Linnel Macklin's 3-pointer with 26 seconds remaining iced Lafayette's win over Pittsburgh Saturday.
Dec. 4, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Final exams are on the horizon for Patriot League women’s basketball teams, and seven of the eight have contests scheduled this week before the usual December breaks.
Bucknell is the first to enter into its respite. The Bison saw their five-game win streak snapped Monday night with a 58-53 overtime loss at Penn.
Six teams are in action in the next two days before the slate drops off heading into the weekend. Army, Colgate and Navy will take the floor Tuesday evening, with the Raiders’ contest against Colgate televised on Time Warner Sports (Central N.Y.). Three more games are featured Wednesday, including Lafayette’s first battle since upending BIG EAST opponent Pittsburgh Saturday in Easton, Pa. The Leopards start a stretch of four out of five away from home at Saint Joseph’s. American will be home for Coppin State Wednesday, while Holy Cross puts its three-game win streak on the line at Northeastern.
Lehigh has the attention to itself Thursday with a 7 p.m. tip at home against Fairfield, while Army’s visit to Rider Friday is the only scheduled action that evening.
Patriot League Women’s Basketball Quick Hits
• Danielle Fiacco’s four blocks against Pittsburgh moved her into fourth all-time in League history with 216. She jumped over Navy’s Cassie Consedine, who had 215 rejections from 2007-11.
• Colgate’s home game Tuesday night against Columbia will be televised on Time Warner Sports in Central New York.
• The Patriot League is one of three conferences to have a pair of players rank in the top 10 nationally in blocks. The others are the Big South and the Big 12.
• Bucknell matched last season’s victory total with Saturday’s win over Buffalo.
• Holy Cross junior Alex Smith is six 3-pointers shy of tying Bucknell’s Molly Creamer for ninth all-time in League annals.
• American’s Jen Dumiak averaged 19.0 points per game last week and maintains her League lead at 17.5.
• Kerry Kinek scored a career-high 19 points in Lehigh’s loss Monday at Loyola Maryland.
• Danielle Fiacco (Lafayette), Jade Geif (Navy) and Aimee Oertner (Army) are tied for the League lead and 14th in the nation with four double-doubles.
• Bucknell and Navy have used the same starting lineups this season.
• Lehigh will finish the calendar year with five straight at home beginning Thursday when it hosts Fairfield.
• Lafayette plays four of its next five away from home, including a contest at Ohio State.
Patriot League Notebook
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 looks to have some competition. Into the fourth week of the season, Fiacco is running neck and neck with Army freshman Aimee Oertner for the League lead in rejections. In addition, both are one of three conference duos to rank in the top 10 nationally in the second set of NCAA stats released Monday.
GOOD SHOWING SO FAR
Patriot League teams have combined for a 30-30 mark through the season’s first 60 games. That includes a very solid showing against teams from area conferences. The League has put together a 19-14 mark versus the America East (1-2), Ivy League (4-3), Metro Atlantic (6-4) and Northeast (8-5) conferences. Last season the Patriot League finished above .500 against the MAAC (9-8), but was under .500 against the others.
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 last 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, and Kinek further established her positioning as an offensive force with a career-high 19 points Monday against Loyola Maryland. You can also add Army freshman guard Kelsey Minato to the list, who averaged 11.0 points per game last week and was named the Anaconda Rookie of the Week Monday.
CORKERY CHASING A RECORD
At 88-43 overall at American, head coach Matt Corkery ranks among the best in the League all-time in win percentage (.672). Corkery is also chasing the League record for fastest to 100 victories, a mark that is currently owned by Holy Cross’ Bill Gibbons. Gibbons reached 100 victories in 149 contests, with his 100th triumph coming in the 1995-96 season opener against Syracuse. Corkery would match Gibbons’ record with a 12-6 mark in American’s next 18 contests. Navy’s Joe Sanchez collected 100 wins in 162 games from 1994-2000.
NOT HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Several teams have big stretches coming up on the road around Christmas and New Year’s. American will play four straight away from Bender Arena to close December, while Bucknell has three on the road and Holy Cross is currently in the midst of an eight-game road swing. Lafayette begins a stretch Wednesday with four of its next five away from Easton, Pa.
HORBATUCK JOINS THE 500 CLUB
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 10.9 boards per game, while her season total has nudged her close to the all-time top 50.
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.
PATRIOT LEAGUE ON CBS SPORTS NETWORK
Three games involving Patriot League teams will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network this season, including two in the regular season and the League’s championship tilt in March. Two-time defending champion Navy hosts Lafayette Jan. 13 in Annapolis, Md., in the first televised contest, while Holy Cross visits Lehigh Feb. 10 in Bethlehem, Pa., in the second. Coverage wraps up Saturday, March 16, when CBS Sports Network televises the Patriot League championship game from the site of the higher seed. Tip off is slated for 6 p.m. Bob Socci will handle the play-by-play and Amy Lawrence the analysis.
AMERICAN Down 55-42 with under three minutes left, American scored 11 straight points and had a final look at the buzzer, but Alexis Dobbs’ attempt did not fall as the Eagles dropped a 55-53 decision at Loyola Maryland Saturday ... Jen Dumiak scored a team-high 17 points, while Dobbs pitched in 14 ... Both players tied with the team high with five rebounds ... American trailed by one at halftime after shooting 8 of 27 in the first 20 minutes, but fell behind by double figures in the second ... American hit seven 3-pointers in the game, but went to the foul line just seven times ... The Eagles are home Wednesday night with a 7 p.m. tip against Coppin State.
ARMY Anna Simmers netted a game-high 24 points and the Army defense held Yale to its lowest output of the season as the Black Knights kept rolling with a 53-47 win over the Bulldogs at West Point ... Army dominated in points in the paint, 28-12, despite Aimee Oertner tallying just one point with eight rebounds ... Kelsey Minato scored 13 points in the back court, as Army starters accounted for all but four of its points ... The Black Knights led 22-20 at the break after overcoming Yale’s game-starting 10-0 run ... Simmers’ layup gave Army a 43-35 lead just past the midway point of the second, and the Black Knights never trailed again despite the Bulldogs’ ensuing 7-0 run that cut their deficit to one ... Army has won six in a row and puts that streak on the line Tuesday at Manhattan at 7 p.m.
BUCKNELL won its fifth straight, 78-71, over Buffalo at Davis Gym Saturday on Throwback Night ... All five Bison starters reached double figures in points, led by Shelby Romine’s game-high 20 and Audrey Dotson’s 15 ... Lindsay Horbatuck poured in 14 while hauling in seven rebounds ... The Bison offense was firing as they shot 62 percent in the second half and 55 percent for the game ... Bucknell led 35-25 at the half on the strength of a 14-2 run to open the game ... Buffalo cut Bucknell’s lead to four with under 12 minutes to go in the contest, but the Bison replied with a 9-1 run to regain control ... The Bison’s win streak ended at five with Monday’s 58-53 overtime loss at Penn ... Romine led with 11 points, four rebounds and four assists, Dotson had 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, and Horbatuck grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds in the loss ... Bucknell sank just six first half buckets and trailed 20-17 after 20 minutes ... But the Bison overcame that early funk by shooting almost 60 percent in the second, and overcome a seven-point Quaker lead early in the stanza thanks to a 9-0 run ... The rest of the second was back and forth, with Romine’s layup with 29 seconds left tying the contest ... Penn had a look with four seconds to go, but Courtney Wilson’s attempt rimmed out ... In overtime Bucknell’s offense sputtered to a 1-of-8 shooting performance ... Romine’s two foul shots with 1:02 left brought the Bison within 54-53, but the Quakers drilled four free throws the rest of the way to ice the game ... The Bison are off until Dec. 15 when they host Longwood.
COLGATE Mariah Jones led with 17 points and Missy Repoli chipped in 13, but it wasn’t enough as the Raiders finished out its two-game swing through Connecticut with a 59-53 defeat at Sacred Heart Saturday ... Josie Stockill collected a team-best 11 rebounds and scored five points off the bench ... The Raiders hit 10 of 22 3-pointers in the game, but their calling card - free throw shooting - was a non-factor as they went just 1 of 4 at the charity stripe ... They entered last week leading the nation in free throw percentage ... Colgate trailed 27-21 at halftime ... The Raiders look to snap their two-game skid Tuesday night when they host Columbia at 7 p.m. ... The game will be televised by Time Warner Sports Central New York.
HOLY CROSS Raquel Scott tallied her first career double-double as Holy Cross won its third straight with a 60-52 win at Manhattan Saturday ... The Crusaders used a 15-6 run in the first half to build an advantage, and held on for a 35-30 lead when teams went into the locker room ... After two quick Jaspers baskets to start the second, Holy Cross put together another run, this one 11-2, to retake momentum ... The Crusaders built the lead to as many as 14 at 58-44 before Manhattan closed the game on an 8-2 spurt ... Alex Smith added 13 points for Holy Cross, which shot almost 42 percent for the game ... The Crusaders are on the road again Tuesday for a 7 p.m. tip at Northeastern.
LAFAYETTE The third time was indeed the charm for Lafayette, which faced its third BIG EAST foe of the season Saturday ... Kelly Loughney scored a career-high 18 points, and three of Linnel Macklin’s career-best 15 came on a trey with 26 seconds remaining that sealed the victory over the Panthers, who came into the game 5-1 ... The Leopards had their best offensive output of the season, which came after a 46 percent shooting effort from the floor and 50 percent from beyond the arc ... The Leopards opened the game on an 11-3 run, led 38-26 at the half and never trailed ... Lafayette tries for its first win streak of the season Wednesday when it visits Saint Joseph’s at 7 p.m.
LEHIGH became the second Patriot League team to fall in as many games to Loyola Maryland, as the Mountain Hawks fell 60-48 to the Greyhounds Monday ... Kerry Kinek was dominant in the middle for Lehigh as she scored a career-high 19 points and hauled in 13 boards for the double-double ... Elizabeth Sharlow’s layup in the final seconds gave the Mountain Hawks a 28-24 lead at halftime ... Kinek’s 3-pointer put Lehigh in front 31-26 at the 17:48 mark of the second, but after that it was all Loyola ... The Greyhounds orchestrated a 22-0 run, holding the Mountain Hawks without a point for over seven minutes to take a 48-31 advantage ... Lehigh finished the game with 19 turnovers, which Loyola converted into 18 points ... The Mountain Hawks look to regroup Thursday when they host Fairfield at 7 p.m.
NAVY Jade Geif led with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Alix Membreno pitched in 18 points and six steals to guide the Mids to a 57-48 win over East Carolina in the first day of the Navy Classic Friday ... While Geif and Membreno paced Navy offensively, it was a stifling team defense that ultimately was the difference ... The Mids went without a field goal for the game’s final 5:52, but they shot 8 of 14 from the foul line during that stretch to stave off the Pirates’ comeback attempt ... Navy led 20-18 at halftime ... The Mids built a 43-33 advantage in the second, but the Pirates inched back within four on three occasions ... The final time was with less than a minute left with Navy leading 51-47 ... Geif sank two free throws to extend Navy’s lead to six and essentially ice the game ... Navy converted 18 Pirate turnovers into 17 points ... Navy was undone by a slow start offensively and couldn’t recover in a 63-47 loss in the championship game of the Navy Classic Saturday ... Audrey Bauer scored a team-high 17 points for the Mids, who saw their three-game win streak come to an end ... Navy shot 19 percent from the field in the second half, going just 6 of 31, to finish at nearly 27 percent for the game ... High Point outrebounded the Mids 47-33, and hit 16 of 21 from the foul line ... Navy trailed 32-28 at the half, but could manage only 19 points in the second ... The Mids are home Tuesday for William & Mary at 7 p.m.