Leopards Drop Heartbreaker in Women's Basketball Action
Dec. 29, 2007
EDINBURG, Texas - Despite leading for the majority of the game, the Lafayette women's basketball team was unable to hold for the win lead and dropped a 67-64 decision to Lamar at the Battle at the Border Tournament. Three Leopards scored in double figures, led by 17 from senior Vanessa Van De Venter.
Lafayette (6-6) shot 92.3 percent from the free throw line, its highest percentage in over two years, to remain in the game but clutch shooting from the Lady Cardinals in the second half handed the Leopards their third-straight loss. Junior Cristin Zavocki and freshman LaKeisha Wright joined Van De Venter in double figures with 10 points each. Van De Venter fell one rebound shy of a double-double as she led Lafayette with nine boards.
In contrast to Friday night's game, the Leopards' offense started strong, opening the game with six quick points to take a 6-2 lead. Lafayette maintained that lead in large part from the shooting of Zavocki, who drained two threes in under a minute to up the lead to seven (17-10) with over 14 minutes to play.
Both offenses stalled for the next several minutes as the score stood at 17-11 with under 12 minutes remaining. The Leopards then went on a 7-2 run and to take a 26-16 lead, capped off by four-straight points from freshman Wright at the 8:09 mark. Lafayette maintained the lead when a layup by freshman Elizabeth Virgin at 4:13 made the score 32-24.
A three-pointer from Virgin brought the lead back to 10 (37-27) with under two minutes remaining but Lamar closed out the half with six unanswered points as Lafayette's lead was cut to four (39-35) at the half.
The Lady Cardinals opened the second half with six unanswered points to take a 41-39 lead. A Van De Venter basket at 16:05 gave Lafayette back a two-point lead. The Leopards could not pull away, however, and Lamar regained a one-point lead (48-47) with 12:54 on the clock.
The lead would continue to change hands for the remainder of play. The Leopards briefly took a four-point edge (56-52) after a three from Van De Venter but eight consecutive points from Lamar's Brittney Williams tied the score at 56 with less than nine minutes to play.
The Leopards' clutch performance at the free throw kept them in the game, however, as Wright and Zavocki each made two free throws to make the score 62-57. Lamar then tied the game at 62 and took a three-point advantage on free throws from Vickie Toney and Aida Bakhos.
With seven seconds on the clock, Bakhos made a basket and was fouled on the play to give her team a 67-64 edge with six seconds remaining. Bakhos missed the ensuing free throw, giving the Leopards one last chance to tie the game but a three-point attempt by Jessica Spicer was off the mark.
After spending the entire month of December on the road, the Leopards return home to host Morgan State on Jan. 2 at 7:00 p.m.
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