Leopards Record Tournament Upset with Win over American

Go Leopards! LaKeisha Wright led all scorers with 19 points, including the game-winning shot.
LaKeisha Wright led all scorers with 19 points, including the game-winning shot.

March 7, 2009

Box Score

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lafayette women's basketball team picked the right time to record one of its biggest upsets in recent memory. The No. 7 seed Leopards upended No. 2 American, 58-56, to advance to the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament for the first time in nine years.

Lafayette, which led by as many as 16 points, saw American come back to tie the game at 56 with 23 seconds to play, but LaKeisha Wright drained the game-winning jumper with 19 seconds on the clock to advance her team to the semifinals. Lafayette will take on No. 6 Navy in the second semifinal at 3:30 p.m. at Stabler Arena.

The Leopards (9-21) recorded their first tournament victory since the 2000 season and became the first No. 7 seed to win a game since the 1998-99 season.

Lafayette held American (19-11) to a 38.5 percent shooting effort while the Leopards countered with a 52.9 percent showing, their second best effort of the season. Lafayette edged the Eagles 36-28 in rebounds and had 17 assists to American's nine. Wright finished with a game-high 19 points and was joined in double figures by Emily Garner (14) and Elizabeth Virgin (10).

Lafayette led 4-0 less than two minutes into the game but the Eagles responded to the early threat with an 8-0 run. Wright tied the game at eight with 13:22 to play. Her second basket of the half kept it a tie game (12-12) with 10 minutes remaining and Cristin Zavocki put Lafayette up 14-12 with a layup less than two minutes later.

Lauren Jackson made it a double-digit lead (27-17) with a basket at the 2:34 mark. Lafayette maintained a 13-point lead (34-21) at halftime thanks to Melissa Downey's three-pointer with 20 seconds on the clock.

 

 

Lafayette picked up right where it left off and upped its lead to 16 (40-24) after three minutes of play. A team foul on the Leopard bench put Liz Leer at the free throw line with 14:40 on the clock. Leer sank both attempts to make it a single-digit game (40-32).

American's Talicia Jackson was fouled on a three-point attempt and sank all three subsequent free throws to make it 48-43 with 8:25 remaining.

American tied the game at 51 after Michelle Kirk's basket with 3:04 to play. Emily Garner's free throw with 39 seconds on the clock put Lafayette ahead 56-55. Kirk tied it again at 56 with a free throw, but Wright's jumper, combined with Kirk's miss from three-point range as time expired, gave the Leopards the upset victory over American.

Postgame Notes:
- The last time a No. 7 upset a No. 2 was in 1998-99 when Army won 72-67 over Bucknell.
- The win was the first postseason victory for the Leopards since an 85-75 win over Lehigh in 2000.
- The victory also snapped a season-long, 10-game losing and ended a five-game winless streak against the Eagles.
- Lafayette improved to 4-2 at Stabler in tournament games and is now 4-4 when facing a league opponent for the first time in the postseason tournament.
- Lafayette's 13-point halftime lead was its largest of the season.
- The first-round loss was the Eagles' first since 2005-06.

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