The Lafayette women's basketball team returns to Easton for its Patriot League home opener on Wednesday evening. The Leopards (7-9, 0-1) take on the Army Black Knights (12-4, 1-0) at 7 p.m. inside Kirby Sports Center as part of Military Appreciation Night. Lafayette is coming off a 62-44 defeat at the hands of Navy in both team's conference opener on Sunday afternoon in Annapolis. The Leopards are 23-29 against the Knights in their history and dropped the last meeting on Feb. 8, 2012 in Easton, 62-47.
LEOPARDS' LAST TIME OUT
Freshman point guard Jamie O'Hare's stellar career-high outing of 19 points wasn't enough as Lafayette fell in its Patriot League opener to Navy on Sunday afternoon in Annapolis, Md., 62-44. Navy (8-8, 1-0), the defending Patriot League champions, used a 34-24 second-half advantage to knock off the Leopards.
O'Hare took over in the second half, scoring 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. She stuffed the stat sheet with five apiece of rebounds and assists to go along with three steals. Sophomore co-captain Emily Homan also hit double-digits for Lafayette, notching 10 points on four layups and two free throws. Navy's Alix Membreno led the way for the Mids, tallying 19 points with six rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block.
The Leopards (7-9, 0-1) shot 17-for-54 (31.5%) from the floor and 5-for-13 (38.5%) from distance. They only made six trips to the free-throw line, but knocked down five of them on the afternoon. On the other side, the Mids went 21-for-51 from the field (41.2%) and 7-for-17 from three-point territory (41.2%), knocking down 13 of their 20 attempts from the charity stripe (65%).
SCOUTING THE BLACK KNIGHTS
Army enters Wednesday with more wins than any other team in the Patriot League with its 12-4 record. The Black Knights won eight of their first nine games this winter, featuring a seven-game winning streak that included victories over Penn (58-53) and Yale (53-47). Most recently, they took care of Bucknell in their Patriot League opener in West Point on Saturday afternoon, 68-60. Anna Simmers notched 22 points and Olivia Schretzman added 18. Jen Hazlett tallied a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Army went 14-16 overall and 8-6 in the Patriot League to earn the No. 4 seed in the Patriot League Tournament last season. The Black Knights fell 59-50 to Holy Cross in the quarterfinals, but all three of their all-league selections are back this year. Simmers was a First Team All-Patriot League honoree, while Jen Hazlett was named to the second team and Schretzman was named All-Rookie.
ROAMING THE SIDELINE
Lafayette head coach Dianne Nolan enters today's matchup with a career record of 543-466 and a 26-50 mark in her third year at Lafayette. On the other side, Army head coach Dave Magarity is in his seventh season with the Knights, holding a career record of 111-84, all at Army.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
Army holds a 29-23 advantage in a series that dates back to Nov. 26, 1983. The Leopards are 14-10 when the teams convene at Kirby Sports Center, where the Black Knights won their first since 2009 in the last meeting, 62-47, on Feb. 8, 2012. Army took both meetings last season, with the first coming by just one point, 44-43 in West Point, N.Y.
O'HARE OH MY!
Freshman point guard Jamie O'Hare has started to be more aggressive toward the end of the non-conference season and into League play. In the final home non-conference game, O'Hare posted a game-high 18 points on 4-of-7 shooting from three-point range. To open Patriot League play, she topped that mark, setting a new career-high with 19 points against Navy on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and she went 3-of-6 from distance.
Despite finishing 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.
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