Penn Rallies Past Women's Basketball, 59-52
Jan. 2, 2011
EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette women's basketball team led visiting Penn, 42-41, with 6:37 to play on Sunday afternoon at Kirby Sports Center, but the Quakers poured in the next 12 points over the ensuing 3:50 en route to a 59-52 win over the Leopards. Senior co-captain LaKeisha Wright shared the game high with 16 points.
With their second straight loss, the Leopards fall to 6-8. Penn evens its record at 5-5 and extends its winning streak to three games.
Wright's 16 points headed three Lafayette players to post double figures. Junior Sarah McGorry tallied 12 points and senior co-captain Lauren Jackson notched 11. As a team, the Leopards struggled to a 21-for-68 (30.9 percent) day from the floor, including a 1-for-11 (9.1 percent) effort from three-point range. Lafayette also did itself a disservice with a 9-for-16 (56.3 percent) showing at the free throw line.
Four players hauled in a team-best seven rebounds for the Leopards - McGorry, senior co-captain Elizabeth Virgin, sophomore Samantha Jordan and freshman Danielle Fiacco - as Lafayette held a 53-48 advantage on the glass. The Maroon and White hauled in 22 rebounds and turned them into 20 second-chance points. Penn grabbed 19 from the offensive glass and converted 16 second-chance points.
Fiacco also tallied five of Lafayette's nine blocks, increasing her Patriot League-leading total to 48 rejections (3.4 per game).
While depth has been among the Leopards' strengths this season, Lafayette's bench was outscored by the Quakers' non-starters by a 22-9 count. Virgin had seven of the Leopards' nine bench points in addition to her seven boards in 16 minutes of action.
Lafayette started the contest on a 10-2 run but could not maintain the momentum as the score was soon deadlocked at 14-14 with 7:08 to play in the first half. The deadlock held to 22-22, at which point it seemed as if the Leopards would continue their trend of entering the intermission on a high note. Two buckets from McGorry and a Virgin free throw gave Lafayette a 27-22 cushion with one minute remaining, but a three-point play by Penn's Alyssa Baron with seven seconds to go cut the halftime margin to just two points at 27-25 in favor of the Leopards.
An 11-5 swing for the Quakers opened the second half, spotting the visitors a two-possession lead at 36-32 with 12:57 remaining. The Leopards went basket-for-basket with Penn to stay within striking distance, and a three-point play from Jackson with 6:37 to play put the Maroon and White back on top, 42-41.
Rather than swing the momentum however, Jackson's layup and free throw were the last points that the Leopards would score for nearly four minutes. The Quakers went on a 12-0 run at that point to open up a double-digit advantage, 53-42, with 2:47 to go. Lafayette mounted a late rally, led by eight key points from Wright, but even with Penn's 6-for-13 performance at the free throw line over the last 2:02, the deficit proved too great as the Quakers escaped Kirby Sports Center with a 59-52 victory.
Lafayette shot just 9-for-35 (25.7 percent) from the field in the second half, including a 1-for-7 (14.3 percent) showing beyond the arc. The Leopards also committed eight second-half turnovers to the Quakers' three.
Just as they did against Saint Joseph's, the Leopards locked down the opposition's leading scorer. Baron was held to just seven points - less than half of her 16.0 points per game average - but the Quakers got 16 points from Jerin Smith, 13 from Meghan McCullough and a 12-point, nine-rebound day from Jess Knapp.
The Leopards close out their non-conference schedule on Wednesday, Jan. 5 in New York City with a 7 p.m. game at Columbia. Patriot League play begins at Kirby Sports Center on Saturday, Jan. 8 as Holy Cross visits College Hill for a 1 p.m. contest.
Notes: Lafayette has led in the second half of four of its eight losses...Freshman Danielle Fiacco has already claimed seventh place all-time at a Lafayette with 48 career blocks...She is also third on the Leopards' single-season list.
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