Patriot League Women's Basketball Weekend Preview - 1.20.12

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Alexis Dobbs leads American into a contest at Army Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
Alexis Dobbs leads American into a contest at Army Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

Jan. 20, 2012

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — There will be a battle for Patriot League supremacy once again, as undefeated American (4-0) heads to Army (3-1) for a showdown Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.

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It’s part of a slate of games Saturday that might begin to shed some light as to which teams are in the driver’s seat to host a Patriot League Tournament game. It’s still early and the midway point of the League season is just over a week away, but the battle for position rages on.

Saturday’s tilt inside Christl Arena at West Point will feature the Patriot League’s leading scorer during conference play in Army junior Anna Simmers (20.8 ppg) going up against the League’s best scoring defense in League play. American has allowed an average of 48.5 points per game in four League battles to this point, which is over five points per game fewer than second-place Navy.

While Simmers has been lighting up the scoreboard during League competition, Army is hardly a team that features just one steady hand. Jen Hazlett is averaging 14.0 points per game during League play, the fourth-best rate through four games, while her 10.5 rebounds per game are tied for second.

Other games Saturday include Holy Cross hosting Bucknell at 1 p.m., while two matchups are slated for 7 p.m. Lehigh will host rival Lafayette, while Navy entertains Colgate in Annapolis.

A year ago the Raiders went into Alumni Hall and ended Navy’s seven-game win streak and 6-0 start in League play with a 59-55 victory, but the Mids won the next two meetings last season, including a 55-36 win in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament.

Lehigh will try to at the very least keep pace with either Army or American when the Mountain Hawks host the Leopards. Lafayette went into Stabler a year ago and came away with a 57-54 victory.

Patriot League Notebook

ANOTHER BATTLE FOR FIRST
It seems as though the schedule played out this way last year as well, but the fifth set of League contests Saturday once again features another battle for first place when American goes to Army for a 1 p.m. tip at Christl Arena. When the teams met for the first time in 2010-11, both were 3-0 and seated at the top of the League. The Black Knights scored a convincing 64-50 victory over the Eagles before American paid it back with a 60-47 win in the nation’s capital several weeks later.

SIMMERS, HAZLETT LEADING ARMY
Army junior forward Anna Simmers has upped her play during League competition and now leads all players averaging 20.8 points per League contest through four games thus far. Simmers has hit a League-leading 31 field goals so far in League play and is shooting 50 percent from the floor. Teammate Jen Hazlett completes a tough 1-2 punch for the Black Knights. The sophomore is averaging 14.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per contest in helping Army to a 3-1 record in League play.

QUIETLY MOVING UP
Lehigh senior Alexa Williams has been strong up front for the Mountain Hawks all season, and her numbers continue to climb. With two blocks Wednesday against Bucknell, she moved into 11th on the League’s all-time chart with 109, hopping over Bucknell’s Desire Almind (2000-04). Williams, who has averaged around 10 rebounds per game for most of the season, has 691 career boards to place her 26th all-time in League annals. She’s nine away from becoming the 23rd student-athlete in League history with 700.

COLGATE REPEATS AWARDS DOUBLE TAKE
Jhazmine Lynch and Missy Repoli have been teaming up on the floor all season for Colgate, and Monday they did one better as they swept the Patriot League Anaconda Weekly Awards. Lynch was named the Player of the Week after averaging 20.0 points per game, including a 26-point effort in the Raiders’ narrow 85-82 double-overtime loss at Lehigh Saturday. Repoli had 20 points in that game and averaged 17.0 ppg last week to earn the Rookie of the Week honors. It’s the second time this season a Colgate pair has swept the awards, as Tricia Oakes and Mariah Jones teamed up to take the Player and Rookie honors, respectively, on Dec. 19. In the 10 weeks of awards this season, the honors have been captured by a student-athlete from the same school five times.

FIACCO BEGINS RECORD SMASHING
Lafayette sophomore Danielle Fiacco posted five blocks Wednesday at Army and collected five more Saturday at Bucknell to give her 77 on the season. With those five against the Bison, she surpassed Lenora Johnson’s school-record single-season tally of 74 set during her junior season in 1979-80. Fiacco now has 148 career rejections, placing her 12 shy of the all-time Leopard record of 160 also held by Johnson. With 77 on the year, Fiacco is 18 shy of the Patriot League single-season mark of 95, and currently sits 10th on the League’s all-time list. In an unusual occurance, Fiacco went without a block in Lafayette’s loss Wednesday to Holy Cross.

GEIF STANDS TALL FOR NAVY ON CBS SPORTS NETWORK
The first of three Patriot League games to be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network this season took place Saturday afternoon, with Jade Geif scoring the final four points of the game to lift Navy to an exciting 58-56 victory over Army at Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Md. Those four points were the important of the game-high 16 Geif poured in for the Mids, who improved to 2-1 in League play and bounced back from a 17-point loss at home to Holy Cross. The Patriot League will return to CBS Sports Network Saturday, Feb. 11, when Army hosts Navy in the return bout at 12 p.m. CBS Sports Network will also televise the Patriot League championship on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 6 p.m. Bob Socci will handle the play-by-play, while Leah Secondo will provide the analysis.

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.

HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT RECAP
The four League teams to participate in holiday tournaments between Christmas and New Year’s - 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.

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.).

PEMPER INCHES CLOSER TO 300
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 297 career victories after the Mids took a tough 58-56 win from Army last Saturday afternoon in Annapolis.

HOMAN A REVELATION FOR LAFAYETTE
Freshman Emily Homan was tabbed as the Patriot League Anaconda Rookie of the Week for the second consecutive time Jan. 9 and third instance overall this season. Her selection was the sixth time a Lafayette player earned a weekly award, tying a school record. Homan has accounted for four of the awards, with three Rookie and one Player. Danielle Fiacco has been named Player of the Week once, while Brya Freeland was also a Rookie of the Week. Homan was the second player to sweep both the Player and Rookie of the Week nods this season.

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.

Patriot League Games

AMERICAN EAGLES (12-6, 4-0) AT ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS (9-10, 3-1)
Christl Arena (5,043); West Point, N.Y. • Saturday, 1 p.m.
Series: American, 14-9
Streak: American, One Win Last Meeting: American, 60-47 (2.16.11)
Last Army Win: 64-50 (1.19.11) Last Five Games: American, 3-2

American heads to West Point to visit Army in the Eagles’ second consecutive battle for first place Saturday at 1 p.m. inside Christl Arena ... The Eagles are coming off a gutty 49-44 victory at home over Navy Wednesday night in which American handed the defending League champion its second League loss of the season ... It will be a matchup of offense versus defense as Army’s Anna Simmers (20.3 ppg) and Jen Hazlett (14.0 ppg), the League’s highest and fourth-highest scorers during League competition, will go up against American’s defense, which is allowing a League-low 48.5 points per League game.

AMERICAN Lisa Strack led all scorers with 20 points and American rallied from a one-point deficit in the final two minutes to capture a 49-44 victory over Navy at Bender Arena Wednesday night in their first meeting since the championship game of last year’s Patriot League Women’s Basketball Tournament ... Strack added seven rebounds, five assists and three steals to her overall performance for the Eagles, who remained perfect in League play and atop the conference standings ... Audrey Bauer scored a layup with 13:34 left in the first to tie the game at 11 before American nudged out to a five-point lead at 23-18 with just over four minutes remaining ... Only two field goals were scored the rest of the way until halftime, with the Eagles going into the break up 25-20 ... The teams traded 6-0 runs to start the second before Jen Dumiak’s jumper put American ahead 38-30 with 10:20 left in the second ... Alix Membreno capped off a 9-0 Navy run with a pair of foul shots to give the Mids a one-point lead at 39-38 with 6:39 showing on the clock ... After the Eagles took a small lead, it was Membreno again who converted two free throws to give Navy a 44-43 lead at the 2:29 mark ... American’s Alexis Dobbs missed a 3-pointer on the Eagles’ next possession, but American got the ball back after a Navy turnover ... Strack converted a layup to put American up 45-44 with 1:54 left, and Stephanie Anya’s jumper with 33 seconds left, followed by two Dobbs free throws, iced the game for the Eagles ... Bauer had three 3-point attempts in the final 1:23, but none of them found the bottom of the net ... American committed just seven turnovers in the game and shot 21 of 63 from the floor. Navy finished the game with four fewer field goals while having taken 19 less shots than the Eagles (17 of 44) ... The Mids shot 9 of 18 in the second half, but went 1 of 9 on 3-pointers and 8 of 9 on two-point shots ... American returns home to host Bucknell Wednesday at 7 p.m.

ARMY Anna Simmers led all players with 22 points and Jen Hazlett logged a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds as Army held off Colgate 61-54 Wednesday night at Cotterell Court ... Reigning Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week Jhazmine Lynch led Colgate with 15 points and nine rebounds ... Army jumped out to an 8-0 lead early, but Colgate rallied to a 13-12 lead at the 11:20 mark of the first half after Kelly Reid’s jumper ... Liz Benedict’s 3-pointer gave Army a 25-18 advantage with just under five minutes left until halftime, but a quick 5-0 spurt by the Raiders trimmed the Black Knights’ lead to 29-27 entering the break ... It was extended to a 9-0 run after a bucket from Tricia Oakes and two foul shots from Lynch, but the Black Knights rattled off a 10-0 run of their own to take a 39-31 lead with 14:35 left following a Simmers bucket ... Simmers’ layup at 12:24 gave Army its biggest advantage of the game at 44-34 ... Oakes’ layup helped Colgate trim the deficit to three points at 43-40, and Lauryn Kobiela’s basket did the same in bringing the Raiders within 48-45 with 7:20 to go ... Army maintained its lead, but the Raiders stayed close after two more Lynch foul shots make it a 53-49 game with just under four minutes left ... After Olivia Schretzman went 2 of 2 at the line for Army, the Raiders hit four straight foul shots to pull within 55-53 with 1:41 to go ... But the Black Knights sank 4 of 6 free throws the rest of the way to seal the seven-point victory ... Army shot 21 of 63 from the field for the game, but just 9 of 30 in the second half ... The Black Knights were buoyed by an 11-of-16 effort from the foul line after the break ... Army will hit the road to Worcester to visit Holy Cross Wednesday at 7 p.m.

BUCKNELL BISON (2-17, 0-4) AT HOLY CROSS CRUSADERS (11-8, 2-2)
Hart Center (3,600); Worcester, Mass. • Saturday, 1 p.m.
Series: Holy Cross, 37-13
Streak: Bucknell, One Win Last Meeting: Bucknell, 68-52 (2.12.11)
Last Holy Cross Win: 57-47 (1.15.11) Last Five Games: Holy Cross, 3-2

Two teams with different directions in their momentum match up Saturday at 1 p.m. in Worcester when Holy Cross welcomes Bucknell to the Hart Center ... It will be the 51st all-time meeting between the programs, with Holy Cross having won 37 of the previous 50 contests ... The Bison posted a 16-point win over the Crusaders in Lewisburg, Pa., the last time the teams met in 2010-11 ... Bucknell is looking to snap a nine-game slide, while Holy Cross aims to go above .500 in League play for the first time this season.

BUCKNELL Lehigh’s seniors were the offensive leaders, but it was a staunch defensive effort in the second half that was the difference as the Mountain Hawks took a 53-38 victory over Bucknell Wednesday night at Sojka Pavilion ... Emily Gratch had 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field along with seven rebounds, while Alexa Williams tallied another double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds ... Alyssa Dunn led Bucknell with 10 points in 27 minutes off the bench, while Shelby Romine and Rachel Voss each pitched in seven apiece for the Bison, who has lost nine in a row ... The second half was a much different animal than the first ... Lindsay Horbatuck capped off a game-opening 10-4 run for the Bison with a layup at the 12:23 mark, and Dunn’s basket just passed the halfway mark put Bucknell back in front 16-10 ... Williams’ layup with 4:34 left gave Lehigh a 19-18 lead, and the teams traded the lead five times before Romine’s 3 with 1:18 to go sent Bucknell into halftime with a 24-22 lead ... The Bison went ahead 28-25 on Voss’ bucket 4:40 into the second half, but Lehigh’s 7-0 run in reply gave the Mountain Hawks a 33-28 advantage with 10:49 remaining ... The play went back and forth before Felicia Mgbada brought Bucknell within 38-34 at the 7:33 mark, and Mgbada scored again after Lehigh put more points on the board to bring the Bison within 41-36 with 5:54 to go ... But that was the last Bucknell field goal of the game ... Lehigh pulled away with a 10-0 run over the next five and a half minutes to balloon the lead to 15 points ... Horbatuck’s two free throws with 13 seconds left with the last two points scored for the Bison ... Lehigh’s defense picked up the intensity in the second half, holding Bucknell to just 6 of 24 from the floor after the intermission ... Lehigh outscored the Bison 31-14 in the final 20 minutes, with the Mountain Hawks shooting 12 of 24 from the field and 7 of 9 from the line during that period ... Bucknell will be on the road again Wednesday at American for a 7 p.m. tip.

HOLY CROSS In a game that sometimes resembled a track meet, Amy Lepley led three Crusaders in double figures with a game-high 21 points as Holy Cross pulled to .500 in League play with a 75-61 win at Lafayette Wednesday night ... Lepley shot 50 percent (9 of 18) from the floor and narrowly missed a double-double with nine rebounds ... Brisje Malone tallied 15 points for Holy Cross, while Emily Parker chipped in 10 and Meredith Ward had nine points and eight assists ... Danielle Fiacco led Lafayette with 11 points and tied for the team lead with seven assists, but the nation’s second-leading shot blocker went 24 minutes without registering a rejection ... Sarah McGorry’s basket put Lafayette in front 12-11 with 14:06 left in the first ... The Crusaders replied with a 12-0 run finished off by a 3 ball from Alex Smith that put Holy Cross ahead 23-12 at the 10:55 mark ... Lafayette rallied and cut Holy Cross’ lead to 33-29 after a 3-pointer from Alicia Manning at the 2:32 mark, but the Crusaders closed the half on a 7-2 spurt to send them into the locker room leading 40-31 ... Holy Cross briefly rebuilt the lead into double figures early in the second before Melissa Downey’s jumper brought the Leopards within 44-39 just 2:10 into the half ... Christine Ganser responded with a trey for Holy Cross, which eventually took a 55-44 lead with 14:50 left after two Parker free throws ... Linnel Macklin replied immediately for Lafayette with a 3-pointer to cut it to an eight-point game again, but buckets from Parker and Malone put the Crusaders up 12 and they never led by less than double digits the rest of the way ... Holy Cross’ lead grew to 21 at 73-52 with 3:06 to go ... The Crusaders finished with a 32-22 scoring edge in the paint, with some of that being attributed to Fiacco having to sit an extended part of the first half with two personal fouls ... The Crusaders will stay home to welcome Army to the Hart Center Wednesday at 7 p.m.

COLGATE RAIDERS (4-15, 1-3) AT NAVY MIDSHIPMEN (9-9, 2-2)
Alumni Hall (5,710); Annapolis, Md. • Saturday, 7 p.m.
Series: Navy, 28-17
Streak: Navy, Two Wins Last Meeting: Navy, 55-36 (3.5.11)
Last Colgate Win: 59-55 (1.29.11) Last Five Games: Navy, 4-1

Colgate, which has played two very tough games against teams just ahead of it in the League standings, has another difficult contest when the Raiders visit Navy Saturday at 7 p.m. ... The defending League champion Mids will look to bounce back from a tough loss of their own, a 49-44 defeat at American Wednesday night ... The Raiders went to double overtime before falling at Lehigh and lost by seven at home against Army Wednesday evening ... Colgate snapped Navy’s seven-game win streak and 6-0 start in League play a year ago when the Raiders won 59-55 in the teams’ last meeting in Annapolis ... That’s Colgate’s only win in the last five meetings.

COLGATE Anna Simmers led all players with 22 points and Jen Hazlett logged a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds as Army held off Colgate 61-54 Wednesday night at Cotterell Court ... Reigning Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week Jhazmine Lynch led Colgate with 15 points and nine rebounds ... She shot just 4 of 16 from the field but hit 7 of 8 from the free throw line ... Army jumped out to an 8-0 lead early, but Colgate rallied to a 13-12 lead at the 11:20 mark of the first half after Kelly Reid’s jumper ... Liz Benedict’s 3-pointer gave Army a 25-18 advantage with just under five minutes left until halftime, but a quick 5-0 spurt by the Raiders trimmed the Black Knights’ lead to 29-27 entering the break ... It was extended to a 9-0 run after a bucket from Tricia Oakes and two foul shots from Lynch, but the Black Knights rattled off a 10-0 run of their own to take a 39-31 lead with 14:35 left following a Simmers bucket ... Simmers’ layup at 12:24 gave Army its biggest advantage of the game at 44-34 ... Oakes’ layup helped Colgate trim the deficit to three points at 43-40, and Lauryn Kobiela’s basket did the same in bringing the Raiders within 48-45 with 7:20 to go ... Army maintained its lead, but the Raiders stayed close after two more Lynch foul shots make it a 53-49 game with just under four minutes left ... After Olivia Schretzman went 2 of 2 at the line for Army, the Raiders hit four straight foul shots to pull within 55-53 with 1:41 to go ... But the Black Knights sank 4 of 6 free throws the rest of the way to seal the seven-point victory ... Army shot 21 of 63 from the field for the game, but just 9 of 30 in the second half ... The Black Knights were buoyed by an 11-of-16 effort from the foul line after the break ... Colgate finished the game 18 of 61 from the floor, including 3 of 19 from long distance, and shot just 7 of 27 (25.9 percent) in the second half ... The Raiders head to Lafayette Wednesday at 7 p.m.

NAVY Lisa Strack led all scorers with 20 points and American rallied from a one-point deficit in the final two minutes to capture a 49-44 victory over Navy at Bender Arena Wednesday night in their first meeting since the championship game of last year’s Patriot League Women’s Basketball Tournament ... Strack added seven rebounds, five assists and three steals to her overall performance for the Eagles, who remained perfect in League play and atop the conference standings ... Alix Membreno paced Navy with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Jade Geif had 10 points and eight boards ... Audrey Bauer scored a layup with 13:34 left in the first to tie the game at 11 before American nudged out to a five-point lead at 23-18 with just over four minutes remaining ... Only two field goals were scored the rest of the way until halftime, with the Eagles going into the break up 25-20 ... The teams traded 6-0 runs to start the second before Jen Dumiak’s jumper put American ahead 38-30 with 10:20 left in the second ... Membreno capped off a 9-0 Navy run with a pair of foul shots to give the Mids a one-point lead at 39-38 with 6:39 showing on the clock ... After the Eagles took a small lead, it was Membreno again who converted two free throws to give Navy a 44-43 lead at the 2:29 mark ... American’s Alexis Dobbs missed a 3-pointer on the Eagles’ next possession, but American got the ball back after a Navy turnover ... Strack converted a layup to put American up 45-44 with 1:54 left, and Stephanie Anya’s jumper with 33 seconds left, followed by two Dobbs free throws, iced the game for the Eagles ... Bauer had three 3-point attempts in the final 1:23, but none of them found the bottom of the net ... American committed just seven turnovers in the game and shot 21 of 63 from the floor. Navy finished the game with four fewer field goals while having taken 19 less shots than the Eagles (17 of 44) ... The Mids shot 9 of 18 in the second half, but went 1 of 9 on 3-pointers and 8 of 9 on two-point shots ... Navy will stay home to host Lehigh Wednesday at 7 p.m.

LAFAYETTE LEOPARDS (7-12, 1-3) AT LEHIGH MOUNTAIN HAWKS (10-8, 3-1)
Stabler Arena (5,600); Bethlehem, Pa. • Saturday, 7 p.m.
Series: Lafayette, 41-38 TV: Service Electric Channel 2
Streak: Lehigh, Two Wins Last Meeting: Lehigh, 82-58 (3.5.11)
Last Lafayette Win: 57-54 (1.22.11) Last Five Games: Lehigh, 4-1

Fierce rivals will hit the floor Saturday night at Stabler Arena when Lafayette takes the 15-mile trek to Lehigh for a 7 p.m. tip ... It is the 80th meeting between the two, with Lafayette owning a 41-38 advantage ... Lehigh has won four of the last meetings, including two wins last season with one coming in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament ... Lafayette went into Stabler and took a 57-54 victory one year ago almost to the day.

LAFAYETTE In a game that sometimes resembled a track meet, Amy Lepley led three Crusaders in double figures with a game-high 21 points as Holy Cross pulled to .500 in League play with a 75-61 win at Lafayette Wednesday night ... Lepley shot 50 percent (9 of 18) from the floor and narrowly missed a double-double with nine rebounds ... Danielle Fiacco led Lafayette with 11 points and tied for the team lead with seven assists ... But the nation’s second-leading shot blocker went 24 minutes without registering a rejection ... Sarah McGorry’s basket put Lafayette in front 12-11 with 14:06 left in the first ... But the Crusaders replied with a 12-0 run finished off by a 3 ball from Alex Smith that put Holy Cross ahead 23-12 at the 10:55 mark ... Lafayette rallied and cut Holy Cross’ lead to 33-29 after a 3-pointer from Alicia Manning at the 2:32 mark, but the Crusaders closed the half on a 7-2 spurt to send them into the locker room leading 40-31 ... Holy Cross briefly rebuilt the lead into double figures early in the second before Melissa Downey’s jumper brought the Leopards within 44-39 just 2:10 into the half ... Christine Ganser responded with a trey for Holy Cross, which eventually took a 55-44 lead with 14:50 left after two Parker free throws ... Linnel Macklin replied immediately for Lafayette with a 3-pointer to cut it to an eight-point game again, but buckets from Parker and Malone put the Crusaders up 12 and they never led by less than double digits the rest of the way ... Holy Cross’ lead grew to 21 at 73-52 with 3:06 to go ... The Crusaders finished with a 32-22 scoring edge in the paint, with some of that being attributed to Fiacco having to sit an extended part of the first half with two personal fouls ... Lafayette will be home for Colgate Wednesday at 7 p.m.

LEHIGH Lehigh’s seniors were the offensive leaders, but it was a staunch defensive effort in the second half that was the difference as the Mountain Hawks took a 53-38 victory over Bucknell Wednesday night at Sojka Pavilion ... Emily Gratch had 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field along with seven rebounds, while Alexa Williams tallied another double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds ... Alyssa Dunn led Bucknell with 10 points in 27 minutes off the bench, while Shelby Romine and Rachel Voss each pitched in seven apiece for the Bison, who has lost nine in a row ... The second half was a much different animal than the first ... Lindsay Horbatuck capped off a game-opening 10-4 run for the Bison with a layup at the 12:23 mark, and Dunn’s basket just passed the halfway mark put Bucknell back in front 16-10 ... Williams’ layup with 4:34 left gave Lehigh a 19-18 lead, and the teams traded the lead five times before Romine’s 3 with 1:18 to go sent Bucknell into halftime with a 24-22 lead ... The Bison went ahead 28-25 on Voss’ bucket 4:40 into the second half, but Lehigh’s 7-0 run in reply gave the Mountain Hawks a 33-28 advantage with 10:49 remaining ... The play went back and forth before Felicia Mgbada brought Bucknell within 38-34 at the 7:33 mark, and Mgbada scored again after Lehigh put more points on the board to bring the Bison within 41-36 with 5:54 to go ... But that was the last Bucknell field goal of the game ... Lehigh pulled away with a 10-0 run over the next five and a half minutes to balloon the lead to 15 points ... Horbatuck’s two free throws with 13 seconds left with the last two points scored for the Bison ... Lehigh’s defense picked up the intensity in the second half, holding Bucknell to just 6 of 24 from the floor after the intermission ... Lehigh outscored the Bison 31-14 in the final 20 minutes, with the Mountain Hawks shooting 12 of 24 from the field and 7 of 9 from the line during that period ... The Mountain Hawks will head to Navy Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tipoff.