Lafayette Buckles Down on Blackbirds at Turkey Classic
Nov. 25, 2005
BROOKLYN, N.Y. (www.lafayette.edu) - Sophomore Vanessa Van De Venter poured in 16 points to lead all scorers en route to the Leopards' third straight win and first on the road, 63-48. Lafayette downed host Long Island on Friday afternoon at LIU's Turkey Classic at the Schwartz Complex.
For the first time since 1996-97, the Leopards are off to a 3-0 start to the season, while the team earned its first road win since Feb. 4, 2005 at Bucknell.
The teams exchanged baskets in early in the opening half, but Lafayette scored 13 of the last 18 points over the final 9:55 to take a 26-17 lead into the intermission. The Leopards scored on their last three trips down the floor and forced a five-second violation in the final minute to hold the Blackbirds (1-2) scoreless over the final 4:58.
Long Island came out of the break and cut the deficit to four, 34-30, on a jumper from Sonya Coleman with 14:08 on the clock. On the ensuing possession, a 15-foot jumper from senior guard Katie Kokolus kick-started a 27-11 run that gave the Leopards a 20-point lead, 61-41, with 2:33 remaining. During the stretch, Lafayette capitalized on LIU turnovers, while also staying steady at the charity stripe to secure the win.
The Leopards shot 45 percent (26-of-58) from the floor, including 63 percent (5-of-8) from long range. The team converted on six of its seven free throw attempts for 86 percent. Lafayette's defense held the Blackbirds to 39 percent (18-of-46) shooting and 58 percent (7-of-12) from the free throw line.
Lafayette also crashed the boards all day long, out-rebounding Long Island 42-22. Van De Venter ripped down a game-high 12 rebounds to go with her 16 points. Also completing the double-double was sophomore forward Brittany Purr, who pulled down 10 boards and chipped in with 10 points, eight of which came before the break.
Freshman guard Jessica Spicer came up with a career-high 11 points behind a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc.
Amber Wirth and Sara Oblak led the Blackbirds with 16 and 10 points, respectively.
With the win, Lafayette advances to the championship game to take on the winner of Friday's second game between Cal Poly and James Madison. Title game tip-off is set for 4 p.m.
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