Patriot League Women's Basketball Weekend Preview - 1.24.14

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Kelsey Minato and Army play another tough road game when they visit American on Saturday.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG
Kelsey Minato and Army play another tough road game when they visit American on Saturday.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG

Jan. 24, 2014

Patriot League Women's Basketball Release - 1.24.14 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - After the five teams in the top half of the League standings swept the squads in the bottom half on Wednesday, four of the top squads will go at it this weekend with important battles for position.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_WBB
*Saturday's schedule features two matchups pitting teams in the top half of the League standings.
*Army visits American while Navy takes its undefeated League mark to Holy Cross, with both games at 2 p.m.
*Bucknell visits Boston University, Lehigh is at Lafayette and Loyola Maryland is at Colgate to complete the slate.
*All five games will tip off in the afternoon and be shown on Patriot League Network.
*There is a two-game separation between fifth and sixth place after the top squads swept the bottom half on Wednesday.
*Navy improved to 7-0 in the Patriot League for the first time with its 73-61 win at Lehigh.
*American used a late 9-0 run to win its fifth straight game by defeating Boston University 63-56.
*Bucknell and Army remained tied for the third with wins, while Holy Cross snapped a three-game losing skid to stay fifth.
*Lafayette's Emily Homan, Army's Kelsey Minato and Bucknell's Audrey Dotson all scored 28 points or more Wednesday.
*Lafayette's Danielle Fiacco had two blocks to tie the Patriot League career record of 344.
*Navy's Jade Geif set her school's career rebounds record and is up to seventh in League history with a total of 931.

Patriot League Notebook
Four of the Five Teams in Top Half Face Off Saturday
After the five teams in the top half of the League standings swept the squads in the bottom half on Wednesday, four of the top squads will go at it this weekend with important battles for position. Navy has a 7-0 mark in the Patriot League for the first time as it visits Holy Cross, which snapped a three-game losing skid on Wednesday to improve to 4-3. American is one game behind the Mids at 6-1, but has a tough test as it hosts 5-2 Army. Bucknell is also 5-2, and is the only team to play a squad from the bottom part of the standings as it visits Boston University, which is 2-5. Two teams tied with the Terriers square off as Lehigh visits Lafayette, while Loyola Maryland and Colgate will break their ninth-place tie in Hamilton. All five games will be played on Saturday afternoon and shown on Patriot League Network.

No Upsets on Wednesday Creates More Separation in Standings
There is a two-game difference between fifth-place Holy Cross and the three teams tied for sixth place after the top fiveteams in the League standings all beat the teams in the bottom five places on Wednesday. Navy improved to 7-0 with a 73-61 win at Lehigh, American stayed one game behind by winning 63-56 at Boston University, Army and Bucknell each moved to 5-2 by beating Colgate and Loyola Maryland, respectively, and Holy Cross snapped a three-game losing skid with a 75-68 win over Lafayette.

Record-Setting Night for Pair of Patriot League Seniors
A Patriot League record was tied and a school record went down as two of the top post players in the League hit their marks. Lafayette's Danielle Fiacco tied the Patriot League blocks record of 344 first set by Bucknell's Hope Foster (2004-08). Jade Geif pulled down nine rebounds to reach 931 for her career, surpassing the Navy school record of 923 previously set by Becky Dowling (1994-98).

Individual Standouts
A handful of individuals put up huge performances in Wednesday's contests. As usual, it was Army's Kelsey Minato leading the way as the Patriot League's top scorer had 30 points in a win over Colgate. Audrey Dotson tied a career-high with 28 points in a win at Loyola Maryland, while Alexis Dobbs had 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists in American's victory over Boston University. Holy Cross got big individual efforts from Alex Smith, Lisa Mifsud and Raquel Scott in its win over Lafayette, but it was a Leopard who had the biggest performance of the day as Emily Homan had 32 points on 15-of-21 shooting and pulled down 13 rebounds in the loss.

Pull Down the Board
Rebounding proved critical in Wednesday's contests as four of the winners had the edge on the boards, with three by a decisive margin. American (45-34 over Bucknell), Army (46-32 over Colgate) and Bucknell (33-23 over Loyola) all had double-digit rebounding advantages, while Navy had a 45-40 edge on Lehigh. The Lafayette-Holy Cross game defied the trend, as the Leopards held the biggest rebounding edge of the day at 47-32 but could not pull out the win.

Bucknell Beats the Buzzer, Again and Again
Bucknell continued an amazing run with its fourth buzzer-beater in three games Saturday. Shelby Romine hit a difficult baseline jumper, getting it off just before time expired, to beat Army 56-55. That came one game after the Bison had buzzer-beaters in regulation and the first overtime to continue the game in an eventual double overtime loss to Navy on Jan. 15. Clarie DeBoer started the trend with a buzzer-beating three to tie Holy Cross in an 83-79 overtime win on Jan. 11.

Membreno Scores 1,000th Point in a Memorable Win
Navy senior Alix Membreno became the 17th player in school history and 80th all-time in the Patriot League to reach the 1,000-point mark, and did it in an outstanding performance last week. Membreno scored 34 points in the Mids' 94-92 double overtime win at Bucknell on Jan. 15, notching the highest total for a Patriot League player this season and the top mark ever for a Navy player in a Patriot League contest. She added 13 rebounds and six assists in a 71-40 win over Colgate on Saturday and was named Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week for the first time on Monday.

No Sophomore Slumps Here
Several sophomores are having strong seasons in the Patriot League this season, and they're also on top of a few statistical categories. Army's Kelsey Minato has 20.5 points per game and is shooting 90.4% at the free throw line to lead the Patriot League in both categories. Holy Cross forward Raquel Scott is first in the Patriot League with 9.6 rebounds per game, and along with Lehigh's Kerry Kinek gives sophomores three of the top four spots on the League scoring chart. The League's top shooter is also a second-year player, as American's Michelle Holmes is hitting on 63.9% of her tries from the floor.

Holy Cross Ranked in Mid-Major Top 25, Navy Just Outside
Holy Cross has slipped in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major top 25 with three straight losses, but the Crusaders still held on to the No. 23 ranking in Tuesday's poll. Navy is going the other direction, as seven straight wins have placed the Mids in the first spot outside the rankings. American is also among those in the receiving votes category.

Army's Magarity Sets School Wins Mark
Army's Dave Magarity set a West Point record last week with his 133rd win in his eighth season on the job. Magarity surpassed Lynn Chiavaro, who collected 132 wins from 1987-88 to 1997-98. Magarity, who also holds the record for wins with the Marist men's team (253), joins only a handful of coaches who lead two programs in coaching wins.

Patriot League Squads Finish Strong Non-League Campaign
Patriot League schools finished with a 63-58 non-League mark last season, and have done even better this year with a record of 61-50 in non-League action during the regular season. League teams went 10-3 versus the MAAC, 9-4 against the America East, 7-4 against the NEC, 6-6 versus the Atlantic 10 and 9-9 against the Ivy League.

Watch FREE on Patriot League Network
2013-14 is the first of a multi-year agreement between the Patriot League and Campus Insiders who have teamed up to create Patriot League Network (PLN), a streaming platform that will enable fans to watch League regular season and championship events for free. All League games outside of the Army-Navy regular-season contests on CBS Sports Network will air on PLN, all but the championship of the League Tournament will be streamed with all the action on www.patriotleague.tv.

Patriot League Games
Bucknell Bison (10-7, 5-2) at Boston University Terriers (7-13, 2-5)
Case Gym; Boston, Mass. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Bucknell tries to stay hot when it pays a visit to Boston University on Saturday afternoon.
*The Bison have won two straight and five of six for their best League mark through seven games since a 6-1 start in 2007.
*Bucknell has already matched its League win total from last season when it finished 5-9.
*The teams are meeting for the first time.

Navy Midshipmen (15-3, 7-0) at Holy Cross Crusaders (12-6, 4-3)
Hart Center; Worcester, Mass. - Saturday, 2 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Navy looks to continue its best-ever start to Patriot League play when it visits Holy Cross on Saturday.
*The Mids are 7-0 for the first time after winning at Lehigh on Saturday.
*It's a rematch of the last two Patriot League title games, both won by the Mids at home as part of their run of three straight.
*The Mids posted a 72-53 win in last year's title game after a 57-48 triumph in the championship in 2012.
*Navy also swept last year's regular-season series with a 60-47 road win on Jan. 16 and 59-35 at home on Feb. 13.
*Holy Cross leads the all-time series 38-14, but Navy has won the last five meetings.

Army Black Knights (13-5, 5-2) at American Eagles (13-5, 6-1)
Bender Arena; Washington, D.C. - Saturday, 2 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Army and American vie for position at the top of the Patriot League standings when they meet at Bender Arena Saturday.
*The Eagles hold sole possession of second place in the League at 6-1, while the Black Knights are one game back at 5-2.
*The teams split last year's series with home wins, as American won 45-42 on Jan. 26 and Army by a 61-46 score on Feb. 23.
*Army's win in the second matchup stopped a four-game series win streak for the Eagles.
*American is going for its sixth win in a row and at least a 7-1 League mark for the second time in three years.
*Army is playing a team in the top half of the League standings on the road for the fourth time in the last five games.

Lehigh Mountain Hawks (9-9, 2-5) at Lafayette Leopards (8-10, 2-5)
Kirby Sports Center; Easton, Pa. - Saturday, 2 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network | Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60)
*Rivals meet up and look to move up the standings when Lehigh visits Lafayette on Saturday.
*The teams are part of a three-way tie for sixth at 2-5 as they look to stay away from the bottom four spots in the standings.
*Lehigh and Lafayette split last year's matchups, with each team posting an easy win at home.
*The Leopards won 68-52 in Easton on Jan. 26 and the Mountain Hawks returned the favor 60-40 in Bethlehem on Feb. 23.
*Lehigh has won five of the past six meetings with the Leopards.

Loyola Maryland Greyhounds (4-14, 1-6) at Colgate Raiders (5-13, 1-6)
Cotterell Court; Hamilton, N.Y. - Saturday, 4 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Loyola Maryland and Colgate each try to move out of the cellar when they meet in Hamilton on Saturday.
*The teams are tied for ninth place in the Patriot League at 1-6 in League action.
*The Greyhounds and Raiders are meeting for the first time.

Team Notebooks
AMERICAN Alexis Dobbs scored 22 points as the American Eagles went on a late 9-0 run to turn a deficit into a lead in their 63-56 win over Boston U Wednesday night at Case Gym...The Eagles improved to 6-1 in the Patriot League for the second time in the last three years with their fifth win in a row...The Terriers took a 52-51 lead with 4:20 left but the Eagles answered with the 9-0 run...Shaquilla Curtis put the Eagles back in front, with a Jen Dumiak three-pointer giving American a four-point lead with 3:28 left and Dobbs icing the win with four free throws in the final minute...Dobbs matched a career-high with eight rebounds and dished out five assists, while her four three-pointers put her in 10th place in Patriot League history with 197 for her career...Dumiak and Michelle Holmes each added 10 points for the Eagles, while Sarah Kiely pulled down 14 rebounds...The Eagles held a 45-34 edge on the boards in the game...American is in sole possession of second place, but puts that spot at stake when it hosts Army on Saturday afternoon.

ARMY After losing as the top seed of the Patriot League Tournament at home against eighth-seed Colgate in last year's quarterfinals, Army exacted some revenge by rolling to a 62-45 win over the Raiders on Wednesday...The Black Knights trailed by eight points midway through the first half, but fought back to take a four-point lead at the break...Army broke the game open with a 12-0 run in the second half for a 49-34 lead, and held a double-digit edge the rest of the way...Kelsey Minato led the Black Knights with 30 points while making 7-of-14 field goals and 15-of-18 free throws, while Jen Hazlett had a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards...Outside of Minato, the Black Knights were just 7-of-32 from the field and the team was only 1-of-8 from three-point range, but made up for it with a 33-of-43 clip at the foul line and a 46-32 rebounding advantage...Army next visits American as the Black Knights try to tie for second place in the Patriot League.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY Boston University led American with less than four minutes to play, but the Eagles used a late 9-0 run to pull away for a 63-56 win at Case Gym on Wednesday...BU scored the first 10 points of the second half to turn a six-point deficit into a four-point lead, and the game was tight as the Terriers were still up 52-51 with less than four minutes to go...American came up with the 9-0 run from there that lasted until the final 20 seconds of the contest...Mollie McKendrick led the Terriers with 18 points and also pulled down 11 boards, while Rashidat Agboola had 12 points and Clodagh Scannell finished with a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds...The Terriers were trying to win back-to-back League games for the first time, but now host another top-half team when Bucknell visits on Saturday.

BUCKNELL The Bison played another close game, but it didn't take a buzzer-beater this time as they won 67-60 at Loyola Maryland on Saturday...In a game that saw 13 ties, Bucknell finally broke ahead for good when Audrey Dotson made it 56-53 on a three-point play with two minutes to go...Shelby Romine had a layupfor a 59-55 lead in the final minute, and combined with Dotson to go 8-of-8 at the foul line down the stretch to seal the win...Dotson led the Bison with 28 points and collected 10 rebounds, while Romine finished with 17...Dotson had 24 points in the second half alone on her way to the career-high tying total...The Bison were 23-of-29 at the foul line and held a 33-23 rebounding advantage in the game...Winners of two straight and five of the last six, the Bison try to keep their run going at Boston University on Saturday.

COLGATE The Raiders played Army tough into the second half, but could not duplicate their upset in last year's Patriot League Tournament and fell 62-45 at West Point on Wednesday...Colgate led 17-9 midway through the first half, but saw Army close the period strong for a 32-28 lead at the break...It was a three-point margin early in the second half when Army went on a 12-0 run to pull away for good...Carole Harris led Colgate with 21 points, while Josie Stockill added 13 off the bench...Those two combined to shoot 13-of-23 from the field, but the rest of the Raiders were 4-of-29 as Colgate finished 17-of-52 for the game...Colgate returns home on Saturday to welcome Loyola Maryland.

HOLY CROSS Three players had big games as the Crusaders put an end to a three-game losing skid with a 75-68 win at home against Lafayette on Wednesday... Alex Smith led Holy Cross with 22 points, while Lisa Mifsud had 19 and Raquel Scott had 18 with 12 rebounds...After trailing by nine points midway through the first half, Holy Cross went ahead with a 25-6 stretch and carried a 40-34 lead into the break...Lafayette was within four when the Crusaders went on a 16-4 run for a 68-52 lead with six minutes to play, and Holy Cross did not let Lafayette get closer than nine points until the final seconds...Smith, Mifsud and Scott also combined for 16 of the team's 22 assists in the game...Holy Cross shot 28-of-62 overall and 11-of-22 from three-point range, and won despite being outrebounded 47-32...The Crusaders stay home on Saturday when first-place Navy comes to the Hart Center.

LAFAYETTE Holy Cross used big runs in both the first and second half to go on to a 75-68 win over Lafayette on Wednesday in Worcester...The Leopards led 22-13 midway through the first half until the Crusaders posted a 25-6 surge and took a six-point lead into the half...It was a four-point game before Holy Cross went on a 16-4 run for a 68-52 lead with six minutes left, and Lafayette would get no closer than nine until the final seconds...Emily Homan had a huge game for the Leopards with 32 points on 15-of-21 shooting while also pulling down 13 rebounds...Madeline Fahan also finished in double figures with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting, but the rest of the team was just 11-of-38 from the field...The Leopards held a 47-32 rebounding edge, but were hurt by 2-of-10 three-point shooting and 4-of-14 at the free throw line...Danielle Fiacco had eight points and nine rebounds, and her two blocks tied her for the Patriot League career record at 344...The Leopards return home to face rival Lehigh on Saturday afternoon.

LEHIGH Lehigh led in the early going, but Navy pulled away and went on to a 73-61 win in Bethlehem on Wednesday night...The Mids went up six at halftime and 15 in the second half, but Lehigh hung in with an 8-0 run to get within 56-49 with 10 minutes left...Navy hit back with an 11-2 stretch and led by double digits the rest of the way in the 12-point win...Katie O'Reilly led the Mountain Hawks with 19 points, while Sarah Williams added 11...Lehigh was 25-of-70 from the field and just 1-of-18 from three-point range in the game...The Mountain Hawks were trying to win back-to-back games, but instead try to get back on track when they visit rival Lafayette on Saturday.

LOYOLA MARYLAND The Greyhounds stayed close with Bucknell throughout the game, but the Bison finished with a 14-7 stretch for a 67-60 win on Wednesday...The score was tied for a 13th time at 53-53 with two minutes to go, but the Bison went ahead from there and iced the win with 8-of-8 free throw shooting in the final minute...Lisa Mirarchi (16), Tiffany Padgett (14) and Nai Brown (10) all finished in double figures for Loyola...Loyola shot 46% for the game at 24-of-52, but was outrebounded 33-23 in the contest...The Greyhounds pay a visit to Colgate on Saturday.

NAVY All five starters scored in double figures as the Mids went on to a 73-61 win at Lehigh on Wednesday...Alix Membreno finished with 18 points, Kara Pollinger had 16, Chloe Stapleton had 11 and Jade Geif and Audrey Bauer each scored 10 for Navy...The starters made 26-of-48 field goals as Navy was just under 50% at 29-of-61 for the game while also going 11-of-23 from three-point range...Geif also pulled down nine rebounds to become the school record-holder with 931 boards in her career...Bauer, Pollinger and Membreno combined for 17 of the team's 22 assists..Navy led by six points at halftime and was up seven midway through the second half before going on an 11-2 run to pull away for good...The Mids limited Lehigh to 25-of-70 shooting and 1-of-18 from three-point range...Navy starts 7-0 in the Patriot League for the first time, and will try to keep it going on the road when it visits Holy Cross on Saturday.