FDU Zone Squanders Lafayette Triumph Hopes
Nov. 29, 2006
TEANECK, N.J. (www.lafayette.edu) - Up against a stingy Fairleigh Dickinson match-up zone, turnovers and foul trouble plagued Lafayette all night and eventually resulted in a 63-48 defeat on Wednesday evening at the Rothman Center. Junior forward Vanessa Van De Venter led the Leopards in scoring for the fourth straight game, pouring in 15 points to go with her team-high six rebounds.
Earning her second career start in as many games, sophomore guard Jessica Spicer responded with a career-high 12 points to go with a team-high three steals. Her backcourt counterpart, senior Kara Stetler, matched Spicer's 12 points, which included 4-of-6 from downtown.
As Lafayette took the first handful of possessions to adjust to the zone, Fairleigh Dickinson cruised to a 24-13 lead with 9:30 to play in the opening half. The Leopards proceeded to take a page from the Knights' playbook, switching to a zone on the defensive end and holding FDU without a field goal for the remainder of the half.
The Knights did convert on two free throws, but a Stetler three from the right wing jumpstarted a 12-2 run for the Leopards. Consecutive buckets from Spicer with under two minutes to play trimmed the gap to 26-25 at the half. A triple from junior guard Val Gomez got the lucky bounce and another from Van De Venter also provided highlights during the surge.
Lafayette built a 32-30 lead a Spicer trifecta from the top of the key, but Fairleigh Dickinson went back to work in a hurry, regaining a five-point lead after three-plus scoreless minutes on both ends.
The Knights led the rest of the way, pushing the deficit to double-digits for the final 5:29. During that period, Fairleigh Dickinson played in the double bonus, while Lafayette was without Van De Venter and junior forward Brittany Purr who had fouled out.
Fairleigh Dickinson forced Lafayette into 30 turnovers, including 16 steals, and converted those into 31 points on the night. Half of the Leopards' 16 buckets were of the three-point variety, while the team assisted on 12 of those shots. Spicer and sophomore guard Cristin Zavocki dished out three apiece.
Both teams shot 37 percent from the field, while Fairleigh Dickinson had a slight 35-32 advantage on the boards.
Lafayette will look to snap a three-game losing skid on Saturday at home, as the team hosts Vermont at 1 p.m. at Kirby Sports Center.
-FDU's victory moved the all-time series to 5-4 in favor of Lafayette.
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