Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal Round Preview

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG American's Lauren Crisler
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG
American's Lauren Crisler
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG

March 5, 2014

Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal Round Preview Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa.- The field for the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament is finalized with No. 7 Boston University and No. 8 Lehigh moving on following opening round wins on Tuesday.

Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament Central

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_WBB
*The 2014 Patriot League Tournament continues Thursday night with four quarterfinal round games.
*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.
*No. 7 BU defeated No. 10 Loyola and No. 8 Lehigh knocked off No. 9 Colgate in the first round on Tuesday
*No. 1 Navy will host No. 8 Lehigh and No. 7 Boston University will travel to No. 2 Army 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

Boston University, Lehigh Earn First Round Tournament Wins
The Patriot League Tournament began postseason play with a pair of first round games on Tuesday night. No. 7 Boston University hosted No. 10 Loyola University Maryland at 7 p.m. in Case Gym in Boston, Mass. and No. 9 Colgate traveled to Bethlehem, Pa. for a 7 p.m. matchup at Stabler Arena against No. 8 Lehigh. Playing in their first postseason game since joining the Patriot League in 2013, Boston University held off Loyola for a 40-35 to advance to the quarterfinal round on Thursday against No. 2 Army. Meanwhile Lehigh came out strong to start the second half and posted a 59-49 victory over Colgate. The Mountain Hawks move on to a quarterfinal round matchup Thursday at No. 1 Navy.

Quarterfinals Pairings Set
The Patriot League Tournament will continue with the quarterfinal round on Thursday. No. 8 Lehigh goes to No. 1 Navy for a 7 p.m. contest at Alumni Hall. No. 7 Boston University 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 - Quarterfinal Round

No. 8 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (13-17, 5-13) at No. 1 Navy Midshipmen (23-6, 15-3)
Alumni Hall; Annapolis, Md. (PLN) Thursday, 7 p.m.
*Navy swept both games from Mountain Hawks, including a 79-59 win at Alumni Hall on Feb. 19
*All-time series between the teams is tied 26-26; last Lehigh victory was 57-48 on Feb. 22, 2012
*Lehigh sophomore Kerry Kinek was named to the All-Patriot League third team.
*Navy placed three seniors on All-Patriot League teams: Jade Geif (1st), Kara Pollinger (1st), Alix Membreno (2nd)
*Navy has won five of six heading in to the postseason

No. 5 Holy Cross Crusaders (18-11, 10-8) at No. 4 Bucknell Bison (16-12, 11-7)
Sojka Pavilion; Lewisburg, Pa. (PLN) Thursday, 7 p.m.
*Bucknell won a pair of close contests over Holy Cross during the regular season
*Holy Cross senior Alex Smith is the all-time leader in three point field goals (341) in the Patriot League
*Bucknell senior Shelby Romine became the 15th player in program history to reach 1,500 points
*Holy Cross leads all-time series 40-14; the last win by the Crusaders was 57-49 on Feb. 23, 2013
*Both teams lost the final game of the regular season at home on Saturday

No. 6 Lafayette Leopards (14-15, 8-10) at No. 3 American Eagles (21-8, 14-4)
Bender Arena; Washington, D.C. (PLN) Thursday, 7 p.m.
*American swept a pair of games from Lafayette this season, most recently 72-61 at Bender Arena on Feb. 15
*Lafayette's Emily Homan and Danielle Fiacco both scored their 1,000th point during the 2013-14 season
*American is fourth nationally in scoring defense (54.4 ppg), according to the latest NCAA statistics
*Lafayette has only defeated American five times in 35 meetings; last Leopards win was 49-47 on Feb. 2, 2013
*American's Alexis Dobbs the PL Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete for 3rd straight year on Wednesday

No. 7 Boston University (13-19, 7-11) at No. 2 Army Black Knights (22-7, 14-4)
Christl Arena; West Point, N.Y. (PLN) Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
*Army swept the season series from Boston University, winning each contest by 27 points
*Boston University played in, and won, its first Patriot League postseason game Tuesday
*Army sophomore Kelsey Minato was named the Patriot League Player of the Year on Tuesday
*BU's Sarah Hope (All-Rookie) and Rashidat Agboola (All-PL 3rd team) received postseason honors.
*Army enters the post-season as the Patriot League's hottest team, having won four straight

Team 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 No. 7 Boston University at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, a 40-35 winner over Loyola University Marlyand in Tuesday's first round.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY The Terriers won their first ever game playing in the Patriot League Women's Basketball postseason, escaping Case Gym with a 40-35 victory over No. 10 Loyola Maryland in the first round of the tournament on Tuesday night. Clinging to a 35-34 lead over the Greyhounds, Mollie McKendrick hit a pair of jump shots in the final 90 seconds to give Boston University some breathing room. After a Loyola missed shot and subsequent turnover, senior Rashidat Agboola made one of two free throws with 10 seconds left to seal the win. Agboola led the Terriers with 12 points and 16 rebounds and McKendrick chipped in with 10 points. No. 7 Boston University will travel to West Point, N.Y. to play No. 2 Army in a Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal round matchup at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at Christl Arena.

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 Despite a furious rally over the final eight minutes, No. 9 Colgate fell 59-49 to No. 8 Lehigh Tuesday night in a Patriot League Tournament first round contest at Stabler Arena. Trailing by 20, the Raiders embarked on a 19-5 run to slice the Mountain Hawks advantage 53-47 with 1:31 remaining. Lehigh was able to connect on 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch to thwart the Colgate comeback. Mariah Jones scored all 12 of her points in the second half to lead the rally. Randyll Butler scored eight points and pulled down 10 boards and Lauyn Kobiela scored 11 points, handed out five assists and grabbed three steals for the Raiders... Colgate finishes their third season under head coach Nicci Hays Fort with an 8-22 record, winning three of their final four regular season games -- including a victory over No. 2 Army in Hamilton, N.Y.

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 Katie O'Reilly and Sarah Williams didn't want their junior season to end early as they led a second half Mountain Hawks charge that helped the hosts pull away for a 59-49 win Tuesday over No. 9 Colgate in the first round of the Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament at Stabler Arena. O'Reilly and Williams scored 25 of their 32 combined points over the final 20 minutes as Lehigh pushed a two-point halftime lead to 20 points in the first 12 minutes of the second half... The Mountain Hawks will have a quick turnaround before heading to Annapolis, Md. for a quarterfinal round matchup with No. 1 Navy. The Mids have won three consecutive Patriot League Tournament titles and swept a pair of games from Lehigh during the regular season.

LOYOLA MARYLAND Playing without leading scorer Nai Brown, the No. 10 Greyhounds lost their first postseason women's basketball game as a member of the Patriot League 40-35 at No. 7 Boston University on Tuesday night. Sophomore center Tiffany Padgett scored 14 first half points to give Loyola Maryland a 28-25 halftime lead, but the Greyhounds managed only seven second half points on 3-for-28 (10.7%) shooting from the field... Loyola defense was strong in postseason loss to the Terriers, holding the hosts to 16-for-58 (27.6%) for the the evening. Padgett also recorded her second double-double of the season, grabbing 10 rebounds. The Greyhounds outrebounded Boston University 54-45, with Jeneh Perry registering a career-high 15 and Nneka Offodile hauling down 10 caroms.

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 No. 8 Lehigh at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall on Thursday, March 6. The Mids swept Lehigh 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 offensive 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.