Patriot League Women's Basketball Weekend Preview - 1.27.12

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Erin Edwards leads Navy into Lewisburg, Pa., Saturday night for a 7 p.m. tip at Bucknell.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
Erin Edwards leads Navy into Lewisburg, Pa., Saturday night for a 7 p.m. tip at Bucknell.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

Jan. 27, 2012

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Hard as it might be to believe, but the Patriot League portion of the 2011-12 schedule reaches the midway point this weekend with three games set for Saturday and one Sunday.

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American will look to become the first League team to hit the turn at 7-0 since the Eagles did it two seasons ago in 2009-10. That year American finished in a tie for first at 13-1 with Lehigh, with the teams splitting against one another during the regular slate. American won at home against the Mountain Hawks during the first leg of play, while Lehigh won the rematch a month later in Bethlehem, Pa.

Will 2011-12 play out the same? There’s still just over half the schedule left, but the similarities in the first two positions in the standings are striking. Second-place Lehigh’s only loss during League play to this point has been a six point loss at American.

Last season Navy went into the final weekend of the first leg of League competition with an undefeated 6-0 mark. The Mids dropped a 59-55 decision at home to Colgate to enter the turn at 6-1, and eventually captured a piece of a three-way tie for the regular-season crown with a 10-4 record (shared with American and Lehigh).

The Eagles will try to make it a 7-0 start in League play when they host Lafayette Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. That tilt will begin a slate of three games Saturday, with Holy Cross heading to Colgate at 4 p.m. and Bucknell hosting Navy at 7 p.m.

One contest will wait until Sunday to play out, with Army hosting Lehigh at West Point at 1 p.m.

The weekend’s action was set up by Wednesday’s results where three of the four games were determined by eight or fewer points. Lehigh posted the biggest comeback of the night, erasing a 16 point halftime deficit to win 50-46 at Navy. Holy Cross nearly squandered an 11 point lead in the second before holding off Army by three, while Lafayette held off a late Colgate surge to win by eight at home.

Patriot League Notebook

NEARING THE TURN
This weekend’s slate of games marks the halfway point of the Patriot League schedule for the 2011-12 season. American will look to be the first team to hit the midpoint with a perfect 7-0 League record since the Eagles did it two seasons ago. Despite potentially happening twice in the last three years, recent history shows it’s not that common. Before American went 7-0 to start League play in 2009-10, the last team to do it before was Holy Cross in 2004-05.

LEHIGH SHOWS POISE IN BIG ROAD COMEBACK
It just shows you that nothing can be taken for granted in Patriot League play. Lehigh erased a 33-17 deficit at halftime on the road and escaped Annapolis, Md., with a 50-46 win over defending champion Navy Wednesday night. Emily Gratch and Kelly Peterson combined for 22 points in the second half, while the Mountain Hawks, who only hit four field goals in the first half, returned the favor and held the Mids to just four in the final 20 minutes.

INCHING UP THE BOARD
Lafayette sophomore center Danielle Fiacco picked up three more blocked shots in the Leopards’ 66-58 win over Colgate Wednesday night, giving her 85 on the season and moving her into seventh place on the League’s single-season chart. She’s two behind the 87 that Army’s Erin Anthony captured last season, and 10 behind the League’s single-season record of 95 held by Bucknell’s Hope Foster and Fordham’s Kelly Roche. Fiacco could move up the League’s all-time blocked shots list as well, as she’s 14 rejections out of ninth.

SIX POINTS AWAY
Army, which features just one returning starter from last season’s club, has gone through some growing pains during the 2011-12 season. The Black Knights enter Sunday’s contest with Lehigh with a 9-12 mark overall and a 3-3 record in the League. Those three losses have all been extremely close, including Wednesday’s 62-59 defeat at Holy Cross. Army’s other League losses have been 58-56 at Navy and 40-39 at home to American. In all, the Black Knights’ three League defeats have come by a combined six points.

TAKING CARE OF THE ROCK
Holy Cross, which is in the midst of a three-game win streak, has been taking care of the ball all season. The Crusaders lead the Patriot League and sit 14th in the nation with a 1.07 assist-to-turnover ratio. One of the biggest reasons for this has been sophomore Alex Smith, who also leads the League and ranks 20st in the country averaging 5.6 assists per game. Smith is aiming to be the Crusader to lead the League in assists since Laura Aloisi in 2007-08.

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.

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 Jan. 11, 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.

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 298 career victories after the Mids posted a 61-52 victory over visiting Colgate Saturday night. Navy visits Bucknell Saturday evening.

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.

ALL-LEAGUE TURNOVER
Ten of the 11 players named First- or Second-Team All-Patriot League a year ago graduated in the spring. The one who remains is American senior Lisa Strack, who was named to the Preseason All-League Team last month and is expected to contribute mightily to the Eagles this season. One of three seniors named to the Preseason All-League squad, Strack is the League’s second-highest returning scorer after averaging 11.6 points per game last season. She was also her team’s best distributor, averaging 3.4 assists per game, placing her fourth in the League.

Patriot League Games

LAFAYETTE LEOPARDS (8-13, 2-4) AT AMERICAN EAGLES (14-6, 6-0)
Bender Arena (3,044); Washington, D.C. • Saturday, 2 p.m.
Series: American, 24-4
Streak: American, Five Wins Last Meeting: American, 82-47 (2.26.11)
Last Lafayette Win: 58-56 (3.7.2009) Last Five Games: American, 5-0

American will try to duplicate its 7-0 start to Patriot League play from two years ago when it hosts Lafayette in the first of three League games Saturday ... Tip off is set for 2 p.m. from Bender Arena ... The Eagles posted an 82-47 victory in the final game of the regular season last year to wrap up a piece of the League’s regular-season crown ... American has won five straight in the series and 24 of 28 overall against the Leopards ... Lafayette’s last victory against American came in the quarters of the 2009 Patriot League Tournament, when the Leopards became the first seventh seed in League history to make the League title game.

LAFAYETTE Emily Homan led all players with 20 points and Melissa Downey scored 12 off the bench to lift Lafayette to a 66-58 victory over Colgate Wednesday night at the Kirby Sports Center ... Downey shot 3 of 4 from the field and went a perfect 6 of 6 at the free throw line, with four of her foul shots coming in the final 12 seconds of the game game to hold off a Colgate rally ... The Leopards overcame a double-double performance of 18 points and 10 rebounds from Colgate senior Tricia Oakes. Jhazmine Lynch contributed nine points and dished six assists for the Raiders ... Lafayette built an 11-point lead on four occasions in the first half, with the first two instances coming just past the midway point on buckets by Homan ... Alicia Manning’s 3-pointer with 6:21 left put the Leopards ahead 26-15, and a quick 4-0 spurt capped off by two foul shots from Madeline Fahan put Lafayette in front 30-19 with 2:39 left before the half ... Maddie Peabody’s jumper in the final second sent the Leopards into the locker room ahead 34-25 ... Colgate came out on fire to begin the second half, opening with an 11-0 run to take a 36-34 lead just over four minutes in ... Free throws from Homan and Sarah McGorry put Lafayette ahead 38-36, but Oakes’ jumper created a 38-38 tie with 13:49 showing on the clock ... Brya Freeland’s 3-pointer was part of a quick 5-0 Lafayette run to give it a 43-38 lead, and Downey’s jumper just beyond the halfway point of the second put the Leopards ahead 52-43 ... Homan’s layup with just inside two minutes remaining put Lafayette ahead 58-47 ... The first of Downey’s six free throws in the contest came with 1:11 left, putting the Leopards in front 62-52 ... A somewhat frantic final minute ensued. Oakes’ layup brought Colgate within eight, and then the Raiders fouled Danielle Fiacco to send her to the line ... She missed both her attempts, and back the other way Candice Green sank a 3-pointer and was fouled by Homan on the shot ... She completed the four-point play to make it a 62-58 Lafayette lead with 18 ticks left ... Colgate fouled Freeland to send her to the line, and she missed both to give the Raiders a chance with 14 seconds remaining ... But Missy Repoli’s long jumper from the left side was off the mark, and Lynch’s deep 3-pointer also didn’t go ... Downey collected the rebound off Lynch’s miss, was fouled and sank her two free throws before hitting two more in the waning seconds to cap off the Lafayette win ... Fiacco finished the game with six points, eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals for the Leopards ... McGorry pitched in with 11 rebounds, helping the Leopards to a 53-37 edge on the boards ... Lafayette begins the second leg of League play at Navy Feb. 4.

AMERICAN Freshman Jen Dumiak led a balanced effort with a game-high 16 points to lead three Eagles in double figures as American remained perfect in Patriot League play with a convincing 71-45 victory over Bucknell Wednesday night at Bender Arena ... Co-captains Lisa Strack and Alexis Dobbs scored 11 points apiece for the Eagles, who have won six in a row and handed the Bison their 11th straight defeat ... Three Bucknell players hit double figures, led by Lindsay Horbatuck posting a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds ... American’s defense forced 33 Bucknell turnovers, with the Eagles converting those into 38 points ... Bucknell managed just 37 field goals in the game, hitting 15 of them, to shoot 40.5 percent ... Dumiak’s layup finished off a game-opening 11-4 American run in the first 5:40 of the contest ... Tori Halvorsen gave American its first double-digit lead of the game at 18-8 with a layup at the 11:37 mark ... Bucknell scored the next six points, with Horbatuck’s free throws cutting it to an 18-14 game with 8:31 left before the half ... American responded with a 15-2 run, with Strack’s jumper starting it and Geleisa George’s bucket finishing it off ... Bucknell scored the last five points of the half, but American still owned a 33-21 lead entering the locker room ... The Eagles used another big run to put the game away early in the second ... American opened with 10 straight points, with Strack accounting for four of them ... The Eagles’ lead ballooned to 28 points on a pair of Dumiak free throws with 12:17 left, while Sarah Kiely’s bucket with 5:33 remaining put American ahead 61-32 ... The Eagles finished the game with a 32-28 edge on the glass, including a 17-9 advantage in offensive boards. American’s bench outscored Bucknell’s 35-8 ... When the schedule turns over the Eagles will hit the floor Saturday, Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. against Colgate ... That will finish off a stretch of three straight at home.

HOLY CROSS CRUSADERS (13-8, 4-2) AT COLGATE RAIDERS (4-17, 1-5)
Cotterell Court (3,100); Hamilton, N.Y. • Saturday, 4 p.m.
Series: Holy Cross, 43-3
Streak: Holy Cross, 10 Wins Last Meeting: Holy Cross, 74-59 (2.23.11)
Last Colgate Win: 79-71 (2.21.06) Last Five Games: Holy Cross, 5-0

Holy Cross tries to extend its overall win streak to five and capture its fourth straight in League play when it visits Colgate Saturday at 4 p.m. to wrap up the first leg of League play ... Colgate will look to bounce back from Wednesday’s 66-58 loss at Lafayette ... The Crusaders have won 10 in a row against Colgate dating back to the 2005-06 season and 43 of 46 matchups overall ... Colgate is looking for its second League victory of the season and move up in the standings at the turn ... This could be a preview of a quarterfinal matchup in the Patriot League Tournament, as Holy Cross is currently in third place and Colgate sits in seventh.

HOLY CROSS Despite going the final 7:48 of the game without a field goal, Holy Cross held off a late Army rally with four free throws in the last 2:14 to hang on for a 62-59 victory over the Black Knights Wednesday night at the Hart Center ... Holy Cross sophomore Alex Smith led all scorers with a career-high 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field and a 5-of-10 effort from beyond the arc ... She also tallied six assists and three steals ... Freshman Emily Parker pitched in 15 points with four rebounds and a pair of blocks for the Crusaders, who have won four in a row ... Down 55-42 with 7:48 to go, Army’s defense tightened up and held the Crusaders without a field goal the rest of the way ... Yardley and Simmers teamed up for a 5-0 Army run, but three foul shots from Smith gave the Crusaders an 11-point advantage again at 58-47 at the 5:24 mark ... Yardley kicked off an 8-0 run for the Black Knights with a jumper, while a Hazlett 3 cut it to a 58-52 game with 4:07 remaining ... Yardley went 1 of 2 from the line and Olivia Schretzman sank a layup to cut the Crusader lead to three at 58-55 ... Amy Lepley went to the line for Holy Cross and dropped in two free throws to give the Crusaders a 60-55 advantage with 1:24 left, but Hazlett’s jumper with 1:00 remaining once again made it a three-point game ... Smith missed a 3-pointer for Holy Cross, and Hazlett’s game-tying 3 attempt was also off the mark ... Christine Ganser hit two free throws with 10 seconds left put Holy Cross up for good at 62-57 ... Holy Cross started the game quickly, with Smith’s 3-pointer giving it a 14-6 lead at the 12:39 mark of the first half. Army replied with a 9-0 run capped off by Schretzman’s bucket to take a 15-14 lead with 9:42 showing on the clock ... The Crusaders responded with a 19-3 run finished off by a pair of free throws by Kelly Hamner to go ahead 35-21 with just under two minutes left before the break ... Army scored the next six points to send the game into halftime at 35-27 ... Holy Cross finished the game shooting 23 of 49 (46.9 percent) from the floor, 6 of 15 on 3-point attempts and 10 of 11 from the foul line ... The Crusaders logged 18 assists in the game, and had a 13-4 advantage in fast break points ... Army shot 23 of 62 (37.1 percent), including 8 of 24 on 3-pointers and owned a 36-26 edge on the glass ... The Crusaders return home to host Lehigh Feb. 4.

COLGATE Emily Homan led all players with 20 points and Melissa Downey scored 12 off the bench to lift Lafayette to a 66-58 victory over Colgate Wednesday night at the Kirby Sports Center ... Downey shot 3 of 4 from the field and went a perfect 6 of 6 at the free throw line, with four of her foul shots coming in the final 12 seconds of the game game to hold off a Colgate rally ... The Leopards overcame a double-double performance of 18 points and 10 rebounds from Colgate senior Tricia Oakes ... Jhazmine Lynch contributed nine points and dished six assists for the Raiders ... Lafayette built an 11-point lead on four occasions in the first half, with the first two instances coming just past the midway point on buckets by Homan ... Alicia Manning’s 3-pointer with 6:21 left put the Leopards ahead 26-15, and a quick 4-0 spurt capped off by two foul shots from Madeline Fahan put Lafayette in front 30-19 with 2:39 left before the half ... Maddie Peabody’s jumper in the final second sent the Leopards into the locker room ahead 34-25 ... Colgate came out on fire to begin the second half, opening with an 11-0 run to take a 36-34 lead just over four minutes in ... Free throws from Homan and Sarah McGorry put Lafayette ahead 38-36, but Oakes’ jumper created a 38-38 tie with 13:49 showing on the clock ... Brya Freeland’s 3-pointer was part of a quick 5-0 Lafayette run to give it a 43-38 lead, and Downey’s jumper just beyond the halfway point of the second put the Leopards ahead 52-43 ... Homan’s layup with just inside two minutes remaining put Lafayette ahead 58-47 ... The first of Downey’s six free throws in the contest came with 1:11 left, putting the Leopards in front 62-52 ... A somewhat frantic final minute ensued. Oakes’ layup brought Colgate within eight, and then the Raiders fouled Danielle Fiacco to send her to the line ... She missed both her attempts, and back the other way Candice Green sank a 3-pointer and was fouled by Homan on the shot. She completed the four-point play to make it a 62-58 Lafayette lead with 18 ticks left ... Colgate fouled Freeland to send her to the line, and she missed both to give the Raiders a chance with 14 seconds remaining ... But Missy Repoli’s long jumper from the left side was off the mark, and Lynch’s deep 3-pointer also didn’t go ... Downey collected the rebound off Lynch’s miss, was fouled and sank her two free throws before hitting two more in the waning seconds to cap off the Lafayette win ... The Raiders head to American Feb. 4 to open the second leg of League play at 2 p.m.

NAVY MIDSHIPMEN (10-10, 3-3) AT BUCKNELL BISON (2-19, 0-6)
Sojka Pavilion (4,000); Lewisburg, Pa. • Saturday, 7 p.m.
Series: Bucknell, 27-21
Streak: Navy, Five Wins Last Meeting: Navy, 55-41 (3.9.11)
Last Bucknell Win: 66-54 (2.7.09) Last Five Games: Navy, 5-0

A pair of teams coming off League losses Wednesday will match up when defending League champion Navy goes to Bucknell for a 7 p.m. tip Saturday night ... Navy owned a double-digit lead at halftime of Wednesday’s game against Lehigh in Annapolis, but was held to just four field goals in the final 20 minutes in a 50-46 loss ... The Mids took a 55-41 victory from the Bison in the semifinals of last year’s Patriot League Tournament en route to their tournament title three days later ... Bucknell is aiming to snap an 11-game slide and has fallen five times in a row to Navy but still owns a 27-21 lead in the series.

NAVY Lehigh erased a 16-point halftime deficit and shot 52 percent from the floor in the second half to rally for a 50-46 victory at Navy Wednesday night inside Alumni Hall ... The game turned thanks to a 14-0 second-half run for the Mountain Hawks, who were paced by Emily Gratch and Kelly Peterson, who combined for 22 points after the break ... Lehigh’s defense also stepped up in the second stanza, holding the Mids to just 13 points in the final 20 minutes ... Peterson and Gratch each finished with 12 points for the Mountain Hawks, while Alexa Williams had five points and eight rebounds, including the 700th of her career ... Audrey Bauer and Alix Membreno paced Navy with nine points apiece, while Bauer had a game-high 11 rebounds and Membreno collected eight ... Jade Geif’s three-point play capped off an 8-2 run to start the game for Navy, while Bauer’s 3-pointer put the Mids ahead 17-7 with 10:54 left in the first ... It remained all Navy early on, as Membreno’s layup extended the lead to 16 at 23-7 with just inside nine minutes to go ... The Mountain Hawks chipped away at the deficit, with Hilary Weaver’s 3-pointer cutting it to 23-14 with 6:03 left until halftime ... But the Mids kept up the pressure, and Erin Meador’s bucket lifted Navy to a 33-17 lead at the break ... Navy shot 12 of 26 in the first 20 minutes, while Lehigh managed just four field goals on 28 tries ... The second half was a different story – in fact, almost the exact opposite of the first ... Navy led 36-22 after Lehigh’s Aly Byorick and the Mids’ Chloe Stapleton traded 3-pointers ... The Mountain Hawks orchestrated their 14-0 at this point, with Williams draining a pair of foul shots and Gratch scoring the next six points ... Gratch scored two more buckets during the run, including a layup with 10:08 left that tied the game at 36 ... The Mids used a quick 4-0 spurt to regain the lead, but Lehigh quickly tied it and took a 43-40 lead after a 3-pointer from Sarah Pearce with 4:33 left ... Peterson hit two straight 3-pointers for Lehigh to give it a 49-40 lead with 1:33 left ... But the Mids were not finished. Bauer and Kara Pollinger replied with back-to-back treys on Navy’s next two possessions, and it was a 49-46 game with just under a minute left ... Navy’s defense forced a Lehigh turnover, but Erin Edwards’ 3-point attempt on the ensuing possession wouldn’t fall. The Mids corralled the rebound, but Byorick came up with a crucial steal ... The Mids had to foul four times before sending Lehigh to the foul line for the 1-and-1 ... Katie O’Reilly went 1 of 2 at the line with nine seconds remaining, and Bauer’s 3-point attempt the other way was no good ... Becky Guman collected the rebound as time expired, giving the Mountain Hawks the come-from-behind win ... In the second half Lehigh shot 13 of 25 while Navy was just 4 of 21 ... The Mids finished shooting 34 percent for the game, while the Mountain Hawks hit at a clip of 32.1 percent ... Navy hosts Lafayette to start the second leg of League play Feb. 4.

BUCKNELL Freshman Jen Dumiak led a balanced effort with a game-high 16 points to lead three Eagles in double figures as American remained perfect in Patriot League play with a convincing 71-45 victory over Bucknell Wednesday night at Bender Arena ... Co-captains Lisa Strack and Alexis Dobbs scored 11 points apiece for the Eagles, who have won six in a row and handed the Bison their 11th straight defeat ... Three Bucknell players hit double figures, with Lindsay Horbatuck posting a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds ... Rachel Voss poured in 11 points, while Shelby Romine added 10. After Horbatuck, no other Bison player had more than three rebounds ... American’s defense forced 33 Bucknell turnovers, with the Eagles converting those into 38 points. Bucknell managed just 37 field goals in the game, hitting 15 of them, to shoot 40.5 percent ... Dumiak’s layup finished off a game-opening 11-4 American run in the first 5:40 of the contest ... Tori Halvorsen gave American its first double-digit lead of the game at 18-8 with a layup at the 11:37 mark ... Bucknell scored the next six points, with Horbatuck’s free throws cutting it to an 18-14 game with 8:31 left before the half ... American responded with a 15-2 run, with Strack’s jumper starting it and Geleisa George’s bucket finishing it off ... Bucknell scored the last five points of the half, but American still owned a 33-21 lead entering the locker room ... The Eagles used another big run to put the game away early in the second ... American opened with 10 straight points, with Strack accounting for four of them ... The Eagles’ lead ballooned to 28 points on a pair of Dumiak free throws with 12:17 left, while Sarah Kiely’s bucket with 5:33 remaining put American ahead 61-32 ... The Eagles finished the game with a 32-28 edge on the glass, including a 17-9 advantage in offensive boards ... American’s bench outscored Bucknell’s 35-8 ... The Bison will open the second leg of League play Feb. 4 at Army for a 1 p.m. tip.

LEHIGH MOUNTAIN HAWKS (12-8, 5-1) AT ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS (9-12, 3-3)
Christl Arena (5,043); West Point, N.Y. • Sunday, 1 p.m.
Series: Lehigh, 27-22
Streak: Lehigh, One Win Last Meeting: Lehigh, 70-57 (2.12.11)
Last Army Win: 54-52 (1.16.11) Last Five Games: Lehigh, 4-1

The first leg of Patriot League play officially concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. when Army hosts Lehigh at Christl Arena ... The Black Knights fell 62-59 at Holy Cross Wednesday, and all three of their League losses have come by a combined six points ... Lehigh rallied for a 50-46 win at Navy Wednesday night, with Emily Gratch and Kelly Peterson scoring 12 points apiece in the come-from-behind victory ... This will be the 50th meeting ever between the school, with Lehigh owning a 27-22 edge ... The clubs split last season, with each winning at home.

LEHIGH Lehigh erased a 16-point halftime deficit and shot 52 percent from the floor in the second half to rally for a 50-46 victory at Navy Wednesday night inside Alumni Hall ... The game turned thanks to a 14-0 second-half run for the Mountain Hawks, who were paced by Emily Gratch and Kelly Peterson, who combined for 22 points after the break ... Lehigh’s defense also stepped up in the second stanza, holding the Mids to just 13 points in the final 20 minutes ... Peterson and Gratch each finished with 12 points for the Mountain Hawks, while Alexa Williams had five points and eight rebounds, including the 700th of her career ... Audrey Bauer and Alix Membreno paced Navy with nine points apiece, while Bauer had a game-high 11 rebounds and Membreno collected eight ... Jade Geif’s three-point play capped off an 8-2 run to start the game for Navy, while Bauer’s 3-pointer put the Mids ahead 17-7 with 10:54 left in the first ... It remained all Navy early on, as Membreno’s layup extended the lead to 16 at 23-7 with just inside nine minutes to go ... The Mountain Hawks chipped away at the deficit, with Hilary Weaver’s 3-pointer cutting it to 23-14 with 6:03 left until halftime ... But the Mids kept up the pressure, and Erin Meador’s bucket lifted Navy to a 33-17 lead at the break ... Navy shot 12 of 26 in the first 20 minutes, while Lehigh managed just four field goals on 28 tries ... Navy led 36-22 after Lehigh’s Aly Byorick and the Mids’ Chloe Stapleton traded 3-pointers ... The Mountain Hawks orchestrated their 14-0 at this point, with Williams draining a pair of foul shots and Gratch scoring the next six points ... Gratch scored two more buckets during the run, including a layup with 10:08 left that tied the game at 36 ... The Mids used a quick 4-0 spurt to regain the lead, but Lehigh quickly tied it and took a 43-40 lead after a 3-pointer from Sarah Pearce with 4:33 left ... Peterson hit two straight 3-pointers for Lehigh to give it a 49-40 lead with 1:33 left ... Bauer and Kara Pollinger replied with back-to-back treys on Navy’s next two possessions, and it was a 49-46 game with just under a minute left ... Navy’s defense forced a Lehigh turnover, but Erin Edwards’ 3-point attempt on the ensuing possession wouldn’t fall ... The Mids corralled the rebound, but Byorick came up with a crucial steal ... The Mids had to foul four times before sending Lehigh to the foul line for the 1-and-1 ... Katie O’Reilly went 1 of 2 at the line with nine seconds remaining, and Bauer’s 3-point attempt the other way was no good ... Becky Guman collected the rebound as time expired, giving the Mountain Hawks the come-from-behind win ... In the second half Lehigh shot 13 of 25 while Navy was just 4 of 21 ... The Mids finished shooting 34 percent for the game, while the Mountain Hawks hit at a clip of 32.1 percent ... Lehigh will open the second part of League play Feb. 4 at Holy Cross.

ARMY Despite going the final 7:48 of the game without a field goal, Holy Cross held off a late Army rally with four free throws in the last 2:14 to hang on for a 62-59 victory over the Black Knights Wednesday night at the Hart Center ... Holy Cross sophomore Alex Smith led all scorers with a career-high 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field and a 5-of-10 effort from beyond the arc ... She also tallied six assists and three steals ... Jen Hazlett led three Army players in double figures with 18 points ... She narrowly missed a double-double with nine rebounds ... Anna Simmers and Molly Yardley had 12 and 11 points, respectively, off the bench ... Down 55-42 with 7:48 to go, Army’s defense tightened up and held the Crusaders without a field goal the rest of the way ... Yardley and Simmers teamed up for a 5-0 Army run, but three foul shots from Smith gave the Crusaders an 11-point advantage again at 58-47 at the 5:24 mark ... Yardley kicked off an 8-0 run for the Black Knights with a jumper, while a Hazlett 3 cut it to a 58-52 game with 4:07 remaining ... Yardley went 1 of 2 from the line and Olivia Schretzman sank a layup to cut the Crusader lead to three at 58-55 ... Amy Lepley went to the line for Holy Cross and dropped in two free throws to give the Crusaders a 60-55 advantage with 1:24 left, but Hazlett’s jumper with 1:00 remaining once again made it a three-point game ... Smith missed a 3-pointer for Holy Cross, and Hazlett’s game-tying 3 attempt was also off the mark ... Christine Ganser hit two free throws with 10 seconds left put Holy Cross up for good at 62-57 ... Holy Cross started the game quickly, with Smith’s 3-pointer giving it a 14-6 lead at the 12:39 mark of the first half. Army replied with a 9-0 run capped off by Schretzman’s bucket to take a 15-14 lead with 9:42 showing on the clock ... The Crusaders responded with a 19-3 run finished off by a pair of free throws by Kelly Hamner to go ahead 35-21 with just under two minutes left before the break ... Army scored the next six points to send the game into halftime at 35-27 ... Army shot 23 of 62 (37.1 percent), including 8 of 24 on 3-pointers and owned a 36-26 edge on the glass ... Army is home Feb. 4 for Bucknell.