Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament First Round Preview

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG BU's Rashidat Agboola
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG
BU's Rashidat Agboola
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG

March 4, 2014

League Women's Basketball Tournament First Round Preview Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa.- The Patriot League Tournament begins postseason play with a pair of first round games on Tuesday night. No. 7 Boston University will host No. 10 Loyola University Maryland at 7 p.m. in Case Gym in Boston, Mass. while No. 9 Colgate travels to Bethlehem, Pa. for a 7 p.m. matchup at Stabler Arena against No. 8 Lehigh.

Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament Central

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_WBB
*The 2014 Patriot League Tournament opens Tuesday night with games at Boston University and Lehigh.
*American, Army, Bucknell and Navy will host the quarterfinal round games on Thursday night.
*All first round, quarterfinal and semifinal games can be watched live on the Patriot League Network.
*The BU/Loyola winner will play at Army in the quarterfinal round on Thursday.
*The Lehigh/Colgate winner will play at Navy in the quarterfinal round on Thursday.
*The other quarterfinal round games feature No. 5 Holy Cross at No. 4 Bucknell and No. 6 Lafayette at No. 3 American.
*The CBS Sports Network will televise the Women's Championship Game at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 15.
*Navy earned the top seed in the Patriot League tournament, finishing one game in front of American and Army.
*Army receives the No. 2 seed in the postseason, having swept a pair of games from American this season.
*Navy is trying to join Holy Cross as the only program to win four consecutive Patriot League Tournament titles.
*Army's Kelsey Minato was named Patriot League Player of the Year for the second straight season.

Patriot League Notebook

Patriot League Tournament Begins with First Round on Tuesday
The Patriot League Tournament begins postseason play with a pair of first round games on Tuesday night. No. 7 Boston University will host No. 10 Loyola University Maryland at 7 p.m. in Case Gym in Boston, Mass. while No. 9 Colgate travels to Bethlehem, Pa. for a 7 p.m. matchup at Stabler Arena against No. 8 Lehigh. Both of the fames will be broadcast live on the Patriot League Network. BU swept a pair of games from the Greyhounds while the Mountain Hawks split with Colgate -- the Raiders winning the most recent matchup 63-61 in Hamilton, N.Y. on Saturday to close out the regular season.

Quarterfinals Coming on Thursday
The Patriot League Tournament will continue with the quarterfinal round on Thursday. The winner of the 8/9 contest between Lehigh and Colgate goes to No. 1 Navy for a 7 p.m. contest at Alumni Hall. The 7/10 winner, either BU or Loyola, will head to Cristl Arena in West Point, N.Y. for a 7:30 p.m. matchup at No. 2 Army. In other quarterfinal round action on Thursday, No. 3 American hosts No. 6 Lafayette at 7 p.m. in Bender Arena and No. 4 Bucknell and No. 5 Holy Cross will square off at 7 p.m. in Sojka Pavilion. All of the quarterfinal round action can be seen live on the Patriot League Network.

All-League, Major Awards Announced Tuesday
Navy had a pair of major award winners announced on Monday as senior Alix Membreno was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and Stefanie Pemper recognized as Coach of the Year. Army sophomore Kelsey Minato was chosen as the Patriot League Player of the Year for the second consecutive season and Bucknell freshman Claire DeBoer rode a strong campaign to a Rookie of the Year nod. More information on the major award winners is included on page six of this release, with the full All-Patriot League team on page two.

All-Patriot League First Team
Alexis Dobbs, American (Sr., G)
Jade Geif, Navy (Sr., F)
Kelsey Minato, Army (So., G)#
Kara Pollinger, Navy (Sr., G)
Shelby Romine, Bucknell (Sr., G)
Alex Smith, Holy Cross (Sr., G)
*Six players due to tie in voting
#Unanimous first team choice

All-Patriot League Second Team
Audrey Dotson, Bucknell (Jr., F)
Jen Hazlett, Army (Sr., G/F)
Emily Homan, Lafayette (Jr., F)
Alix Membreno, Navy (Sr., G)
Raquel Scott, Holy Cross (So., F)

All-Patriot League Third Team
Rashidat Agboola, Boston University (Sr., F)
Nai Brown, Loyola (Jr., G)
Jen Dumiak, American (Jr., G)
Kerry Kinek, Lehigh (So., F)
Arron Zimmerman, American (Jr., F)

All-Patriot League Rookie Team
Kayla Burton, Lehigh (Fr., G)
Claire DeBoer, Bucknell (Fr., F)
Danielle Failor, Army (Fr., F/C)
Sarah Hope, Boston University (Fr., G)
Megan McGurk, Bucknell (Fr., F)
Lisa Mirarchi, Loyola (Fr., G)
*Six players due to tie in voting

1,000-Point Scorers
Thirteen active Patriot Leaguers are in the 1,000-point club, and two are now 1,500-point scorers. Holy Cross' Alex Smith reached the 1,500 mark on Feb. 1, and moved into 9th place all-time with 1,606 points. Smith is followed on the 1,000-point list by Bucknell's Shelby Romine (1,518), Navy's Jade Geif (1,455), American's Alexis Dobbs (1,239), Boston University's Rashidat Agboola (1,176), Navy's Alix Membreno (1,173), Army's Jen Hazlett (1,142), Lafayette's Emily Homan (1,056), Holy Cross' Brisje Malone (1,055), Navy's Kara Pollinger (1,054), Navy's Audrey Bauer (1,053), Army's Kelsey Minato (1,024) and Lafayette's Danielle Fiacco (1,004). Minato became the fastest player in Army program history when she reached the 1,000 point mark in the 58th game of her career.

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 www.patriotleague.tv.

Patriot League Tournament - First Round

Loyola University Maryland (5-24, 2-16) at Boston University (12-19, 7-11)
Case Gym; Boston, Mass. (PLN) Tuesday, 7 p.m.
*BU swept the season series from Greyhounds, winning 74-55 in Boston and 70-60 at Reitz Arena.
*Loyola's Nai Brown and Terriers Rashidat Agboola were named to All-Patriot League third team.
*First round PL tournament matchup features both joined Patriot League in 2013.
*Boston University's Sarah Hope and Greyhounds' Lisa Mirarchi were named to PL All-Rookie team.
*Loyola has lost 10 straight, including two overtime games, since a 61-54 win at Colgate on Jan. 25.

Colgate Raiders (8-21, 4-14) at Lehigh Mountain Hawks (12-17, 5-13)
Stabler Arena; Bethlehem, Pa. (PLN) Tuesday, 7 p.m.
*Teams split season series with Raiders winning 63-61 in Hamilton, N.Y. and Lehigh winning 76-69 in Bethlehem, Pa.
*Game between the teams on Saturday featured 10 ties and 20 lead changes.
*Lehigh sophomore Kerry Kinek was name to the All-Patriot League third team.
*Colgate junior Mariah Jones set career highs with 25 points and six steals in win on Saturday.
*Raiders have won three of four entering the postseason; Mountain Hawks have dropped three straight.

Notebooks

AMERICAN The Eagles tuned up for the postseason with an impressive 64-53 win over Bucknell at Sojka Pavilion on Saturday. American had four players score in double digits, led by a career-high 18 points from Sarah Kiely. Alexis Dobbs added 17 points and seven rebounds and Jen Dumiak scored 13 points and dished out nine assists. Kiely shot 4-for-7 from behind the arc in the win over the Bison... Due to Army's victory over Lafayette, the Eagles will enter the postseason as the No. 3 seed. American will host the No. 6 Leopards at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bender Arena. The Eagles swept both meetings with Lafayette, most recently posting a 72-61 home win on Feb. 15. American closed the regular season with eight wins in their final nine games. The Eagles landed three players on the All-Patriot League team with Dobbs getting a first team nod and Dumiak and Arron Zimmerman elected to the third team.

ARMY The Black Knights will enter the postseason as the hottest team in the Patriot League after defeating Lafayette for their fourth straight victory Saturday at Kirby Sports Center. Kelsey Minato, who was named the Patriot League Player of the Year on Tuesday, scored 20 points to lead Army. Senior Jen Hazlett, the reigning Anaconda Sports Patriot League Women's Basketball Player of the Week scored 13 points in the first half before running in to foul trouble in the final 20 minutes... The Black Knights finished in a tie for second with American in the regular season standings, but earned the No. 2 seed for the Patriot League Tournament with a regular-season sweep of the Eagles. Army will host the winner of Tuesday's opening round game between Boston University and Loyola University Marlyand at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Christl Arena.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY The Terriers head into the Patriot League postseason on a high note following a 67-65 win over Holy Cross Saturday at Case Gym. Senior Rashidat Agboola scored in double figures for the 21st time this season, finishing with 19 points. Three other Boston University players -- Whitney Turner, Melissa Gallo and Danielle Gallo scored 12 points. Turner also grabbed nine rebounds in the win over the Crusaders and Callahan delivered seven assists... The Terriers earned the No. 7 seed and will host the other new entrant to the league, Loyola University Maryland, on Tuesday in the opening round of the Patriot League Tournament. The winner of the BU-Loyola game will move on to face No. 2 Army on Thursday in the quarterfinal round.

BUCKNELL The Bison limped into halftime against American on Saturday and never recovered in a 67-53 loss to the Eagles at Sojka Pavilion. After a three-point field goal by junior Audrey Dotson gave Bucknell a 27-26 lead, American outscored the hosts 10-0 over the final 2-1/2 minutes to take a nine-point halftime lead. Dotson led the Bison with 23 points and Shelby Romine celebrated Senior Day with 15 points, six rebounds and four assists... Despite the loss, Bucknell had nailed down the No. 4 seed and a home game in the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League Tournament. The Bison will host No. 5 Holy Cross at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Bucknell swept a pair of close game with the Crusaders during the regular season -- including an 82-79 home win on Feb.8

COLGATE The Raiders ended a disappointing season strong with a 63-61 win over Lehigh Saturday for their third win over the final four games. Junior Mariah Jones matched her career-high with 25 points against the Mountain Hawks and also added a personal best six steals. Carole Harris struggled from the field, but did pull down an important 11 rebounds for Colgate. ... The game with Lehigh featured 10 ties and 20 lead changes. The Raiders remained undefeated (7-0) during the 2013-14 season when leading at halftime. ... The two teams will battle again Tuesday in the opening round of the Patriot League Tournament when the No. 9 Raiders travel to Bethlehem, Pa. Lehigh won the regular-season meeting at Stabler Arena 76-69 on Jan. 2.

HOLY CROSS Despite placing four players in double figures, the Crusaders game up a little short in their final game of the regular season, losing 67-65 at Boston University on Saturday. Seniors Brisje Malone and Alex Smith scored 16 and 14 points, respectively for Holy Cross. Raquel Scott notched her league-leading 15th double-double of the season with 12 points and 15 rebounds... The matchup at Case Gym had no impact on the postseason tournament as both teams were locked in to playoff positioning. As the No. 5 seed, the Crusaders avoid playing in the opening round on Tuesday and will travel to Lewisburg, Pa. to face No. 4 Bucknell in the quarterfinals. The Bison swept a pair of close games from Holy Cross during the regular season, including an 82-79 win at Sojka Pavilion on Feb. 8.

LAFAYETTE The Leopards bid for a .500 season overall and in the Patriot League fell short as they ended the Patriot League regular season with a 64-53 loss to Army at Kirby Sports Center on Senior Day. Sophomore Jamie O'Hare scored 16 points, grabbed five rebounds and handed out three assists for the Leopards. Senior Danielle Fiacco added 12 points -- including the 1,000th of her career -- and grabbed seven boards... Despite the loss, Lafayette was securely positioned in the No. 6 seed for the Patriot League Tournament regardless of the outcome against the Black Knights. The Army win, however, ensured that the Leopards opponent in the quarterfinal round would be American and not a rematch with the Black Knights. American defeated Lafayette twice during the regular season, most recently 72-61 at Bender Arena on February 15. Junior Emily Homan was named to the All-Patriot League second team on Tuesday.

LEHIGH The Mountain Hawks fell behind by 11 at Colgate on Saturday battled back to take a second half lead but came away on the short end of a 63-61 decision at Cotterell Court. Sophomore Kerry Kinek put up her third double-double in four games, finishing with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Lehigh's Kiernan McCloskey pulled down nine rebounds and was recognized as the Patriot League Anaconda Women's Basketball Rookie of the Week for the second time this season. ... Kinek was named to the All-Patriot League third team in voting by the league coaches and freshman Kayla Burton was selected to the All-Rookie team. ... Lehigh and Colgate will go at it again on Tuesday night, this time at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pa., when the No. 8 Mountain Hawks host the No. 9 Raiders. The winner of the opening round game in the Patriot League contest will play at No. 1 Navy in the quarterfinal round at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

LOYOLA MARYLAND After falling behind early on Saturday top first place Navy, the Greyhounds battled back to get within eight points only to have the Mids respond with a 15-0 run on their way to a 74-50 victory at Reitz Arena. Jeneh Perry scored a career-high 17 points off of the bench for Loyola and also grabbed nine rebounds. The sophomore from Chattanooga, Tenn. shot 7-for-10 from the field in the loss to Navy. ... The Greyhounds will travel to Boston to face the other Patriot League newcomer, Boston University, in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament. The Terriers swept both games from Loyola during the regular season. The winner of the BU-Loyola matchup on Tuesday would have a quick turnaround before traveling to West Point and a date with No. 2 Army in the quarterfinals. If the Greyhounds can get past Boston University, they match up well with the Black Knights -- having taken Army to overtime twice this season.

NAVY The Mids took care of business on the road Saturday and locked down the Patriot League regular season title and No. 1 seed with a 74-50 win over Loyola University Maryland. It is the first outright title for Navy after sharing the crown in 1998, 2011 and 2013. ... Alix Membreno scored 20 points and Jade Geif added 14 as the senior duo combined to shoot 13-for-17 (76.5%) from the field for the Mids. Navy started the game with a 21-4 burst but allowed the Greyhounds to pull within eight before putting them away with a 15-0 run in the second half. ... Navy forced 14 Loyola turnovers and scored 21 points off of the miscues. The Mids, who are 9th in the nation at only 12.3 turnovers per game, committed only eight turnovers in the win over the Greyhounds. ... Navy will sit out the opening round of the postseason tournament and will host either Lehigh or Colgate at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall on Thursday, March 6. The Mountain Hawks and Raiders will play Tuesday to determine who makes the trip to Annapolis, Md. Navy swept both Lehigh and Colgate during the regular season.

2013-14 Patriot League Major Awards

Player of the Year
KELSEY MINATO, ARMY So., G
Minato followed up her 2012-13 Player of the Year campaign with an even better season as a sophomore. Had one of the most impressive seasons in Academy history setting single-season records for points (627), free throws (182) and three-point field goals (71). Minato's scoring average of 21.6 points per game and 91.9 free throw percentage also rank as the best in Army women's basketball history. The Huntington Beach, Calif. native is in the midst of a 45-game double-digit scoring streak dating to Jan. 12, 2013. Gained national attention on Feb. 12 when she scored a Patriot League record 49 points in a loss to Holy Cross. In the game, Minato set multiple NCAA single-game records when she went 26-for-26 from the free-throw line. Became the quickest Army player (58 games) to 1,000 points during the Black Knights win over Boston University on Feb. 26. Minato's ball-handling and scoring helped Army to a 20-win season and a 14-4 mark in the Patriot League. The Black Knights enter the Patriot League Tournament as the No. 2 seed.

Defensive Player of the Year

ALIX MEMBRENO, NAVY Sr., G
Recruited to throw javelin for the Mids Track & Field squad, Membreno has excelled as a two-sport athlete and integral four-year player for a Navy basketball team that has won three consecutive Patriot League titles. Was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2013 Patriot League Tournament after averaging 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists during Mids title run. Usually called upon to shut down the opponent's best offensively player, the Loxahatchee, Fla. native is a tireless worker on the floor and provides strong rebounding from her guard position.

Rookie of the Year

CLAIRE DEBOER, BUCKNELL Fr., F
DeBoer tied a Patriot League record with eight Rookie of the Week awards while playing nearly 30 minutes per game for Bucknell. Led all Patriot League freshman by averaging 9.8 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game. Led the Bison in scoring three times and led or tied for the lead in rebounding on ten occasions. Shot 40-percent from the field and 70-percent from the free-throw line on the season. Had a breakout game in Bucknell's 83-79 overtime road win over Holy Cross with 20 points and 15 rebounds. Hit an improbable three-point field goal at the end of regulation that forced the overtime with the Crusaders. Unanimous choice for Patriot League All-Rookie team.

Coach of the Year

STEFANIE PEMPER, NAVY
In her sixth season at the helm of the Navy program, Pemper has led the Mids to three consecutive Patriot League Tournament titles and NCAA berths. With a 23-6 regular season and 15-3 mark in the Patriot League, Navy won the outright league title in 2014 after sharing it in 2011 and 2013 and will attempt to be only the second program (Holy Cross) to win four consecutive league tournament titles. Has a career mark of 115-73 at Navy and 350-121 overall in her coaching career. Was also recognized as the Patriot League Coach of the Year in 2011.