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Thursday, February 27, 2003

BASKETBALL: Games, not war, is focus
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
John Leone remembers the evening like it was yesterday, and the former Lafayette College men's basketball coach sometimes wonders whether he handled the situation in the best manner. On the surface, Army's visit to meet Lafayette on Jan. 17, 1991 in Kirby Sports Center was just another encounter between two teams scuffling near the bottom of the Patriot League, which was in its inaugural season. But less than an hour before the 8 p.m. tip-off, news broke the United States was going to war in the Persian Gulf. Desert Storm was unfolding at full throttle.

Monday, February 24, 2003

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette stuns Lehigh at buzzer
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Eleven straight losses, 22 defeats overall this winter. Nos. 12 and 23 were not going to come Sunday afternoon in the final home game in Kirby Sports Center for Lafayette College seniors Kim Costello, Liz Rojahn and Jen Bayer, who didn't play but lended moral support from the bench. Costello, the point guard, drove along the right baseline with the basketball and leaped into the air when she had nowhere else to go as time was running out. And before she touched down, Costello fired a pass under the basket to junior Colleen Fitzpatrick, who calmly emerged from a traffic jam of defenders to deliver the game-winning basket with one-tenth of a second left. Lafayette 72, Lehigh 71.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Fitzpatrick's shot lifts Leopards over Lehigh
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
Little room was open on the baseline when Lafayette College senior guard Kim Costello began her dribble toward the basket, and ultimately, triumph, in her final home game at Kirby Sports Center Sunday afternoon. Leopards junior forward Colleen Fitzpatrick, who had been the most dominant player in the game between the local Patriot League rivals, appeared in Costello sights. It did not matter that Fitzpatrick was swamped by defenders. Costello delivered a beautiful pass. Fitzpatrick caught the ball, rose up and banked a shot off the glass and into the basket for a 72-71 victory.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Pleick must chart new course
The Express-Times/ By Paul Sokoloski
The news came down a couple of weeks ago, crushing Andrew Pleick's spirit like a ton of bricks. He had petitioned the NCAA for one more season of basketball, a chance he was counting on to make his college career feel almost complete. And in the middle of February, the Lafayette senior was told his request was denied. "It was kind of tough to find out," Pleick said. "You realize this is the end."

MEN'S BASKETBALL: 'Pards topple archrivals
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Don't you love this unpredictable Patriot League men's basketball season? Because on any given Sunday, a team can rise up and bite one of the best. Less than two days removed from one of its worst outings of the season, Lafayette greeted rival Lehigh with its best effort this winter and sent out its seniors Andrew Pleick and Drew Dawson with an 86-68 victory before 3,244 Kirby Sports Center spectators.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Pleick delivers 'Pard win
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
Lafayette College senior guard Andrew Pleick saved his best scoring game for his final home game at Kirby Sports Center Sunday. He also handled the ball with exceptional care and did a good job distributing it to his teammates, much like he has all season. But when the Leopards' 86-68 Patriot League drubbing of rival Lehigh was over, Pleick didn't know whether to celebrate or cry.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

BASEBALL: Phillies have placed a Buck on sponsorship for new park
The Morning Call/ By Don Bostrom
PHILADELPHIA | Dave Buck said one of the best parts of his Lafayette experience was having fabled basketball coach Butch van Breda Kolff end up at his fraternity house after several games. It also included a friendship with Bill Casey, who gave him some direction and encouragement he'll never regret. ''I'm passionate about sports,'' said Buck, Lafayette Class of 1986. ''I really didn't know what to do at graduation. Bill was a year ahead of me and became a banker. I didn't want to do that. He said, 'You love sports and you love Philadelphia. Why don't you write to all of the teams to see if they have any openings.'''

Saturday, February 22, 2003

FOOTBALL: Lafayette lands smart QB who can run and throw
The Morning Call
Ohio All-State quarterback Brad Maurer is heading to Lafayette College. Maurer was just recently honored as the top football scholar-athlete in Ohio. He is the only quarterback out of the 29 players in this year's recruiting class for the Leopards. Maurer was a three-year starter at Kings High School in Loveland, Ohio. He led his high school team to a 12-1 record and a Division II regional runner-up last fall. He threw for 2,620 yards with 29 touchdowns and rushed for 1,001 yards with 20 rushing touchdowns. Maurer also set a school record for single-game passing yards with 345. Maurer earned first-team and Offensive Player of the Year honors at every level in 2002. He was also named a finalist for the Cincinnati Enquirer's football player of the year.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Creamer (Molly) always rises
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- When are a school-record 38 points not enough? When the Patriot League's all-time leading scorer drops an arena-record 44 on you. Lafayette's Colleen Fitzpatrick was absolutely brilliant Friday night, scoring 38 points, but Bucknell's Molly Creamer was even better, scoring 44 -- including the Bison's last 29 points of the game -- leading them to what turned out to be a thrilling 71-67 victory over the Leopards.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Bison stampede sweeps Lafayette
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- There are horses for courses, and in the Patriot League it's apparent Bucknell is the one team Lafayette does not want to meet in the postseason tournament. The Bison stomped to a huge first-half lead and then withstood a mild Lafayette rally for a 70-53 triumph Friday night in Kirby Sports Center to sweep the regular-season series from the Leopards. The loss dropped Lafayette to 11-13 overall and 5-6 in the league heading into Sunday afternoon's meeting with archrival Lehigh. Bucknell (12-12) is headed to last-place Army on Sunday a full game ahead of the Leopards in the race for fourth place.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Aggressive Bucknell drubs Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
Justin DeBerry and Winston Davis, two players Lafayette College needs to have solid performances in most games to have a chance to win, both struggled shooting Friday night against Bucknell at Kirby Sports Center. Without either in peak form, Lafayette couldn't keep pace with a Bucknell team that scored effectively from the inside and outside in drubbing the Leopards 70-53 in a Patriot League matchup. The Leopards (11-13, 5-6) had lost by 20 points to Bucknell earlier in the Patriot League season, losing that game for many of the same reasons they were trounced on their homecourt in the rematch. The main reason was rebounding. Bucknell outrebounded the Leopards 39-28, led by 6-6 senior forward Boakai Lalugba with 10 boards to go with 14 points. In the first meeting, Bucknell overwhelmed the Leopards by a 44-21 margin on the boards.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Leopards persevere in tuneup for Cross
The Express-Times/ By Paul Sokoloski
EASTON -- Frustrated by futility in a sluggish game that was deteriorating into a slugfest, Justin DeBerry finally became fed up. That's about the time stubborn Army met its match. DeBerry scored six straight points and added two consecutive assists to trigger an 11-point run in the second half that led Lafayette to a gritty 57-43 Patriot League basketball victory Wednesday night over the Cadets at Kirby Sports Center.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette wins battle of the boards to knock off Army
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
In normal games, Lafayette College guard Justin DeBerry could probably keep track of his rebounds in his head. But the 6-3 junior was scrapping so hard to get position and yank down boards in the Leopards' 57-43 Patriot League victory over Army Wednesday night at Kirby Sports Center in Easton that he started losing track.

Saturday, February 8, 2003

MEN'S BASKETBALL: DeBerry, Leopards rally, jar Colgate
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Never underestimate the importance of the homecourt advantage. Lafayette, inspired by the return of the rowdy Zoo Crew student section, rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to deal perennial Patriot League nemesis Colgate a 60-56 defeat Friday night before 2,586 at Kirby Sports Center. The Leopards won their third game in a row to improve to 4-4 in the league and 10-11 overall. The loss dropped Colgate to 4-4 in the league and 9-12.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Division 1 all new to Kokolus
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- The frustration meter can't go any higher for the women's basketball squad at Lafayette College. With two starters already out for the season with injuries, the Leopards nearly lost leading scorer and rebounder Colleen Fitzpatrick to a broken nose suffered Tuesday in practice. Fitzpatrick, fitted with a goalie-type mask, gallantly was on the floor for the Leopards on Friday night against Colgate, but the Raiders were too strong and prevailed 71-59. "We see progress in practice, and the coaches reinforce the positives with us," said Lafayette freshman Katie Kokolus, a guard out of Notre Dame High School. "We're not giving up and we're going to keep working hard in practice. We're going to pull out a win yet."

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Leopards rally to beat Colgate
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
His right arm numb from being hit in the funny bone, Lafayette College forward Mike Farrell quickly turned to the nearest official and called for a timeout with a minute remaining. By no means did Farrell want to leave the game. He just needed to regroup. But the way Farrell played in the second half of the Leopards' 60-56 victory over Colgate in a Patriot League game Friday night before a loud and jubilant crowd at Kirby Sports Center in Easton, it probably didn't matter how much discomfort he was experiencing.

Friday, February 7, 2003

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette will need more help from the bench
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
Lafayette guards Justin DeBerry, Winston Davis and Andrew Pleick, forward Mike Farrell and center Rob Dill may not be nicknamed the ''Fab Five,'' but they deserve some special recognition. Each plays at least 29 minutes a game because coach Fran O'Hanlon can not afford to rest them for any extended period of time. They were the only players returning with valuable experience, and, so far, they have been the Leopards' only consistent players. Lafayette was 3-4 in the first half of the Patriot League season. If the Leopards (9-11 overall) are to post a winning league record in the second half, the five starters will have to turn up their games a few notches, starting tonight against Colgate at 9 p.m. in Kirby Sports Center.

Thursday, February 6, 2003

FOOTBALL: Lafayette lands eight from Fla.
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Philadelphia and the state of Florida proved to be major hot spots for the Lafayette College football program in securing talent for its Class of 2007. The Leopards, fresh from a turnaround 7-5 record that included a season-ending 14-7 upset of Lehigh, lured three talented players from the City of Brotherly Love and eight players from the Sunshine State. Head coach Frank Tavani on Wednesday released the names of 29 players who have made commitments, and the list could grow by three or four within the next week, he said.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Colgate, Lafayette hold fast to 'need'
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
The Patriot League's second half begins Friday night with Colgate coming to Kirby Sports Center to meet Lafayette. Tipoff is 9 p.m. for the league's TV Game of the Week, which in some respects is also the league's "Non-Scholarship Showcase." Lafayette and Colgate are the last of the eight schools to adhere to the league's founding principle of need-based aid for student-athletes. Whether it's right or wrong is a moot point because that's just the way it is.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette recruits some quality
The Morning Call/ By Ted Meixell
When the time came for Lafayette coach Frank Tavani and his staff to start pounding the recruiting highway, they quickly discovered that beating Lehigh (14-7) for the first time in eight years was a pretty good idea. It sure made delivering the message easier, Tavani said on Wednesday at the school's first-ever formal letter-of-intent-day press conference. ''For the first time, when we got into living rooms, we didn't have to spend 20 minutes convincing that we're serious here. This time, they were telling me how great everything looked.'' Maybe that's why Tavani and Co. were able to hook, and land, a bumper crop of 29 recruits - a group Tavani believes is his best ever, albeit not the largest.

Wednesday, February 5, 2003

FOOTBALL: Lafayette football keeps recruiting Philly players
Philadelphia Daily News/ By Ted Silary
It's past the stage where Lafayette College is making inroads in the recruitment of Philadelphia football players. The Leopards are almost taking over. The latest two to join the fold are tackle Ryan "Goose" Nase, a Father Judge High grad now at Peddie School, in Hightstown, N.J., and John Bartram linebacker Marvin Snipes. They join Central running back Chris Williams, who announced his decision last week.

FOOTBALL: Sarasota's Martell to sign with Lafayette
Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune/ By Chad Brockhoff
SARASOTA -- Sarasota High senior Trey Martell will sign a letter of intent to play football at Lafayette College, a Division I-AA Patriot League school in Easton, Pa., on Wednesday. Martell, who played safety and linebacker for the Sailors, led a defense that allowed an average of 10.4 points per game and forced 35 turnovers in 2002. The first team Herald-Tribune All-Area and second team Class 6A All-State selection had 96 total tackles, forced four fumbles, recovered five fumbles and intercepted four passes in 2002. He also blocked five punts and scored two defensive touchdowns.

FOOTBALL: Central's Williams, Northeast's Clark quick to pick colleges
Philadelphia Daily News/ By Ted Silary
For a pair of Public League football stars, the recruiting process resembled the experience of first-round losers in the NCAA basketball tournament. One and done. Central running back Chris Williams (Lafayette) and Northeast defensive back Eric Clark (Towson) made their decisions after one official visit. The 5-10, 190-pound Williams was scheduled to visit Lehigh this weekend. A number of the Division II state schools also were involved.

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette's Smith in search of more than victories
The Morning Call/ By Mike Sielski
Scowling, Tammy Smith emerged from a locker room Sunday afternoon, a fresh defeat reddening her face, a flight to Seattle awaiting her in less than an hour. This is what you do when you are overseeing a Lazarus project, as Smith is as Lafayette's women's basketball coach: You lose for the 18th time in 20 games this season and for the 43rd time in 48 games since you were hired, and 60 minutes later you board an airplane for a 3,000-mile flight to the Great Northwest, hoping to coax a high school junior with a blink-quick crossover and an A average into joining the resurrection. And there will be a resurrection, Smith and her players assure. How long it will take, how long it will be before the Lafayette's program returns to respectability, none of them can say with certainty.

Monday, February 3, 2003

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Leopards overwhelming in win
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- If Fran O'Hanlon ran for president, Don DeVoe might just step up and offer to be the Lafayette basketball coach's campaign manager. DeVoe, the Navy men's basketball coach, gave O'Hanlon and his Leopards a ringing endorsement after Lafayette dismantled the Midshipmen 70-52 before a Sunday matinee crowd of 3,052 at Kirby Sports Center. "Lafayette can win this league's championship if they play like they do against Navy," DeVoe said. "I would've loved to have seen their game against Holy Cross because Holy Cross is like having an Atlantic 10 or ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) team in the Patriot League. O'Hanlon wasn't quite ready to accept DeVoe's nomination, but he was pleased with his team's defensive effort -- holding Navy to 31 percent shooting -- and savvy offensive showing -- 53 percent shooting and 18 assists to just 13 turnovers.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Proud program sends a message
The Express-Times/ By Paul Sokoloski
Don't count Lafayette out of title contention just yet. After Sunday, Navy couldn't. The Leopards themselves wouldn't. And the rest of the Patriot League shouldn't. "Lafayette can win this league," Navy coach Don DeVoe said. "They've got the strategy, they play the defense, They'll be in the hunt. Lafayette can win this championship this year." At the very least, the Leopards won back some respect. They ran through Navy's aggressive, trapping defense at the Kirby Sports Center like it wasn't even there, mashing the Midshipmen 70-52. This came after Friday night's inspiring 67-66 upset of American. Suddenly, a Lafayette team that started the season 0-5 is now 9-11 overall. A Leopards team that began the week near the bottom of the Patriot League at 1-4 has played its way to 3-4 and clawed its way into the middle of the eight-team pack. And a once-powerful Lafayette program that seemed dead in the water has a real chance to be dangerous again.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette makes it a sweep at home
The Morning Call/ By Ted Meixell
Fran O'Hanlon insisted that, despite beginning the weekend with a 1-4 Patriot League record, he and his Lafayette Leopards didn't view their home clashes with American (Friday) and Navy (Sunday) as a must-cash exacta. They cashed it anyway. On Sunday at the Kirby Sports Center, Lafayette ran away from The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (that would be Navy) 70-52, thus parlaying the momentum generated by Friday's nerve-wracking 67-66 win over American into a weekend Kirby sweep. After nixing the notion that he viewed a sweep as a must, O'Hanlon said: ''We were looking at the games one at a time. But the American win was huge for us. The way we won - they took a late lead; we could have folded, but we didn't - may have given us a boost coming into this one .''

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Role player at Lafayette is one for the ages
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
When I saw him lead the Lafayette basketball team onto the court at a game early in the season, I turned to a guy on press row and said something like: ''Where'd they get the 30-year-old guy? I know coach O'Hanlon is short on players, but this is too much.'' The first thing you notice is not that he has the build of an undersized (5-10, 180) linebacker - he says if he were a super hero he'd be the Incredible Hulk. The first thing you notice about him is that, especially in the company of the rest of the Leopards, he is so old. The close-cropped, thin head of hair, the high forehead and the 5 o'clock shadow enhance the image. ''A good-lookin' 30-year-old guy,'' Drew Dawson quipped Sunday when the prematurely aged thing came up. He has heard it before. Often.

Saturday, February 1, 2003

MEN'S BASKETBALL: DeBerry gets 29 to key Leopards
The Express-Times/ By John Bruns
EASTON -- Don't write off Lafayette just yet. The Leopards may not win the Patriot League's regular season championship, but come tournament time they could be a serious threat. Why so? Friday night's gut-wrenching 67-66 win over American says it all. American, last year's regular-season champion, came into the Kirby Sports Center off a resounding 72-49 upset of Holy Cross, the heavy pre-season favorite. "What it says is that on any given night, anybody can beat anybody," Lafayette coach Fran O'Hanlon said. "I don't know if people gave us a chance to beat American. I think we were confident. It shows the parity in the league." So the Leopards' four-game losing streak is history and they'll take an 8-11 overall record and 2-4 in the league into Sunday's home game with Navy.