Patriot League Women's Basketball Release - 1.22.13

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Mariah Jones and Colgate head to West Point to visit first-place Army Wednesday at 7 p.m.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
Mariah Jones and Colgate head to West Point to visit first-place Army Wednesday at 7 p.m.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

Jan. 22, 2013

Patriot League Women's Basketball Release - 1.22.13 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- The Patriot League schedule prepares to pass the one-quarter mark Wednesday, and two teams are positioning themselves for a potential battle of unbeatens Saturday.

Before we get to that point, there's a lot of business to handle Wednesday. Army emerged victorious with a 53-42 decision over rival Navy Sunday at West Point, and the 3-0 Black Knights welcome Colgate to Christl Arena for a 7 p.m. tip Wednesday. Army is riding high with four straight wins overall, and freshman Kelsey Minato became the third student-athlete in League history to capture both women's basketball weekly honors in the same week when the pulled the double dip Monday.

The other team with an unblemished League record is American. The Eagles overcame another halftime deficit to outlast Holy Cross 67-62 Saturday at Bender Arena. They'll take on two-time defending champion Navy Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Annapolis. American trailed Holy Cross by three at the intermission Saturday, and was behind by five against both Colgate and Lehigh.

Bucknell visits Lehigh Wednesday in a big matchup in the middle of the standings. Both teams are 2-1, with the Bison capturing their two League wins by a combined three points.

Two teams looking to swing momentum back the right way meet in Worcester, Mass., Wednesday when Holy Cross and Lafayette tangle at 7 p.m. Both are trying to avoid falling to 0-4 in the League.

Patriot League Women's Basketball Quick Hits

• American ran its win streak over Patriot League opponents in the regular season to 18 straight with Saturday's 67-62 win over Holy Cross. In addition, the Eagles have trailed at the half in all three of this season's League wins.

• Holy Cross junior Alex Smith became the third in the League this season to reach 1,000 career points with 18 in Saturday's loss at American.

• Lafayette's Danielle Fiacco is still ranked third nationally averaging 3.89 blocks per game. Her 70 rejections this season place her just outside the League's single-season top 10.

• Colgate rookie Paige Kriftcher scored a career-high 13 points in the Raiders' 70-62 loss Saturday to Lehigh.

• If American and Army both win Wednesday over Navy and Colgate, respectively, they'd both be 4-0 entering their meeting Saturday in Washington, D.C.

• Army has won six of its last seven following a brief two-game skid in early December.

• Home and road teams have split the first 12 League games of the season.

Patriot League Notebook

18 AND COUNTING
American extended its winning streak against Patriot League teams to 18 with Saturday's 67-62 victory over Holy Cross at home. For the third straight conference game, the Eagles came back from a halftime deficit to take control in the second. Jen Dumiak led the Eagles with 13 points. Next up for American is a short road trip to Navy Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Eagles are chasing Holy Cross' record of 20 straight wins in regular-season League play that stretched the 2000-01 and `01-02 seasons.

MINATO SWEEPS WEEKLIES
It hadn't been done before last season, but now three student-athletes have etched their names in the Patriot League record book for having swept the Anaconda Player and Rookie of the Week awards in the same timeframe. Army guard Kelsey Minato became the latest to do so on Monday after averaging 19.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in a pair of Black Knight victories last week. Minato has been named Rookie of the Week five times, while the Player of the Week nod was her first. Bucknell's Amy Zehner and Lafayette's Emily Homan both accomplished the sweeping feat last season.

NON-LEAGUE PLAY DONE FOR NOW
The eight Patriot League teams put together a strong showing in non-League games before starting the conference schedule last weekend. The squads have combined for a 63-55 mark against out-of-conference foes, far surpassing last season's final 49-72 showing. Strong showings have been had this season against the Northeast Conference (14-8), Ivy League (11-6) and the MAAC (10-8). The last non-League game of the season is Feb. 5 when Colgate visits NJIT.

FOR OPENERS
Navy became the fourth defending League champion in the last six years to open League play with a victory in the 62-44 win over Lafayette Jan. 13. Heading into that game, the previous defending champions to follow up their title wins with victories in the next League game were Holy Cross (2007 champion, 2008 opener), Bucknell (`08, `09) and Navy (`11, `12). And it almost didn't happen last January for the Mids, who trailed 30-18 at Lafayette at the half before rallying for a 60-55 win. Lehigh, which won back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010, lost both its League openers the following season to American.

PART OF THE CLUB
Holy Cross junior Alex Smith tallied 18 points Saturday to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau for her career. She joins a long list of student-athletes in League history who have accomplished that feat, including Colgate senior Jhazmine Lynch and Holy Cross senior Amy Lepley, who did so earlier this season. Two 1,000-point scorers graduated last season in Lehigh's Emily Gratch (1,112) and American's Lisa Strack (1,059). Smith became the 76th player in League history to join the 1,000 point club.

CORKERY EDGES CLOSER
At 96-46 overall at American, head coach Matt Corkery ranks among the best in the League all-time in win percentage (.676). Corkery is also chasing the League record for fastest to 100 victories, a mark that is currently owned by Holy Cross' Bill Gibbons. Gibbons reached 100 victories in 149 contests, with his 100th triumph coming in the 1995-96 season opener against Syracuse. Corkery would match Gibbons' record with a 4-3 mark in American's next nine contests. Navy's Joe Sanchez collected 100 wins in 162 games from 1994-2000. American visits Navy Wednesday at 7 p.m.

NAVY CHOSEN TO MAKE IT THREE STRAIGHT
The head coaches and sports information directors named two-time defending Patriot League champion Navy as the favorite in 2012-13 in late October. The Mids, led by Preseason Player of the Year junior Jade Geif, are seeking to do something no League squad has done in over a decade - win three straight titles. The first and only program to do it is Holy Cross, which captured four straight championships from 1997-98 to 2000-01. Navy returns four starters from a year ago, all of whom are in their junior seasons. Navy topped the preseason poll with 89 points and eight first-place ballots.

PATRIOT LEAGUE ON CBS SPORTS NETWORK
The first of three Patriot League games on CBS Sports Network took place Jan. 13 when Navy defeated Lafayette 62-44 in Annapolis, Md. The second contest is scheduled for Feb. 10 when Lehigh opens the second leg of League play at home against Holy Cross at 2 p.m. The third game is the biggest of the season when CBS Sports Network televises the Patriot League Championship from the site of the higher seed Saturday, March 16 at 6 p.m. Bob Socci will handle the play-by-play and Amy Lawrence the analysis on the two remaining contests.

ON TWITTER, TOO
Fans and media members can follow Patriot League women's basketball on Twitter - @PL_WBB.

Patriot League Games

AMERICAN EAGLES (10-7, 3-0) AT NAVY MIDSHIPMEN (9-9, 2-1)
Alumni Hall (5,710); Annapolis, Md. • Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Series: American, 23-17
Streak: American, 2 Last Meeting: American, 55-52 (Annapolis, Md.; 2.15.12)
Last Navy Win: 47-40 (Annapolis, Md.; 3.12.11) Last Five Games: Navy, 3-2

• American's win streak against Patriot League opponents in the regular season stretched to 18 with the Eagles' win Saturday over Holy Cross.
• The Eagles swept the season series from Navy last season, winning 55-52 in Annapolis and 49-44 in Washington.
• The programs have met 40 times dating back to February 1978.
• Neither team has won more than four straight games in the series.
• Navy's last victory over American came in the 2011 Patriot League title game in Annapolis, a 47-40 triumph.
• The Mids lead the League in 3-point shooting (.342) with American second (.339).
• Navy's Alix Membreno has reached double figures in points in three straight, averaging 15.3 points per game during that span.
• American's Alexis Dobbs has a League-high 2.2 steals per game.

AMERICAN Four players reached double figures, led by sophomore Jen Dumiak's 13 points, as American won its 18th straight in Patriot League play with a 67-62 win over Holy Cross Saturday at Bender Arena ... Sarah Kiely and Geleisa George scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, off the bench, while Ti'Asia McGeorge started and chipped in 10 ... Alex Smith led Holy Cross with 18 points and surpassed the 1,000-point plateau in the first half ... She's the third player in the League this season to hit that mark ... Amy Lepley added 16 points and Brisje Malone had 10 ... The Crusaders opened the game on a 9-0 run and shot nearly 61 percent in the first 20 minutes en route to a 39-36 halftime lead ... The Eagles rallied all the way back to take the lead before the Crusaders regained the momentum and a six-point lead on a Christine Ganser triple ... The Eagles scored the next five before Malone's bucket put the Crusaders up three at the break ... George sank a pair from the foul line to give the Eagles a 44-43 lead a little more than four minutes into the second ... American's lead ballooned to six points twice before Holy Cross rallied to tie the game at 55 on Ganser's bucket at the 6:48 mark ... The Eagles rebuilt a lead on buckets by Kiely and Arron Zimmerman, but Smith hit one of her four treys on the game to bring Holy Cross even again at 59 with a little more than three minutes left ... Dumiak sank consecutive buckets for American to put it up by four, and Smith replied with another trey to bring the Crusaders within 63-62 with 1:44 left ... But American finished the game with the last four points to finish off the win ... American outrebounded Holy Cross 35-29, while the Crusaders finished the game shooting 48 percent to the Eagles' 44 percent ... The Eagles host Army Saturday at 2 p.m.

NAVY Jen Hazlett and Kelsey Minato tied the game high with 17 points apiece to lead Army to a 53-42 victory over Navy Sunday afternoon at Christl Arena ... The Black Knights continued their best start since 2006-07 in improving to 14-4 overall and 3-0 in the Patriot League ... They're tied for first with American and snapped a four-game skid at home against their rivals ... Jade Geif had 12 points and six rebounds to pace Navy, while Alix Membreno poured in 11 points with seven boards ... Navy was out to a hot start with back-to-back 3s from Audrey Bauer and Membreno, but the Black Knights replied with a 10-0 run to take a 16-12 lead with 7:45 remaining in the first ... The teams traded buckets throughout the rest of the half, and Army took a 25-20 lead into intermission when Anna Simmers sank a 3 at the buzzer ... Army scored the first six out of the break to build a double-digit lead at 31-20 at the 17:55 mark ... After Navy had mounted a small rally to cut the Army lead to nine, Hazlett and Minato teamed up for back-to-back 3s to put the Black Knights ahead 45-30 with 10:18 to go ... Navy twice more orchestrated runs that cut Army's lead under 10, the latter coming with 3:32 to play ... But the Mids had four subsequent possessions end in turnovers ... Army shot 46 percent from the field to Navy's 38 ... All 10 starters accounted for all the scoring in Sunday's contest ... Next up for Navy is Colgate Saturday at 4 p.m. in Hamilton, N.Y.

COLGATE RAIDERS (6-11, 0-3) AT ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS (14-4, 3-0)
Christl Arena (5,043); West Point, N.Y. • Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Series: Army, 32-19
Streak: Army, 4 Last Meeting: Army, 62-47 (West Point, N.Y.; 2.15.12)
Last Colgate Win: 61-47 (Hamilton, N.Y.; 2.6.10) Last Five Games: Army, 4-1

• Army swept the 2011-12 series 62-47 at West Point and 61-54 in Hamilton.
• The Black Knights have won 12 of the last 13 meetings overall and 11 straight at West Point.
• Army is riding a four-game win streak.
• Colgate freshman Paige Kriftcher had a coming out party with a career-high 13 points in Saturday's loss to Lehigh.
• The Raiders are 18th nationally in 3-point field goal defense (.255).
• Jhazmine Lynch leads Colgate averaging 10 points per game in League play.
• Army's Kelsey Minato is averaging a League-best 18.7 points per game in conference play.

COLGATE Hilary Weaver and Kerry Kinek tied each other with a game-high 19 points to lead Lehigh to a 70-62 win at Colgate Saturday at Cotterell Court ... Katie O'Reilly added 10 points for the Mountain Hawks, while Becky Guman caught a team-high six rebounds ... Four Raiders hit double figures for the second straight game, with Paige Kritcher scoring a team-best 13 points ... Catherine Lewis scored 12 points, Kelly Reid 11 and Jhazmine Lynch 10 ... Lehigh opened the game on a 10-2 run and built the advantage to 15-5 less than five minutes in ... The Mountain Hawks eventually took a 38-22 lead into the intermission on the strength of shooting nearly 60 percent (16 of 27) from the floor, including 5 of 9 from beyond the arc ... Mariah Jones started Colgate's 7-0 run to start the second half, but the Mountain Hawks quickly regained a double-digit advantage ... Lehigh scored the next four points, and later Sarah Williams' bucket put the Mountain Hawks in front 51-37 with 9:30 to go ... Lehigh extended the lead to a game-high 19 points at 61-42 on Weaver's layup with 6:39 left ... Weaver capped off an 8-0 Lehigh run ... The Mountain Hawks' lead remained in double figures until Colgate closed the game on a 6-0 spurt ... Lehigh outscored Colgate in the paint 36-20, and turned 20 Raider turnovers into 20 points ... Colgate entertains Navy Saturday at 4 p.m.

ARMY Jen Hazlett and Kelsey Minato tied the game high with 17 points apiece to lead Army to a 53-42 victory over Navy Sunday afternoon at Christl Arena ... The Black Knights continued their best start since 2006-07 in improving to 14-4 overall and 3-0 in the Patriot League ... They're tied for first with American and snapped a four-game skid at home against their rivals ... Jade Geif had 12 points and six rebounds to pace Navy, while Alix Membreno poured in 11 points with seven boards ... Navy was out to a hot start with back-to-back 3s from Audrey Bauer and Membreno, but the Black Knights replied with a 10-0 run to take a 16-12 lead with 7:45 remaining in the first ... The teams traded buckets throughout the rest of the half, and Army took a 25-20 lead into intermission when Anna Simmers sank a 3 at the buzzer ... Army scored the first six out of the break to build a double-digit lead at 31-20 at the 17:55 mark ... After Navy had mounted a small rally to cut the Army lead to nine, Hazlett and Minato teamed up for back-to-back 3s to put the Black Knights ahead 45-30 with 10:18 to go ... Navy twice more orchestrated runs that cut Army's lead under 10, the latter coming with 3:32 to play ... But the Mids had four subsequent possessions end in turnovers ... Army shot 46 percent from the field to Navy's 38 ... All 10 starters accounted for all the scoring in Sunday's contest ... Army visits American Saturday at 2 p.m.

BUCKNELL BISON (11-7, 2-1) AT LEHIGH MOUNTAIN HAWKS (10-8, 2-1)
Stabler Arena (5,600); Bethlehem, Pa. • Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Series: Lehigh, 40-31 TV: Service Electric 2 Sports
Streak: Lehigh, 1 Last Meeting: Lehigh, 63-47 (Bethlehem, Pa.; 3.1.12)
Last Bucknell Win: 62-56 (Bethlehem, Pa.; 2.15.12) Last Five Games: Lehigh, 4-1

• Bucknell and Lehigh split the season series a year ago, with Lehigh winning 53-38 in Lewisburg and Bucknell returning the favor 62-56 in Bethlehem.
• The Mountain Hawks posted a 63-47 victory over the Bison in the quarterfinals of last year's Patriot League Tournament.
• The Bison's win in Bethlehem last season snapped Lehigh's 10-game win streak in the series.
• Lehigh owns a 22-13 advantage in Bethlehem.
• The Mountain Hawks won the first meeting 68-64 on Feb. 22, 1977.
• Lehigh's Kerry Kinek is second with 16.7 points per game during League play.
• Bucknell senior Lindsay Horbatuck is second in League play averaging 10.3 rebounds. Sophomore teammate Audrey Dotson is third (9.7).

BUCKNELL Lindsay Horbatuck's two free throws with two seconds left were the difference in Bucknell's 50-49 victory at Lafayette Saturday afternoon ... Shelby Romine scored a game-high 14 points to pace the Bison while Audrey Dotson posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds ... Horbatuck finished with 11 points and seven rebounds ... Danielle Fiacco led Lafayette with 12 points, six blocks and three rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench, while Emily Homan just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds ... The Bison led 40-25 with just under 12 minutes to go but couldn't maintain it ... Ashley Springer capped off a 14-2 Lafayette run, and the Leopards trailed 42-38 with 5:37 on the clock ... The teams traded buckets before Fiacco's jumper in the lane cut Bucknell's lead to 46-44 with under two minutes left ... Dotson and Homan swapped baskets setting up Horbatuck's foul shots in the final seconds ... Peabody's prayer 3-pointer went in at the buzzer to set up the final score ... Both teams connected on nine foul shots in the game. Bucknell shot 33 percent to Lafayette' 28 ... The Bison welcome Holy Cross to Lewisburg, Pa., Saturday at 2 p.m.

LEHIGH Hilary Weaver and Kerry Kinek tied each other with a game-high 19 points to lead Lehigh to a 70-62 win at Colgate Saturday at Cotterell Court ... Katie O'Reilly added 10 points for the Mountain Hawks, while Becky Guman caught a team-high six rebounds ... Four Raiders hit double figures for the second straight game, with Paige Kritcher scoring a team-best 13 points ... Catherine Lewis scored 12 points, Kelly Reid 11 and Jhazmine Lynch 10 ... Lehigh opened the game on a 10-2 run and built the advantage to 15-5 less than five minutes in ... The Mountain Hawks eventually took a 38-22 lead into the intermission on the strength of shooting nearly 60 percent (16 of 27) from the floor, including 5 of 9 from beyond the arc ... Mariah Jones started Colgate's 7-0 run to start the second half, but the Mountain Hawks quickly regained a double-digit advantage ... Lehigh scored the next four points, and later Sarah Williams' bucket put the Mountain Hawks in front 51-37 with 9:30 to go ... Lehigh extended the lead to a game-high 19 points at 61-42 on Weaver's layup with 6:39 left ... Weaver capped off an 8-0 Lehigh run ... The Mountain Hawks' lead remained in double figures until Colgate closed the game on a 6-0 spurt ... Lehigh outscored Colgate in the paint 36-20, and turned 20 Raider turnovers into 20 points ... Lehigh visits Lafayette Saturday at 2 p.m.

LAFAYETTE LEOPARDS (7-11, 0-3) AT HOLY CROSS CRUSADERS (8-10, 0-3)
Hart Center (3,600); Worcester, Mass. • Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Series: Holy Cross, 47-8
Streak: Holy Cross, 5 Last Meeting: Holy Cross, 61-52 (Worcester, Mass.; 2.15.12)
Last Lafayette Win: 43-39 (Worcester, Mass.; 1.9.10) Last Five Games: Holy Cross, 5-0

• Holy Cross won both meetings last season, 61-52 in Worcester and 75-61 in Easton.
• Holy Cross has never been 0-4 in League play.
• Lafayette's Danielle Fiacco has recorded six blocks in four games this season, most recently Saturday against Bucknell.
• Holy Cross' Alex Smith leads the League averaging 14.6 points. Fiacco is third in rebounding averaging 8.7.
• All but one of the programs' 55 meetings have as members of the Patriot League. The two met during the 1986-87 season.
• Emily Homan (11.3) and Fiacco (10.6) lead the Leopards in scoring, ranking 11th and tied for 12th, respectively, in the League.
• Homan is a perfect 7-for-7 from the foul line in three League games.

LAFAYETTE Lindsay Horbatuck's two free throws with two seconds left were the difference in Bucknell's 50-49 victory at Lafayette Saturday afternoon ... Shelby Romine scored a game-high 14 points to pace the Bison while Audrey Dotson posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds ... Horbatuck finished with 11 points and seven rebounds ... Danielle Fiacco led Lafayette with 12 points, six blocks and three rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench, while Emily Homan just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds ... The Bison led 40-25 with just under 12 minutes to go but couldn't maintain it ... Ashley Springer capped off a 14-2 Lafayette run, and the Leopards trailed 42-38 with 5:37 on the clock ... The teams traded buckets before Fiacco's jumper in the lane cut Bucknell's lead to 46-44 with under two minutes left ... Dotson and Homan swapped baskets setting up Horbatuck's foul shots in the final seconds ... Peabody's prayer 3-pointer went in at the buzzer to set up the final score ... Both teams connected on nine foul shots in the game. Bucknell shot 33 percent to Lafayette' 28 ... Lafayette hosts rival Lehigh Saturday at 2 p.m.

HOLY CROSS Four players reached double figures, led by sophomore Jen Dumiak's 13 points, as American won its 18th straight in Patriot League play with a 67-62 win over Holy Cross Saturday at Bender Arena ... Sarah Kiely and Geleisa George scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, off the bench, while Ti'Asia McGeorge started and chipped in 10 ... Alex Smith led Holy Cross with 18 points and surpassed the 1,000-point plateau in the first half ... She's the third player in the League this season to hit that mark ... Amy Lepley added 16 points and Brisje Malone had 10 ... The Crusaders opened the game on a 9-0 run and shot nearly 61 percent in the first 20 minutes en route to a 39-36 halftime lead ... The Eagles rallied all the way back to take the lead before the Crusaders regained the momentum and a six-point lead on a Christine Ganser triple ... The Eagles scored the next five before Malone's bucket put the Crusaders up three at the break ... George sank a pair from the foul line to give the Eagles a 44-43 lead a little more than four minutes into the second ... American's lead ballooned to six points twice before Holy Cross rallied to tie the game at 55 on Ganser's bucket at the 6:48 mark ... The Eagles rebuilt a lead on buckets by Kiely and Arron Zimmerman, but Smith hit one of her four treys on the game to bring Holy Cross even again at 59 with a little more than three minutes left ... Dumiak sank consecutive buckets for American to put it up by four, and Smith replied with another trey to bring the Crusaders within 63-62 with 1:44 left ... But American finished the game with the last four points to finish off the win ... American outrebounded Holy Cross 35-29, while the Crusaders finished the game shooting 48 percent to the Eagles' 44 percent ... Holy Cross is at Bucknell Saturday at 2 p.m.