Patriot League Women's Basketball Championship Preview

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March 14, 2014

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CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - For the third consecutive season the No. 1 seed has failed to reach the Patriot League Championship game. This spells good news for No. 2 Army, as the Black Knights earned the right to host the title game for the first time since 2006 when they defeated American 68-55 in one semifinal on Monday while No. 5 Holy Cross was knocking off the top-seeded Mids 75-56 at the same time.

Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament Central

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @Pl_wbb
*Army hosts Holy Cross for the Patriot League Women's Basketball Championship on Saturday at 6 p.m.
*The contest can be seen on CBS Sports Network with Jason Knapp and Chris Spatola calling the action.
*Each team advanced to the final with a double-digit win in the semifinals on Monday.
*Holy Cross and Army have met 3 times in the title game with Crusaders winning first two and Army winning in `06.
*Patriot League Player of the Year Kelsey Minato set numerous records during a 49-point game against HC this year.
*Holy Cross' Raquel Scott is one of the nation's leaders in double-doubles with 17 on the season.
*Army senior Jen Hazlett finished the regular season on a tear and has continued her strong play in the postseason.
*Holy Cross and Army have met seven times in the Patriot League Tournament with Crusaders holding a 5-2 series lead.
*Army coach Dave Magarity holds the Army women's wins record and the Marist men's wins record.
*Holy Cross owns 11 Patriot League Championships but lost in the title game to Navy in 2012&2013.
*Army is 216-127 (.630) all-time at Christl Arena, including a 16-1 clip in 2013-14.

Patriot League Notebook

Army and Holy Cross Square Off with Patriot League Championship on the Line
For the third consecutive season the No. 1 seed has failed to reach the Patriot League Championship game. This spells good news for No. 2 Army, as the Black Knights earned the right to host the title game for the first time since 2006 when they defeated American 68-55 in one semifinal on Monday while No. 5 Holy Cross was knocking off the top-seeded Mids 75-56 at the same time. These two programs also squared off the last time Army hosted, with the Black Knights capturing their only Patriot League crown with a 69-68 win in 2006. The Black Knights did it with defense in the quarterfinal round, slipping past No. 7 Boston University 49-45 before playing well on both ends of the floor in their semifinal win over the Eagles. Holy Cross demonstrated their numerous weapons that made them the top scoring team in a 79-66 quarterfinal round win over Bucknell and continued their offensive prowess in the semifinal victory over Navy.

CBS Sports Network, Armed Forces Network to Cover League Championship
The 2014 Patriot League Women's Basketball Championship will be available to a national and worldwide audience. CBS Sports Network, which has already broadcast 15 Patriot League games this year including the Men's Basketball Championship on Wednesday, will televise the contest with regular Patriot League announcers Jason Knapp and Chris Spatola calling the action. The Armed Forces Network will also carry this broadcast for American servicemen and women, Department of Defense and other US government civilians and their families stationed at bases overseas. CBS Sports Network is the 24-hour cable home of CBS Sports. It is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers on Verizon FiOS Channel 94 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 643 (1643 in HD) and via satellite on DIRECTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158.

Patriot League Tournament Recap>

Semifinals - March 10
#5 Holy Cross 75, at #1 Navy 56; at #2 Army 68, #3 American 55
The Holy Cross women's basketball program will retain the distinction as being the only Patriot League team to win four consecutive postseason titles for at least four more years.
The fifth-seeded Crusaders knocked off top-seeded Navy 75-56 in Annapolis, Md. in the semifinal round on Monday night, ending the Mids quest for a fourth straight crown. Holy Cross will travel to West Point, N.Y. to face second-seeded Army who held off American 68-55 to earn the privilege of hosting the Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament Championship game.
Holy Cross senior Brisje Malone delivered a superb all-around game in the Patriot League semifinals with 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds and Raquel Scott contributed yet another double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds to spark the upset. Jade Geif led Navy with 20 points and eight rebounds and Audrey Bauer added 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
At Cristl Arena, senior Jen Hazlett led a balanced attack with 19 points and nine rebounds to spark Army. Kelsey Minato added 14 points, Brianna Johnson 11 and Olivia Schretzman 10 for the Black Knights.
Geleisa George and Michelle Holmes scored 12 points to lead American and Alexis Dobbs added 11. Arron Zimmerman grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds for the Eagles.

Quarterfinals - March 6
at #1 Navy 84, #8 Lehigh 54; at #2 Army 49, #7 Boston University 45
at #3 American 51, #6 Lafayette 49; #5 Holy Cross 79, #4 Bucknell 66
The top three seeds in the Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament won on their home court on March 6, but No. 5 Holy Cross proved that the third time sometimes is the charm by defeating No. 4 Bucknell 79-66 after losing a couple of close games to the Bison during the regular season.
Top-seed Navy opened its quest for a fourth-straigh Patriot League Tournament title with a resounding 84-54 win over No. 8 Lehigh. Kara Pollinger scored 17 points while fellow seniors Jade Geif and Audrey Bauer added 14 apiece as the Mids raced to a 21-point halftime lead and never looked back.
The other side of the bracket held serve, but it wasn't easy as No. 3 seed American squeaked past upset-minded Lafayette 51-49 and No. 2 Army was pushed to the final minute by No. 7 Boston University before coming away with a hard-fought 49-45 victory.

First Round - March 4

at #7 Boston University 40, #10 Loyola 35; at #8 Lehigh 59, #9 Colgate 49
In a game featuring two teams playing in their first Patriot League postseason, it was No. 7 Boston University earning its first tournament victory with a 40-35 win over No. 10 Loyola Maryland in a defensive struggle at Case Gym in Boston.
Three hundred miles to the south, No. 8 Lehigh exacted revenge on No. 9 Colgate with a 59-49 victory at Stabler Arena. The Raiders had defeated Lehigh by two points on the final day of the regular season only three days prior.

Tournament Notes
*Navy had won 10 consecutive Patriot League postseason contests before the 75-56 loss to Holy Cross on Monday.
*Army survived Boston University in the quarterfinal round despite being held under 50 points for the first time all season.
*Holy Cross is attempting to become the first No. 5 seed to win the PL Championship since Bucknell in 2008.
*Kelsey Minato is averaging 20 ppg for Black Knights in PL Tournament; Jen Hazlett is averaging 15 points and 10 boards.
*Raquel Scott is averaging 21 points and 10.5 rebounds for Holy Cross in PL Tournament; Brisje Malone tied a career high with 23 points in win over Navy.
*This marks the third straight Patriot League Tournament where the top seed has failed to reach the title game.
*Holy Cross has spent the entire month of March on the road. Crusaders last home game was a win over Loyola on 2/26.
*Army is 16-1 at home this season, including 2-0 in the PL Tournament. Only loss at Christl Arena was 92-85 to Holy Cross.
* The Crusaders are on a three-game winning streak against Army at Christl Arena. >

No. 5 Holy Cross Crusaders (20-11, 10-8) at No. 2 Army Black Knights (24-7, 14-4)
Christl Arena; West Point, N.Y. Saturday, 6 p.m. TV: CBS Sports Network; Armed Forces Network
*No. 2 Army will host No. 5 Holy Cross in the Patriot League Women's Basketball Championship Game at Christl Arena.
*The 6 p.m. contest can be seen on CBS Sports Network with Jason Knapp and Chris Spatola calling the action.
*The game will also be broadcast on the Armed Forces Network.
*This will be the 56th meeting between these two teams, with Holy Cross holding the 34-21 series advantage.
*The teams split their regular season matchups with Army winning 70-57 in Worcester and Holy Cross posting a 92-85 victory in West Point.
*Army sophomore guard Kelsey Minato set numerous NCAA, Patriot League and Army records with 49 points, including 26-for-26 from the free throw line, in the 92-85 loss to the Crusaders.
*The road team has not won a Patriot League Championship game since Bucknell defeated Holy Cross 57-45 in 2008.
*Holy Cross is making its third consecutive appearance in the Patriot League Championship game, losing in 2012 & 2013.
*Army has not reached the championship game since winning its only title in 2006. The Black Knights lost two other appearances in 1991 and 2003.
*Army won the title in their only season under coach Maggie Dixon, beating Holy Cross 69-68. Dixon died suddenly less than a month after winning the championship at the age of 28.
*Holy Cross coach Bill Gibbons was coach of the Crusaders during the 2006 title game and Army head coach Dave Magarity was the Associate Head Coach under Dixon during that contest.
*Holy Cross is appearing in the Patriot League Championship game for the 18th time in 24-year history of the league, only Stanford (Pac-12) at 92.3 percent has appeared in a higher percentage of conference championship games.
*Counting his time as a men's coach, Magarity and Gibbons have combined for more than 1,000 Division 1 basketball wins.
*With a win, Army would set a record with 25 wins in a season -- the most in Army Division I history
*In the win over Navy, Holy Cross senior guard Alex Smith set the program record for most games started (124) and most games played (126).

TEAM NOTEBOOKS

ARMY Senior Jen Hazlett led a balanced attack with 19 points and nine rebounds as Army defeated American 68-55 in a Patriot League Women's Basketball semifinal at Cristl Arena on Monday. Kelsey Minato added 14 points, Brianna Johnson 11 and Olivia Schretzman 10 for the Black Knights. Hazlett came out on fire scoring the first seven points for the hosts...The Black Knights extended a six-point halftime lead to 14 midway through the second half. American responded with a 20-8 run to close within two with 5:16 remaining on a layup by Arron Zimmerman. Back-to-back three-point field goals by Hazlett and Johnson pushed the Army lead to eight points and the Eagles never drew closer than seven down the stretch. The Black Knights victory, coupled with Navy's, gave Army the right to host the championship game for the first time since 2006.

HOLY CROSS Holy Cross senior Brisje Malone delivered a superb all-around game in the Patriot League semifinals as the No. 5 Crusaders knocked off No. 1 seed Navy 75-56 Monday night in Annapolis, Md. Malone finished with a career-high 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds and Raquel Scott contributed yet another double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds to spark the upset...Holy Cross led for the majority of the first half before a Navy run gave the hosts a 28-27 halftime lead. The Mids stretched the advantage to four before the Crusaders took control over the final 18 minutes of the game...The Crusaders did a good job of taking taking away a Navy weapon by defending the three-point arc. The Mids, one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country, connected on only 5-of-28 (18%) from behind the arc. Meanwhile, Holy Cross bounced back from a slow start to drain 8-of-16 from downtown. The Crusaders earn a berth in the Patriot League Championship game at No. 2 Army, a 68-55 winner over No. 3 American.