American's Jen Dumiak leads the Eagles into their contest Wednesday at No. 10 Maryland.
Nov. 20, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Thanksgiving week rarely provides much of a break for basketball teams, and this season is no exception as six of the Patriot League’s eight schools will compete in the days leading up to Thursday, while everybody will have at least one contest during the holiday weekend.
Army’s strong start continued with Sunday’s 58-53 win at home over Penn. Aimee Oertner parlayed her strong efforts into her second straight Patriot League Anaconda Rookie of the Week nod Monday. She posted a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds in the win over the Quakers, while Olivia Schretzman poured in 18 points with eight boards. The Black Knights are on the road for Thanksgiving, playing Wednesday at Weber State and Friday at academy rival Air Force.
Two-time defending champion Navy had a week to sit on its 0-2 start, and rebounded nicely with a 64-53 win at home over St. Peter’s Saturday. The Mids look to continue the positive momentum Tuesday night when they host in-state rival Loyola Maryland on The Yard. The two programs will meet a minimum of twice annually beginning next season when the Greyhounds join the League.
Following an 0-2 start, Bucknell broke into the win column over the weekend with its nine-point victory at Canisius. It’s the first win on the Bucknell sideline for first-year head coach Aaron Roussell, who came to Lewisburg, Pa., following a highly successful stint at the University of Chicago. The Bison are home Wednesday for Niagara.
PATRIOT LEAGUE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL QUICK HITS
• Navy began 0-2 for the 10th time in school history, but improved to 8-2 all-time in the third game of the season following that start. The Mids also started 0-2 last year.
• Army and Navy will take on academy rival Air Force in consecutive games this week. The Black Knights visit Colorado Springs Friday, while the Mids will be there Monday.
• A League team will battle a nationally ranked opponent for the second time in four days when American visits No. 10 Maryland Wednesday afternoon. Lafayette was on the road at then-No. 9 Penn State Sunday.
• There’s a block battle brewing, as Lafayette’s Danielle Fiacco leads the League averaging 4.5 rejections per contest, while Army’s Aimee Oertner is second with 3.8 per outing.
• American sophomore Jen Dumiak picked up her first career Anaconda Player of the Week nod Monday after scoring 20 points in the Eagles’ loss to Oakland. She is the only League player averaging better than 20 points per game.
• Bucknell’s Alyssa Dunn is the highest scoring senior in the League. She’s fourth averaging 13.3 points per game.
• American (2 games), Bucknell (3), Colgate (3) and Navy (3) have used the same starting lineups in all of their games so far.
Patriot League Notebook
ARMY’S MARCH TAKES OVER THE BOARDS
Army’s lineup already features a plethora of talent, starting with senior Anna Simmers and junior Jen Hazlett. The two boasted the top individual scoring performances of any League student-athletes last season, so the Black Knight offense is in good hands. But where Army has shined the most through four games in 2012-13 has been on the glass. Led by two-time Rookie of the Week Aimee Oertner, the Black Knights are pulling down nearly 48 rebounds per game, and own the League’s biggest board margin at +13.5 per outing. Oertner is Army’s leading scorer (12.8 ppg) and rebounder (11.0 rpg).
HORBATUCK JOINS THE 500 CLUB
Keeping with the rebounding theme, Bucknell senior Lindsay Horbatuck joined the Patriot League’s 500 boards club in the second game of the season. She opened her senior campaign with 480, and became the 73rd player in League history to hit the 500 plateau in the Bison’s second contest of the season. She leads the League pulling down 13.0 boards per game, and her 39 for the season places her 63rd all-time in League annals.
FIACCO RAISES THE BLOCKING BAR
Lafayette junior center Danielle Fiacco continues to rocket up the Patriot League’s all-time blocks chart. She has 18 rejections in four games so far this season, giving her 201 for her career, extending her own Leopard career record and placing her in a tie for sixth on the League’s all-time chart with former Holy Cross standout Lisa Andrews. Next up for Fiacco is American’s Liz Leer, who graduated in 2011 after amassing 215 career blocks. She was part of a tremendous class of forwards that also featured Army’s Erin Anthony (222 blocks) and Navy’s Cassie Consedine (215).
NAVY CHOSEN TO MAKE IT THREE STRAIGHT
The head coaches and sports information directors named two-time defending Patriot League champion Navy as the favorite in 2012-13 in late October. The Mids, led by Preseason Player of the Year junior Jade Geif, are seeking to do something no League squad has done in over a decade - win three straight titles. The first and only program to do it is Holy Cross, which captured four straight championships from 1997-98 to 2000-01. Navy returns four starters from a year ago, all of whom are in their junior seasons. Navy topped the preseason poll with 89 points and eight first-place ballots.
AMERICAN SETS SIGHTS ON TITLE RUN
Navy is sure to have stiff competition in the League this season. American, which has won 19 of 20 regular season League games and became the first to post a perfect 14-0 record last year, earned 85 points with six first-places votes in the preseason poll. Matt Corkery enters his fifth season in the nation’s capital and boasts the League’s highest winning percentage in League play (46-10, .821). The Eagles are led by junior Alexis Dobbs, the reigning Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and sophomore sensation Jen Dumiak in the back court and senior center Stephanie Anya up front.
CRUSADERS CRAVE ANOTHER SHOT
Holy Cross hadn’t been to the title game of the Patriot League Tournament since a four-year run from 2005-08, but the Crusaders made it back last season and nearly took home the trophy before falling 57-48 at Navy in the championship. Buoyed by a pair of preseason All-League honorees in senior Amy Lepley and junior Alex Smith, Holy Cross hopes to build on a 2011-12 campaign that ended in the quarterfinals of the WBI. Bill Gibbons is in his 28th season on the sidelines in Worcester, Mass. The Crusaders took third in the poll with 70 points and one first-place vote.
LYNCH LOOKS FOR BIG SEASON
Colgate’s Jhazmine Lynch made history as the program’s first Rookie of the Year in 2010. After a junior season in which her playing time was mitigated somewhat in November and December by injury, the senior guard is ready to lead the Raiders toward a League championship one more time. Lynch has plenty of help in the back court in sophomore guards Missy Repoli and Mariah Jones. After beginning 2011-12 with 10 straight losses, the Raiders rebounded and were in contention for as high as the fifth seed in the League tournament at the end of the regular season, which would’ve been their highest position in six years.
The eight Patriot League teams will have plenty of opportunities to take on tough competition during the course of the non-League slate in the first nine weeks of the season. Some of the notable contests include: American visiting Maryland (Nov. 21); Colgate at Connecticut (Nov. 28); Lehigh at Villanova (Nov. 29); Lafayette entertaining Pittsburgh (Dec. 1); Lafayette at Ohio State (Dec. 9); Navy heading to Marquette (Dec. 19); Holy Cross at Florida (Dec. 28); and Navy visiting Princeton (Jan. 8).
AMERICAN has been idle since Monday night’s loss at Oakland ... The Eagles return to the floor this week with a matchup against No. 10 Maryland Wednesday afternoon ... American stays on the road and will take on Elon after Thanksgiving.
ARMY dominated the post as sophomore Olivia Schretzman scored a game-high 18 points and freshman Aimee Oertner logged a double-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in the Black Knights’ 58-53 win over visiting Penn Sunday ... It is Army’s first home win of the season, and the contest featured several big runs and plenty of lead changes ... The clubs traded the lead during much of the second half before Oertner scored a bucket and went 1 of 2 from the foul line on a later possession put Army ahead 43-37 with 6:19 remaining ... The Black Knights built the lead to as many as nine with 2:32 left ... The Quakers cut the lead to three in the final minute but could not get any closer ... The Black Knights play twice in the span of three nights in the Mountain Time Zone, first taking the court Wednesday night at Weber State before visiting Air Force Sunday.
BUCKNELL Alyssa Dunn netted a career-high 22 points as Bucknell picked up the first victory of the Aaron Roussell era with a 59-50 triumph at Canisius Saturday ... It’s the Bison’s first non-League road win since Jan. 6, 2010 ... Felicia Mgbada pitched in 11 points and six rebounds in 18 quality minutes off the bench, while Lindsay Horbatuck dragged down a game-high 13 rebounds and Shelby Romine dished eight assists ... Bucknell led by as many as 14 early in the second half before Canisius clawed back within 38-36 just past the midway point and 41-40 a little after that ... But the Bison never relinquished the lead, using a 12-2 run to regain control late ... The Bison look for their first home win of the season Wednesday when they host Niagara ... They’ll travel to Morgan State on Sunday.
COLGATE played strong basketball during certain stretches, but couldn’t put a full 40 minutes together in a 54-45 loss at St. Bonaventure Friday night ... Missy Repoli and Carole Harris both scored 12 points to lead the Raiders, who started the contest on a 10-1 run but found themselves down 31-20 at the break ... The Bonnies, an NCAA Sweet 16 team a year ago, scored the first 11 points of the second half to lead 42-20 before Colgate began chipping away ... Two Harris free throws cut the St. Bonaventure lead to 47-37 with seven minutes left ... But the Raiders couldn’t sustain a larger rally in the nine-point loss ... The Raiders are in the midst of a five-game stretch away from home ... They will open play at the LIU Turkey Classic Friday against host LIU Brooklyn before taking on either Drexel or UMKC Saturday.
HOLY CROSS Cari Reed’s 3-pointer with three seconds left was the dagger as New Hampshire outlasted Holy Cross 68-65 at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass., Saturday ... The Crusaders led 54-43 midway through the second half, but the Wildcats scored 14 of the next 16 points, which gave them a 57-56 lead with under five minutes remaining ... Emily Parker scored four straight points with less than a minute left to tie the game at 65, setting up Reed’s trey in the final seconds ... Alex Smith led Holy Cross with 16 points, while Brisje Malone added 12 ... The Crusaders wrap up their season-opening four-game home stand Tuesday night when they host Harvard at 7 p.m. ... Holy Cross’ first road game is Sunday at 2 p.m. at Massachusetts.
LAFAYETTE continued its murderers’ row of non-League opponents, falling 75-34 at ninth-ranked Penn State Sunday afternoon ... For just the second time in her career, junior center Danielle Fiacco was shut out from the scoresheet ... The Nittany Lions built a 42-14 halftime lead and never looked back ... Fiacco did account for seven rebounds and six blocks, giving her 201 for her career ... Sophomore Emily Homan scored a team-high 11 points for the Leopards, who shot under 20 percent from the field for the game ... The Leopards take part in the Thanksgiving Challenge this weekend, visiting Monmouth Friday before battling Wagner Sunday in a game that will take place at Lehigh’s Stabler Arena.
LEHIGH The Mountain Hawks have been idle since last week’s victory at St. Peter’s that evened their record at 1-1 ... Lehigh plays host to La Salle Tuesday at 2 p.m. before taking part in the Thanksgiving Challenge over the weekend ... The Mountain Hawks draw Wagner Friday in a game played at West Long Branch, N.J., before returning home to host Monmouth Sunday at Stabler Arena.
NAVY shot over 40 percent for the game and sank eight 3-pointers to defeat St. Peter’s 64-53 in its home opener Saturday night ... Jade Geif scored a game-high 17 points on 7-of-9 from the field with five rebounds and a block, while Kara Pollinger added in 15 points with five assists ... Pollinger sank four of Navy’s eight treys, while the Mids outrebounded the Peahens 39-35 ... Navy grew the lead to as many as 17 points late in the second half ... Pollinger had made a total of four 3-pointers in Navy’s first two games of the season before sinking four in Saturday’s win ... The Mids will attempt to even their record at .500 Tuesday night when they host Loyola Maryland ... Navy has one of the busiest stretches this week with four tilts overall ... After Tuesday’s game with the Greyhounds, Navy heads to Houston for the Husky Classic, where it will battle UC Davis and Jackson State ... The Mids visit Air Force Monday night.