Patriot League Women's Basketball Weekend Preview - 1.31.14

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Army's Kelsey Minato
Army's Kelsey Minato

Jan. 31, 2014

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CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The Patriot League standings are beginning to take shape at the midway point, with separation at the top for a handful of teams. Navy (9-0) and Army (7-2) have the top two spots in the standings, with the Mids hosting Lafayette and the Black Knights welcoming Loyola Maryland on Saturday.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_WBB
*The second half of the Patriot League schedule begins Saturday with all 10 teams in action.
*Holy Cross tries to tie American in the standings when it hosts the Eagles at 1 p.m.
*The Crusaders are also trying to sweep American for the first time since 2006.
*Navy aims for a 10-0 League mark and 11th straight victory when it welcomes Lafayette on Saturday night.
*Navy is one of 23 teams in Division I with an undefeated conference record through Thursday.
*Army (7-2) and Bucknell (6-3) each try to maintain their spots when hosting Loyola and Colgate, respectively.
*Boston University visits Lehigh to complete the schedule.
*All five games are available for free on Patriot League Network.
*Army's Kelsey Minato had a career-high 32 points in a 72-45 win over Boston University on Wednesday.
*Minato topped 30 points and set a career high for the second time in three games.
*Lafayette's Emily Homan has 81 points in the last three games, scoring at least 23 in each contest.

Patriot League Notebook
Second Half Opens Up on Saturday
The Patriot League standings are beginning to take shape at the midway point, with separation at the top for a handful of teams. Navy (9-0) and Army (7-2) have the top two spots in the standings, with the Mids hosting Lafayette and the Black Knights welcoming Loyola Maryland on Saturday. Bucknell is tied for third with American as the Bison prepare to host Colgate and the Eagles have the only clash of teams in the top half when they visit Holy Cross. Boston University visits Lehigh to complete Saturday's slate, which is all available on Patriot League Network. Navy, Army, Boston University, Bucknell and Holy Cross are going for season sweeps, which would be the first for the Crusaders over American since 2006.

Navy Remains Unbeaten by Holding Off American on Wednesday
Navy survived a close scare with American and won its 10th straight game Wednesday night to remain undefeated in Patriot League play at 9-0 to close out the first half of the League schedule. Kara Polllinger had a three-pointer and a pair of free throws in the final minute of the 48-44 victory. Army got a career-high 32 points from Kelsey Minato in a 72-45 win over Boston University, and moved up to sole possession of second place. Bucknel, Holy Cross and Lafayette were also double-digit winners on Wednesday night.

Navy in Elite Company Nationally, in Patriot League History
Navy continues to roll and the Mids have sparkling records both overall and in Patriot League play. The Mids are one of 23 teams with an undefeated confererence record in Division I through Thursday, and have a chance to become the third team in the last nine years to open 10-0 in Patriot League play on Saturday. At 17-3, Navy is already assured of its sixth straight winning season, marking its longest run since its first six years as a program from 1978-83.

Navy Nears Top 50 RPI
Navy's success has taken the computer models by storm as well with the Mids rising to No. 53 in the NCAA RPI entering the week. Army (No. 91) also had a spot in the top 100 while Bucknell (No. 129), Lafayette (No. 130), American (No. 135) and Holy Cross (No. 138) were all tightly bunched to give the Patriot League an impressive six schools in the RPI top 150. The Mids entered the Mid-Major Poll at No. 20 on Tuesday, with Holy Cross, American and Army also receiving votes.

Fiacco Sets Patriot League Blocks Record
Lafayette's Danielle Fiacco became the sole holder of the Patriot League career blocks record as she swatted three shots against rival Lehigh on Saturday and now has a career total of 349. Fiacco is the second Patriot League senior to set the bar in a statistical category as Holy Cross' Alex Smith has blown the past the League record for three-pointers made as she now stands with 318.

1,000-Point Scorers
Two more Patriot Leaguers joined the 1,000-point club on Saturday as Army's Jen Hazlett and Boston University's Rashidat Agboola each entered the milestone group. Hazlett had 15 points in the win over American and is now up to 1,026 for her career after scoring 22 on Wednesday, while Agboola had a season-high 25 against Bucknell and now has a career total to 1,029. They join an active list of 1,000-point scorers in the Patriot League which includes Holy Cross' Alex Smith (1,485), Bucknell's Shelby Romine (1,378), Navy's Jade Geif (1,323), American's Alexis Dobbs (1,130) and Navy's Alix Membreno (1,059).

League Trends
With half of the Patriot League schedule complete, some trends have begun to develop in League action. The home/road split has been particularly noticeable, as home court has not meant much with just a 24-21 edge for the hosts in League play. Navy and Army are undefeated at home in League action, while the Mids are the only team that is spotless on the road. With four games decided by 14 points or more on Wednesday, 25 contests have now been decided by 10 points or more this season. Twenty games have finished with a margin of less than 10 points, with 11 of those games coming down to a five-point difference or less.

NCAA Leaders
Patriot League teams and individuals are showing up all over the top spots on the NCAA statistical leaderboard. Entering the week, Navy had a pair of top five spots as the Mids came in fourth in three-pointers per game (9.5) and fifth in fewest turnovers per contest (12.0), and also stood 11th in both three-point field goal percentage (38.8) and assist/turnover ratio (1.29). American was ninth in scoring defense (55.5), 13th in turnovers (12.7) and 19th in assist/turnover ratio (1.25), while Holy Cross held a pair of top 20 spots at 14th in assists (18.4) and 16th in assist/turnover ratio (1.26). Navy's Kara Pollinger had the top individual mark for a Patriot League player at sixth in three-point field goal percentage (47.5%), while Lafayette's Danielle Fiacco was ninth in blocks (3.3) and Army's Kelsey Minato had the same position in free throw percentage (90.7%) to round out Patriot Leaguers in the top 10 of an individual category nationally.

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

Patriot League Games
American Eagles (13-7, 6-3) at Holy Cross Crusaders (13-7, 5-4)
Hart Center; Worcester, Mass. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Holy Cross goes for the season sweep of American when it hosts the Eagles on Saturday afternoon.
*The Crusaders posted a 63-60 win in Washington, DC when the teams first met on Jan. 5.
*Holy Cross has won two straight against the Eagles after also claiming a 73-63 home win on Feb. 16 last year.
*The Crusaders are trying to sweep the matchups with the Eagles for the first time since 2006.
*American's three Patriot League losses have come by a total of eight points, and none by more than four.
*Holy Cross holds a 17-13 edge in the all-time series with American.

Loyola Maryland Greyhounds (5-15, 2-7) at Army Black Knights (15-5, 7-2)
Christl Arena; West Point, N.Y. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Army goes for its fourth win in a row when it hosts Loyola Maryland on Saturday.
*The Black Knights rallied from a double-digit defict to win 66-62 at Loyola on Jan. 5.
*That was Army's first win over Loyola since 2010 as the Greyhounds hold a 5-2 lead in the all-time series.
*The teams have faced off in each of the last six seasons.
*Army is perfect at home this season with a 10-0 mark, including 4-0 in Patriot League games.

Boston University Terriers (8-14, 3-6) at Lehigh Mountain Hawks (9-11, 2-7)
Stabler Arena; Bethlehem, Pa. - Saturday, 2 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network | Service Electric 2 Sports
*Boston University tries to remain perfect in the all-time series with Lehigh as it visits the Mountain Hawks Saturday.
*The Terriers won 71-64 at home on Jan. 5 to take a 4-0 lead in the all-time matchups.
*That started a string of seven losses in eight games for Lehigh, including three in a row coming into Saturday.
*The Mountain Hawks are 2-2 in League home games and 6-4 this season at Stabler Arena.

Lafayette Leopards (10-10, 4-5) at Navy Midshipmen (17-3, 9-0)
Alumni Hall; Annapolis, Md. - Saturday, 7 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Navy tries to keep rolling against a Lafayette team that is heating up when they face off in Annapolis on Saturday.
*The Mids have won 10 straight and are 9-0 in the Patriot League, while the Leopards have claimed four of six.
*Navy posted a 67-53 win in the first meeting between the schools this season on Jan. 5 in Easton.
*That was Navy's sixth straight win in the series, including a 59-55 overtime triumph at home in last year's League tourney.
*The Mids have swept the season series the last two years as Lafayette's last victory came at home in 2011.
*Navy holds a 42-20 lead in the all-time series with Lafayette.

Colgate Raiders (5-15, 1-8) at Bucknell Bison (11-8, 6-3)
Sojka Pavilion; Lewisburg, Pa. - Saturday, 7 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Bucknell tries to remain in at least third place in the Patriot League when it hosts Colgate on Saturday.
*The Bison won 88-72 in Hamilton on Jan. 5 to take a 39-21 lead in the all-time series.
*The teams each won at home last year, including a 53-51 win for the Bison in Lewisburg on Jan. 16.
*Bucknell tries to sweep the season series with Colgate for the first time since 2011.

Team Notebooks
AMERICAN The Eagles suffered another close loss as Navy held on for a 48-44 win in Annapolis on Wednesday...American fell into a third-place tie with Bucknell at 6-3 in the Patriot League...American stayed tight with Navy the whole way, but could not overcome the Mids down the stretch...Alexis Dobbs knocked down a three-pointer to cut the Navy lead to 43-42 with 50 seconds left, but Navy hit from long range with 37 seconds to play and sealed the win with a pair of free throws with 13 seconds on the clock... American was led by Jen Dumiak's 14 points and nine rebounds, while Dobbs finished with 11 points and Geleisa George added 10...Both teams were held to 30% shooting, but the Eagles stayed tight with a 45-36 rebounding advantage...American tries to put an end to its losing streak on Saturday, but faces another tough game as it visits a Holy Cross team that it lost to at home on Jan. 5.

ARMY Kelsey Minato scored a career-high 32 points and Jen Hazlett had 22 as the Army defeated Boston University 72-45 Wednesday at Christl Arena...Army was actually behind 11-3 early, but the Black Knights went ahead for good with an 18-4 run and took a 33-26 lead at the break... The Black Knights cruised in the second half, using a 36-10 run to turn a five-point lead into a 69-38 advantage with 3:57 left...Minato made 12-of-22 shots and 6-of-8 three-pointers in the career-high effort...She hit double figures for the 36th game in a row, and scored 30 or more for the second time in three games...Hazlett made 9-of-13 shots and 4-of-5 three-pointers in her 22-point effort as the two players carried the load with no other Black Knight topping six points...Army finished 11-of-15 (73.3%) from three-point range as a team, recording the second-best single-game percentage from long range in the Patriot League this season...The Black Knights remain at home as they go for a fourth win in a row against Loyola Maryland, who they beat in overtime on the road on Jan. 5.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY The Terriers fell behind in the first half and were overwhelmed in the second in a 72-45 loss at Army on Wednesday...BU held an early 11-3 lead before Army used an 18-4 run to go in front for good, and the Black Knights had a 36-10 stretch that took up most of the second half to pull away for the 27-point win...Clodagh Scannell was the only Terrier in double figures with 14 points, while Rashidat Agboola had eight points and 12 rebounds...Boston University tries to get back on track when it visits Lehigh on Saturday...The Terriers beat the Mountain Hawks 71-64 when they played in Boston on Jan. 5.

BUCKNELL Shelby Romine scored a game-high 28 points and Claire DeBoer had 17 as Bucknell never trailed in a 82-68 win over Lehigh Wednesday at Sojka Pavilion... Bucknell opened the game with a 10-0 lead and led 36-24 at halftime...Lehigh cut it to five points in the second half at 49-44, but the Bison rolled off a 16-7 run to take a 65-51 lead...Claire Maree O'Bryan scored 11 points while Megan McGurk finished with 10 for the Bison...Bucknell made 18-of-32 shots in the second half and hit 7-of-14 three-pointers for the game, and did the job defensively by forcing 21 Lehigh turnovers...The Bison go for their second straight win when they host Colgate on Saturday...Bucknell beat the Raiders 88-72 on the road on Jan. 5.

COLGATE The Raiders led early for the second game in a row, but again could not hold on and fell to Lafayette 90-75 at home on Wednesday...After holding an eight-point first-half lead against Loyola Maryland on Saturday, the Raiders were up 10 points midway through the first half against Lafayette...The Leopards closed the period on a 27-15 stretch to go up two at the break, though Colgate did come back to take a three-point lead early in the second half...Lafayette scored six straight points to take the lead for good, and led Colgate by nine points or more for the final five minutes... Carole Harris led Colgate with 21 points and seven rebounds, while Lauryn Kobiela had 16 points...Josie Stockill finished with 12 points and Mariah Jones had 11...The Raiders will try to break a four-game losing skid when they visit Bucknell on Saturday, a team that beat Colgate 88-72 in Hamilton on Jan. 5.

HOLY CROSS Alex Smith led four Holy Cross players in double-digits with a game-high 17 points as the Crusaders defeated Loyola 80-65 Wednesday at Reitz Arena...Holy Cross used an 11-4 run to take a 32-17 lead late in the first half...The Crusaders led 40-28 at halftime and put together another 11-4 run out of the break to put the Greyhounds away...Raquel Scott posted a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, as did Molly Hourigan with 16 points and 10 rebounds...Lisa Mifsud chipped in with 10 points...Holy Cross shot 54% (27-of-50) from the field and made 7-of-13 three-pointers and 19-of-24 free throws in the win...Holy Cross has won two out of three after a three-game losing skid...The Crusaders will try to sweep American in the season series for the first time since 2006 when they host the Eagles on Saturday...A win would also tie Holy Cross with American in the standings for fourth place, or third if Bucknell also loses to Colgate.

LAFAYETTE Emily Homan and Lafayette continued their strong play of late as the Leopards rallied from an early deficit for a 90-75 win at Colgate on Wednesday...Lafayette won for the fourth time in the last six games to take sole posssession of sixth place at 4-5 in the Patriot League...Homan had the hot hand again as she scored 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting and pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds in the win...Homan, the reigning Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week, has tallied 81 points in Lafayette's last three games, scoring at least 23 in each contest...It was her second double-double in the three contests...Linnell Macklin added a career-high 25 points while making 7-of-12 shots from beyond the arc, with Madeline Fahan (11) and Danielle Fiacco (10) also scoring in double figures...The Leopards were down 10 points midway through the first half, but closed the period with a 27-15 stretch to take a two-point edge at the break...Lafayette fell behind by three early in the second half before using six straight points to take the lead, and would continue to extend its advantage throughout the period with at least a nine-point lead for the final five minutes...The Leopards had 23 assists against just 10 turnovers, and held a 46-39 edge on the glass...Lafayette has a major challenge to stay hot when it visits unbeaten Navy on Saturday...The Mids won 67-53 at Lafayette on Jan. 5, though the Leopards did push Navy to overtime in Annapolis in the quarterfinals of last year's Patriot League Tournament.

LEHIGH Lehigh was down 10-0 less than three minutes into the game and never recovered in an 82-68 loss at Bucknell on Wednesday...The Mountain Hawks were down by 12 points at halftime and by 14 early in the second half, but did fight back to get within five at 49-44 with 13:35 to play...Bucknell answered with a 16-7 stretch from there, and Lehigh would not get closer than nine points the rest of the way... Lehigh was led by Kerry Kinek's 15 points and eight rebounds, while Elizabeth Sharlow also finished in double-digits with 14 points and Katie O'Reilly and Sarah Williams added 10 apiece...Lehigh shot well overall at 30-of-65, but hit only 3-of-14 three-pointers and had 21 turnovers...The Mountain Hawks host Boston University on Saturday, a team they lost to 71-64 on the road on Jan. 5.

LOYOLA MARYLAND The Greyhounds fell behind early and could not recover in an 80-65 loss at home against Holy Cross on Wednesday...The Crusaders took an early lead with a 9-0 run, and pushed it to 18 in the first half before holding a 40-28 edge at the break...Loyola fell behind by as many as 27 points in the second half before closing with a 14-2 run to close the final margin... Loyola was led by Lisa Mirarchi's 16 points and Nai Brown's 13, while Nicole Krusen added 10...The Greyhounds committed only seven turnovers, but were outrebounded 39-27 and shot just 2-of-14 from three-point range...Loyola will head to Army on Saturday...The Greyhounds took the Black Knights to overtime in the first meeting on Jan. 5.

NAVY Kara Pollinger scored a team-high 17 points including a late three-pointer to help Navy survive a 48-44 win over American Wednesday night at Alumni Hall...The game was nip and tuck throughout, but the Mids made the key plays down the stretch to extend their Patriot League record to 9-0 and their overall win streak to 10...Audrey Bauer had a big steal and three-pointer with 2:18 left to give the Mids a 41-37 lead....After American cut it to 43-42 on a three-pointer with 50 seconds to play, Pollinger responded with a three of her own with 37 seconds left and later sealed the win at the foul line with a pair of free throws with 13 seconds to play...Membreno and Bauer each finished with 10 points and seven rebounds, as Navy forced 16 turnovers in a game where both teams shot 30% form the field...The Mids go for a 10-0 start when they host Lafayette on Saturday...Navy beat Lafayette 67-53 in Easton on Jan. 5.