Patriot League Women's Basketball Preview - 02.18.14

Alex Smith

Feb. 18, 2014

Patriot League Women's Basketball Release - 2.18.14 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - With two weeks left in the Patriot League regular season, only 1.5 games separates the top three teams in the standings.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_WBB
*Army So. G Kelsey Minato broke an 11-year old Patriot League record with 49 points in loss to Holy Cross on 2/12.
*Loyola University Maryland has yet to win a PL game at home this season and Colgate is winless on the road.
*American is trying to win six in a row for the first time this season; they've won five straight on three occasions.
*Holy Cross' Brisje Malone (991 points) and Lafayette's Danielle Fiacco (974) are closing in on a 1,000 points.
*Navy is thought to be just the 3rd NCAA women's basketball program with four 1,000 point scorers in a single class.
*Boston University is going for a season-best fourth win in a row on Wednesday.
*Lehigh and Holy Cross are the only two Patriot League programs averaging more than 70 points per game.
*A Navy win clinches a quarterfinal playoff game at home for the Mids.
*Army's game with Lehigh that was postponed on Feb. 5 will be played this Monday at Stabler Arena.
*Bucknell has two of the top six scorers in the Patriot League in Audrey Dotson (16.2 ppg) and Shelby Romine (14.8 ppg).
*Lehigh leads the Patriot League with 9.0 steals per game.

Patriot League Notebook

Still Crowded at the Top
With two weeks left in the Patriot League regular season, only 1.5 games separates the top three teams in the standings. On Wednesday the two top teams, Navy and American, host Lehigh and Boston University, respectively, while third place Army travels to Hamilton, N.Y. to face Colgate. Lafayette will host Holy Cross in a matchup of two of the teams trying to earn a home game in the quarterfinal round of the postseason tournament while Loyola heads north to take on Bucknell.

Minato Sets Patriot League and NCAA Marks
Army sophomore Kelsey Minato put on a performance for the ages during the Black Knights 92-85 loss to Holy Cross on Feb. 12. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native scored 49 points to break the Academy women's scoring record of 39 set by Laurie Goetz in 1987 as well as the Christl Arena record of 46 set by Kevin Houston against Manhattanville in 1986. It also set the individual scoring mark for a Patriot League player, besting the previous record of 44 set by Bucknell's Molly Creamer in 2003. The 49 points are the second most in Div. 1 women's basketball during the 2013-14 season to Troy's Joanna Harden's 52. Minato was also an amazing 26-for-26 from the free throw line against the Crusaders. This broke the NCAA single game record of 22-for-22 held by Shanika Freeman of Jacksonville State in 2003 and the 26 free throws made bested the mark of 23 made in a single game most recently done by Maryland's Shay Doran in 2003.

Patriot League Teams with High Marks in NCAA RPI
The Patriot League has enjoyed a strong season overall, and it shows with six teams in the top 150 of the NCAA RPI rating entering the week. Navy holds the highest mark at No. 60, followed by Army (87), American (97), Bucknell (123), Lafayette (125), and Holy Cross (134). Navy also comes in at No. 18 in the Feb. 11 Mid-Major top 25, American also appears in the others receiving votes category.

1,000-Point Scorers
Ten active Patriot Leaguers are in the 1,000-point club, and one is now a 1,500-point scorer. Holy Cross' Alex Smith reached the 1,500 mark on Feb. 1, and her career total currently stands at 1,563. Smith is followed on the 1,000-point list by Bucknell's Shelby Romine (1,446), Navy's Jade Geif (1,398), American's Alexis Dobbs (1,185), Boston University's Rashidat Agboola (1,122), Navy's Alix Membreno (1,121), Army's Jen Hazlett (1, 065), Navy's Kara Pollinger (1,019), Audrey Bauer (1,010) and Lafayette's Emily Homan (1,006). Homan became the newest member when she went over the mark on Saturday in Leopards loss at American.

Closing in on 1,000
Navy became the only Patriot League women's program to claim four 1,000 point scorers in a single class. Seniors Audrey Bauer (1,001) and Kara Pollinger (1,004) joined Jade Geif and Alix Membreno in reaching this milestone during the Mids 80-71 win over Bucknell on Feb. 12. Holy Cross may welcome the 30th member of their 1,000 point fraternity Wednesday if senior Brisje Malone (991 points) can score nine or more points against Lafayette. The Leopards should soon add senior Danielle Fiacco (974 points) to become the 17th member of their 1,000 point club.

Grab the Board!
Rebounding continues to play a big role in Patriot League play as many teams are winning with big edges on the glass. On Saturday, three out of the five victorious teams held a rebounding edge and in the other two contests Holy Cross and Lehigh each had 39 boards in the Crusaders win while American only grabbed two less caroms than Lafayette. Navy held a large 51-29 rebounding advantage in their road win over Colgate.

League Trends
Four out of five home teams won on Saturday to increase the home/road advantage to 38-31 in Patriot League action. Army, Bucknell and Navy have only lost once at home this season in Patriot League contests. More than half of the games, 39 out of 69, have been decided by 10 points or more with 30 finishing with a margin of less than 10 points and 17 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, Army's Kelsey Minato jumped from 28th to 16th in the country with 21.9 points per game, and also rose from 12th nationally to 8th from the foul line at 91.2%. American's Alexis Dobbs (18th at 88.5%) and Loyola's Lisa Mirarchi (36th at 86.0%) also cracked the top 50. The highest individual spot belongs to Navy's Kara Pollinger, who is fourth in the country with a 47.4% mark from three-point range. Lafayette's Danielle Fiacco is 12th in he NCAA in blocks at 3.08 per game. American is sixth in scoring defense (54.7 points per game), 31st in FG percentage defense (36.2%) and 44th in scoring margin (+10.4 ppg) according to the latest NCAA figures. Navy is fourth in turnovers (11.9 per game) and seventh in three-point field goals (9.1 per game). Army is 11th in three point field goal percentage (38.3%).

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

Holy Cross (16-9, 8-6) at Lafayette Leopards (13-12, 7-7)
Kirby Sports Center; Easton, Pa. (PLN) Wednesday, 7 p.m.
*The Crusaders have won eight straight against the Leopards, the last Lafayette win was 43-39 on 1/9/10.
*Leopards junior Emily Homan became 16th member of Lafayette 1000-point club on Saturday.
*Holy Cross senior Brisje Malone is only 9 points away from becoming 30th member of Crusaders 1000-point club.
*After five straight home games, Army will finish the season with four of five on the road.
*Holy Cross leads the all-time series between the teams 50-8 which dates to 1986.

LOYOLA MARYLAND (5-20, 2-12) at Bucknell Bison (13-11, 8-6)
Sojka Pavilion; Lewisburg, Pa. (PLN) Wednesday, 7 p.m.
*Bucknell leads the all-time series between the teams 6-5 which dates to 1984.
*Loyola's Nicole Krusen needs two three-point field goals to break the program record.
*Bucknell's Megan McGurk (2) and Claire DeBoer (7) have captured 9 of the 15 PL Rookie of the Week honors.
*Loyola is third in the Patriot League with 7.3 steals per game.
*Bucknell senior Shelby Romine is 54 points away from becoming the 5th player in program to reach 1,500 points.

Boston University (11-16, 6-8) at American Eagles (18-7, 11-3)
Bender Arena; Washington, D.C. (PLN) Wednesday, 7 p.m.
*The all-time series between the two teams is tied 2-2. The teams first met in 1982.
*American's Michelle Holmes leads the Patriot League in field goal percentage at 64.3%.
*The Terriers are on a season-high three game win streak.
*American is looking to win a season-best sixth game in a row.
*BU senior Rashidat Agboola has scored in double digits 19 times this season, including last five.

Lehigh Mountain Hawks (11-13, 4-9) at Navy Midshipmen (20-5, 12-2)
Alumni Hall; Annapolis, Md. (PLN) Wednesday, 7 p.m.
*Lehigh leads the all-time series between the teams 26-25 which dates to 1981.
*Navy went 9-0 to start the Patriot League season, but are 2-5 in the second half.
*Katie O'Reilly, of Lehigh, scored a career-high 19 points in previous meeting.
*Navy has won the last four meetings, including a 73-61 win on Jan. 22.
*Mids have four 1,000 point scorers in the starting lineup.

Army Black Knights (18-6, 10-3) at Colgate Raiders (5-20, 1-13)
Cotterell Court; Hamilton, N.Y. (PLN) Wednesday, 7 p.m.
*Army leads the all-time series between the teams 34-21 which dates to 1983.
*Last Colgate win was 48-40 on March 7, 2013.
*Anaconda Sports Patriot League Player of the Week Kelsey Minato averaged 39 ppg for Army last week.
*Colgate has only won one game since a three-game win streak in mid-December.
*Army will play three games in six days when they make up contest with Lehigh that was ppd on 3/5.
*Colgate's Carole Harris scored 21 points on 10-of-18 shooting in previous meeting.

Team Notebooks

AMERICAN The Eagles kept pace with first-place Navy on Saturday with a 72-61 victory over Lafayette at Bender Arena. Senior Geleisa George scored a career-high 21 points and Alexis Dobbs and Michelle Holmes tallied 19 points apiece. The trio combined to shoot a sparkling 23-33 (69.7%) from the field... The 19 points by Holmes marked a career-high from the sophomore from Toledo, Ohio... The Eagles are currently sixth in the nation in scoring defense at 54.7 points per game allowed, according to the latest NCAA statistics... George had four of American's 11 steals in the win over the Leopards. The Eagles scored 16 points off of turnovers in the win and had 17 fast break points... American will host Boston University on Wednesday in the annual Play4Kay Day game. American will then wrap up the regular season with a home contest against Navy sandwiched between trips to Army and Bucknell.

ARMY The Black Knights kept pace near the top of the Patriot League standings with a 75-63 victory over Bucknell at Christl Arena. Sophomore guard Kelsey Minato led Army with 29 points and six assists in the win over the Bison. Sophomore Aimee Oertner posted 13 points and nine boards on 5-of-7 shooting. ... After missing the first 21 games of the season junior Krishawn Tillett scored a career-high 10 points in 15 minutes off the bench. Tillett played in 11 non-conference games as a sophomore before suffering a season-ending injury after getting start against Morgan State... The Black Knights will play three games in a six-day span as they make-up contest at Lehigh on Monday, Feb. 24 ... After playing five consecutive games at home, Army will end the season by playing four of their final five contests on the road. Black Knights travel to Colgate on Wednesday before playing final home contest Saturday against American.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY The surging Terriers won their third straight Patriot League contest by defeating Loyola University Maryland 74-55 at Case Gym. With the victory Boston University moves within a game of sixth place Lafayette in the standings. The top six teams at the end of the regular season receive a bye into the quarterfinal round while teams seven through ten will play an opening round game on Tuesday, Mar. 4. ... Senior Danielle Callahan hit six three-point field goals to lead the Terriers with 20 points. Rashidat Agboola scored in double figures for the fifth straight game, finishing with 19 points in win over Greyhounds... Three game winning streak is the longest of the season for Boston University... Terriers play a pair of road games with American and Bucknell this week before wrapping up the regular season at home against Army and Holy Cross.

BUCKNELL The Bison fell in to a fourth place tie with Holy Cross following a 75-63 loss at Army on Saturday. Junior Audrey Dotson scored 20 points to lead Bucknell and freshman Megan McGurk added 12 points. Dotson, the second-leading scorer in the Patriot League at 16.2 points per game, shot 7-of-12 (58.3%) from the field and made 6-of-7 (85.7) at the line. ... McGurk was named the Anaconda Sports Women's Basketball Rookie of the Week for the second time this season off of her strong performances last week. The Bison have dominated that award this winter winning nine of 15 weeks with Claire DeBoer being recognized seven times. ... Bucknell wend wind up the regular season playing three of their final four games at Sojka Pavilion. The Bison host Loyola and Boston University this week, travel to Lehigh on Feb. 26 before wrapping up the regular season at home against American.

COLGATE The Raiders hung with first-place Navy for the first 12 minutes Saturday before the Mids pulled away for a 76-47 win at Cotterell Court. Carole Harris scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds for Colgate and Mariah Jones added 16 points before fouling out. Raiders had tied the contest at 20-all before Navy finished the half with a 19-2 run... Harris and Jones each had three of Colgate's season-high 11 steals in the loss to Navy ... Harris has led the Raiders in scoring ten times this season and in rebounding on 12 occasions -- both team highs. ... Colgate hosts Army on Wednesday night and travel to Loyola and Lafayette before wrapping up the regular season at home against Lehigh on March 1.

HOLY CROSS The Crusaders won their second straight contest on Wednesday with a 76-68 over Lehigh at the Hart Center. Holy Cross pulled away with a 23-11 run midway through the second half. Sophomore Raquel Scott led the way 18 points and 11 rebounds for her 13th double-double this season... Senior Brisje Malone finished with 16 points in the win over Lehigh, leaving her just nine points shy of becoming the 30th player in program history to reach 1,000 points... Malone and classmate Alex Smith are the only two players ever to record at least 900 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists in a career... The Crusaders play three of their final four games on the road beginning Wednesday at Lafayette. Holy Cross will have a home matchup with Loyola on Feb. 26 sandwiched in between road games at Navy and Boston University.

LAFAYETTE The Leopards fell back to .500 in Patriot League play with a 72-61 loss at second place American. The Eagles pulled away from a one-point halftime advantage with a 21-8 run to start the second half. Junior forward Emily Homan scored 14 points to lead the Leopards and sophomore guard Jamie O'Hare chipped in with 13. Senior center Danielle Fiacco tied a season-high with 14 rebounds... Homan became the 16 Lafayette women's basketball player to score 1,000 points when she scored a layup and added a free throw with 6:09 remaining against American. The Leopards should add another player to the list this month with Fiacco (974 points) closing in on the mark as well... With four games remaining in the regular season, Lafayette sits in sixth and final spot with a bye in to the quarterfinals. The Leopards will have to hold off hard-charging Boston University and rival Lehigh to avoid playing an opening-round game. Lafayette does play three of their final four games at Kirby Sports Center, beginning with Holy Cross on Wednesday night.

LEHIGH After a strong first half, the Mountain Hawks wilted down the stretch in a 76-68 loss at Holy Cross. Lehigh trailed by one with 13:42 remaining, but Holy Cross went on a 23-11 run over the next nine minutes to build a double-digit advantage. Sophomore Elizabeth Sharlow came within a rebound of a double-double, finishing with 15 points and nine rebounds. Kerry Kinek added 13 points and grabbed eight boards. Kinek has scored in double figures in all but two games this season and has scored 20 or more on seven occasions... Freshman Lexi Martins scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds in only 12 minutes of action in loss to the Crusaders. In her 19th season, head coach Sue Troyan is three wins shy of 300 for her career... The Mountain Hawks travel to Annapolis, Md. to take on first place Navy on Wednesday. After three straight home contests (Lafayette/Army/Bucknell), Lehigh will conclude the regular season at Colgate.

LOYOLA MARYLAND The Greyhounds got off to a poor start in 74-55 loss at Boston University on Saturday. After Nneka Offodile scored a basket in the opening minute, the Terriers answered with a 13-0 run from which Loyola never recovered. Junior Nai Brown came off the bench to lead the Greyhounds with 14 points. Jeneh Perry came within two points of recording her first career double-double finishing with eight points and 12 rebounds... Lisa Mararchi played all 40 minutes in loss to the Terriers and recorded a team-high six assists in the contest... With two more baskets from behind the arc, senior Nicole Krusen will hold the program record for the most three-point field goals in school history with 151... The Greyhounds have lost nine of their last ten games heading into Wednesday's contest at Bucknell. after taking on the Bison, Loyola will finish with two of the last three games at Reitz Arena, with a road trip to Holy Cross sandwiched in between home meetings with Colgate and Navy.

NAVY Became the first team to 20 wins with a 76-47 win over Colgate on Saturday. Alix Membreno led the Mids with 18 points While Kara Pollinger and Jade Geif chipped in with 15 each. Both Membreno and Geif each had 10 rebounds as well to post a double-double... Pollinger, Geif and Membreno combined to shoot 19-for-31 (61.3%) from the field against the Raiders... With three more victories, head coach Stefanie Pemper will 350 wins for her career and 115 at Navy. A win over Lehigh on Wednesday will clinch a home game for the Mids in the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League Tournament... According to the latest NCAA statistics, Navy is fourth nationally in fewest turnovers per game at 11.9 and seventh among Division 1 teams in three-point field goals per game at 9.1. In individual categories, Pollinger is fourth in the nation with a 47.4 three-point field goal percentage... The Mids will host Lehigh and American this week before finishing the regular season at American and Loyola University Maryland.