History Fails to Repeat Itself
March 6, 2010
WORCESTER, Mass. - The No. 7 seed Leopards were looking to make history two years in a row by upsetting No. 2 American, but it was not to be this time around. The Eagles led from the start en route to a 77-49 victory.
Last season, Lafayette became the first-ever No. 7 seed in the history of the tournament to upset a No. 2 when the team dealt the Eagle a 58-56 loss, but it was never that close on Saturday night in Worcester.
The Leopards (7-23) trailed from the start as American (21-8) put up 77 points up against them. Lauren Jackson led Lafayette with 10 points off the bench, six of which came from beyond the arc.
American opened the game with six unanswered points before Melissa Downey put the Leopards on the board with a jumper at the 18:17 mark.
Michelle Kirk drained back-to-back-to-back threes to make it 17-4 less than six minutes into the action.
The Leopards struggled to keep the Eagles off the scoreboard and to get their offense in some sort of rhythm. Elizabeth Virgin scored her first basket of the night and had a chance at a three-point play when she was fouled, but failed to make the free throw and Lafayette remained down 26-10 midway through the half.
With 7:45 on the clock, Jackson sank a three that made it 28-13. That seemed to put American a bit off balance for the next four-plus minutes until Lisa Strack broke the drought with a layup at the 5:20 mark.
American stretched its lead to 23 (42-19) on Liz Leer's three at the two-minute mark and Lafayette went into halftime staring at a 42-22 deficit.
It took a little while for American to score the first points of the second half but Leer did so on two free throws 90 seconds into the action.
The teams traded baskets for the first several minutes and while it prevented the Eagles from upping their lead, it also stopped the Leopards from pulling closer.
LaKeisha Wright drained a three as the shot clock expired and Lafayette put up five unanswered points to make it 64-41 with 5:27 left but the Leopards never posed any real threat to the lead.
American will face the winner of the day's final quarterfinal game between No. 3 Navy and No. 6 Colgate. No. 5 Holy Cross advanced to the semifinals with a 57-53 win over No. 4 Army, and No. 1 Lehigh took a 72-58 decision over No. 8 Bucknell.
Lafayette finishes the season 7-22 overall and 4-10 in conference play under ninth-year head coach Tammy Smith.
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