Dec. 10, 2013
Patriot League Women's Basketball Release - 12.10.13
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — With the final exam period here, just four Patriot League women’s basketball teams will be in action through Saturday and no more than two games on any day during that period. Army, Boston University and Colgate have scheduled contests coming up, and the schedule promises to remain light day-to-day through finals and as Christmas approaches.
UPDATE: Bucknell's scheduled tilt at home on Tuesday with UMBC has been cancelled.
PATRIOT LEAGUE QUICK HITS
• Army now owns the League’s longest win streak at seven after the Black Knights defeated Yale 68-56 on Saturday in New Haven, Conn.
• Army is 7-1 for the second straight season, while its seven-game win streak matched its longest from last year. The Black Knights visit Penn on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
• Holy Cross’ season-opening win streak was halted at six on Saturday with a 75-49 loss to Fordham. The 6-0 stretch is tied for the program’s best start in history.
• The second longest win streak in the League belongs to American, which extended its run to three games with Sunday’s 47-41 win over Drexel.
• The Boston University-Bucknell matchup in Lewisburg, Pa., on Saturday, Feb. 22, has been moved up to a noon tip.
• A pair of sophomores lead the League in scoring entering Tuesday’s lone game. Lehigh’s Kerry Kinek is averaging 19.0 points per game, while Army’s Kelsey Minato is right behind at 18.5 per contest.
• The League has three active 1,000-point scorers in Holy Cross’ Alex Smith (1,311), Bucknell’s Shelby Romine (1,209) and Navy’s Jade Geif (1,206). American’s Alexis Dobbs (979) and Navy’s Alix Membreno (925) are poised to join the club soon.
• Navy head coach Stefanie Pemper was denied her 100th win on the Mid sidedlines with Friday’s loss to Princeton. Navy is next in action on Dec. 29 at Marshall in a homecoming game for senior guard Kara Pollinger, who is from Fort Gay, W.Va.
• Boston University ends its one-week layoff with Wednesday’s trip to nearby Boston College at 7 p.m. On Saturday the Terriers will host their first home game since Nov. 19 when they welcome Marist to Case Gym.
• Lehigh’s win on Monday over St. Peter’s was the League’s 50th of the season. League teams are a combined 50-35 for a .588 win percentage.
• Colgate’s 72-44 victory at Columbia was its biggest road win at a Division I opponent in nearly 20 years. The last Raider road win by such a large margin against a D-I foe came late in the 1994-95 season in a 78-50 final at Army.
• Holy Cross senior Alex Smith is four 3-pointers away from tying the League’s career record of 286 held by Lehigh’s Alex Ross. The Crusaders next play on Dec. 18 against Quinnipiac at home.
• Lafayette’s Danielle Fiacco had four blocks on Sunday against Stony Brook to take over sole possession of second place on the League’s all-time rejections chart with 313. Bucknell’s Hope Foster owns the record with 344.
Patriot League Notebook
PEMPER, TROYAN NEARING MILESTONES
Navy head coach Stefanie Pemper was denied her 100th victory on the Mid sidelines with Friday’s 73-57 loss to Princeton. It’s inevitable that the century mark will come for Pemper, who is in her sixth season at Navy. The Mids are next in action on Dec. 29 at Marshall. Meanwhile, Lehigh’s 19th-year head coach Sue Troyan picked up her 292nd career victory with Monday’s 75-54 victory over St. Peter’s.
SMITH ADDS GOOD WORKS NOMINATION
Holy Cross senior guard Alex Smith, already a Senior CLASS Award candidate with American’s Alexis Dobbs, added another citation to her resume on Tuesday when she was named to the list of nominees for the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team. In its second year, the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team honors players at all levels of college basketball who represent the sport’s finest in the areas of leadership and charitable achievements amongst their peers. A total of 84 players from all levels were nominated, and Smith is one of 52 nominees from Division I.
WATCH FREE ON PATRIOT LEAGUE NETWORK
2013-14 is the first of a multi-year agreement between the Patriot League and Campus Insiders who have teamed up to create Patriot League Network (PLN), a streaming platform that will enable fans to watch League regular season and championship events for free. Five games will air on PLN over the next two days, with two on Tuesday and three more on Wednesday. All League and home non-League games not already set to air on CBS Sports Network will be available on PLN. PLN also includes on-demand video content with feature stories, highlight shows and recaps. For more, visit patriotleague.tv.
DOBBS, SMITH ARE CLASSY CANDIDATES
American’s Alexis Dobbs and Holy Cross’ Alex Smith were named to the list of 30 national candidates for the Senior CLASS Award in late October. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Dobbs has been the League’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year in women’s basketball each of the last two years, while Smith has joined her in picking up back-to-back Academic All-League citations.
WELCOME THE NEWCOMERS
For the first time since 2001, Patriot League women’s basketball expanded to include new members when Boston University and Loyola Maryland officially joined the fray on July 1. The Terriers come in with four WNIT appearances in the last five years, were picked third in the preseason poll and are looking to challenge for the League crown and their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2003. It’s been a little longer for the Greyhounds, who haven’t been in the NCAA’s field of 64 since making back-to-back trips in 1994 and ‘95. Selected eighth in the preseason rankings, Loyola is hoping to surprise in 2013-14.
EVERYBODY IN THE POOL
It’s a bigger Patriot League now with a bigger League tournament. All 10 squads will qualify for the League bracket that begins with first round games on Tuesday, March 4, with the No. 7 seed hosting No. 10 and No. 8 home for No. 9. The 7/10 winner will move on to visit the second seed, and the 8/9 victor goes on to play No. 1 in the quarterfinals on Thursday, March 6, with 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5 matchups taking place as well. The semifinals are set for Monday, March 10, with the last two teams moving on to the championship game on Saturday, March 15 at 6 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. The higher seeds will host all rounds.
THE FAVORITE TO REACH FOUR
Boasting a deep, talented and experienced senior class of four, Navy was selected as the preseason favorite in voting done by the League’s head coaches and sports information contacts in October. The Mids claimed 14 of 20 first-place votes and topped the polling with 157 points. Army was next with 133 points and three first-place votes, while newcomer Boston University took third (128 points, 3 votes). Holy Cross, the runner up each of the last two seasons, was fourth with 112 points, while Lehigh took fifth with 97 points. American (87 points), Bucknell (62), Loyola (54), Lafayette (37) and Colgate (33) rounded out the list of 10.
CBS SPORTS NETWORK TO AIR ARMY-NAVY
CBS Sports Network is one again the national broadcast partner of the Patriot League, and the Network will air both Army-Navy regular-season tilts in early 2014. The Mids host the first showdown on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 1:30 p.m., and the two will reconvene their rivalry on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 1:30 p.m. at West Point. Last season the academy rivals finished in a tie atop the League standings, but their head-to-head sweep of the two games gave the Black Knights the tournament’s No. 1 seed. CBS Sports Network will also televise the Patriot League title game on Saturday, March 15 at 6 p.m.
Patriot League Weekly Awards (12.2-12.8)
ANACONDA SPORTS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
KELSEY MINATO, ARMY So., G, 5-8, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Minato was a key factor in Army capturing a pair of victories to run its win streak to seven straight last week. The sophomore guard had her biggest game on Saturday with 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 from the 3-point line with four rebounds and three assists in the Black Knights’ 68-56 win at Yale. Earlier in the week Minato notched 16 points and three rebounds while going a perfect 7-of-7 at the charity stripe in Army’s 73-48 victory over Morgan State at West Point, N.Y. For the week, Minato averaged 21.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 56 percent (14-of-25) from the floor. She also hit on 5-of-10 tries from long range and did not miss in nine tries at the charity stripe. It’s the first weekly honor of the season for Minato, who has scored in double figures in 24 straight.
ANACONDA SPORTS ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
MEGAN McGURK, BUCKNELL Fr., G, 5-7, West Chester, Pa.
McGurk was on fire from long range last week. The rookie from West Chester, Pa., started by shooting 4-of-5 from the 3-point line with a career-high 14 points, three rebounds and a pair of assists in the Bison’s 78-62 victory over Towson on Wednesday night. She added five points on 2-of-2 from the floor while hitting her only 3-point try with two boards and a dish in Bucknell’s 69-61 loss to Penn. For the week, McGurk averaged 9.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists while hitting 6-of-8 from the field and 5-of-6 from the arc. It’s her first career weekly award.
ALEXIS DOBBS, AMERICAN Sr., G, 5-5, Berea, Ohio
Averaged 19.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists in wins over Hampton and Drexel. Scored 11 of her 22 points against Hampton from the line, and added 17 in Sunday’s victory over the Dragons. Finished the week 16-of-18 from the charity stripe.
RASHIDAT AGBOOLA, BOSTON UNIVERSITY Sr., F, 6-1, Methuen, Mass.
Scored 21 points on 8-of-16 from the floor and 5-of-9 from the line while grabbing in eight boards in BU’s 66-63 win at Massachusetts on Wednesday.
SHELBY ROMINE, BUCKNELL Sr., G, 5-9, Centreville, Va.
Averaged 18.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists during Bucknell’s 1-1 week. Had a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double in the win over Towson.
CAROLE HARRIS, COLGATE Jr., F, 5-10, Lansing, Mich.
Shot 50 percent (13-of-26) while averaging a double-double of 14.5 points and 10.0 rebounds in two victories. Had 10 points and 11 boards in a 65-60 triumph over Drexel.
RAQUEL SCOTT, HOLY CROSS So., F, 6-0, Ridgewood, N.J.
Averaged 19.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game during the Crusaders’ 1-1 week. Scored 17 with 10 boards in Wednesday’s 70-62 victory over Northeastern.
EMILY HOMAN, LAFAYETTE Jr., F, 6-3, Upper Darby, Pa.
Shot 70 percent (14-of-20) from the floor while averaging 16.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in the Leopards’ 1-1 stretch.
KARA MARSHALL, LOYOLA MARYLAND Jr., G, 5-8, Gaithersburg, Md.
Netted 24 points for the second straight game with three steals and two assists in Loyola’s 65-59 loss at Mount St. Mary’s on Saturday. Sank a career-high six 3-pointers in nine tries.
KARA POLLINGER, NAVY Sr., G, 5-7, Fort Gay, W.Va.
Posted a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double in Navy’s 63-55 victory over Mount St. Mary’s en route to averaging 13.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists.