EASTON, Pa. - A last-second half-court attempt from American's Alexis Dobbs strayed left and the Lafayette women's basketball team picked up its third-straight league win, 49-47 on Saturday afternoon inside Kirby Sports Center.
The win marks the first time the Leopards have won three straight in the league since they won four straight from Feb. 15-27, 1998. Lafayette also notched its first win over American since Mar. 7, 2009 and its first regular-season win over the Eagles since Jan. 27, 2007.
Sophomore co-captain Emily Homan put together a stellar performance, scoring her sixth double-double of the season with 15 points, 11 rebounds and a season-high five blocks. She went 6-for-12 from the field and 3-for-5 from the charity stripe.
Additionally, freshman Jamie O'Hare tallied nine points and eight rebounds while running the Leopards' offensive sets. Junior Kelly Loughney chipped in with a career-high three assists. For American, Jen Dumiak led the way with 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting and Arron Zimmerman added nine for the Eagles.
As a team, the Leopards shot 18-for-53 from the field (34%) compared to American's 17-for-56 mark (30.4%). The Maroon and White were 2-for-9 from three-point range (22.2%) and 11-for-19 from the foul line (57.9%).
After American tied it at 45 on a Kiely free throw, O'Hare came up with the play of the game with 2:10 remaining. Out in transition, she converted on an acrobatic layup, throwing the ball up over her head with her back to the basket to give Lafayette the 47-45 advantage.
American's Arron Zimmerman hit two free throws on the next possession and again tied the game, this time at 47. One possession later, Peabody came off a screen and dropped in a right-elbow jumper to put the game back in Lafayette's favor, 49-47.
That shot would prove to be the game winner as a traveling violation from Dumiak and a last-second errant heave sealed the Lafayette victory.
Less than two minutes into the contest, junior Madeline Fahan drove hard into the lane from the left corner and completed the lay-up over two defenders to tie the game at two apiece. Then, Homan took over as a block on one end and a turnaround post lay-up on the other gave Lafayette the lead, 7-6, with 16:18 on the clock. Her lay-up and third block sent Lafayette into the first media timeout with 14:14 on the clock and the 11-10 advantage.
American's Sarah Kiely drained a three from the top of the key with 11:01 on the clock to reclaim the lead, but not for long. Senior Ashley Springer took the ball up the court and sliced down the lane, converting the lay-up while being fouled. Her free throw gave the Leopards the 17-15 lead with 10:31 to play in the first half.
Junior co-captain Danielle Fiacco sent an Eagle shot attempt into the stands at the 4:41 mark to give Lafayette seven blocks for the first half, dominating the low post on the defensive end.
Senior co-captain Alicia Manning got in on the action with 3:49 to play in the first, as her two free throws gave Lafayette the 22-21 lead. After multiple missed opportunities by both teams down the stretch, American converted eight points in the final minute compared to Lafayette's two to take a 29-24 advantage into the locker room.
Macklin finally got the Leopards on the board from beyond the arc to open the second half at 18:14 on the clock. Before her make, Lafayette was 0-for-6 from downtown. Fahan knocked down a mid-range jumper on the next possession and Lafayette cut the lead to two at 31-29 with 16:57 to go.
After eight minutes of turnovers, missed shots and American extending its lead to as many as seven, O'Hare finally came up with a three from the left wing to spark the crowd and pull the Leopards within two again at 38-36 with 7:53 remaining.
Fiacco's lay-up with 6:31 to play tied the game at 40 as American picked up its seventh foul and sent Lafayette into the bonus, forcing a timeout from head coach Matt Corkery. Out of the break, Dobbs connected on a jumper from the right elbow, but O'Hare executed a beautiful drive on the other end and the game stayed tied at 42.
After baskets from both teams, Fahan's drive from the right wing sent her to the line with a chance to regain the lead with 3:38 on the clock. She knocked down one of two and Lafayette took the 45-44 advantage and O'Hare took it from there.
The Leopards move to 10-12 overall and 3-4 in the Patriot League, while American suffers just its second league loss and falls to 5-2 in league play and 12-9 overall.
The Leopards have a week off until Feb. 9, when they host Navy, who currently sits atop the Patriot League standings, inside Kirby Sports Center at 2 p.m.
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