CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Holy Cross and Navy will have an encore.
The second-seeded Mids (20-11) defeated No. 6 Bucknell (15-16), and No. 4 Holy Cross (18-13) won over eighth-seeded Colgate (10-21) in Monday's semifinal round of the 2013 Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament, setting up a rematch of last year's title game. Navy won that contest 57-48 in Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Md. This year's contest will hail from the same venue.
It will mark the third time in League history in which the same teams have matched up in the Patriot League title game. Holy Cross and Navy met for the trophy in 1998 and '99, while the Crusaders met Fordham three straight years from 1993-95.
Saturday's championship game will tip at 6 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Bob Socci will handle the play-by-play and Chris Spatola the analysis.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Alix Membreno narrowly missed a triple-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists to lead Navy to a 60-48 victory over Bucknell in the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament Monday at Alumni Hall.
Membreno paced the second-seeded Mids, but she had a lot of assistance as well. Audrey Bauer scored 13 points, and Jade Geif pitched in 12 with seven rebounds.
Lindsay Horbatuck and Shelby Romine shared the Bucknell lead with 14 points apiece, while the former ended her career with yet another double-double with 10 rebounds. Horbatuck's 325 boards this season puts her alone in fifth in League history for rebounds in a campaign.
Just as in the semifinals, the Bison had to try to overcome a double-digit halftime deficit. Navy started with the game's first seven points and led 15-5 at the 13:54 mark following a 3-pointer from Chloe Stapleton. The lead ballooned to 26-11 on back-to-back buckets from Geif and Membreno before Horbatuck's layup snapped Navy's 9-1 run and made it a 26-13 game at the break.
Membreno scored the first basket of the second half 61 seconds in before a Romine triple cut the Mids' lead to 28-16. Romine struck again to bring the Bison within 30-20 at 17:21 of the second half.
The Navy lead remained in double figures for the next five minutes before Bucknell used a 10-2 run, highlighted by an and-one conversion for Romine and consecutive 3-balls from Audrey Dotson and Tyler Craig, to cut the Mids' lead to 39-35 just past the midway point.
Bauer and Kara Pollinger provided the big answer for Navy. The former scored on a jumper after a timeout by the Mids to ignite a 10-0 run that also included a pair of 3-pointers. Bauer and Pollinger both scored five points during the run, and Navy was in front 49-35 with 6:51 to play.
Romine snapped the Navy run, but Membreno scored five straight on her own to put the Mids ahead 54-37 with 4:14 to play. Navy cruised from there.
Bucknell shot just 33 percent (19 for 58) after hitting just five from the floor in the first half. Navy shot 48 percent, including a blistering 14-for-25 clip (56 percent) in the second half.
WORCESTER, Mass. - Amy Lepley scored a game-high 19 points and two teammates reached double figures as fourth-seeded Holy Cross advanced to the Patriot League title game for the second straight year with a 59-38 win over No. 8 Colgate in Monday's tournament semifinal at the Hart Center.
Alex Smith added 11 points for the Crusaders, and Brisje Malone 10. Raquel Scott hauled down a game-best 14 rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.
Jhazmine Lynch, Lulu Brase and Josie Stockill scored eight points each for the Raiders, who shot just 20.7 percent (12-for-58) for the game, and 5-for-28 in the first half. Randyll Butler hauled down a team-high eight boards.
The Crusaders used a fast start to build a big lead in the first half. Holy Cross scored the game's first nine points before Stockill put the Raiders on the board with 16:30 on the clock. The Crusaders replied with a 15-0 run over the next eight-plus minutes, which included three straight 3-pointers from Brisje Malone, Smith and Lepley.
Colgate crept back within 26-9 on a pair of Butler foul shots, but the teams played relatively even to close out the half with Holy Cross ahead 32-14.
The Raiders couldn't mount much offensive rhythm in the second half either. Brase tried to ignite Colgate's inside game with two layups in the first 90 seconds to cut the Crusader lead to 32-18, but Molly Hourigan's score from the paint and two foul shots from Malone evened out Colgate's initial push.
Colgate crawled back within 14 points a second time, with Kelly Reid's jumper making it a 38-24 Holy Cross lead with 13:08 remaining. But the Crusaders responded with five straight points, with Lepley sinking another 3 to give them a 43-24 lead at the 11:30 mark.
Lepley finished a strong 8-for-12 from the field and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc. As a team, Holy Cross shot 44.4 percent (24-for-54) and finished with 22 assists and seven 3-pointers.
Colgate managed to hit just 7-of-30 shots in the second half. The Raiders were just 1-for-16 on 3-pointers and were outrebounded 45-32.