Lindsay Horbatuck and Bucknell look to begin a new win streak Saturday when they host Longwood.
Dec. 11, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — The student-athletes of the Patriot League will emphasize the first part of the hyphenated moniker this week as the focus turns to final exams. Following what was two busy weekends, the basketball schedule is reflecting the time of the year as the fall semester reaches its conclusion.
With Army dropping its last two, including Monday’s 53-47 loss at home to Loyola Maryland, American has taken over the role as the League’s hottest team. The Eagles have won two straight and four of their last five, including Saturday’s tough three-point home triumph over city rival George Washington.
Colgate and Lehigh are moving in the right direction, as each has won two in a row. Both teams’ success has coincided with returning home.
Tuesday and Wednesday are dark nights with no scheduled contests. The slate resumes Thursday as Army hosts Merchant Marine Academy. After another day off Friday, the schedule resumes with Bucknell’s first game in 12 days Saturday against Longwood. Colgate visits Niagara on Sunday, while Monday is an off day for all eight teams. American comes off final exams with Tuesday’s contest at Maryland-Eastern Shore.
Patriot League Women’s Basketball Quick Hits
• Freshman Michelle Holmes led American in rebounding in both victories last week, corralling seven against Coppin State and nine versus George Washington.
• Freshman Josie Stockill has led Colgate in rebounding in four of nine contests this season. She grabbed six in the win over Columbia and seven more in Saturday’s triumph over St. Francis (Pa.).
• Junior Alex Smith grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds Saturday in Holy Cross’ 61-49 loss at Quinnipiac. She’s also 122 points shy of 1,000 for her career.
• Lehigh freshman Elizabeth Sharlow nabbed a career-high 14 boards in her team’s 72-49 victory over Niagara Saturday. The stat line is also a season-best for any Lehigh player this season.
• With one block Sunday, Lafayette junior Danielle Fiacco tied Army’s Erin Anthony for third all-time in League history with 222 career blocks.
• Bucknell emerges from its 12-day layoff for final exams when it hosts Longwood Saturday at 4 p.m.
• Bucknell’s Lindsay Horbatuck (10.9 rebounds per game) and Audrey Dotson (8.0 rpg) are the League’s top 1-2 tandem on the boards. They’re just ahead of Army’s Aimee Oertner (9.0) and Oliva Schretzman (8.5).
• Navy has put forth the League’s stingiest defense so far, giving up 55.4 points per game while posting the League’s best scoring margin (+3.9 per game).
Patriot League Notebook
FIACCO REMAINS BLOCKING FORCE
Lafayette junior center Danielle Fiacco has been the primary blocks leader in the Patriot League the last two seasons. She’s remained in that position, sitting first in the League averaging 3.9 rejections per contest, which also places her third in the nation. She’s the highest-ranked League student-athlete in any NCAA statistical category, and the only in a top 10. She’s also tied for 13th in the country with Navy’s Jade Geif with five double-doubles as of Monday.
Patriot League teams have combined for a 38-37 mark through the season’s first 75 games. That includes a very solid showing against teams from area conferences. The League has put together a 24-18 mark versus the America East (1-2), Ivy League (5-3), Metro Atlantic (9-6) and Northeast (9-7) conferences. Last season the Patriot League finished above .500 against the MAAC (9-8), but was under .500 against the others.
ARMY DOMINATES ROOKIE AWARD SO FAR
Kelsey Minato was named the Anaconda Rookie of the Week for the second straight time Monday, bringing Army’s total haul of the honor to four honors in the first five weeks of the season. Minato averaged 10.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last week for the Black Knights, who picked up a win at Manhattan and fell at Rider. Freshman forward Aimee Oertner captured the first two rookie honors of the season, with Lehigh rookie Kerry Kinek securing the accolade in week three.
CORKERY CHASING A RECORD
At 90-43 overall at American, head coach Matt Corkery ranks among the best in the League all-time in win percentage (.677). 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 10-6 mark in American’s next 16 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 ends 2012 with two straight away from Kirby Sports Center. The news is different for teams like Army, which ends the calendar year with three in a row at home, and Lehigh, which hosts five straight home games to end December.
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. Horbatuck, Navy’s Jade Geif and Lafayette’s Danielle Fiacco are active players with over 500 rebounds.
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 evened its record thanks to a late 17-7 run and a few late free throws from junior guard Alexis Dobbs as the Eagles outlasted George Washington 57-54 Saturday at Bender Arena ... Dobbs scored 13 points, while Jen Dumiak chipped in a team-high 14 with five assists in the win ... The Eagles led by as many as eight points before settling for a 25-19 lead at halftime ... The Colonials battled back and took a one-point lead at the 12:43 mark of the second, and eventually went up seven with seven minutes remaining ... Geleisa George’s layup capped off nine straight Eagles points as they retook the lead, and Dumiak’s 3-pointer put American ahead 53-51 with 1:21 left ... Dobbs hit two foul shots with 15 seconds left to give the Eagles a four-point lead, and sank two more in the closing ticks after George Washington cut it to a one-point with a 3-pointer ... American is off until Tuesday, Dec. 18, when it visits Maryland-Eastern Shore at 6 p.m.
ARMY Jen Hazlett led five Army players in double figures with 15 points and five assists, and Kelsey Minato poured in 14, but the Black Knights fell 66-60 at Rider Friday ... Hazlett’s layup gave the Black Knights their biggest lead of the game at 18-8 nearly halfway through the first half ... Rider replied with a 20-0 run to take its own 10-point lead at 28-18 with 5:10 left ... The Broncs took a 34-26 lead into the half ... Rider extended the lead back to double figures early in the second before Hazlett drained a 3 at the 9:55 mark to pull Army within 46-42 ... Trailing 58-45 with 4:47 on the clock, Army orchestrated a 12-0 run to pull within a point with 2:11 to go ... But Rider never gave up the lead and shot 6 of 7 from the foul line in the closing moments ... Hazlett paced Army with 19 points, and Aimee Oertner posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, but the Black Knights dropped their second straight in a 53-47 loss at home to Loyola Maryland Monday ... The Black Knights trailed 29-18 at the half ... Army executed a 12-0 run capped off by Oertner’s follow of a missed Olivia Schretzman layup at the 12:24 mark of the second ... Loyola replied with a 10-2 run to retake an eight-point lead with less than eight minutes to go ... Hazlett capped off another Army rally with a 3-pointer to bring the Black Knights within 46-44 with 1:27 remaining, but they would get no closer ... The Greyhounds sank four free throws before Hazlett sank another trey, but Loyola hit on 3 of its next 4 from the charity stripe to put the game out of reach in the final seconds ... The Black Knights are in action Thursday at 7 p.m. when they host Merchant Marine Academy.
BUCKNELL The Bison are off for final exams until Dec. 15 when they host Longwood at 4 p.m. ... The Bison haven’t played since their five-game win streak was snapped in a 58-53 overtime loss at Penn Dec. 3 ... Following the matchup with Longwood, Bucknell will close out 2012 with three straight on the road beginning Dec. 19 at Towson.
COLGATE Catherine Lewis scored a career-high 19 points as Colgate won its second straight, posting a 67-62 victory over St. Francis (Pa.) in Hamilton, N.Y., Saturday ... Lewis did all of her damage in 19 minutes off the bench, hauling in a team-high seven rebounds and shooting 4 of 6 from beyond the arc and 6 of 8 overall ... The Raiders took a 35-33 lead into the locker room at the half thanks to a flurry of late 3-pointers ... After trading the lead in the early moments of the second, Colgate pushed ahead by seven just past the midway point ... A pair of free throws brought St. Francis (Pa.) within two at 58-56 with 3:33 remaining, and Rebecca Keegan’s jumper at the 1:52 mark tied the game ... Josie Stockill connected on an and-one with 1:20 left to put the Raiders up three, and late free throws from Lewis, Kobiela and Jhazmine Lynch iced the game ... Missy Repoli added 14 points and six rebounds, while Lauryn Kobiela chipped in 11 points and four dishes ... Colgate is in its break for finals and hits the floor Sunday for a 7 p.m. tip at Niagara.
HOLY CROSS Lisa Mifsud tallied a team-high 11 points off the bench, Brisje Malone scored 10 and Alex Smith grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds in Holy Cross’ 61-49 loss at Quinnipiac Saturday ... The Crusaders never led in the game and were behind 37-26 at halftime after shooting 10 of 28 from the floor ... The second half didn’t get any better for Holy Cross, which went 0 for 7 on 3-point attempts to finish 3 of 13 for the game ... Quinnipiac hit 9 of 30 from downtown and sank five more buckets than the Crusaders on 21 more attempts ... The Crusaders are in their final exam break and return to action Friday, Dec. 21 with an 11 a.m. tip at Bryant.
LAFAYETTE Danielle Fiacco scored 10 points with eight rebounds, but Lafayette couldn’t keep up with No. 20 Ohio State in an 81-41 loss in Columbus Sunday ... The Leopards trailed 38-16 at halftime after shooting under 25 percent from the floor ... On the other side, the Buckeyes hit on 50 percent of their opportunities to build the 22-point lead ... Ohio State expanded the lead to as many as 47 points in the second before finalizing the 40-point margin ... Emily Homan and Alicia Manning added six points apiece for Lafayette ... Ten of the Leopards’ 14 buckets had assists, while they were nearly even with Ohio State on the boards ... The Buckeyes finished with a 32-30 edge ... The Leopards are in their break for final exams ... They return to the floor Friday, Dec. 21 with a 7 p.m. tip at home against St. Francis (N.Y.)
LEHIGH Four players set career highs as Lehigh routed Niagara 72-49 at Stabler Arena Saturday ... Katie O’Reilly scored a career-best and game-high 16 points in 22 minutes off the bench, including a perfect 7 of 7 showing from the charity stripe ... Kelly Peterson added 13 points, while Alexandra Yanzti tallied a career-high 10, and Elizabeth Sharlow led all players with a career-high 14 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive glass ... The Mountain Hawks dominated Niagara 56-38 on the boards ... Lehigh shot just 24 percent in the first half but managed a 25-22 lead at the break before opening the game in the second ... Lehigh used a 21-10 stretch over a 7:10 stretch of the second half to turn a 41-31 lead into a 62-42 advantage at the 5:39 mark and never looked back ... Having won two in a row, Lehigh is now off until Thursday, Dec. 20 when it hosts Sacred Heart at 7 p.m.
NAVY dropped its 10th straight game to Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Md., in a 53-45 defeat Saturday ... The Mount outscored the Mids 20-8 to close the game to rally for the victory ... Chloe Stapleton scored a team-high 10 points in 27 minutes off the bench for Navy, while Audrey Bauer and Alix Membreno tallied nine points apiece ... Mount St. Mary’s outscored Navy in the paint 32-14 and committed just 10 turnovers ... The Mids led 23-20 at halftime, but it didn’t take long for the Mount to tie the game early in the second ... The Mids took a 37-33 lead with 11:09 remaining, but The Mount scored on each of their next eight possessions to take a 50-39 lead with 4:49 to go ... The Mids are next in action Wednesday, Dec. 19 when they visit Marquette at 1 p.m.