CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The race for first place in the Patriot League and eventually the top overall seed in the League Tournament took a twist Wednesday night thanks to Navy's 52-42 victory at American and Colgate's 60-56 stunner at home over Army. The Mids retook a one-game lead atop the standings at 9-2, while Army dropped to 8-3 with three contests left in the regular season.
With the win, Navy became the first team to clinch a home quarterfinal game in the Patriot League Tournament. The Mids will host their opponent on Thursday, March 7 when the tournament gets underway.
Elsewhere, Holy Cross withstood several second-half rallies from Lafayette to down the Leopards 69-58, and Kerry Kinek broke Lehigh and Patriot League records with 22 rebounds in the Mountain Hawks 49-37 triumph at Bucknell.
Saturday's slate tips off at 2 p.m. when Bucknell visits Holy Cross. Army hosts American an hour later at 3 p.m. Two night contests finish off the slate, with Navy entertaining Colgate at 7 p.m., while the next chapter of the Lafayette-Lehigh rivalry will be written at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pa., in a 7:30 p.m. tip.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Navy's offense went cold with just one field goal over the game's final 18 minutes, but the Mids were able to gut out a 52-42 victory at American Wednesday night to retake first place in the Patriot League.
Jade Geif paced the Mids (16-10, 9-2) with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Alix Membreno hauled in a game-high 11 rebounds to go with six points and four assists. Geif now sits just three points shy of 1,000 for her career.
Alexis Dobbs scored 12 points to lead the Eagles (13-12, 6-5), who dropped their third straight League game. Jen Dumiak scored nine points, and Stephanie Anya cleaned the glass with seven caroms.
Geif put Navy ahead 14-5 with 12:22 left in the first half when she connected on a jumper, and shortly later Audrey Bauer's 3-pointer gave the Mids a 19-7 advantage. Chloe Stapleton connected on two of her three 3-point field goals of the first half on back-to-back scoring possessions for Navy, giving it a 28-16 lead with just over three minutes until intermission. Kara Pollinger provided the icing on the cake for the Mids, hitting their sixth 3-pointer of the first half on a 22-footer at the buzzer to send them into the locker room with a 34-21 lead.
In all, Navy hit 6-of-9 shots from the 3-point line in the first 20 minutes to build their lead, while American was 7 of 23 overall from the field.
The Mids went in front 39-24 on an Erin Meador triple with 18:09 remaining in the game.
American chipped away with a 6-0 run, with two Geleisa George free throws cutting Navy's lead to 39-30 with 16:00 left.
Dumiak's trey at the 9:15 mark brought American within 41-37, George sank two more free throws and Ari Booth nailed a jump shot, and suddenly it was a 41-41 game with 5:42 remaining.
Navy regained the lead when Pollinger hit two from the line, and Geif's jumper put the Mids back up by five at 46-41 with 3:19 to go. It snapped a streak of 17:50 without a field goal for Navy.
The Mids closed out the game from the free throw line, as the Eagles suddenly went cold from the floor. American finished the contest going 0 of 8 from the field after Booth's bucket.
After shooting 13 of 28 in the first, Navy went just 3 of 25 in the second to finish a shade over 30 percent for the game. American shot 7 of 23 in both halves to finish at 30.4 percent.
HAMILTON, N.Y. - Mariah Jones led three Colgate players in double figures with 17 points, and the Raiders withstood a late turnover with four seconds left to stun Army 60-56 Wednesday night at Cotterell Court.
Jhazmine Lynch added 11 points for Colgate (8-18, 2-9), while Lauryn Kobiela scored 10 in 20 minutes off the bench.
Jen Hazlett scored game-high 22 points for Army (19-7, 8-3), which fell a game behind Navy for first in the League standings. Kelsey Minato and Anna Simmers tallied 11 points apiece.
It was a wild finish. Colgate was to inbound the ball with five seconds left under the Army basket, but the Black Knights forced the Raiders into a five-second violation. Army set up its play and the ball got in to Olivia Schretzman in the lane. But she was called for an offensive foul, sending Kobiela to the line with three seconds left. She hit her two from the stripe to ice the game.
Army built leads several times in the game, only to see the Raiders rally back. The Black Knights moved up 27-19 with under four minutes left in the first on a Minato jumper, and Schretzman's bucket inside put the Black Knights ahead 29-21 headed into the break.
Colgate scored the first four points of the second, and a Jones trey cut Army's lead to 32-30 in the opening minutes. 3-pointers from Hazlett and Simmers put the Black Knights back up by eight, and another trey from Minato put the Black Knights up by their largest lead at 48-36 with 12:14 remaining.
Colgate stormed back with a 13-0 run, with Catherine Lewis' 3-pointer erasing the deficit and putting the Raiders up 49-48 with under eight minutes to play.
Lynch sank another big 3-pointer for Colgate, giving the Raiders a 55-53 lead with just over five and a half minutes remaining.
Trailing 58-56 in the final minute, Army had the ball in Minato's hands for two cracks at the game-tying shot, but both opportunities wouldn't fall.
Both teams finished over 40 percent from the field and were even with six made 3-pointers apiece. Army outrebounded Colgate 47-37.
EASTON, Pa. - Amy Lepley's game-high 23 points sparked Holy Cross to a 69-58 win over Lafayette at Kirby Sports Center Wednesday night.
Lepley hauled in six caroms, while Brisje Malone scored 15 points with eight assists, and Alex Smith poured in 13 points for the Crusaders (14-12, 6-5), who moved into a tie for third place with American.
Emily Homan had a big game for the Leopards with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Linnel Macklin added 14 points. Danielle Fiacco had seven points and five boards for Lafayette (11-15, 4-7), but the League's leading shot blocker went without a rejection.
The Crusaders opened the game on a 10-2 run, with Lepley's inside score capping it off less than three minutes in. Later in the first, Holy Cross utilized a 14-2 run with Lepley finishing it once more to put Holy Cross ahead 30-13 with 5:37 to play in the first.
Lafayette replied with a half-closing 14-4 spurt, with Madeline Fahan's jumper as the seconds ticked off brought the Leopards within 34-27 at halftime.
Malone's jumper gave Holy Cross a 38-28 lead less than a minute into the second, but the Leopards fired off five straight points to get within 38-33.
Fiacco's layup cut the Holy Cross advantage to 41-38 at the 14:07 mark before the Crusaders answered with an 8-0 run.
Lafayette orchestrated one final run, cutting it to a 56-53 Crusader lead with 5:25 left on a Macklin conversion in the lane. But Malone capped a 9-2 Holy Cross reply with 1:30 left to give the Crusaders a 65-55 lead.
Holy Cross shot 45 percent for the game, and hit at a 54 percent clip after the intermission. The Leopards finished just under 34 percent, and both teams were 5 of 16 from beyond the arc.
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Kerry Kinek posted a double-double with 11 points and a record-breaking 22 rebounds as Lehigh outlasted Bucknell 49-37 at Sojka Pavilion Wednesday night.
Kinek snapped the Lehigh and Patriot League records for caroms in a game, a mark that was first set in 1995 and had been matched twice, most recently in 2005.
Katie O'Reilly added 10 points and eight rebounds for surging Lehigh (13-13, 5-6), which has won three straight games.
Shelby Romine led all scorers with 20 points to pace Bucknell (13-13, 4-7), which has lost its sixth straight. Audrey Dotson had 12 points and six rebounds, and Lindsay Horbatuck collected a team-high 12 boards.
It was a perfect storm of untimely offense in the first half. Bucknell shot just 3 of 37 and Lehigh nearly matched it with a 6-of-32 showing. The Mountain Hawks led 18-8 at the half.
The offense quickly picked up in the second. After combining for 26 points in the first 20 minutes, the teams doubled the game's output in the first five minutes after the intermission.
Kelly Peterson's jumper in the lane put Lehigh ahead 26-15 three minutes in, but Bucknell replied when Romine converted an and-one opportunity to bring Bucknell within 26-21. Romine struck again with a trey to cut Lehigh's lead to 28-27 with under 14 minutes to go.
The Mountain Hawks slowly regained control, with Kinek's jumper in the lane putting them up 35-29 at the midway point of the second.
Bucknell mounted one more rally, with two Dotson free throws bringing the Bison within 37-35 with 4:31 to play. But Peterson sank a rainmaker 3-pointer from the right corner in reply. Dotson hit a deuce for Bucknell with 3:57 left to cut Lehigh's lead to 40-37, but the Bison's next turnover after a Lehigh miss ended in a turnover, and Kinek hit two from the line to put the Mountain Hawks up by five.
Lehigh ended the game on a 9-0 run, which included a 5-of-5 showing at the foul line.
Lehigh shot a shade under 30 percent for the game, while Bucknell finished at 20 percent.
Watch below for comments from Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan.
Kinek had postgame reaction to the win at Bucknell and breaking the single-game rebounds record.