Jan. 8, 2013
The Lafayette women's basketball team travels to New York, N.Y. for its final non-conference game of the season on Wednesday evening. The Leopards (6-8) take on the Columbia Lions (2-11) at 7 p.m. inside Francis S. Levien Gymnasium. Lafayette is coming off a 56-32 defeat of Brown on Saturday. The Leopards are 2-1 against the Lions in their history and won the last meeting on Jan. 4, 2012 in Easton, 53-45.
LEOPARDS' LAST TIME OUT
Freshman point guard Jamie O'Hare scored a career-high 18 points as the Lafayette dropped Brown, 56-32 on Saturday afternoon inside Kirby Sports Center. The 32 points allowed by the Leopards' defense were the lowest scoring output for an opponent since Feb. 5, 1992, when the Leopards stifled Holy Cross in a 55-32 win.
Along with O'Hare's breakout performance, junior co-captain Danielle Fiacco finally earned the double-double she's been so close to achieving over the past few games, recording 12 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore co-captain Emily Homan added 11 for the Leopards' attack.
A 37-17 first-half advantage paved the way for a simple 19-15 second stanza. Those 37 points are the second-most of any half this season, topped only by a 38-point opening 20 minutes against Pittsburgh (12/1). For the game, the Leopards shot 21-of-60 from the field (35%) and 4-for-14 from the three-point arc (29%) with all four shots from distance coming off the hand of O'Hare. Brown's Lauren Clarke led the way for the Bears with 11 points, while Sheila Dixon added nine. The Leopards moved to 6-8 on the season, while Brown dropped to 5-7 for the year.
SCOUTING THE LIONS
Columbia enters Wednesday's tilt 2-11 overall, coming off a 58-33 loss at the hands of Lehigh on Monday afternoon. The Lions enter Wednesday's game with a 2-3 record at home this season.
Tyler Simpson leads the Columbia offense with 10.2 ppg while the leading rebounder is Courtney Bradford with 5.6 per game. The Lions' strength is their ability to cause turnovers as Columbia is +2.2 in the turnover margin, but has been outscored by nearly 11 points per game. Simpson led the team a season ago with 16.4 ppg and earned honorable mention All-Ivy League honors after ranking seventh in the league in scoring.
With the two wins this season, the Lions are just one win shy of tying their total victories from last season. Columbia finished its 2011-12 campaign with a 3-25 overall record and a 1-13 mark in Ivy League play.
ROAMING THE SIDELINE
Lafayette head coach Dianne Nolan enters today's matchup with a career record of 542-465 and a 25-49 mark in her third year at Lafayette. On the other side, Columbia head coach Paul Nixon is in his eighth season with the Lions, holding a career record of 67-141.
LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS, OH MY!
Wednesday's game will mark the second of two Ivy League opponents Lafayette faces this season, the first being Brown, a team the Leopards defeated inside Kirby Sports Center on Saturday, 56-32. Lafayette is 56-71 all-time against Ivy League members and has faced all eight members at some point in its history.
O'HARE, OH MY!
Freshman point guard Jamie O'Hare put together her best performance of the season against the Brown Bears in a 56-32 win on Saturday afternoon. The Staten Island, N.Y. native scored a career-high 18 points on 4-of-7 shooting from three-point range. The rookie also added eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block to finish off her day.
Danielle Fiacco, the nation's third-most prolific shot blocker this season with 54, became the first player in Patriot League history with over 100 blocks in a season in 2011-12. Fiacco's 112 rejections were both Lafayette and Patriot League single-season records, while her career tally of 237 stuffs is the Lafayette career mark and the third-highest total in league history. Fiacco also holds the Lafayette and Patriot League single-game record of 12 blocks, attained on Dec. 28, 2010 against Quinnipiac.
Fiacco recorded six blocks against Loyola Chicago to open the 2012-13 season and had an identical six stuffs against Seton Hall. Despite being held blockless against Villanova, Fiacco came up with another six-block performance against Penn State to put her over the 200 mark for her career at 201. She currently sits at 54 for the season and 237 for her career.
Additionally, sophomore Emily Homan and junior Kelly Loughney join Fiacco in the top 10 in the Patriot League for blocks this season. The trio's contributions on the defensive end have made Lafayette the fifth-best team in the nation in the blocks category.