Women's Basketball Edged by American, 58-54
Feb. 25, 2012
EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette women's basketball team led first-place American for most of Saturday afternoon's regular-season finale at Kirby Sports Center, but the Eagles rallied late to escape with a 58-54 decision. Emily Homan's fifth double-double of the season led three Leopards scoring in double figures.
With the loss, the Leopards finish the regular season at 8-21 and 2-12 in the Patriot League. American caps the third unbeaten Patriot League season ever - and first since the league expanded in 2001-02 - at 14-0 in league play and 22-6 overall.
Homan's double-double, which was her second straight and her fourth against a Patriot League foe - consisted of 12 points and 13 rebounds. Sarah McGorry shared the team high of 12 points and Linnel Macklin posted her second consecutive double-figure effort with 11 points. Macklin knocked down three treys to lead a 7-for-10 effort from beyond the arc.
In addition to their 70-percent clip from downtown, the Leopards shot 20-for-54 (37 percent) from the field overall and 7-for-9 (77.8 percent) from the free throw line. The Eagles were 20-for-58 (34.5 percent) from the floor with a 7-for-18 (38.9 percent) showing from long range and an 11-for-15 (73.3 percent) day at the stripe.
Madeline Fahan tallied six points for the Leopards in addition to a team-high three assists. Brya Freeland and Maddie Peabody each scored five, Danielle Fiacco added two and Melissa Downey knocked down a free throw to round out the scoring.
The Leopards were outrebounded, 44-32, as American held a 17-10 advantage in second-chance points. Lafayette did win the turnover battle, 13-12, but the Eagles were much more opportunistic with a 16-3 edge in points-off-turnovers.
American's Alexis Dobbs led all players with 20 points. Lisa Strack (14 pts., 13 rebs.) and Jen Dumiak (13 pts., 10 rebs.) each registered double-doubles for the visitors.
A Freeland three-pointer started the Leopards off on a 7-3 run and, after an American bucket, McGorry connected from deep to close out a 7-1 run to put Lafayette on top, 14-6. The Eagles ran off the next eight to knot the score at 14-14 before a Fahan three-point play gave control back to the home team. The club traded buckets for the remainder of the period, with two free throws from Homan capping the scoring to send the Leopards into halftime leading, 27-26.
Homan scored the first four points of the second half to extend the Leopards' lead to 31-26 and force a quick American timeout. The clubs began to trade buckets at that point until another McGorry triple and a jumper from the senior co-captain gave Lafayette a 42-35 cushion with 10:44 to go. The next five points went to the Eagles before a Macklin three ended the run. Two Dumiak free throws were then answered by another trifecta from Macklin to put the Leopards on top, 48-42.
American made another push on a jumper from Dobbs and then a high-angled three-pointer from Ti'Asia McGeorge that banked its way home to cut to margin all the way down to one point at 48-47 with six minutes to go. A Homan jumper and two free throws by Fahan ran the lead back to five, but Dobbs' fifth and final three trimmed the lead back to two at 52-50. On the ensuing possession, Peabody found her way into the lane and drained a jumper to give Lafayette a 54-50 advantage at the 3:58 mark.
The Leopards then went cold and Strack, who had been held in check to that point, reeled off six straight to give the Eagles their first lead of the second half at 56-54 with less than 90 seconds remaining. After an empty trip for the Leopards, Downey stole the ball with just 9.6 seconds left. After the ball went out-of-bounds off American, Downey got a good look from the wing that couldn't find the mark. Dobbs corralled the rebound with three seconds to go and sank two free throws to ice a 58-54 win.
Seniors Downey, McGorry and Alexandra Serowoky were recognized prior to the game, which was the final home contest of their careers.
The Leopards and Eagles will meet again on Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. in the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals. The action from Washington, D.C. will feature a live audio broadcast on GoLeopards.com.