Patriot League Women's Basketball Weekend Preview - 12.27.12

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Bucknell's Shelby Romine was named Anaconda Player of the Week after scoring at least 20 points in two games last week.
Bucknell's Shelby Romine was named Anaconda Player of the Week after scoring at least 20 points in two games last week.

Dec. 27, 2012

Patriot League Women's Basketball Weekend Preview - 12.27.12 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Final exams and the Christmas holiday have come and gone, and now the eight Patriot League teams can focus on the final two-week stretch of non-League games before the most important portion of the schedule begins in January.

League play is just 16 days away, with the first set of games taking place the weekend of Jan. 12-13. In the days leading up to the League openers, the eight squads will look to smooth over some rough edges in the last of their non-League tilts.

Only two teams are set for holiday tournaments over the weekend. Lehigh hosts the annual Christmas City Classic at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, while Lafayette goes to the Bronx to participate in the Fordham Holiday Classic. The Leopards’ schedule includes a matchup with the host Rams to open the festivities Saturday.

The weekend begins with two games Friday, as American looks to bounce back from last week’s loss at James Madison when it visits Drexel, and Holy Cross continues its string of eight straight away from home when it heads south to take on Florida.

Four games dot Saturday’s schedule, but Sunday’s slate is the busier of the two with six contests.

The schedule goes dark for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, with games resuming on Jan. 2.

Patriot League Women’s Basketball Quick Hits

• Shelby Romine’s career night included 29 points and 12 rebounds in Bucknell’s 69-62 overtime win at St. Peter’s on Saturday.

• Amy Lepley returned to the lineup and scored 16 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the field and 2 of 2 from the line in Holy Cross’ win Friday at Bryant.

• Lafayette center Danielle Fiacco blocked five shots last Friday against St. Francis (N.Y.), giving her sole possession of third on the League’s all-time list with 227.

• Army’s 17-day layoff ends Sunday when it hosts Bryant at 1 p.m. at West Point.

• Six of the League’s eight teams have winning records at home, while the remaining two (Holy Cross and Lehigh) are both within a game of .500 in their buildings.

• American, which is 3-0 at home, starts January with three straight at Bender Arena, including the League opener Jan. 12 against Colgate.

• There will be at least one League team in action during an eight-day stretch from Jan. 2-9.

• Holy Cross junior Alex Smith hopped over Molly Creamer for ninth on the League’s all-time made 3-pointers list in Friday’s win at Bryant. Smith has 197 treys and is five shy of eighth.

Weekly Awards (12.17-12.23)

SHELBY ROMINE, BUCKNELL Jr., G, Centreville, Va.
For the second straight week, a Bison came up with a career effort. Romine posted her first career double-double with 29 points and 12 rebounds and shot 50 percent (10 of 20) from the floor as Bucknell outlasted St. Peter’s 69-62 in overtime Saturday in Jersey City, N.J. Ten of her points came in the extra session. Earlier in the week, Romine contributed another strong game with 20 points and four rebounds in a 75-62 win at Towson. It is her third set of back-to-back 20-point games in her career, while she increased her tally to four 20-point games this season and 13 for her career. Romine has a pair of Player of the Week nods, with her first coming Feb. 13, 2012.

KERRY KINEK, LEHIGH Fr., F, Whitehall, Pa.
Kinek just missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds in Lehigh’s 73-63 loss at home to Sacred Heart Thursday in Bethlehem. The freshman forward also logged a pair of assists, one steal and one block. Kinek was the team leader in rebounding and the third-highest scorer against the Pioneers in 31 minutes of action. It’s her second Rookie of the Week nod this season, with her first coming Nov. 26.

Dobbs averaged 11.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, and scored 15 points with five boards in a 61-53 win at Maryland-Eastern Shore last week.

AMY LEPLEY, HOLY CROSS Sr., F/G, Norfolk, Mass.
Lepley scored 16 points with four rebounds and shot 7 for 7 from the field in her first game of the season to help Holy Cross to a 68-66 win Friday at Bryant.

Fiacco was dominant in the middle with 20 points, nine boards and five blocks in the Leopards’ 66-63 win over St. Francis (N.Y.) Friday in Easton.

ALIX MEMBRENO, NAVY Jr., Loxahatchee, Fla.
Membreno finished with 19 points on 9 of 14 from the field with six rebounds and five assists in Navy’s 73-65 loss at Marquette on Wednesday.

Patriot League Notebook

Only two Patriot League teams are set for holiday tournaments this weekend heading toward the New Year’s holiday. Lafayette heads to the Bronx, N.Y., to participate in the Fordham Holiday Classic, while Lehigh hosts the Christmas City Classic in Bethlehem, Pa. The other six teams have games lined up for that week, but they are not part of tournaments.

The stretch of games beginning Friday opens the final stretch of non-conference play for the eight Patriot League teams. The last leg will last approximately two weeks as the clubs put the finishing touches on preparation before League play opens Jan. 12.

The Patriot League currently has four active players with at least 500 rebounds. Holy Cross senior Amy Lepley and Navy junior Jade Geif entered the season with 511 and 503 boards, respectively. Geif has taken the lead among active players with 596, while Lepley moved up to 515 with four boards in her first outing of the season Friday at Bryant. Bucknell senior Lindsay Horbatuck and Lafayette junior Danielle Fiacco have entered the 500 club since the start of the season. Horbatuck enters the weekend with 591 career rebounds, while Fiacco has 523.

At 91-44 overall at American, head coach Matt Corkery ranks among the best in the League all-time in win percentage (.674). 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 9-5 mark in American’s next 15 contests. Navy’s Joe Sanchez collected 100 wins in 162 games from 1994-2000. American has two games this weekend starting Friday at Drexel and continuing Sunday at Mount St. Mary’s.

The Bucknell pair of junior Shelby Romine and sophomore Audrey Dotson own the top two offensive performances of the season. Romine tallied career bests of 29 points and 12 rebounds as Bucknell outlasted St. Peter’s in overtime Saturday, while Dotson scored 27 a week earlier in the Bison’s loss to Longwood. Romine has moved up to third in the League in scoring (14.7 points per game), while Dotson is 15th averaging 10.5.

Aimee Oertner picked up her third Anaconda Rookie of the Week honor Dec. 17, bringing Army’s overall total to five citations in the first seven weeks of the season. That kind of domination by one school on the award hasn’t been seen since the Patriot League’s second season of women’s basketball in 1991-92, when Army captured five of the first six awards en route to nine in that year’s 12 awards. Guard Kelsey Minato has been named the Anaconda Rookie of the Week twice this season as well.

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.

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.

Team Notebooks

AMERICAN couldn’t overcome a 7-of-18 showing at the free throw line in a 65-49 loss at James Madison Friday which snapped their win streak at three ... Arron Zimmerman led with 13 points, while Michelle Holmes added 10 in a 5-of-5 effort off the bench ... James Madison built a 24-13 lead before the Eagles replied with a 10-0 run to pull within one with 4:32 left until the half ... The Dukes led 29-23 headed into the locker room and built a 37-24 advantage less than two minutes into the second ... American’s deficit remained in double figures for the rest of the game, with James Madison extending the lead to 19 just shy of the midway point of the second ... The Dukes dominated the glass 53-34, and took 20 more attempts from the floor than the Eagles ... American visits Drexel Friday at 4 p.m. and heads to Mount St. Mary’s Sunday afternoon.

ARMY The Black Knights have been idle since defeating the Merchant Marine Academy 77-40 on Dec. 13 ... They return to the floor Sunday to host Bryant at 1 p.m. ... A win would make Army the first League team this season to reach double figures in victories.

BUCKNELL Junior Shelby Romine’s first career double-double helped lift Bucknell to a 69-62 overtime win at St. Peter’s Saturday night in Jersey City, N.J. ... Romine scored a career-high 29 points, with 10 coming in the extra period, and hauled in 12 rebounds ... Audrey Dotson (13 points, 13 rebounds) and Lindsay Horbatuck (11, 11) also logged double-doubles for the Bison, who won their second straight ... The Peahens took a 3-point lead early in overtime, but Romine’s layup and then two free throws on the Bison’s next possession tied the game at 59 ... Horbatuck sank a pair from the charity stripe to give Bucknell a 61-59 lead with two minutes left ... The Bison then took advantage of a St. Peter’s cold streak of three consecutive misses, including two from deep ... Romine scored four straight points in that span to lift Bucknell to a 65-59 lead with 30 seconds left ... Bucknell shot just under 35 percent for the game, but hit 3 of 5 from the field and 8 of 9 from the foul line in overtime ... Romine finished 10 of 20 from the floor, including four of her team’s six 3-pointers ... The Bison look for their third straight win Saturday at Youngstown State at 4:30 p.m.

COLGATE began the game 1 of 11 from the field and finished under 30 percent for the game in Friday’s 73-47 loss at Iona ... Josie Stockill led with a team-high 13 points, while Lulu Brase added nine points and 10 rebounds ... Jhazmine Lynch’s driving layup brought the Raiders within 8-7 with 11:38 remaining in the first, but Iona followed with a 20-3 run to take a 28-10 lead with just over three and a half minutes on the clock ... The Gaels led 36-17 at the half and extended the lead to 51-23 less than six minutes into the second ... Iona’s lead stayed between 23 and 28 points the rest of the way ... The Raiders shot just 1 of 13 from beyond the arc ... The Raiders host New Hampshire Saturday at 4 p.m.

HOLY CROSS Amy Lepley returned to the Holy Cross lineup after missing the first nine games of the season with an injury ... She didn’t disappoint with 16 points on 7-of-7 shooting and 2 of 2 from the foul line to lead the Crusaders to a 68-66 win over Bryant Friday ... The Bulldogs led 66-65 with 47 seconds remaining, but Lepley connected on a layup on the Crusaders’ next possession to give them a one-point lead with 23 seconds to go ... Bryant had three cracks at the basket on the ensuing possession, but Brisje Malone captured the rebound on the third attempt, was fouled and hit one free throw to give the Crusaders the two-point win ... Alex Smith scored a team-high 17 points with six rebounds and four assists, while Brisje Malone chipped in 15 points, five assists and three steals ... Holy Cross shot nearly 60 percent in the second half after the teams were tied at 30 at the break ... Holy Cross visits 10-3 Florida Friday at 7 p.m.

LAFAYETTE Four players reached double figures in points as Lafayette outlasted St. Francis (N.Y.) 66-63 Friday at Kirby Sports Center ... Danielle Fiacco had a big game with 20 points, nine rebounds and five blocks for the Leopards, who improved to 4-7 ... Emily Homan posted a double-double with 18 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks, while Brya Freeland and Jamie O’Hare scored 12 and 11 points, respectively ... Lafayette scored the first 11 points of the game and led 23-6 with 8:09 left in the first ... The Terriers mounted a furious comeback with a 17-3 run and trailed 26-23 with just over three minutes until the break ... After Lafayette led 33-25 at halftime, the Terriers stormed back again and trailed 35-34 at the 17:10 mark ... Another Leopard run gave them breathing room, and they led by double figures halfway through the frame ... St. Francis had one more rally in it, as the Terriers crawled back within 64-60 with 30 seconds to go after two free throws ... Freeland and Fiacco both went 1 of 2 at the foul line to give the Leopards a six point lead ... Lafayette is set to compete at the Fordham Holiday Classic beginning Friday with a 1 p.m. tip against the host Rams.

LEHIGH was done in by a game-closing 17-7 run as Sacred Heart defeated the Mountain Hawks 73-63 Thursday night in Bethlehem ... Kelly Peterson led Lehigh with 16 points, while Katie O’Reilly added 13 in 22 minutes off the bench ... The Mountain Hawks led 12-5 early, but Sacred Heart responded later with a 13-1 run to take a 33-23 lead with just under four minutes left before halftime ... The Pioneers led 35-32 at the half and stayed in front in the second before Lehigh’s 11-2 run gave it a 52-51 lead midway through ... Sacred Heart used a 9-0 stretch over 3:21 to take a 65-56 with two and a half minutes left ... Lehigh hosts the Christmas City Classic beginning Saturday, taking on Binghamton Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Boston University Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

NAVY The Mids lost 73-65 at Marquette in their last outing Dec. 19 ... Alix Membreno led four players in double figures with 19 points ... She added six rebounds and five assists, while Kara Pollinger chipped in 13 points with five dishes ... Audrey Bauer (13 points) and Jade Geif (10) also reached double figures offensively ... The Mids are back on the floor Sunday when they host Marshall at 2 p.m.