Head coach Aaron Roussell and senior forward Lindsay Horbatuck have Bucknell over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2008-09 season.
Nov. 27, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Despite the temperature cooling down and snow blanketing parts of the Northeast with December approaching, Patriot League teams are starting to heat up as the calendar lurches toward the end of the calendar year.
Six of the eight League squads enter this week’s action coming off victories, while three of them are in various stages of win streaks. Army is the hottest at the moment, riding a four-game win streak into its next contest, a Wednesday night matchup at home against Ivy League foe Columbia.
After an 0-2 start, Bucknell has won three straight games to move above .500 for the first time since 2008-09. Like Army, the Bison are home Wednesday night seeking to extend their win streak when they host Mount St. Mary’s.
Navy had the busiest stretch of any team last week with four contests in seven days, with three games in the last four. The Mids posted a 3-1 record during the swing, including a 2-1 mark in contests away from Annapolis, Md., in the final three outings. Navy has won two straight and four of its last five games, and enjoys a few days off this week before returning to the floor Friday.
A pair of teams that halted skids over the weekend are in action Tuesday night at home. American ended its season-opening four-game road trip with a 69-68 win at Elon, and welcomes UMBC to Bender Arena, while Lafayette, which snapped a four-game slide with a convincing victory over Wagner Sunday, hosts Rider at Kirby Sports Center.
Patriot League Women’s Basketball Quick Hits
• Bucknell is over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2008-09 season.
• Army’s Aimee Oertner is the only League student-athlete to rank in the top 10 in a pair of NCAA stat categories. She’s fourth in the country with four double-doubles, and ninth averaging 3.67 blocks per game.
• Colgate appears in the top 10 nationally in two categories - first in free throw shooting (.839) and sixth in 3-point field goal defense (.169).
• Bucknell is 2-1 on the road this season. The Bison were 2-14 away from Lewisburg all of last season.
• Since going 4-10 in the first five days of the season, Patriot League teams are 17-12 since.
• Holy Cross junior Alex Smith is one 3-pointer away from jumping into the Patriot League’s all-time top 10. She has 182.
• American, which opened with four straight on the road, plays three of its next four at home.
• Colgate will face its toughest test to date when the Raiders visit No. 2 Connecticut Wednesday.
• Army is 5-1 for the third time during the seven-year tenure of head coach Dave Magarity.
• Lehigh freshman Kerry Kinek has scored and rebounded in double figures in three of her five contests so far, while playing the second most minutes on the team.
Patriot League Notebook
NOT UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY
Army improved to 5-1 on the season with Friday’s gutty 72-68 win at Air Force, which extended the Black Knights’ win streak to four. It’s the third time in the seven seasons under head coach Dave Magarity that the Black Knights have started with five victories in six outings. It also occurred in 2006-07 and 2011-12.
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 12.2 boards per game, while her season total has nudged her into the all-time top 60.
FIACCO, OERTNER IN BLOCKS RACE
Lafayette junior center Danielle Fiacco has been the primary blocks leader in the Patriot League the last two seasons. There’s no evidence to suggest she won’t be in a similar position in 2012-13, but she might have some competition. Into the third week of the season, Fiacco is running neck and neck with Army freshman Aimee Oertner for the League lead in rejections. In addition, both players rank in the top 10 nationally in the first NCAA stats released Monday. Fiacco leads with 25 blocks in six games (4.2 per game), and Oertner has 22 in six outings (3.7).
BIG CONTRIBUTIONS FROM FRESHMEN
The future appears bright for the Patriot League if the current crop of freshmen have anything to say about it. Lehigh’s Kerry Kinek was named the Anaconda Rookie of the Week Monday after Army’s Aimee Oertner claimed the award the previous two weeks. It’s no surprise that both rank near the top of the League in scoring, as each is averaging 13.2 points per game. Another freshman, Army’s Kelsey Minato, is 16th in the League averaging 10.2 per game. Both Kinek and Oertner are making their names on the boards as well, with Oertner second averaging 10.7 per game and Kinek third with 10.0 per outing.
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.
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: 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 couldn’t overcome Maryland shooting 58 percent from the floor as the Eagles fell 94-54 to the No. 10-ranked Terrapins in College Park Wednesday ... Geleisa George led American with 13 points, while Alexis Dobbs chipped in five assists ... Maryland outrebounded the Eagles 45-19 ... In a contest that featured 12 ties and 16 lead changes, Arron Zimmerman provided the last one as American edged Elon 69-68 Saturday afternoon ... Zimmerman tied the game with 13.8 seconds left and was fouled, sending her to the line for a potential three-point play ... She completed the and-one, lifting the Eagles to their first win of the season (1-3) ... The back court was huge for American, as Jen Dumiak led with 17 points and Dobbs chipped in 16 ... The Eagles play their home opener Tuesday night when they host UMBC at 7 p.m.
ARMY Anna Simmers was two shy of her career high with 26 points as Army won its third straight with a 77-58 win at Weber State Wednesday ... The Black Knights shot a season-high 47.7 percent from the floor, including an impressive 7 of 11 from beyond the 3-point line ... Aimee Oertner logged a double-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks, while Jen Hazlett had 15 points and Olivia Schretzman narrowly missed a double-double with 12 points and nine boards ... Army jumped out to a 17-5 lead, and Weber State was not able to get any closer than six before the break ... Weber State cut the Army lead to eight in the second half, but the Black Knights replied with a 15-2 run to put the game away ... Army hung on to win its fourth straight with a 72-68 decision over academy rival Air Force ... Freshman guard Kelsey Minato scored a team-high 20 points, and set the West Point record with 13 made free throws ... Army was able to overcome Air Force shooting almost 50 percent from the floor, as Minato scored seven points, with five from the free throw line, in the final 1:57 to seal the win ... Schretzman posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Oertner had 14 points and nine boards, and Simmers scored 13 ... Army hosts Columbia Wednesday at 7 p.m.
BUCKNELL Alyssa Dunn tallied a career high for the second straight game with 23 points to lead Bucknell to a 77-69 win over Niagara Wednesday in the Bison’s first home victory of the year ... Lindsay Horbatuck pitched in her 10th career double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Shelby Romine added 10 points and five assists ... Bucknell built an early lead and had a 36-20 advantage at halftime before the Purple Eagles chipped away in the second half ... Niagara cut the deficit to 62-58 with 3:13 left, but Romine’s 3-pointer in reply reset Bucknell’s momentum ... Bucknell moved over .500 for the first time since the 2008-09 season with a 72-64 win at Morgan State Sunday afternoon ... Romine led three Bison in double figures with 14 points, while Dunn and Felicia Mgbada each pitched in 13 ... The Bison opened the game on a 9-0 run and led for most of the first half before Morgan State took a one-point lead at the half ... Bucknell built the lead back to seven in the first five minutes after the break, but the Bears cut the advantage to two with three minutes remaining ... Bucknell went on a quick 6-0 spurt to regain control ... The Bison outrebounded Morgan State 53-33 and shot nearly 44 percent from the field ... The Bison are home Wednesday for Mount St. Mary’s at 7 p.m.
COLGATE Josie Stockill scored 12 of her game-high 14 points in the first half, and Mariah Jones pitched in 12 as Colgate defeated LIU Brooklyn 75-61 in the opener of the LIU Turkey Classic Friday ... The Raiders shot 48 percent from the field for the game, including an efficient 5 of 12 on treys and 12 of 13 from the foul line ... Colgate closed the first half on a 16-1 run to lead 39-22 at the break and never looked back ... Colgate’s bid for the LIU Turkey Classic title came up short in a 51-33 loss to Drexel Saturday ... Kelly Reid totaled a team-high eight points in 15 minutes off the bench for the Raiders, who held Drexel to just 21 first-half points but shot only 4 of 24 from the floor ... Missy Repoli added six points and five rebounds for Colgate, which shot 2 of 13 on 3-pointers and finished 14 of 52 from the field for the game ... The Raiders visit No. 2 UConn Wednesday night.
HOLY CROSS Christine Ganser led three players in double figures with 17 points, but Harvard shot 50 percent from the floor to run away from the Crusaders, 80-62, Tuesday night in Worcester, Mass. ... The loss closed out Holy Cross’ season-opening four-game home stand ... Ganser shot 7 of 14 from the field and pitched in seven rebounds, while Alex Smith added 14 points with four assists, and Emily Parker poured in 12 points with five rebounds ... The Crimson used a 13-2 run to build a 45-33 halftime lead, and scored 13 of the first 20 points after the break to extend the lead to 58-40 six minutes in ... Smith scored a season-high 20 points with six assists to lead all players as Holy Cross snapped a three-game skid with a 63-59 win at Massachusetts ... Down 56-48 with 4:22 to go on the clock, the Crusaders rallied back with a 9-0 run capped off by a layup by Brisje Malone ... After the teams traded baskets, Smith drilled a 3 following a Malone steal to put the Crusaders up for good, 60-58 ... Ganser added 14 points for Holy Cross, while Malone added 10 points and six assists ... Holy Cross plays its final home game of 2012 Wednesday when it hosts Central Connecticut at 7 p.m.
LAFAYETTE dropped its fourth straight as the Leopards were done in by a cold night from the field in a 62-43 loss at Monmouth in the Thanksgiving Challenge Friday ... Emily Homan scored a team-high 18 points with nine rebounds to pace Lafayette, while Danielle Fiacco scored six points with 11 boards and three blocks ... The Leopards shot just 4 of 28 from the field in the first and finished 13 of 55 (23.6 percent) for the game ... Fiacco got back into a groove with 14 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks as Lafayette ended its four-game losing streak with a convincing 64-45 victory over Wagner at Lehigh’s Stabler Arena to close out the Thanksgiving Challenge with a 1-1 mark ... Brya Freeland scored a game-high 16 points for the Leopards, and Homan narrowly missed a double-double with 12 points, nine rebounds and a pair of rejections ... The Leopards overcame a 2-of-19 showing on 3-pointers, while they shot 19 of 39 on the remainder of their attempts ... Lafayette is home Tuesday night at 7 p.m. for Rider.
LEHIGH erased an early 10-point deficit to visiting La Salle and led by two late, but Brittany Wilson sank a 3-pointer in transition with six seconds left to lift the Explorers to a 49-48 win Tuesday afternoon ... Kerry Kinek had another strong game for Lehigh with 17 points, five rebounds and five blocks, while Kelly Peterson poured in 12 points with eight rebounds ... The Mountain Hawks chipped La Salle’s lead to five at halftime and took a 34-32 lead on a Kinek layup over five minutes into the second half ... The teams traded the advantage throughout the rest of the half, with Marybeth Egan giving the Mountain Hawks a two-point lead late after going 1 of 2 at the foul line ... Peterson scored a career-high 20 points to pace Lehigh to a 78-53 win over Wagner in the Thanksgiving Challenge in West Long Branch, N.J., Friday ... Kinek posted her second career double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds ... Lehigh led 33-24 at halftime and ran away from the Seahawks in the second, outscoring them 45-29 ... Lindsay Hoskins scored 10 points with seven rebounds, and Kinek pitched in nine points and nine boards, but Lehigh fell 55-50 in double overtime to Monmouth in the Thanksgiving Challenge Sunday ... The Mountain Hawks led 20-15 at halftime, but converted on just 3 of their 22 field goal attempts in the second half, while the Hawks went 10 of 25 in the same period ... Lehigh had opportunities twice at the buzzer, but Katie O’Reilly couldn’t sink a layup at the end of regulation, and Egan’s jumper at the end of the first overtime would not fall ... Monmouth scored the first five points of the second overtime, while Lehigh’s first field goal didn’t come until 3:59 into the period ... Lehigh visits Villanova Thursday at 7 p.m.
NAVY Four players reached double figures and Navy combined for 10 3-pointers as the Mids defeated Loyola Maryland 71-60 in Annapolis, Md., Tuesday evening ... Audrey Bauer scored a game-high 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field, including 4 of 8 on treys, while Jade Geif posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds ... Kara Pollinger chipped in 13 points and six assists, and Alix Membreno poured in 12 points and had six dishes ... Navy’s offense went cold late as the Mids let a 10-point lead evaporate in a 66-63 overtime loss to UC Davis in the Husky Classic hosted by Houston Baptist Friday ... The Mids scored nine straight points to move in front 56-46 with just under five minutes to play, but UC Davis chipped away and tied it to force overtime ... The teams combined to shoot 1 of 9 from the field in the extra five minutes, but the Aggies shot 7 of 8 from the free throw line in the final frame and survived a Navy missed 3-point attempt in the final seconds to hang on for the win ... Jade Geif finished with a team-high 17 points to go with 12 rebounds, while Alix Membreno had 13 points and 15 boards ... Navy shot 50 percent from the field and never fell behind in a 72-48 defeat of Jackson State Saturday to finish up the Husky Classic ... Pollinger led all players with 24 points on 9-of-12 from the floor, including a fiery 6 of 7 on treys ... Membreno, who earned All-Tournament team accolades, scored 15 points, while Geif pitched in a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds ... Geif led three Navy players in double figures with a game-high 15 points as it ran away from Air Force 60-36 in Colorado Springs, Colo., Monday night ... Bauer chipped in 11 points and M.L. Morrison contributed 10 in 25 minutes off the bench ... All 10 Mids who entered the game scored at least one point ... The Falcons biggest lead was three points three minutes into the game ... It was all Navy after, as the Mids jumped out to a 32-19 halftime lead on the strength of 12-of-28 shooting ... The Mids turned 19 Falcon turnovers into 20 points, and led 24-16 in points in the paint ... After playing four times in the last week and three outings in four days, the Mids are off until opening the Navy Classic Friday against East Carolina.