rebound from a 7-22 showing and a 2-12 mark in the League last season, and boast the returns of junior Jhazmine Lynch, the 2010 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, along with senior Tricia Oakes and a pair of freshmen in Mariah Jones and Kelly Reid who are immediately contributing.

Team Notebooks

AMERICAN saw its two-game win streak come to an end in a 72-59 loss at Bender Arena to Quinnipiac Wednesday ... Sophomore guard Alexis Dobbs scored a game-high 15 points for the Eagles on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor and 3 of 6 on 3-point attempts ... Jen Dumiak added 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting in 31 minutes off the bench ... The Eagles fell behind 10-2 and trailed by as many as 13 in the first half before cutting it to a 35-27 deficit at the half ... A pair of Lisa Strack free throws cut the Bobcats’ lead to 54-50 with 7:54 remaining, but Quinnipiac put the game away on a 15-3 run over the next 4:50 ... Dumiak logged a career-high 19 points as American rolled to a 77-52 win Friday night over Western Michigan at Bender Arena ... Dumiak shot 6 of 7 from the floor in 30 minutes off the bench, including 3 of 3 on 3-point attempts while grabbing five rebounds ... Sarah Kiely scored 14 points and shot a perfect 6 of 6 from the field while Alexis Dobbs poured in 13 points with four assists and a pair of steals ... The Eagles opened the game on a 13-0 run and led 49-25 at the half before cruising to the win ... American wrapped up its non-Patriot League slate with a 60-49 loss at George Washington Monday afternoon ... Sarah Kiely and T’Asia McGeorge each scored 14 points to lead the Eagles, who fell behind 26-15 at halftime after shooting just 6 of 24 (25 percent) in the first half ... McGeorge sank a 3-pointer and Strack had a layup to cut the Colonials’ lead to 37-33 with 12:38 left ... George Washington used a 15-2 run to take a 60-43 lead with 2:08 remaining ... The Eagles open Patriot League play at Colgate Saturday at 4 p.m.

ARMY dropped its fifth in a row after a 54-51 loss to Quinnipiac Friday at Christl Arena ... The Black Knights trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half before making a furious rally late in an attempt to tie the game ... Jen Hazlett scored a game-high 21 points and narrowly missed a double-double with nine rebounds and added four steals ... Molly Yardley scored 13 points while Jessica Waggoner added 10 ... Down 30-20 at the half, Army used a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to four points early in the second stanza ... The Black Knights trailed by a single point three times in the final 2:30 of the game but never found the equalizer ... Army’s skid reached six after a heartbreaking 63-62 loss at Yale on Sunday to ring in the New Year ... Hazlett and Anna Simmers tied with a game-high 17 points apiece while Olivia Schretzman poured in 13 and Yardley collected a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds ... The Black Knights fell behind 25-15 in the first half and trailed by nine (34-25) at halftime ... Army rallied to within one in the final minute, but Simmers missed a pair of free throws with 49 seconds left ... After the Black Knights got a big defensive stop at the other end of the floor, Schretzman’s open jumper in the waning seconds could not find the bottom of the net ... The Black Knights finish out their non-League slate Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Bryant.

BUCKNELL led 6-2 just under three minutes into the game, but the Bison managed just four points the rest of the first half and lost 72-30 at West Virginia Wednesday afternoon ... Christina Chukwuedo led the Bison with nine points, while Alyssa Dunn chipped in eight off the bench ... Bucknell shot just 10 of 39 for the game, managing five field goals in each half and going 0 of 9 on 3-pointers ... The Mountaineers converted 27 Bison turnovers into 38 points ... Rachel Voss scored 13 points and Dunn added 11 but Bucknell fell 58-46 at Mount St. Mary’s Friday afternoon ... Lindsay Horbatuck scored six points and grabbed a game-best eight rebounds ... The Bison committed 26 turnovers in the game, which the Mountaineers converted into 26 points ... Bucknell was down 25-20 at halftime and fell behind by 10 in the opening minute of the second half ... The Bison shot 50 percent (10 of 20) after halftime but were still outscored 33-26 in the final 20 minutes ... The Bison will try to snap out of their four-game skid Tuesday at 7 p.m. at home against Yale.

COLGATE Five different players reached double figures in the most balance offensive effort of the season as Colgate pounded Iona 75-50 Thursday in Hamilton, N.Y. ... The Raiders shot a blistering 53 percent in the first half, including 7 of 11 on 3-pointers, to take a commanding 46-18 lead into the locker room at the half ... Mariah Jones led all scorers with 15 points, while Tricia Oakes scored 14 points with seven rebounds and Missy Repoli poured in 12, both off the bench ... Candice Green and Lauryn Kobiela had 11 points apiece ... Up 19-13, Colgate went on a 27-5 run over the final 9:13 of the first half to take the 28-point lead into the break and never looked back ... Jhazmine Lynch returned to the lineup and tied a team-high with eight points with Kelly Reid but it wasn’t enough as Colgate fell 83-32 at Syracuse Saturday afternoon ... The Raiders shot 13 of 60 (21.7 percent) from the field and went just 2 of 22 on 3-pointers ... The Orange dominated the glass 58-31 and finished shooting almost 43 percent (30 of 70) from the field ... Syracuse jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back en route to a 40-14 advantage at halftime ... The Raiders are idle until Saturday when they open League play at home against American at 4 p.m.

HOLY CROSS Alex Smith was the only Crusader to reach double figures with 11 points as Holy Cross was downed 89-49 at No. 12/10 Miami in the Miami Holiday Tournament Wednesday night ... Smith added five rebounds, three assists and three steals to her scoring output, while Brisje Malone grabbed a season-high seven boards ... The Hurricanes outrebounded Holy Cross 56-38, and the Crusaders hit just 3 of 16 attempts from beyond the 3-point line ... Amy Lepley had nine points and four rebounds ... Holy Cross trailed by as many as 10 points but rallied to force overtime and eventually captured a 73-66 win from Morgan State in the consolation game of the Miami Holiday Tournament Thursday ... Brisje Malone and Amy Lepley posted double-doubles, with Malone scoring 10 points with a career-high 11 assists and Lepley pouring in 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds ... Holy Cross was down 47-37 with 16:12 left in regulation, but used a 13-0 run to take a 61-57 lead with four minutes to play ... The Crusaders were down three in the final seconds before Alex Smith drained a triple to force overtime ... Holy Cross outscored Morgan State 7-0 in the extra session ... The Crusaders host Dartmouth Tuesday at 7 p.m. before opening League play Saturday.

LAFAYETTE Freshman Emily Homan scored a game-high 13 points as Lafayette suffered an 84-36 defeat at the hands of undefeated and No. 5/5 Maryland at the Terrapin Classic in College Park, Md., on Wednesday ... Homan shot 3 of 10 from the field but hit 7 of 8 from the foul line, while Samantha Jordan scored eight points off the bench ... Homan scored 26 points, the most of any Patriot Leaguer this season, to pace the Leopards to a 64-57 bounce-back victory over East Carolina in the consolation game of the Terrapin Classic ... A day after shooting just 21 percent from the floor against Maryland, Lafayette hit 40 percent of its opportunities, with Homan going 9 of 13 from the field and 8 of 12 at the line ... She posted her first career double-double with 12 rebounds ... The Pirates led by one at halftime, but the Leopards inched ahead 44-35 with 11:36 left on a Brya Freeland 3-pointer ... East Carolina cut Lafayette’s lead to three with eight minutes remaining, but Homan hit three straight buckets to help keep the Pirates at arm’s length ... Homan contributed another strong performance with a game-high 22 points as Lafayette pushed BIG EAST opponent Pittsburgh to the edge before falling 74-69 in overtime Saturday afternoon ... The Leopards led 31-25 at halftime and led by as many as 15 points on two occasions in the second half ... The Panthers closed regulation on a 16-5 run and forced overtime with the game knotted at 61 ... Pitt opened the extra session on an 11-4 run ... The Leopards’ final tuneup of non-League action is Wednesday at home at 5 p.m. versus Columbia.

LEHIGH won its fifth in a row and sixth in its last seven games with a 67-56 victory over Rhode Island to open the Christmas City Classic at Stabler Arena Thursday ... Emily Gratch logged a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Alexa Williams poured in 13 and Kelly Peterson chipped in 12 ... Rhode Island led 33-24 at halftime after shooting 60 percent in the first half, while the Mountain Hawks hit on just 7 of 28 attempts ... The second half was the polar opposite, with Lehigh outshooting the Rams 48 percent to 32 ... As a team, Lehigh finished with 18 assists and 20 buckets and converted 21 of 35 free throws ... Rhode Island finished 6 of 10 from the line ... Katie O’Reilly scored a team-high 12 points and Gratch scored 10 in her first start of the season but Lehigh (7-7) fell 71-49 to Richmond in the final game of the Christmas City Classic ... The loss snapped the Mountain Hawks’ five-game win streak and was their first downing in December in two years ... Gratch narrowly missed a double-double with nine rebounds, while O’Reilly grabbed seven boards ... The Mountain Hawks finished shooting 16 of 60 from the floor and 7 of 25 from beyond the arc ... Richmond made the most of Lehigh’s 24 turnovers, converting them to 30 points ... The Mountain Hawks are idle until opening the League schedule Saturday at 2 p.m. at home against Holy Cross.

NAVY fell 47-43 to host Fordham in the first game of the Fordham Holiday Classic in Bronx, N.Y., on Thursday ... The Mids tried to mount a furious rally at the end of the game, but ultimately fell short ... Navy trailed 45-36 with a little less than five minutes to play before Jade Geif hit a layup and sank a pair of free throws to cut it to a five-point deficit with just over three minutes left ... After the teams combined for three empty possessions, Audrey Bauer hit a 3 with 1:38 left to make it a two-point game ... That’s as close as the Mids would get, as they went empty on their next two possessions to tie the game ... Bauer and Geif finished with a game-high 17 points apiece, while Geif added a game-best eight rebounds ... The Mids held a 37-25 edge on the glass ... Navy dropped its fourth in a row and second straight by single digits in a 48-46 loss to Boston University in the consolation game of the Fordham Holiday Classic ... Kara Pollinger poured in a game-high 16 points, while Geif and Bauer each tallied 11 apiece ... Geif logged a double-double with 13 rebounds, while Alix Membreno pulled down 10 ... The Mids led 28-27 at halftime but hit just 7 of 30 field goals in the second half and logged only 18 points ... Navy ended the game with a 46-41 edge in rebounds ... Navy entertains NJIT Tuesday at 7 p.m. in its final non-League game of the regular season.