Patriot League Women's Basketball Weekend Preview - 2.28.14

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Lafayette's Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby
Lafayette's Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby

Feb. 28, 2014

Patriot League Women's Basketball Weekend Preview - 2.28.14 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa.- The battle for the No. 1 seed will go down to the final weekend of the regular season between Army and Navy. The Mids can capture the outright title with a win at Loyola University Maryland on Saturday but a Navy loss coupled with an Army win over Lafayette gives the Black Knights the top seed.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_WBB
*Navy's Class of 2014 has tied the 1999 class for most wins in a four-year career with 81.
*Loyola University Maryland has yet to win a PL game at home this season (0-8).
*American, Army, Bucknell and Navy have clinched home games for the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League playoffs.
*Boston University and Lehigh will be the hosts for first round games Tuesday in Patriot League postseason.
*Navy's Jade Geif became the first in program history with 1000 points and 1000 rebounds.
*Bucknell freshman Claire DeBoer tied a Patriot League mark when she won her 8th Rookie of the Week award.
*HC senior Alex Smith is in top 10 in PL history in two categories: points (9th, 1592) and 3-pt field goals (1st, 339).
*Army sophomore Kelsey Minato became the fastest (59 games) in program history to 1,000 points.
*Senior Shelby Romine became the 5th Bucknell women's player to score 1,500 in a career
*Lafayette senior Danielle Fiacco needs 8 points to reach 1,000 for her career.
*Lehigh leads the Patriot League with 8.6 steals per game.

Patriot League Notebook

Playoff Picture is Clearing
Five of the 10 seeds for the Patriot League tournament were determined following the results of games on Wednesday evening. Bucknell joined American, Army and Navy in securing home games for the quarterfinal round of the playoffs with a win over Lehigh on Wednesday night that secured the fourth seed. The Bison' opponent in that game on March 6 will be Holy Cross who earned the No. 5 seed by defeating Loyola. Lafayette nailed down the sixth spot and a first round bye with their victory over Colgate. Despite losses on Wednesday, Boston University and Lehigh will host first round games on Tuesday against either Colgate or Loyola.

Fight for No. 1 Seed Goes to Final Weekend
The battle for the No. 1 seed will go down to the final weekend of the regular season between Army and Navy. The Mids can capture the outright title with a win at Loyola University Maryland on Saturday but a Navy loss coupled with an Army win over Lafayette gives the Black Knights the top seed. American can also force Army into third place with a win at Bucknell, if Army loses to the Leopards.

Heading on the Road
Colgate and Loyola are destined to begin the Patriot League Tournament on the road, but their exact destinations Tuesday are still to be determined. The Raiders currently occupy the ninth spot in the standings and would held to Lehigh with the Greyhounds making the trek to Boston to face Boston University. However, a series of three events could switch that scenario around. A Loyola win over Navy plus a Colgate loss to Lehigh and an Army loss to Lafayette would put the Greyhounds in Bethlehem and the Raiders in Boston.

1,000-Point Scorers
Twelve 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 moved into 9th place all-time on Wednesday with 1592 points. Smith is followed on the 1,000-point list by Bucknell's Shelby Romine (1,503), Navy's Jade Geif (1,441), American's Alexis Dobbs (1,222), Boston University's Rashidat Agboola (1,157), Navy's Alix Membreno (1,153), Army's Jen Hazlett (1,129), Lafayette's Emily Homan (1,053), Navy's Kara Pollinger (1,048), Navy's Audrey Bauer (1,045), Holy Cross' Brisje Malone (1,039) and Army's Kelsey Minato (1,004). Minato became the fastest player in Army program history when she reached the 1,000 point mark in the 59th game of her career.

Closing in on Milestones
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. Lafayette should soon add senior Danielle Fiacco (992 points) to become the 17th member of their 1,000 point club. Bucknell's Shelby Romine became the 5th Bison women's basketball player to score 1,500 points during the win over Lehigh Wednesday. The same night, Navy's Jade Geif the first in program history with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career.

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. 52, followed by Army (83), American (98), Holy Cross (117), Bucknell (124) and Lafayette (140). Navy also comes in at No. 20 in the Feb. 18 Mid-Major top 25, Army and American also appear in the others receiving votes category.

League Trends
Three out of five home teams won Wednesday to increase the home/road advantage to 49-36 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, 49 out of 85, have been decided by 10 points or more with 36 finishing with a margin of less than 10 points and 19 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 comes in at 18th in the country with 21.7 points per game, and also rose from 12th nationally to 7th from the foul line at 91.9%. Loyola's Lisa Mirarchi (28th at 86.6%) American's Alexis Dobbs (29th at 86.6%) also cracked the top 50. The highest individual spot belongs to Navy's Kara Pollinger, who is third in the country with a 47.2% mark from three-point range. Lafayette's Danielle Fiacco is 14th in he NCAA in blocks at 2.85 per game. American is sixth in scoring defense (54.7 points per game), 28th in FG percentage defense (36.2%) and 46th in scoring margin (+10.4 ppg) according to the latest NCAA figures. Navy is eighth in turnovers (12.3 per game) and sixth in three-point field goals (9.1 per game). Army is 14th in three point field goal percentage (37.6%) followed closely by Navy in 19th (37.0%).

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 (18-10, 10-7) at Boston University (11-19, 6-11)
Case Gym; Boston, Mass. (PLN) Saturday, 1 p.m.
*Holy Cross leads the all-time series between the two teams 10-2 in series which dates to 1976.
*Holy Cross defeated the Terriers 69-59 on Jan. 2; BU's last victory was 81-26 on 12/2/77.
*Boston University senior enters final regular season game with 1,157 points and 842 rebounds.
*Holy Cross senior guard Alex Smith (1,592 points) moved in to top 10 in all-time Patriot League scoring.
*Boston University has lost three straight after a season best three-game winning streak from 2/8-2/15.

Navy (22-6,14-3) at Loyola University Maryland (5-23, 2-15)
Reitz Arena; Baltimore, Md. (PLN) Saturday, 2 p.m.
*Navy leads the all-time series between the teams 12-4 which dates to 1979.
*Navy won the last meeting 67-44 on Jan. 2; the last American win was 42-38 on Nov. 13, 2011.
*The five seniors on Navy's roster have combined to score more than 5,000 points in their career.
*Loyola has lost none straight games and has not won a Patriot League game at home.
*Navy can clinch its first outright Patriot League regular season championship with win over Greyhounds.

Army Black Knights (21-7, 13-4) at Lafayette Leopards (14-14, 8-9)
Kirby Sports Center; Easton, Pa. (PLN) Saturday, 2 p.m.
*Army leads 32-23 in the all-time series between the teams which dates to 1990
*The Black Knights won 66-49 on Jan.2; the last Lafayette win was 54-42 on Jan. 26, 2011.
*Lafayette is shooting for its first winning season since the 1997-98 campaign.
*Army has won its last three games and 9 of their last 11.
*Leopards' senior Danielle Fiacco is eight points shy of 1,000 for her career.
*Army sophomore Kelsey Minato is fastest in program history to 1,000 points (59 games)

American Eagles (20-8, 13-4) at Bucknell Bison (16-11, 11-6)
Sojka Pavilion; Worcester, Mass. (PLN) Saturday, 2 p.m.
*American leads the all-time series between the teams 20-12 which dates to 1983.
*American won the last meeting 77-40, last Bucknell win was 46-43 on 3/7/13.
*Bucknell senior Shelby Romine became 5th player in program history to reach 1,500 points.
*American defense has not yielded 70 points to an opponent since a 77-64 loss to Geo. Washington on 12/28.
*Bucknell has won three in a row since dropping back-to-back games to Army and Navy.
*American junior Arron Zimmerman has scored 20 points in back-to-back games.

Lehigh Mountain Hawks (12-16, 5-12) at Colgate Raiders (7-21, 3-14)
Cotterell Court; Hamilton, N.Y. (PLN) Saturday, 4 p.m.
*Lehigh leads 34-22 in the all-time series between the team which dates to 1986.
*Lehigh won 76-69 on Jan. 2; last Colgate victory was 77-71 during 2011-12 season.
*Colgate's Carole Harris had her seventh double-double of the season in loss to Lafayette on Wednesday.
*Lehigh is one of only two Patriot League teams averaging more than 70 points per game
*These two teams could meet again on Tuesday in first round of Patriot League Tournament.

Team Notebooks

AMERICAN The Eagles bounced back from a disappointing loss to Army by knocking off first place Navy 63-50 Wednesday at Bender Arena. Junior Arron Zimmerman scored 20 points for the second straight game and Alexis Dobbs had a solid all-around effort with 11 points, seven assists and six rebounds... American head coach Megan Gebbia became the winningest first year coach in program history by earning her 20th win of the season... The Eagles finish the regular season with a trip to Lewisburg, Pa. to play Bucknell. A win over the Bison coupled with an Army loss at Lafayette would give American the No. 2 seed for the Patriot League Tournament. Otherwise, the Eagles will enter the postseason as the No. 3 seed and are guaranteed to host a quarterfinal round playoff game on Thursday, March 6. The opponent will be determined on Saturday based on the results from the final day of the regular season.

ARMY The Black Knights remain in contention for the top seed in the Patriot League Tournament following a dominant 75-48 win at Boston University on Wednesday. Senior Jen Hazlett continued her recent tear with 21 points and a career-best 16 rebounds in the win over the Terriers. Sophomore Jean Parker was 4-for-4 from behind the three-point arc to tally a dozen and Kelsey Minato became the youngest player in program history (59 games) to reach 1,000 points, finishing with 11 and nine assists... Army will finish the season on the road Saturday at Lafayette, a team they defeated 66-49 on Jan. 2. The Black Knights need to beat the Leopards and have Navy lose at Loyola in order to claim the No. 1 seed. If Navy wins, Army would finish as the No. 2 seed unless American finishes in sole possession of second place in the final regular season standings ahead of Army. The Black Knights own any tiebreakers with the Eagles, having swept both meetings during the regular season.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY The Terriers didn't fare any better at home Wednesday against Army than they did earlier in the season at Christl Arena, falling 75-48 to the Black Knights. The Terriers trailed by only two with five minutes remaining in the first half before Army went on a 39-13 run over the next 15 minutes. Senior Melissa Gallo was the only Boston University player in double figures, finishing with 10 points. Junior Molly McKendrick had 11 rebounds, six points and six assists for the Terriers... Both losses to Army this season were by 27 points... The loss ended Boston University's quest for the sixth seed and a first round bye. Instead the Terriers are locked in as the No. 7 seed and will host either Loyola University or Colgate in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament on Tuesday, March 4. The Eagles will conclude the regular season on Saturday by hosting Holy Cross.

BUCKNELL The Bison used a 14-3 run in the second half Wednesday to break open a close game and pull away for a 87-78 win over Lehigh at Stabler Arena. Senior guard Shelby Romine became the fifth Bucknell player in program history to reach the 1,500-point mark in the win over the Mountain Hawks. Audrey Dotson led the Bison attack with 19 points, Romine notched her second straight double-double with 18 points and 10 boards and Claire DeBoer and Claire Maree O'Bryan finished with 15 points each... Bucknell clinched the fourth seed with the victory and secured the No. 4 seed and a home game in the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League Tournament. The Bison will play Holy Cross -- a team they swept during the regular season -- on Thursday, March 6. Bucknell will host American on Saturday in their regular season finale. While the Bison's seed is secure, a win by the Eagles coupled with an Army loss at Lafayette would give American the No. 2 seed.

COLGATE The Raiders modest two-game winning streak came to an end in a 81-70 loss at Lafayette on Wednesday. After falling behind by 16 in the first half, the Raiders cut the Leopards lead to just two points early in the second half before the hosts responded with a 23-6 run to put the game out of reach. Missy Repoli connected on 4-of-8 three-point field goals to finish with 18 points. Carole Harris recorded a double-double for Colgate with 19 points and 10 rebounds... The Raiders host Lehigh on Saturday in the final regular season appearance on Cotterell Court for seniors Lauryn Kobiela, Catherine Lewis and Kathryn Taylor. A win over the Mountain Hawks or a loss by Loyola on Saturday clinches the No. 9 seed for Colgate. If they do indeed finish 9th, the Raiders will travel to Bethlehem, Pa., on Tuesday to play Lehigh in the first round of the Patriot League tournament. The No. 10 seed will play at Boston University.

HOLY CROSS The Crusaders built a 31-point second half lead on Loyola University Maryland before taking the foot off the gas and settling for a 59-49 victory at the Hart Center. Brisje Malone scored 18 points and dished out six assists in her final regular season game at the Hart Center and Alex Smith added 12 points and six assists. Raquel Scott contributed nine points and 15 rebounds... Holy Cross has secured the fifth seed and will have a bye in the opening round of the Patriot League Tournament. The Crusaders will travel to Lewisburg, Pa. for a March 6 matchup against No. 4 Bucknell. The Bison swept a pair of close games from Holy Cross during the regular season -- winning 83-79 in overtime at the Hart Center and rallying for a 82-79 victory at Sojka Pavilion on Feb. 8. The Crusaders play their final regular season game of the season on Saturday at Boston University. Holy Cross defeated the Terriers 69-59 on Jan. 2. LAFAYETTE The Leopards ended a three-game losing streak with a 81-70 win Wednesday over Colgate at Kirby Sports Center. Emily Homan scored 17 points and grabbed nine boards for Lafayette and guards Linnel Macklin and Jamie O'Hare added 14 apiece. Freshman Harriett Ottewill-Soulsby scored eight points and snared a career-high 10 rebounds after earning her first start... The win on Saturday clinched a bye in the opening round of the Patriot League Tournament. As the No. 6 seed, the Leopards will be on the road against the third seed in the quarterfinal round. The opponent will not be known until after the outcome of Saturday's games, but the No. 3 spot will go to either American or Army. The Leopards end the regular season against the Black Knights in what is likely the final home game in the careers of seniors Madeline Fahan, Danielle Fiacco, Kristen Liddle and Kelly Loughney. Fiacco needs only eight more points to become the 17th player to reach 1,000 points for the Lafayette women.

LEHIGH After a back and forth first half Wednesday night, the Mountain Hawks gave up 46 second-half points in a 87-78 loss to Bucknell at Stabler Arena. Lehigh held a lead in the final seconds of the first half before a Sheaira Jones layup put the Bison up one heading in to the break. Bucknell used a 14-3 run midway through the second half to seize control of the game. Elizabeth Sharlow scored 24 points to lead the Mountain Hawks and Kerry Kinek added 21 points and 10 rebounds... Despite the loss, Lehigh will host a first round playoff game as Colgate lost to Lafayette on Saturday. The Mountain Hawks will either face the Raiders or Loyola University Maryland on Tuesday, March 4 at Stabler Arena. The opponent will be determined once seeds are finalized following Saturday's games. A Colgate win or a Loyola loss means the Raiders would be making the trip to Bethlehem for the first round of the Patriot League Tournament.

LOYOLA MARYLAND Sophomore Diana Logan scored a career-high 13 points, but the Greyhounds lost their ninth game in a row -- 59-49 to Holy Cross at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass. Tiffany Padgett chipped in with nine points and five rebounds for the Greyhounds... Loyola fell behind by as many as 31 points midway through the second half but outscored the Crusaders 29-8 over the final 20 minutes of action... Loyola made 21-of-52 field goals against Holy Cross, marking the first time in the month of February that the team connect on more than 40% of their attempts... Despite the losing streak, the Greyhounds can avoid the basement in the Patriot League standings and losses by Colgate and Army. If they end up as the No. 10 seed, Loyola will travel to Boston University in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament on Tuesday, March 4. If the Greyhounds finish as the ninth seed they will play at Lehigh.

NAVY The Mids failed to place anyone in double figures in a 63-50 loss to American at Bender Arena. Audrey Bauer led Navy with nine points and Jade Geif contributed eight points and nine rebounds... Geif reached a major milestone in the road loss to the Eagles when she grabbed the 1,000th rebound of her career. In doing so, the Lakeville, Minn. native became the first women's basketball player at Navy and sixth Patriot League women's player to score both 1000 points and grab 1000 rebounds. Navy men's players David Robinson have also accomplished the feat... The Mids need either a win on Saturday over Loyola University Maryland or a loss by Army at Lafayette to capture their first outright Patriot League championship. Navy has previously shared the regular season crown in 1998, 2011 and 2013... The Mids would finish as the No. 2 seed if they are tied with Army at 14-4 or if there is a three-way tie between American, Army and Navy. The Mids can finish no lower than the second seed and are guaranteed to host a quarterfinal round playoff game on Thursday, March 6 in the Patriot League Tournament.