Jan. 11, 2013
The Lafayette women’s basketball team travels to Annapolis, Md. for its Patriot League opener on Sunday afternoon. The Leopards (7-8) take on the defending Patriot League champion Navy Mids (7-8) at 12 p.m. inside Alumni Hall. Lafayette is coming off a 49-47 victory over Columbia on Wednesday. The Leopards are 20-38 against the Mids in their history and dropped the last meeting on Feb. 4, 2012 in Annapolis, 63-47.
LEOPARDS’ LAST TIME OUT
Sophomore co-captain Emily Homan recorded a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds and Lafayette survived a late surge to defeat Columbia in New York, N.Y. on Wednesday evening, 49-47. Homan, who suffered a freak injury in warm-ups as she got hit with a ball, did not start, but played 28 minutes for the Leopards in the victory.
Sophomore guard Linnel Macklin notched 10 points in the contest on 4-of-6 shooting and 2-of-2 from the three-point line. Junior co-captain Danielle Fiacco tallied eight points and four rebounds, while sophomore point guard Brya Freeland added six assists.
The Leopards went 21-of-54 from the field (38.9%) and committed just 12 turnovers, but knocked down only four of their 11 free-throw attempts (36.4%). On the other side, Columbia shot 17-for-63 from the floor (27%) and Brittany Simmons led the Lions with 16 points and 10 boards. Columbia out-rebounded the Leopards, 47-36.
THE MIDSEASON MIDS
Navy (7-8) concluded 2012 by snapping a two-game skid versus Marshall, 67-51, on Dec. 30, but was outlasted at Richmond, 65-59, to open the New Year on Jan. 4.and fell to Princeton on Tuesday, 70-50.
Three Mids average in double figures, with Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year Jade Geif leading the way with 12.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Kara Pollinger and Alix Membrano score 11.2 and 11.1 points per contest, respectively.
The Mids are known for their shooting, ranking second in the Patriot League in field goal percentage (.402) and three-point field goal percentage (.343). Additionally, Navy leads the league in steals (8.6 per game), turnover margin (+1.07) and assist-to-turnover ratio (0.9). The Mids have won the Patriot League Championship the last two seasons.
ROAMING THE SIDELINE
Lafayette head coach Dianne Nolan enters today’s matchup with a career record of 543-465 and a 26-49 mark in her third year at Lafayette. On the other side, Navy head coach Stefanie Pemper is in her fifth season with the Mids, holding a career record of 313-111 and 78-63 at Navy.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
Navy holds a 38-20 advantage in a series that dates back to Feb. 16, 1980 with a commanding 24-6 advantage in games played in Annapolis. Six of the last eight encounters have been decided by single figures. The home-and-home regular-season series has been split in two of the last three campaigns, including Patriot League Tournament meetings, and both teams have earned a win in the series in five of the last six seasons. The Mids swept the Leopards last season with a 60-55 win in Easton and a 63-47 victory in Annapolis.
Despite finishing the the 2011-12 season in eighth place in the Patriot League with a 2-12 conference record, the Leopards have implemented its team motto for this season as “First Four”, meaning their goal is to finish in the top four of the Patriot League standings and have the opportunity to host a League tournament game, something Coach Nolan has never experienced as head coach of the Leopards.