Leopards To Ring In 2007 At Home Against Princeton

Go Leopards! Sophomore point guard Jessica Spicer has led Lafayette in scoring in four of the last six games.
Sophomore point guard Jessica Spicer has led Lafayette in scoring in four of the last six games.

Jan. 2, 2007

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EASTON, Pa. - THE MATCH-UP: Lafayette rings in 2007 with a home tilt against the Tigers of Princeton, marking the 29th straight season these two teams have met on the hardwood. The only disruption in the series came in 1977-78 when the scheduled Feb. 21 game in Princeton was cancelled. Princeton owns the all-time series by a slight 19-15 margin. Lafayette is in search of its first win since mid-November and also its first victory over the Tigers since a 58-48 triumph in Easton, Pa. in 2000-2001.

LAFAYETTE DROPS NEW YEAR'S EVE TILT AT MONMOUTH: Lafayette did just about all that it could in the second half, but ample time for a New Year's Eve comeback fell short as Monmouth handed Lafayette a 79-62 loss in the final game of 2006 last Sunday afternoon at the William T. Boylan Gymnasium. In a stop-and-go battle that featured 55 total fouls, Monmouth (7-4) sped to a 27-11 lead midway thought the first half and maintained a double-digit lead through a 43-25 halftime score. The Leopards held the Hawks scoreless over the first five minutes of the second half, but would get no closer than 10 on a handful of occasions. Three players scored in double figures, including a career-high 12 points for junior guard Maureen Johnson.

NEW YEAR, NEW BEGINNINGS: It's no secret that December was not kind to the Lafayette women's basketball team, as the Leopards suffered seven straight losses to end 2006. However, the slate is clean as the team starts a new beginning in 2007 and also commences Patriot League play on Saturday against Holy Cross.

THREE AWAY FOR VANDY: For the second time in less than a week, a Lafayette player will be hitting a milestone. Junior Vanessa Van De Venter is just three points away from posting her 700th career point, a number that senior Kara Stetler reached against NJIT on Dec. 28. Van De Venter has started 56 games in a Lafayette uniform and is currently leading the team in scoring with 11.2 ppg.

WE WANT "MO" OF IT: Junior guard Maureen "Mo" Johnson has played in all but one game this season and owns a 2.5 ppg average. She is averaging a solid 13 minutes a game and notched a career-high nine points in 17 minutes in the Leopards' home-opener against Cornell (11/18). In 2005-06, Johnson averaged three minutes and less than one point and one rebound a game. Johnson played the second most minutes (14.3) among Lafayette freshmen in 2004-05.

UP NEXT: Lafayette opens its Patriot League schedule when the team hosts Holy Cross on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Leopards are in hopes of a repeat after knocking off the perennial power Crusaders, 54-49, a year ago in one of the most surprising upsets around the Patriot League.

SMITH ON THE SIDELINES: Head coach Tammy Smith enters her sixth season at Lafayette and 12th overall. In 2005-06, she directed the Leopards to the most victories since 1995-96 and has nearly doubled her win totals after each season on College Hill. Smith is the fourth head coach in Lafayette's 35-year history. She has a career record of 135-199 (.404), which includes a 113-68 mark and two NCAA Tournament appearances in seven seasons at D-III Muhlenberg.

LAFAYETTE BASKETBALL MEDIA LUNCHEON: The Lafayette basketball programs will be available for their second media luncheon of the 2006-07 season on Thursday, Jan. 4 at Larry Holmes Restaurant dowtown. Head coach Tammy Smith, along with two Lafayette players, will be on hand.

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE: Due in large part to Monmouth (12/31) committing 27 personal fouls, Lafayette sent to the charity stripe 33 times in the New Year's Eve battle. The Leopards converted 22-of-33 (67 percent) of their free throws, which included a 7-of-8 effort from junior forward Vanessa Van De Venter.

FAB FRESHMAN: Rookie Danielle Jenkins went from seeing roughly five minutes a game throughout all of November and into December, but that her stock rose considerably thanks to a solid eight-point, 22-minute performance at UC Davis on Dec. 20. Since then, Jenkins is averaging 16.5 minutes and 3.5 points a game and even earned her first career start at Monmouth on Dec. 31.

DÉJÀ VU: They've been here before. Exactly a year ago in fact. Lafayette and Princeton clashed last Jan. 3 in the 34th meeting between the two schools as Jadwin Gymnasium in the Garden State.

PURR-FECT TEN: For the first time this season, Lafayette junior Brittany Purr didn't get the start against NJIT (12/28), but that did not stop the Philadelphia native from working her way to a double-double with 10 points and as many boards against the Highlanders. All 10 of Purr's points came in the second half, as she was 4-of-5 after the break. It was her fourth career double-double, as she totaled three in 2005-06.

GARNER STARTS AND RESPONDS: Sophomore Emily Garner has started the last two games for head coach Tammy Smith and responded with a pair of solid outings which included a career-high 20 points in just her third start of the season last week vs. NJIT (12/28). She got the starting nod in back-to-back contests against Cornell (11/18) and Wagner (11/21) earlier this season. Garner has been a strong presence down low for Lafayette all year, but has averaged a double-double (12 pts., 10 reb.) in those three starts. She leads the team hitting 53 percent from the field and is averaging 10.8 ppg.

THE WALL: Five different Lafayette players accounted for the Leopards' season-high five blocks against NJIT (12/28). It was the most blocks for a Lafayette team since a 68-58 win over Navy on Feb. 23, 2005 in Easton, Pa. Emily Garner, Vanessa Van De Venter, Jessica Spicer, Maureen Johnson and Brittany Purr accounted for Lafayette's five swats against the Highlanders. For Johnson and Stetler, it marked the first block of their respective careers.

THREE OF A KIND: Lafayette racked-up 10 steals for the second straight game against NJIT (12/28). The 10-spot came thanks in large part to a trio of unlikely sources, as junior forward Vanessa Van De Venter, senior guard Kara Stetler and freshman guard Danielle Jenkins each came away with three against the Highlanders. The mark set a career-high for Jenkins and was a season-best number for Van De Venter.

THE 700 CLUB: Senior guard Kara Stetler scored her 700th career point midway through the first half against NJIT (12/28). Appropriately for the program's all-time leading three-point shooter, her 700th point came via a triple from the right baseline.

HOT AND SPICY: Sophomore guard Jessica Spicer led the Leopards in scoring in both California contests prior to the holiday break, averaging 16.5 points a game that week, while also leading Lafayette in the assist and steal categories in both games. She has led Lafayette in scoring in four of the last six games and is averaging 13 points a game in that span (12/7-12/31).

LAFAYETTE vs. the IVY LEAGUE: Lafayette has played 112 games all-time against the Ancient Eight and is 49-63 (.438) in those contests. The Leopards are 1-1 this season against the Ivies, having knocked off Cornell on Nov. 18 before falling to Penn on Dec. 7. Lafayette is also set to take on Columbia on Jan. 25 in Easton, Pa. Below is a breakdown of Lafayette vs. the Ivy League:

Brown: 2-2
Cornell: 7-7
Columbia: 0-0
Dartmouth: 3-5
Harvard: 1-2
Penn: 16-16
Princeton: 15-19
Yale: 5-12
TOTAL: 49-63

SCOUTING PRINCETON: Princeton brings a 5-8 record to the table and after having woven three wins amidst three losses since Dec. 6. The Tigers have topped NJIT, Rider and Duquesne in the last three weeks, but are fresh off of an 89-74 loss to Vanderbilt on Dec. 30. Coupled with size and a solid one-two punch down low, the Tigers' package will certainly pose a formidable test for the Leopards on Wednesday night. The Tigers' leading scorer, junior forward Meagan Cowher, dropped a game-high 18 points on the Leopards last season and is averaging a respectable 16 points a game in 2006-07, which ranks fourth amongst the Ivy League's leaders. She also lands fifth in the league with 7.4 rebounds a game. Princeton consistently starts four forwards, which includes the hot shooting hand of 6-0 senior Casey Lockwood. She leads the team shooting 50 percent from the field and holds a 10.5 ppg average. Sophomore Jessica Berry runs the Tigers' offense and is handing out a team-high three assists a game. Head coach Richard Barron (Kenyon '91) has the Tigers coming off a share of the Ivy League regular season title in 2005-06. The sixth-year head coach boasts a 66-84 record with the Tigers and pushed his team to the first winning record in his tenure a year ago. The Tigers were 21-7 overall and 12-2 in the Ivy League.

PATRIOT LEAGUE TELECONFERENCE INFORMATION: The first of two Patriot League Women's Basketball Media Teleconferences will take place on Thursday, Jan. 4 at 1 p.m. All eight women's head coaches will be on the call and taking questions from the media.For dial-in information please contact Jessica Siegel, Associate Media Relations Director at 610.289.1957 or jsiegel@patriotleague.com.

BATTLING ON THE BOARDS: Lafayette has out-rebounded its opponents in seven games this season, which includes the team's two wins. The Leopards' won battle of the boards came by a season-best margin of 12 at UC Davis on Dec. 20. The Leopards held the Aggies to just 20 rebounds on the night, while pulling down 32 of their own. Junior forward Vanessa Van De Venter tied a season-high with eight boards in the effort.

WORK HORSE: Sophomore point guard Jessica Spicer has led Lafayette in minutes played in six games this season, including three of the last four outings. Spicer played 75 of 80 minutes over the span of two games during the team's West Coast swing, which included a 39-minute effort against Pacific (12/22). She leads the Leopards' averaging just over 30 minutes a game. The 5-6 point guard played in all but one game a year ago and averaged 11.4 minutes.

MUSICAL CHAIRS: Head coach Tammy Smith sent her seventh different starting line-up of the season on the floor on Dec. 22 against Pacific. Vanessa Van De Venter is the only player to start all 13 games for the Leopards, while eight others have gotten the nod at different times during this season (see graphic page 7).

GOT RANGE?: Lafayette senior sharpshooter Kara Stetler is hitting threes at a 40.3 percent clip, which placed her 26th among the nation's statistical leaders as of the most recent NCAA stats (12/17). Stetler is Lafayette's all-time leader for single season three-pointers made (62) and long range percentage (41.1%). Both records were set a year ago.

UNLEASH THE HOUNDS: Sophomore transfer Meaghan Malone became eligible to play for the Leopards against NJIT and saw a minute of action at the end of the game. The North Plainfield, N.J. native transferred to Lafayette from Iona midway through the 2005-06 season.

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR: Lafayette has lost five games this season by 10 points or less. Lafayette has dropped five games by ten points or less this season, which includes a 78-74 loss to Penn (12/7) and a 60-57 heartbreaker to Morgan State (12/9) just two days later.

MO GETS THE GO AHEAD: On Dec. 22 against Pacific, junior guard Maureen Johnson earned her first start since Jan. 10, 2005 against Penn in Easton, Pa. She contributed six points and four boards against the Quakers that night. Johnson contributed nine minutes and two assists against the Tigers.

THIRD TIME IS THE CHARM FOR GARNER: Junior Emily Garner came away with a quiet 15 points and 10 boards a tough 72-63 Lafayette loss at Pacific (12/22). This marked her third double-double of the season and fourth of her career. Six of Garner's 15 points came in the final minute of the first half against the Tigers, allowing Lafayette to regain momentum and a 25-24 halftime lead.

ON A RELATED NOTE: Emily Garner earned her second career start against Cornell (11/18) and responded by collecting her second double-double of the season. She racked-up 13 points to compliment her 10 boards. Garner posted a 10-point, 10-rebound effort in the season-opener at St. Francis (N.Y.). The Virginia native had her first career double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) as a freshman versus Fairleigh Dickinson.

LEADING LADY: Sophomore forward Emily Garner enters Sunday afternoon's game with the Patriot League's top field goal percentage. She is hitting at an even better a 53.3 percent (49-of-92) clip and has notched better than a 50 percent accuracy in nine games this season. Garner is hitting 60.7 percent (17-of-28) of her shots over the last four games.

PATRIOT LEAGUE HONORABLE MENTION: Lafayette's Emily Garner, Vanessa Van De Venter and Brittany Purr were commended for their solid play last week with Patriot League honorable mention laurels for the period ending Jan. 2. Garner registered a new career-high with 20 points, while Purr posted her first double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) of the season. Van De Venter averaged 9 points and seven rebounds last week. Garner has made the list in all but one week of nominations, while Van De Venter and Purr registered their fourth and second honor, respectively (see graphic page 8).

FIVE FOR FIGHTING: Lafayette saw five players reach the double-figure plateau in scoring in back-to-back games versus Vermont (12/2) and Penn (12/7). Lafayette had not put together such consecutive contests in 148 games under head coach Tammy Smith.

GOMEZ ON THE GO: Junior Val Gomez averaged 11.3 points a game in the Leopards' three games prior to their West Coast trip, which included an 11-point performance versus Penn (12/7). She poured in 12 points after the break against Vermont (12/2), helping Lafayette trim the final deficit to single digits, 73-64, against the Catamounts. Gomez was 5-of-6 from the floor and finished with a season-high 14 points.

SPICING THINGS UP A BIT: Sophomore Jessica Spicer hit a career-high seven field goals, on her way to a team-best 17 points at Pacific on Dec. 22. The 5-6 guard worked her way into head coach Tammy Smith's starting line-up five games into the season and has responded like a veteran ever since. Her 18 points vs. Penn set a new career-high for the Illinois native, while she also matched career bests in rebounds (six) and assists (five) against the Quakers.

TRIPLE THREAT: Sophomore Jessica Spicer's breakout season continued with a bittersweet career night in a loss against Penn (12/7). Spicer led the team in scoring (18 points), rebounds (six) and assists (five), which were all career-highs for the 5-6 sophomore. It was the first time a Lafayette player had led the team in all three categories since Lindsay Myers '06 on Dec. 21, 2005 versus Fairleigh Dickinson.

TOWARDS THE TOP: According to the most recent Patriot League statistics (1/2), Lafayette ranked second in the league in field goal percentage at 42.1 percent as a team. The Leopards have shot better than 50 percent in four games this season, including a solid 53.2 percent effort in the team's 76-60 win over Cornell (11/18). That marked the third best shooting performance by any team in the Patriot League this season.

TEMPORARY TURNAROUND IN THE TURNOVER DEPARTMENT: The Leopards surrendered a season-low 11 turnovers at home against Penn on Dec. 7, marking the fewest turnovers by a Tammy Smith team since Feb. 11, 2006 against Navy (10). The Leopards are averaging 24 turnovers a game after committing a season-high 31 at Monmouth (12/31), a number the team cannot wait to dwindle for certain.

DOWNTOWN DIVA: Point guard Kara Stetler is leading the team hitting 25 of her 62 three-point attempts for 41 percent this season. She ranks sixth in the Patriot League and was 26th in the country for 3PT% as of the last statistical release on Dec. 17. She is averaging 2.6 threes a game, which placed her third among the league's top long range threats and also ranked 26th in NCAA Division I.

ONE AWAY FOR PURR: Junior forward Brittany Purr was one point off of her career-high with a 14-point effort against Vermont (12/2). She also equaled a game-high with eight boards and played all but three minutes.

STEALING THUNDER: Sophomore guard Jessica Spicer harassed two of the Leopards' last five opponents (Morgan State, Pacific) with a season-high four steals. She averaged 3.7 steals in that span and two steals a game overall this season.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX: The Leopards have been effective boxing out all season and have limited opponents to 34.4 rebounds a game, which lands second in the Patriot League in rebounding defense. The Leopards held UC Davis (12/20) to a season-low 20 rebounds.

FOUR MORE POR FAVOR: For the second time in her career, junior forward Vanessa Van De Venter led Lafayette in scoring over a four-game stretch from Nov. 18-29. Her 15 points against Fairleigh Dickinson (11/29) accomplished that for the first time since a four-game span ranging from Dec. 11-Jan. 3 as a rookie. Her four leading performances came against Cornell (11/18), Wagner (11/21), Coppin State (11/27) and at FDU two days later. She has led Lafayette for at least three straight games fives times in her career.

PERFECT SEVEN: Junior forward Vanessa Van De Venter went a flawless 7-for-7 from the free throw like against Fairleigh Dickinson (11/29). She accounted for all but two of the Leopards' nine attempts, as the team went 8-for-9 on the night, while FDU more than tripled Lafayette's attempts by going 21-of-32 from the stripe. Van De Venter has been perfect from the charity stripe (min. 6 attempts) on four occasions in her three years. She is a 74 percent (189-of-255) career free-throw shooter.

CRAZY EIGHTS: Lafayette has hit eight three-pointers in two battles this season. Half of the Leopards' 16 field goals at Fairleigh Dickinson (11/29) were from downtown (8-of-22), while the team also went 8-for-22 at Wagner a week earlier (11/21). The Leopards are averaging 4.8 triples a game and rank fourth in the Patriot League.

HELP IS ON THE WAY: Lafayette's offense assisted on 17 of the team's 21 field goals against Vermont (12/2), thanks in large part to sophomore point guard Jessica Spicer's career-high five assists. The Leopards assisted on 12 of the team's 16 buckets at Fairleigh Dickinson (11/29), led again by Spicer and Kara Stetler with three apiece. Lafayette has at least 15 assists in five games this season and is averaging just under 13.4 assists per game, which ranks fourth in the Patriot League.

EIGHT DAYS A WEEK: If today's calendar system were to reflect an eight-day week, it's certain Lafayette would take full advantage. The Leopards have played on all seven days of the week and are 1-2 when playing on Sunday.

OVER HAULIN': Sophomore Cristin Zavocki hauled down a career-high nine boards in the Leopards' upset effort against Coppin State (11/27). The mark shattered her previous career high of four caroms, which she had matched four times over her 32 games played.

POINT NO. 600 FOR VANDY: Junior forward Vanessa Van De Venter's season-high 21 points against Wagner (11/21) also pushed her career point total past the 600 mark. She scored her 600th point on her first of two straight layups with just under four minutes remaining in regulation. She currently has 697 points for a 10.3 ppg career average.

THE LAND OF THE THREE: Twice this season Lafayette has buried eight three-pointers (Mount St. Mary's-11/15; FDU-11/29), the most since Feb. 7, 2006 against Colgate. Stetler shot 66.7 percent from behind the arc against Mount Saint Mary's. Stetler finished with a season-high 21 points, and it was the fourth time in her career scoring 20 points or more. Lafayette is averaging 14.9 three-point attempts this season and is hitting 32 percent (62-of-194) of them as a team.

NINER: Sophomore Cristin Zavocki dished out a career-high nine assists against Cornell (11/18)--the most by any Lafayette player since at least the 1999-2000 season. Six of her nine came in the first half, helping Lafayette establish a 36-25 advantage at the break. She also added seven points.

CAREER NIGHT: A career-high night for sophomore guard Cristin Zavocki was overshadowed by teammate Kara Stetler's stellar 21-point performance at Mount St. Mary's (11/15). Zavocki drained a pair of threes to help a 9-0 Lafayette run at the end of the first half on her way to a then-season-high 10 points. She also added four rebounds and two steals. Zavocki's career-high 15 points came just six days later against Wagner (11/21).

50-PLUS: Lafayette hit at least 50 percent from the field in four games this season, including the team's two wins. The Leopards managed a season-high 53.2 percent (25-of-47) against Cornell, leading to a 76-60 win. Despite suffering a 78-74 loss to Penn (12/7), the Leopards still cranked out a 53 percent (28-of-53) shooting night. Lafayette ranks second the league in field goal percentage at 42.1 percent (268-of-636).

GARNERING ATTENTION: Sophomore forward Emily Garner missed a chunk of her freshman year, dashing what started as a breakout season for the Virginia native. This season, she is second on the team in scoring (10.8 ppg) and leads the team and ranks third in the league in rebounding (7.4 rpg).

SWIPING THE ROCK: Lafayette has totalled at least 10 steals on six occasions this season, which includes the Leopards' most recent home battle against NJIT (12/28). Despite a tough loss in the season-opener on Nov. 12, Lafayette harassed St. Francis (N.Y.) into 19 turnovers, which included a season-best 13 steals. Led by a career-high five swipes from senior Kara Stetler, the Leopards totalled the most steals since a Jan. 28, 2005 meeting at Holy Cross. Junior Val Gomez and sophomores Cristin Zavocki and Jessica Spicer came away with two each.

POINTS FROM THE PINE: Head coach Tammy Smith knew that depth would be an added bonus this season. Six players on Smith's roster average at least 22 minutes a game, and the result has been a bench that has produced 33 percent of the team's points and 41 percent of its rebounds early this season. In 2005-06, Lafayette's bench accounted for 25 percent of the team's 58.2 points per game.

WEDO JOINS STAFF: Lafayette head coach Tammy Smith added 2003 San Diego graduate Jen Wedo as the program's second assistant for the 2006-07 season. She is responsible for all scouting reports, while also working extensively with the Lafayette guards. The Downingtown, Pa. native was a graduate assistant at nearby East Stroudsburg during the 2003-04 season. That year, Wedo was named the 2004 Women's Basketball Coaches Association/Women's Sports Foundation National Graduate Assistant Coach of the Year, while also earning a Master's degree in Sport Management. Wedo was a four-year scholarship player at San Diego, helping the Toreros to the 2000 West Coast Conference Championship and an NCAA tournament berth as a sophomore.

SIZE MATTERS: Lafayette added a pair of highly touted freshmen to its lineup in 2006-07, bringing with them a strong inside presence that will add depth to the Leopards' frontcourt. A 6-3 center from Las Vegas, Nev., Amanda Smith is the tallest player on Lafayette's roster and matches the fourth tallest player in the Patriot League. Not far behind is 6-2 forward Brooke Niquette, who represented one of the top players coming out of Vermont last year. She was a finalist for the Wendy's High School Heisman and contender for the McDonald's All-America team.

CLOSE TO HOME: Three players with local connections - Val Gomez (Allentown, Pa./Emmaus), Vanessa Van De Venter (Tannersville, Pa./Pocono Mountain East), Amanda Leone (Easton, Pa./Easton)- account for half of Lafayette's six players from the Keystone State. Van De Venter has started all 12 games this season and is second on the team in scoring (11.0 ppg), while Gomez is averaging 17.8 minutes a game with four starts.

GOING DEEP: Head coach Tammy Smith said she would not hesitate to shake-up the lineup at any time throughout the season, thanks in large part to Lafayette's depth this year. According to Smith, the Leopards can go two-deep at any position without losing much in terms of skill and talent on the floor. Lafayette has used seven different starting lineups this season, while Smith is consistently going about 10 deep each game. Jessica Spicer (30.5), Kara Stetler (28.5) and Brittany Purr (27.2) are all averaging at least 27 minutes a game. Four other players are seeing at least 21 minutes a game, while Val Gomez hovers around the 17-minute mark. Freshman Amanda Smith is seeing around eight.

SENIOR SALUTE: As the 2006-07 season commenced, Lafayette has relied on the leadership and talent of just a single senior in point guard Kara Stetler. A four-year starter, this 5-7 spark plug is a shooting threat anywhere on the court, but particularly from long range.

FOR THE RECORD: Senior point guard Kara Stetler's record-breaking 2005-06 season put her atop the Lafayette single-season ranks in three-point field goal percentage (41.1%) and three-pointers attempted (151). She shattered the Lafayette record for three-pointers made by nearly 20, dialing-up long distance 62 times as a junior.

IN MEMORY OF MAGGIE DIXON: To honor the life of 2005-06 Patriot League Coach of the Year, Maggie Dixon, coaches around the league will wear commemorative lapel pins with the initials "M.D." marked on them. The gesture is to pay tribute to Dixon, who coached Army to a Patriot League Championship and NCAA Tournament berth last March before passing away suddenly in April at the age of 28.

MAKING THE GRADE: Lafayette placed five players on the 2005-06 Patriot League Academic Honor Roll. Included among them were returning sophomores Emily Garner and Jessica Spicer. Garner, managed a 3.66 grade-point average in Economics and Business for the spring semester, while Spicer, who declared an Economics and Business major in August, managed a 3.25 GPA.

BY THE HUNDREDS: Lafayette has two active players with at least 600 career points - senior Kara Stetler (709 pts., 92 games, 7.7 ppg) and junior Vanessa Van De Venter (697 pts., 68 games, 10.3 ppg). The Leopards have 13 players with at least 1,000 points in their respective careers.

FOR THE FIRST TIME: Five of the Leopards' 22 opponents for the 2006-07 season will present new faces to the Lafayette program. Columbia, UC Davis, Mount St. Mary's, Pacific and NCAA Tournament participant Coppin State are set to take on Lafayette for the first time. Lafayette is 1-3 thus far against first-time opponents and will take on Columbia on Jan. 25 in its final non-conference battle of the season.

ALL-TIME RECORD: Lafayette's women's basketball program is in its 35th season and has played 840 games. Lafayette is 388-452 (.462) all-time and has recorded five 20-win seasons.

PATRIOT PRESEASON POLL: Lafayette was picked to finish eighth in the Patriot League's preseason poll of coaches and sports information directors. Defending champion Army edged Holy Cross and Bucknell, who tied for second, by just two points.

PATRIOT LEAGUE SCHEDULE: The Patriot League will go with the second year of its modified same site, same day format for men's and women's games. Weekday league games for women's teams will generally be played on Tuesday nights, while the men will tip off on Wednesday. Both teams will play on Saturday, with the home institution assuming responsibility for setting the order and start times of those contests.

The schedule for the Patriot League Tournament will remain intact. The top two seeds will host four-team mini-tournaments, with the championship game still to be played at the site of the highest remaining seed. Annapolis, Md. and Navy's Alumni Hall will serve as the host for first two rounds of the 2006-07 women's tournament before the final moves to the site of the highest remaining seed.

LAFAYETTE ON TELEVISION: For the 10th straight season, Lafayette features the most expansive television package in the Patriot League. The women's basketball team will see a minimum of nine contests hit the television air waves live in 2006-07 and have the possibility of adding televised contests in the Patriot League Tournament. The Lafayette Sports Network will air those games to more than 9.8 million viewers in the Lehigh Valley, Pocono region, Philadelphia, central New Jersey, New York City and Boston.

Locally the telecasts can be seen on RCN Cable channels 4 and 60, Service Electric Cable channel 51, Blue Ridge Cable channel 5 and broadcast channel 60. Emmy-nominated local sports broadcaster Gary Laubach will handle all of the Leopards' play-by-play duties for the 10th straight year, while former Lafayette men's basketball coach John Leone will provide color commentary for the ninth season. RCN's Dan Mowdy will report from the sidelines for the sixth year.



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