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Women's Basketball Handles Colgate at Kirby

Melissa Downey matched her career high with 12 points

Jan. 25, 2012

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EASTON, Pa. - Led by Emily Homan's game-high 20 points, the Lafayette women's basketball team topped visiting Colgate, 66-58, on Wednesday evening at Kirby Sports Center. Melissa Downey also reached double figures for the Leopards with 12 points.

With the victory, the Leopards improve to 8-13 overall and 2-4 in Patriot League action. The Raiders fall to 4-17 on the season with a 1-5 league mark.

Homan's 20 points came on 7-for-12 shooting from the field and a 6-for-8 day at the charity stripe. In addition to her third 20-point effort of the season, she fell just shy of her third double-double of 2011-12 with nine rebounds. Downey's 12 points match her previous career high set at Lehigh in her sophomore campaign of 2009-10. The senior shot 3-for-4 from the floor and connected on all six of her free throw attempts, including a 4-for-4 showing to ice the game in the final 15 seconds.

As a unit, the Leopards shot 20-for-54 (37 percent) from the field, 4-for-10 (40 percent) from three-point range and 22-for-31 (71 percent) from the charity stripe. Colgate finished at 25-for-76 (32.9 percent) from the floor, 4-for-18 (22.2 percent) from downtown and 4-for-5 (80 percent) from the free throw line.

Madeline Fahan added eight points for Lafayette, while a trio of Leopards - Danielle Fiacco, Brya Freeland and Sarah McGorry - netted six apiece. Maddie Peabody scored five points, and Alicia Manning capped the offense with three. Fahan, Fiacco and Peabody shared the team high of three assists.

McGorry led all players with 11 rebounds, and Fiacco grabbed eight as Lafayette held a 53-37 advantage on the boards The Leopards turned 14 offensive rips into 16 second-chance points.

Defensively, Fiacco blocked three shots to improve her season total to 85. Already the Leopards' single-season record holder, the sophomore now sits in seventh place in Patriot League single-season history, 10 blocks shy of the league record. For her career, Fiacco's 156 blocks are four away from the Lafayette record of 160 - held by Lenora Johnson '81 - and slot her at 10th in Patriot League annals.

Colgate struck first on a Jhazmine Lynch jumper, but the Leopards responded with nine of the next 11 tallies to claim an early 9-4 lead. After the Raiders cut the deficit to one point at 9-8, back-to-back buckets from Homan capped a 12-2 spurt that gave the Leopards their largest advantage of the half, 21-10, with 9:19 left in the period. The clubs traded buckets for the remainder of the half, finishing with a coast-to-coast jumper by Peabody as time expired to send Lafayette into the locker room on top, 34-25.

The visitors were the aggressors after the intermission, holding the Leopards scoreless for more than four minutes to start the half on an 11-0 run and take a 36-34 lead. Lafayette would go nearly seven minutes without a second-half field goal, but perfect trips to the charity stripe from Homan, McGorry and Fiacco kept the Leopards in the lead, and a three-pointer from Freeland at the 13:07 mark ended the drought and put the home team up five points at 43-38. After the clubs traded buckets, a Freeland trey sparked the offense once again, starting a run of five consecutive points to give the Leopards a 52-43 advantage at the midway point of the frame.

The Leopards held a multiple-possession lead into the final minute, but Colgate's Candice Green converted a four-point play to cut the margin in half at 62-58 with 40 seconds to go. After an empty possession each way, Downey sank two free throws to extend the lead to 64-58 with 14 ticks left. Fiacco came up with a block on the ensuing trip for the Raiders, and Downey sank two from the line in the waning seconds to close out a 66-58 victory.

Colgate was led by 18 points and 10 rebounds from Tricia Oakes. Lynch, the Patriot League's leading scorer with 14.4 points per game entering the contest, was limited to nine points but distributed a game-high six assists.

Lafayette closes out the first half of the Patriot League slate on Saturday afternoon at first-place American, which hosted and defeated Bucknell this evening to improve to 14-6 overall and 6-0 in league play. Action from Washington, D.C. will be available live on via Patriot League All-Access. The Leopards return to College Hill on Wednesday, Feb. 8 to host Army.