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Leopards Survive and Advance in 54-50 Thriller

Dec. 29, 2012

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  1 2 F
Fordham 25 25 50
Lafayette 21 33 54

Box Score


 Stat Comparison LC FORD
 Points 54 50
 FG Made-Attempted 21-47 20-58
 FG Percentage 44.7 34.5
 3P Made/Attempted 4-9 3-18
 3P Percentage 44.4 16.7
 FT Made-Attempted 8-12 7-13
 FT Percentage 66.7 53.8
 Rebounds 43 26
 Turnovers 25 9

 Individual Leaders
 Scoring Totals
 LC - Fiacco 16
 FORD - Strickland 17
 LC - Homan 13
 FORD - Strickland, Rooney 5
 LC - O'Hare 6
 FORD - Strickland 4
 LC - O'Hare 2
 FORD - Rooney 5
 LC - Fiacco 2
 FORD - Gaskin 1

BRONX, N.Y. - The Lafayette women's basketball team was able to survive multiple streaks from the feisty Fordham Rams in the last few minutes to come out on top, 54-50, on Saturday afternoon, and advance to the Fordham Holiday Classic championship game on Sunday. The final will be held at Rose Hill Gym tomorrow afternoon at approximately 3 p.m. following the conclusion of the consolation game at 1 p.m.

Sophomore co-captain Emily Homan led the way for the Leopards with her second consecutive double-double. Homan poured in 14 points and added 13 rebounds for the Lafayette frontcourt. Junior co-captain Danielle Fiacco was again just one rebound shy of a double-double for the second-straight game, but led the team in offense with 16 points. Sophomore Linnel Macklin stuffed the stat sheet with seven points, five assists and three boards.

Lafayette's strong second half proved to be the difference in the contest, as the Leopards shot a scintillating 61.1 percent from the field on 11-of-18 shooting in the second stanza. The squad made 21 of its 47 attempts for the game (44.7%). On the other side, Fordham made just 20 of its 58 attempts from the floor (34.5%) and just three of 18 shots from behind the arc (16.7%). The Rams' Marah Strickland led all scorers with 17 points on 7-for-18 shooting.

The teams played even in the early going, tying four times in the first 10 minutes. Fordham's Erin Rooney, its leading scorer at 14.3 points per game, was Fordham's main offense in the first half, tallying nine points in the opening 20 minutes and setting up Strickland, who finished the first half with a game-high 11 points.

A Rooney three at the 9:41 mark gave the Rams the lead for good in the half, as they manipulated a four-point lead at 25-21 going into the break.

Fordham took an early six-point advantage to begin the second, as a layup from Rooney forced head coach Dianne Nolan to call a timeout and regroup. Out of that break, Lafayette responded with an 18-4 run, taking a 41-33 lead into the 12-minute media timeout.

Down the stretch, the game became tight again as Fordham pulled within one on Abigail Corning's three-pointer with 8:42 to play and one again on a Croning jumper with 5:32 to go.

With just under four minutes to go, freshman Jamie O'Hare came up with a shot to change the game. After a miss from the left wing, sophomore Brya Freeland snagged the offensive rebound and kicked it out to O'Hare behind the arc on the left side. Instead of taking the quick shot, she brought it out to run some clock with the three point lead. After running approximately 20 seconds off the shot clock she found herself open from that same spot on the left side and drained the three to give the Leopards a six-point advantage with 2:32 on the clock.

Another Corning jumper brought Fordham back to within one again with 30 seconds remaining, but free throws from Fiacco and Macklin sealed the victory for Lafayette, 54-50.

With the win, the Leopards advance to the Fordham Holiday Classic championship game tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. against the winner of Colorado State and Providence.