Women's Basketball Tops Wagner, 66-55, in Thanksgiving Challenge
Nov. 25, 2011
EASTON, Pa. - Danielle Fiacco and Sarah McGorry tallied career highs with 20 and 18 points, respectively, to lead the Lafayette women's basketball team past visiting Wagner, 66-55, on day one of the inaugural Thanksgiving Challenge. Madeline Fahan also netted double figures for the Leopards with 10 points.
With their second-consecutive win, the Leopards improve to 2-3 on the season. Wagner falls to 1-4 after its third-straight loss.
Fiacco's game-high 20 points came on 9-for-16 shooting from the floor and a 2-for-2 day at the line. She has now scored in double figures in four consecutive games. McGorry went 7-for-11 from the field and converted four of five attempts at the stripe en route to her 18 points. Fahan, who led the team in scoring with a career-best 16 points in the win at Saint Peter's on Tuesday, scores in double figures for the second-straight outing.
Ashley Springer contributed six points to the scoring effort, while Emily Homan and Brya Freeland each scored four. Samantha Jordan chipped in with three and Maddie Peabody rounded out the scoring with one points.
As a team, the Leopards shot 22-for-55 (40 percent) from the field and 22-for-26 (84.6 percent) from the free throw line. Lafayette did not convert a three-point field goal, attempting just two in the contest.
Eight different players contributed to the rebounding effort as Lafayette held a 38-29 advantage on the glass. Fiacco hauled in a game-high eight boards, Fahan ripped down seven and McGorry came away with six - including four from the offensive glass. In total, the Leopards converted 17 offensive boards into 17 second-chance points.
The Leopards committed a season-low 12 turnovers, with just four miscues in the second half. Wagner also protected the basketball, turning it over just 14 times, but the Leopards were far more opportunistic as they led, 11-3, in points off turnovers.
The Leopards made the first run of the game, breaking a 4-4 tie with a 7-0 spurt - fueled by five points from McGorry - to take an 11-4 advantage with 12:23 left in the half. Wagner cut the margin down to two points at 16-14, but Lafayette put together an 8-1 stretch to regain a more comfortable 24-16 cushion. The lead would grow as large as 11 points as the Leopards headed into the locker room on top by nine, 32-23.
Fiacco led all players with 10 points in the opening 20 minutes, while Springer and Fahan added six apiece. The Leopards were the more aggressive squad offensively, connecting on 12 of 13 first-half free throws.
Lafayette scored the first points of the second half on a pair of Freeland foul shots, but Wagner followed with an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to one possession at 36-33. With the score at 39-37 in favor of the Leopards, six points from Fiacco provided the firepower in a 12-3 stretch that brought the lead back to double figures at 51-40 with 10:52 left to play. The Seahawks had one more run in them, as they slashed the margin back down to three points at 58-55, but a McGorry put-back and then a jumper from the corner by the senior co-captain ran the margin to 62-55 with 1:03 remaining. The Leopards would shot 4-for-5 from the free throw line and made four stops on the defensive end in the final 60 seconds to pull away to a 66-55 victory.
Kelly Clark and Veronick Fournier each scored 10 points for Wagner, which shot 22-for-51 (43.1 percent) from the field, 3-for-15 (20 percent) from downtown and 8-for-13 (61.5 percent) from the charity stripe. Clark also grabbed a team-high five rebounds for the Seahawks and dished out a game-best four assists.
Day two of the Thanksgiving Challenge will be held at Wagner on Sunday with Lafayette meeting Monmouth at 2 p.m. and Lehigh facing the host Seahawks at 4 p.m. The Leopards will play at Penn on Wednesday, Nov. 30 before returning to College Hill to host Manhattan on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 3 p.m.
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