Patriot League Women's Basketball Weekend Preview - 2.2.12

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Chloe Stapleton looks to contribute to the Navy offense as the defending Patriot League champion Mids open the second half of League play Saturday at home against Lafayette.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
Chloe Stapleton looks to contribute to the Navy offense as the defending Patriot League champion Mids open the second half of League play Saturday at home against Lafayette.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

Feb. 2, 2012

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Last Sunday brought the conclusion of the first half of Patriot League play in the sport of women’s basketball. With the second leg beginning this Saturday with the first of four rematches, the ante will be increased as teams jockey for seeding for the League Tournament, which begins with the quarterfinals at campus sites March 1.

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American did its part to hang on to first place with an 80-54 victory Saturday over visiting Lafayette, moving to 7-0 in League play and 15-6 overall. The Eagles haven’t lost in a month, with a 60-49 decision at George Washington on Jan. 2 being the last blemish to their record. The Eagles became the second team in the last three years to hit the turn in League play with a 7-0 mark. American also did it in 2009-10, but this season it will look for a much better finish. The Eagles fell in the Patriot League title game at Lehigh that year.

The Eagles received a little help Sunday as well, thanks to Army’s 66-64 victory over Lehigh at West Point. Anna Simmers’ third effort of at least 20 points this season sparked the Black Knights to their fourth League victory and into a three-way tie for third with Holy Cross and Navy. Lehigh, which dropped to 5-2 in the League with the loss, has a one-game lead over the logjam in third and trails American by two games for first.

In a game that could give it quite a lift the rest of the way, Colgate handed Holy Cross a 74-69 loss Saturday afternoon, snapping a 10-game skid in the series against the Crusaders. The Raiders and Lafayette are tied for sixth at 2-5, with both teams trailing the tie for third by two games.

The first batch of rematches begins at 1 p.m. Saturday with two contests. Bucknell travels to West Point to take on Army, while Holy Cross hosts Lehigh. American will put its undefeated League mark on the line against Colgate at 2 p.m., while Navy will welcome Lafayette to Alumni Hall for a 7 p.m. tip.

All four games will be available online with a subscription to Patriot League All-Access.

Patriot League Weekly Awards (1.23-1.29)

ANACONDA PLAYER OF THE WEEK
TRICIA OAKES, COLGATE Sr., C, Evergreen, Colo.
21.5 ppg, 13.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.5. bpg, 2 double-doubles, .568 FG%

ANACONDA ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
EMILY PARKER, HOLY CROSS Fr., F, Johnston, Iowa
17.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg, .667 FG%, .667 FT%

HONORABLE MENTION PERFORMANCES LAST WEEK
ANNA SIMMERS, ARMY Jr., G, Anchorage, Alaska
20.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, .415 FG%

EMILY HOMAN, LAFAYETTE Fr., F, Upper Darby, Pa.
16.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 3.0 bpg, .500 FG%, .750 FT%

LISA STRACK, AMERICAN Sr., G, Langhorne, Pa.
14.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 5.0 apg, .579 FG%, .778 FT%

EMILY GRATCH, LEHIGH Sr., F, Holicong, Pa.
14.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, .560 FG%, 2.0 apg, 1.5 spg

ALIX MEMBRENO, NAVY So., G, Loxahatchee, Fla.
12.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.0 bpg, .381 FG%, .714 3FG%

Patriot League Notebook

AMERICAN PERFECT AT THE TURN
It hasn’t been easy - and it never is in Patriot League women’s basketball - but American reached the midway point of the League schedule with a perfect 7-0 mark thanks to Saturday’s 80-54 win over Lafayette. The Eagles will wrap up a string of three straight games at home when they host Colgate Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. American became the second team in the last three years to reach the turn at 7-0, and there’s some familiarity with that distinction for some of the players. The Eagles were also the last team to do it in 2009-10. That season they finished the regular season 13-1, secured the No. 2 seed in the League Tournament but fell at No. 1 Lehigh in the League title game.

NOT MUCH OF AN ADVANTAGE
This might be the most telling stat about the parity that exists on the whole in the Patriot League this season. At the midway point of the League schedule, home teams own a slight 16-12 edge over their road foes in the first 28 games of the conference slate for a .571 winning percentage. That’s tied for the sixth-best - or, if you want to look at it differently, the fifth-worst - percentage since 2001, when American joined the League. Last season home teams went 30-26 in League play for a .536 win percentage, which tied for the second-lowest since ‘01. A complete list is below:
.643 - 2006-07 (36-20)
.626 - 2004-05 (35-21)
.607 - 2005-06, 2001-02 (34-22)
.589 - 2009-10 (33-23)
.571 - 2011-12 (16-12), 2003-04 (32-24)
.554 - 2002-03 (31-25)
.536 - 2008-09, 2010-11 (30-26)
.446 - 2007-08 (25-31)

SIGH OF RELIEF, PERHAPS?
Army entered last Sunday’s matchup against Lehigh with a 3-3 mark in League play, which was made all the more frustrating by the fact that the Black Knights had lost their three League games by a combined six points. But maybe Army was able to turn around some of its luck Sunday when it scored a 66-64 victory over the visiting Mountain Hawks, despite letting an 18-point second-half lead evaporate with five minutes to go. While the Black Knights have lost three League games by a combined six points, they have been on the winning side of several tight contests as well. In addition to the Lehigh win by two points, Army has defeated Lafayette by one, Bucknell by three and Colgate by seven.

OAKES LIFTS RAIDERS TO MONUMENTAL WIN
Senior center Tricia Oakes had perhaps the best week of her career at Colgate, and was rewarded with the Anaconda Player of the Week nod on Monday after lifting the Raiders to a 74-69 victory over Holy Cross on Saturday. She scored 25 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead all players in both categories, and it was her second double-double of the week after going 18 and 10 on Wednesday in a loss at Lafayette. Colgate snapped a 10-game skid to Holy Cross in the process, giving it a much-needed lift entering Saturday’s meeting at first-place American.

SEVEN AWAY
Lafayette sophomore center Danielle Fiacco continued her move toward the Patriot League’s single-season blocks record. She recorded three more rejections Saturday at American to give her 88 on the season, placing her fifth on the League’s single-season list, and surpassing last season’s League-high of 87 swats logged by Army’s Erin Anthony. Fiacco, who has already entered the League’s career top 10 despite being just a sophomore and playing in 21 games as a freshman in an injury-shortened season, has the most rejections in a season by a Patriot Leaguer since Bucknell’s Hope Foster blocked 93 shots in 2006-07. Fiacco is chasing Foster (2005-06) and Fordham’s Kelly Roche (1992-93), who shared the League record of 95.

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 PAINFULLY CLOSE TO 300
With two victory plateaus having been reached, and now a third is poised to fall any day now. Navy head coach Stefanie Pemper, who is in her fourth season in Annapolis, has 299 career victories after the Mids posted a come-from-behind 50-49 victory at Bucknell Saturday night. The Mids open the second leg of League play Saturday against Lafayette at home, when Pemper will match wits with Leopard head coach Dianne Nolan and her 536 career wins.

MAGARITY REACHES 400 PLATEAU
Jen Hazlett scored a career-high 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting to lead Army to its 59-43 win at St. Francis (N.Y.) Nov. 16, delivering head coach Dave Magarity the 400th victory of his career, which has spanned three decades and now approaches 100 wins at West Point. Army led by five at the half after shooting 57 percent from the floor, and pulled away in the second half as the team collected 21 bucks and 17 assists. Magarity is now the third coach in the League with at least 400 career victories, joining Lafayette’s Dianne Nolan and Bill Gibbons of Holy Cross.

AMERICAN NAMED PRESEASON FAVORITE
With 94 points and 11 first-place votes, American topped the 2011-12 Patriot League Preseason Women’s Basketball Poll. The Eagles will aim to capture their first League crown in program history after reaching the title game in each of the last two seasons. American finished ahead of second-place Lehigh, which totaled 83 points and three first-place votes. Defending League champion Navy took third with 74 points and the last two remaining first-place ballots. Bucknell finished fourth in the poll, the same position in which the Bison ended the regular season a year ago. They collected 58 points, followed by Holy Cross in fifth with 52. Rounding out the poll were Lafayette (38 points), Army (26) and Colgate (23).

NAVY’S GEIF NAMED PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Navy’s Jade Geif got better and better as the 2010-11 season went on, and the hardware began adding up quickly. She was named Patriot League Rookie of the Year at the end of the regular season and added Patriot League Tournament Most Valuable Player honors after helping lead the Midshipmen to their first League crown in program history. Geif was recognized again by the League’s eight head coaches and women’s basketball sports information directors with the Preseason Player of the Year honor and a spot on the Preseason All-League team. In nearly 30 minutes per game a season ago, Geif was second in the League averaging 7.9 rebounds per game and is Navy’s top returning scorer (9.6 ppg). Geif became the first player named Rookie of the Year and Tournament MVP in the same season since Bethany O’Dell of Holy Cross in 2007.

Patriot League Games

LEHIGH MOUNTAIN HAWKS (12-9, 5-2) AT HOLY CROSS CRUSADERS (13-9, 4-3)
Hart Center (3,600); Worcester, Mass. • Saturday, 1 p.m.
Series: Holy Cross, 37-14
Streak: Lehigh, Eight Wins Last Meeting: Lehigh, 75-60 (1.7.12)
Last Holy Cross Win: 46-44, (3.9.08) Last Five Games: Lehigh, 5-0

Two teams which closed the first leg of League play with road losses will try to restart the positive momentum Saturday when Holy Cross welcomes Lehigh to the Hart Center for a 1 p.m. tip ... The Mountain Hawks have won eight straight in the series, but Holy Cross still owns a 37-14 overall edge ... The Crusaders led by one at halftime in Bethlehem, Pa., when the teams met Jan. 7, but a huge offensive effort by the Mountain Hawks in the second half propelled them to a 75-60 win in the League opener ... Lehigh senior Emily Gratch will try to hit a significant milestone just as classmate Alexa Williams did earlier this season ... Gratch sits 12 points shy of 1,000 for her career, while Williams grabbed her 700th career rebound just a few games ago.

LEHIGH Junior Anna Simmers scored a career-high 28 points, with 20 coming in the first half, as Army held on for a 66-64 win over Lehigh Sunday afternoon at Christl Arena in West Point, N.Y. ... The win garnered a cheer from the nation’s capital, as first-place American now has a two-game lead on the rest of the field at the halfway mark of Patriot League play ... Simmers shot 12 of 25 from the floor, helping the Black Knights go 25 of 59 (42.4 percent) overall ... She added six rebounds and three assists for Army, which rebounded from two straight League losses to American (by one) and Holy Cross (by three) ... Jen Hazlett poured in 17 points for Army, while Olivia Schretzman chipped in 16 ... Four players hit double figures for Lehigh, led by senior Emily Gratch’s 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor ... Katie O’Reilly chipped in 13 points, Kelly Peterson had 11 off the bench and Alexa Williams tallied 10 ... After the game was nip and tuck throughout most of the first half, Army orchestrated a 12-0 run to finish off the first 20 minutes and went into the locker room with a 42-26 lead ... Lehigh staged a furious rally in the early stages of the second. Schretzman extended the Black Knights’ run to 14 straight points with a close jumper just 24 seconds in, but the Mountain Hawks fired off a 17-2 run to get within 46-43 with 15:43 remaining ... Army rebuilt a lead at 56-47 with 11:48 on the clock following Schretzman’s three-point play ... Gratch’s layup just beyond the midway point of the half brought Lehigh back within 56-54, and another Gratch bucket a few minutes later tied the game at 58 ... Simmers’ layup with less than two minutes to go capped off an 8-2 Army rally, giving the Black Knights a 66-60 lead ... Lehigh clawed back within two at 66-64 after free throws from O’Reilly and Williams, and after an empty possession by Army the Mountain Hawks had the ball in the closing seconds ... Aly Byorick was unable to get off a clean look for Lehigh, sealing the victory for the Black Knights ... Lehigh welcomes first-place American to Stabler Arena Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

HOLY CROSS Senior Tricia Oakes logged her second straight double-double and fourth of the season with 25 points and 17 rebounds to pace Colgate to its 74-69 victory over Holy Cross Saturday afternoon at Cotterell Court ... The win snapped the Raiders’ 10-game skid against Holy Cross, and was just their fourth in 47 meetings between the two programs ... Jhazmine Lynch added 18 points for Colgate, while Missy Repoli added a career-high 16 in 21 minutes off the bench ... Holy Cross was led by Amy Lepley and Emily Parker, who both tallied 19 points apiece. Lepley completed the double-double with 14 rebounds ... The Crusaders used an 8-0 run in the second half to turn a 61-55 deficit into a 63-61 lead with 4:43 to go. But Mariah Jones’ jumper just over a minute later tied the game ... Lepley returned the favor for Holy Cross back the other way, putting the Crusaders back up by a pair ... Lynch sank two free throws to knot the game again, and Kelly Korkowski found Oakes underneath for a layup to give the Raiders a 67-65 lead ... Parker replied in kind for Holy Cross to tie the game again, but the Raiders went ahead for good after another Oakes layup on a pass from Candice Green, and then Green hit a pair of free throws with 40 seconds left to put Colgate ahead by four ... It was a nip and tuck first half, with Holy Cross going ahead 30-23 following a 3-pointer form Ashley Cooper ... Colgate replied with a brief 6-2 run to close out the half and enter the locker room down 32-29 ... The Crusaders expanded their lead to six on three occasions early in the second half before an 8-0 Colgate run gave it a 47-45 lead with 11:41 left ... Holy Cross finished the game under 50 percent from the foul line, shooting 12 of 25 (48 percent) while going 25 of 63 from the floor and 7 of 11 on 3-pointers ... The Raiders finished 29 of 75 from the field and just 5 of 26 on 3-pointers, but they hit 11 of 16 from the foul line ... The Crusaders host Navy Wednesday at 7 p.m.

BUCKNELL BISON (2-20, 0-7) AT ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS (10-12, 4-3)
Christl Arena (5,043); West Point, N.Y. • Saturday, 1 p.m.
Series: Bucknell, 31-18
Streak: Army, One Win Last Meeting: Army, 67-64 (1.7.12)
Last Bucknell Win: 54-40 (3.5.11) Last Five Games: Bucknell, 3-2

Army snagged a close victory over Lehigh Sunday, and the Black Knights will try to keep that momentum going Saturday when they host Bucknell at Christl Arena for a 1 p.m. tip at West Point ... Army won a tough battle, 67-64, when the teams met Jan. 7 in Lewisburg, Pa. ... Anna Simmers led all players with 27 points and Jen Hazlett chipped in 19 in the Army victory ... Both clubs shot over 50 percent in that contest ... Rachel Voss had 21 points for Bucknell in the last meeting, one of three players in double figures against the Black Knights.

BUCKNELL Bucknell rallied from a first-half deficit and couldn’t hold the lead in the closing seconds as Navy finished off its late comeback and escaped Sojka Pavilion with a 50-49 win over the Bison Saturday night ... Rachel Voss led the Bison with 13 points with seven rebounds on 5 of 14 from the floor, while Christina Chukwuedo poured in 12 on 50 percent shooting from the field ... Alix Membreno led three Navy players in double figures with 15 points, while Audrey Bauer had 12 points and Chloe Stapleton poured in 10 ... Stapleton pitched in three of her points on the night when she sank one of her two buckets from beyond the arc with 4:05 left in the first to put Navy up 22-14 ... Bucknell went on a 9-0 run to finish the first half, with Felicia Mgbada’s layup with 1:39 left capping off the rally to send the Bison into halftime up 23-22 ... Bauer’s 3-pointer 40 seconds into the second half put Navy ahead 25-23, but another 7-0 spurt by Bucknell, capped off by a free throw from Mgbada, put the Bison ahead 30-25 with 17:22 to go ... Bucknell led until Navy’s Membreno sank a 3-pointer with 10:34 left to put the Mids up 39-38 ... Lindsay Horbatuck, who narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds, tied the game for the fifth time at 44-44 with a layup at the 6:19 mark ... Membreno capped off a 6-0 Navy run with two free throws, as the Mids took a 50-44 lead with 2:33 to go ... Dunn’s jumper and two foul shots from Horbatuck brought the Bison within one with just over a minute to go ... Bucknell had four chances in the final 23 seconds of the game ... The Bison dominated the middle, outscoring Navy 30-14 in the paint, but the Mids’ bench outscored Bucknell’s 14-2 ... Navy shot 8 of 17 from beyond the arc, while Bucknell went just 1 of 7 on treys ... The Bison will return home Wednesday night for a 7 p.m. tip with Colgate.

ARMY Junior Anna Simmers scored a career-high 28 points, with 20 coming in the first half, as Army held on for a 66-64 win over Lehigh Sunday afternoon at Christl Arena in West Point, N.Y. ... The win garnered a cheer from the nation’s capital, as first-place American now has a two-game lead on the rest of the field at the halfway mark of Patriot League play ... Simmers shot 12 of 25 from the floor, helping the Black Knights go 25 of 59 (42.4 percent) overall ... She added six rebounds and three assists for Army, which rebounded from two straight League losses to American (by one) and Holy Cross (by three) ... Jen Hazlett poured in 17 points for Army, while Olivia Schretzman chipped in 16 ... Four players hit double figures for Lehigh, led by senior Emily Gratch’s 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor ... Katie O’Reilly chipped in 13 points, Kelly Peterson had 11 off the bench and Alexa Williams tallied 10 ... After the game was nip and tuck throughout most of the first half, Army orchestrated a 12-0 run to finish off the first 20 minutes and went into the locker room with a 42-26 lead ... Lehigh staged a furious rally in the early stages of the second. Schretzman extended the Black Knights’ run to 14 straight points with a close jumper just 24 seconds in, but the Mountain Hawks fired off a 17-2 run to get within 46-43 with 15:43 remaining ... Army rebuilt a lead at 56-47 with 11:48 on the clock following Schretzman’s three-point play ... Gratch’s layup just beyond the midway point of the half brought Lehigh back within 56-54, and another Gratch bucket a few minutes later tied the game at 58 ... Simmers’ layup with less than two minutes to go capped off an 8-2 Army rally, giving the Black Knights a 66-60 lead ... Lehigh clawed back within two at 66-64 after free throws from O’Reilly and Williams, and after an empty possession by Army the Mountain Hawks had the ball in the closing seconds ... Aly Byorick was unable to get off a clean look for Lehigh, sealing the victory for the Black Knights ... Army goes to Lafayette Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

COLGATE RAIDERS (5-17, 2-5) AT AMERICAN EAGLES (15-6, 7-0)
Bender Arena (3,044); Washington, D.C. • Saturday, 2 p.m.
Series: American, 20-6
Streak: American, 11 Wins Last Meeting: American, 56-43 (1.7.12)
Last Colgate Win: 66-53 (2.10.07) Last Five Games: American, 5-0

Colgate, which snapped a 10-game losing streak to Holy Cross Saturday with a 74-69 victory in Hamilton, N.Y., will try to end another skid against a League opponent when it visits first-place American Saturday at 2 p.m. ... The Eagles have won 11 in a row against Colgate dating back to the 2006-07 campaign ... Alexis Dobbs had a game-high 15 points and Ebony Edwards added 10 in American’s 13-point win in Hamilton, N.Y., earlier this season ... American, which has won several close games in League play thanks to its defense, held the Raiders to 27.7 percent from the floor (13 of 47) in the first meeting, with no players reaching double figures for Colgate.

COLGATE Senior Tricia Oakes logged her second straight double-double and fourth of the season with 25 points and 17 rebounds to pace Colgate to its 74-69 victory over Holy Cross Saturday afternoon at Cotterell Court ... The win snapped the Raiders’ 10-game skid against Holy Cross, and was just their fourth in 47 meetings between the two programs ... Jhazmine Lynch added 18 points for Colgate, while Missy Repoli added a career-high 16 in 21 minutes off the bench ... Holy Cross was led by Amy Lepley and Emily Parker, who both tallied 19 points apiece. Lepley completed the double-double with 14 rebounds ... The Crusaders used an 8-0 run in the second half to turn a 61-55 deficit into a 63-61 lead with 4:43 to go. But Mariah Jones’ jumper just over a minute later tied the game ... Lepley returned the favor for Holy Cross back the other way, putting the Crusaders back up by a pair ... Lynch sank two free throws to knot the game again, and Kelly Korkowski found Oakes underneath for a layup to give the Raiders a 67-65 lead ... Parker replied in kind for Holy Cross to tie the game again, but the Raiders went ahead for good after another Oakes layup on a pass from Candice Green, and then Green hit a pair of free throws with 40 seconds left to put Colgate ahead by four ... It was a nip and tuck first half, with Holy Cross going ahead 30-23 following a 3-pointer form Ashley Cooper ... Colgate replied with a brief 6-2 run to close out the half and enter the locker room down 32-29 ... The Crusaders expanded their lead to six on three occasions early in the second half before an 8-0 Colgate run gave it a 47-45 lead with 11:41 left ... Holy Cross finished the game under 50 percent from the foul line, shooting 12 of 25 (48 percent) while going 25 of 63 from the floor and 7 of 11 on 3-pointers ... The Raiders finished 29 of 75 from the field and just 5 of 26 on 3-pointers, but they hit 11 of 16 from the foul line ... Colgate goes to Bucknell Wednesday at 7 p.m.

AMERICAN Senior Lisa Strack led all players with 18 points to pace American to a convincing 80-54 victory over Lafayette Saturday afternoon at Bender Arena ... Strack had seven assists and six steals to go along with her offensive output, as the Eagles hit the midway point of League play with an undefeated mark for the second time in three seasons ... Alexis Dobbs added 16 points for the Eagles, while Sarah Kiely poured in 13 and Tori Halvorsen had 12 ... Jen Dumiak had a career-high nine assists off the bench ... Strack hit her first five shots from the field and helped American jump out to an 18-8 lead in the game’s first 7:20 ... Samantha Jordan’s bucket at the eight-minute mark brought Lafayette within 26-20, but American replied with a 10-0 run ... The Eagles eventually went into halftime leading 41-24 ... A 3-pointer by Dobbs four minutes into the second gave American a 50-28 lead, and the advantage expanded to 27 points (58-31) at the 14:02 mark following Strack’s three-point play ... Back-to-back baskets from Kiely and Dobbs gave American a 68-37 lead with 8:37 remaining on the clock ... The Eagles, who committed just five turnovers in the game, forced 32 by Lafayette ... American made 34 field goals, the most by any League team in a game this season, on 74 attempts (45.9 percent), and collected 19 steals ... American scored 38 points off of Lafayette’s 32 miscues and owned a 46-28 edge in points in the paint and an 18-2 lead on fast break points ... The Eagles will return to the floor Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip at Lehigh.

LAFAYETTE LEOPARDS (8-14, 2-5) AT NAVY MIDSHIPMEN (11-10, 4-3)
Alumni Hall (5,710); Annapolis, Md. • Saturday, 7 p.m.
Series: Navy, 37-20
Streak: Navy, One Win Last Meeting: Navy, 60-55 (1.7.12)
Last Lafayette Win: 58-53 (2.12.11) Last Five Games: Navy, 3-2

Navy will go for the regular-season sweep of Lafayette Saturday night when the teams take the floor at Alumni Hall at 7 p.m. ... It was a tale of two vastly different halves when the clubs met Jan. 7 in Easton, Pa., as the Mids went over 14 minutes without a field goal in the first half and Lafayette owned a 30-18 lead entering halftime ... Audrey Bauer and Kara Pollinger finished with 18 points apiece for Navy in sparking the second-half rally, overcoming a 16-point performance by Lafayette’s Emily Homan and a 10-rebound, three-block showing from Leopard center Danielle Fiacco ... After shooting 5 of 28 in the first 20 minutes, the Mids hit 53 percent of their attempts in the second half, outscoring Lafayette 42-25 in the frame.

LAFAYETTE Senior Lisa Strack led all players with 18 points to pace American to a convincing 80-54 victory over Lafayette Saturday afternoon at Bender Arena ... Strack had seven assists and six steals to go along with her offensive output, as the Eagles hit the midway point of League play with an undefeated mark for the second time in three seasons ... Emily Homan led Lafayette with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Danielle Fiacco pitched in 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocks ... Alexis Dobbs added 16 points for the Eagles, while Sarah Kiely poured in 13 and Tori Halvorsen had 12 ... Strack hit her first five shots from the field and helped American jump out to an 18-8 lead in the game’s first 7:20 ... Samantha Jordan’s bucket at the eight-minute mark brought Lafayette within 26-20, but American replied with a 10-0 run ... The Eagles eventually went into halftime leading 41-24 ... A 3-pointer by Dobbs four minutes into the second gave American a 50-28 lead, and the advantage expanded to 27 points (58-31) at the 14:02 mark following Strack’s three-point play ... Back-to-back baskets from Kiely and Dobbs gave American a 68-37 lead with 8:37 remaining on the clock ... The Eagles, who committed just five turnovers in the game, forced 32 by Lafayette ... American made 34 field goals, the most by any League team in a game this season, on 74 attempts (45.9 percent), and collected 19 steals ... American scored 38 points off of Lafayette’s 32 miscues and owned a 46-28 edge in points in the paint and an 18-2 lead on fast break points ... The Leopards will be back home Wednesday for a 7 p.m. start against Army.

NAVY Bucknell rallied from a first-half deficit and couldn’t hold the lead in the closing seconds as Navy finished off its late comeback and escaped Sojka Pavilion with a 50-49 win over the Bison Saturday night ... Rachel Voss led the Bison with 13 points with seven rebounds on 5 of 14 from the floor, while Christina Chukwuedo poured in 12 on 50 percent shooting from the field ... Alix Membreno led three Navy players in double figures with 15 points, while Audrey Bauer had 12 points and Chloe Stapleton poured in 10 ... Stapleton pitched in three of her points on the night when she sank one of her two buckets from beyond the arc with 4:05 left in the first to put Navy up 22-14 ... Bucknell went on a 9-0 run to finish the first half, with Felicia Mgbada’s layup with 1:39 left capping off the rally to send the Bison into halftime up 23-22 ... Bauer’s 3-pointer 40 seconds into the second half put Navy ahead 25-23, but another 7-0 spurt by Bucknell, capped off by a free throw from Mgbada, put the Bison ahead 30-25 with 17:22 to go ... Bucknell led until Navy’s Membreno sank a 3-pointer with 10:34 left to put the Mids up 39-38 ... Lindsay Horbatuck, who narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds, tied the game for the fifth time at 44-44 with a layup at the 6:19 mark ... Membreno capped off a 6-0 Navy run with two free throws, as the Mids took a 50-44 lead with 2:33 to go ... Dunn’s jumper and two foul shots from Horbatuck brought the Bison within one with just over a minute to go ... Bucknell had four chances in the final 23 seconds of the game ... The Bison dominated the middle, outscoring Navy 30-14 in the paint, but the Mids’ bench outscored Bucknell’s 14-2 ... Navy shot 8 of 17 from beyond the arc, while Bucknell went just 1 of 7 on treys ... Navy goes to Worcester to visit Holy Cross Wednesday at 7 p.m.