Women's Basketball Closes Out Non-League Schedule Against Princeton

Go Leopards! Freshman Val Gomez scored a career-high 10 points and grabbed five rebounds in Sunday's loss to Colgate.
Freshman Val Gomez scored a career-high 10 points and grabbed five rebounds in Sunday's loss to Colgate.

Jan. 24, 2005

THE MATCH-UP: Lafayette wraps up its six-game homestand, and non-league schedule, by welcoming Princeton to Kirby Sports Center. The Tigers, fresh off a break for final exams, are playing their first game in 20 days. Princeton is led by freshman Meagan Cowher, daughter of Pittsburgh Steelers' head coach Bill Cowher. The four-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week leads Princeton in both scoring (12.8 ppg.) and rebounding (5.7 rpg.). Lafayette is in action for the third time in five days, having played two games over the weekend decided by two points or less.

IN A RHYTHM: Since coming out of the halftime locker room against Lehigh on Jan. 12, the Leopards have looked like a new team offensively. Lafayette knocked in 13-of-30 shots from the floor (43.3 percent) and scored 33 points in the second half against Lehigh. The Leopards followed that by shooting a season-high 48.6 percent (18-of-37) from the floor against American on Jan. 15. This weekend, the Leopards put together two of their best shooting performances of the season, hitting 42.6 percent of their shots (20-of-47) from the floor against Bucknell and 44.1 percent (26-of-59) against Colgate.

PILES OF POINTS: The Leopards' 75 points against Colgate were the most for a Lafayette team since an 89-80 win at Colgate on Jan. 11, 2003. Lafayette's 45 second-half points on Sunday were the most in a single half since a 48-point first half in that same game in Hamilton in 2003.

WELTE SAVES THE DAY: Senior Brianne Welte's lay-up with 11 seconds left proved to be the game-winner against Bucknell on Friday. With the shot clock ticking under five seconds, Kristin Doherty penetrated from the right wing and found Welte on the left block. The co-captain finished the play, and the defense held the Bison without a shot at the other end. Welte, who finished with nine points, seven rebounds and four blocks against Bucknell, followed up with her second career double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) on Sunday against Colgate.

CLOSE CALLS: Lafayette's last three games have been decided by two points or less, a stretch that is unprecedented in Lafayette women's basketball history. The last time Lafayette had as many as three, two-point games in the same season was the 2001-02 campaign.

NO DOUBT DOHERTY: Junior guard Kristin Doherty broke out of her recent shooting slump in a big way against American. The co-captain was 4-of-4 from beyond the arc in the second half against the Eagles, with each of the four shots hitting nothing but the bottom of the net. Doherty also converted a pair of free throws to momentarily tie the game at 47 with 18 seconds remaining. Against Colgate, she hit 4-of-8 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from three, and finished with 13 points.

PUT AWAY THE TRAVEL BAGS: Lafayette's current six game homestand is the longest in the 33-year history of the program. Lafayette has played five in a row at home on four separate occassions, the most recent being during the 2002-03 season.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Freshman Vanessa Van De Venter has made an immediate impact in her rookie season. The 6-0 forward is currently leading the Leopards in scoring (9.7 ppg.) and is tied for the team lead in rebounding (5.8 rpg.). She tossed in a career-high 23 points against UTPA and has posted a pair of double-doubles this season. She had 14 points and 10 rebounds in the opener against UMES and collected 12 points and 10 boards against Radford. Van De Venter currently ranks fifth in the Patriot League in free throw percentage (.786), seventh in field goal percentage (.455), ninth in rebounding and 15th in scoring.

FROM THE CHARITY STRIPE: One bright spot for Lafayette last season was at the foul line. The Leopards shot 75 percent (402-of-536) for the season at the foul line, tops in the Patriot League. Lafayette's 402 free throws were the second-most in the league, trailing Colgate, which played three more games, by just 14 buckets...This Season...As a team, Lafayette has hit 222-of-314 foul shots (70.7 percent). The Leopards' 222 foul shots are the most in the Patriot League.

ON THE BENCH: Head coach Tammy Smith is in her fourth season at Lafayette. Smith, whose first three teams were beset with injuries, is 10-91 as Lafayette's head coach. She has a career record of 123-159, which includes a 113-68 mark and two NCAA Tournament appearances in seven seasons at Division III Muhlenberg College.

BLOCK PARTY: Lafayette has blocked eight shots in a game twice this season after an eight-block performance against Bucknell on Friday. Brianne Welte swatted a career-high four against the Bison, while Shannon Dorsey added three. The Leopards also blocked eight shots against Howard on Jan. 3. Lindsay Myers and Tricia Indoe led the way with three blocks apiece. The school record for blocks in a game is 10, set against Temple on Dec. 2, 1980.

LAFAYETTE vs. the IVY LEAGUE: Lafayette has played 103 games all-time against the Ancient Eight and is 46-57 (.447) in those contests. The Leopards are 0-3 against the Ivy League this season, having dropped games to Harvard (84-40), Yale (57-43) and Penn (68-33), and have dropped 14 straight games to Ivy League foes. Lafayette's last win over an Ivy opponent was a 64-62 win at Dartmouth on Dec. 28, 2001. Lafayette vs. the Ivy League:

Brown 2-2	Cornell 6-5	Columbia 0-0	Dartmouth 3-4
Harvard 1-2	Penn 15-15	Princeton 14-17	Yale 5-12

LAFAYETTE vs. the PATRIOT LEAGUE: Lafayette has played 285 games against the seven other current members of the Patriot League and is 131-154 (.460) in those contests. Lafayette vs. the Patriot League:

American 1-12	Army 20-15	Bucknell 30-24	Colgate 25-17
Holy Cross 5-32	Lehigh 36-27	Navy 14-27

VAN DE VENTER CLAIMS THIRD ROOKIE OF THE WEEK HONOR (1/3): Freshman forward Vanessa Van De Venter was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the third time this season based on her performance against Texas-Pan American on Dec. 29. Van De Venter had arguably her best all-around game of the season, dumping in a career-high 23 points, including 17 in the second half, and collecting eight rebounds. She hit 8-of-11 shots from the floor and 7-of-9 from the foul line.

INDOE DROPS DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Junior center Tricia Indoe posted her third career double-double in the loss at Yale on Jan. 5. She collected 11 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Indoe's two previous double-doubles were in the final regular season games of the 2003-04 season. She tallied 12 points and 10 rebounds against Navy (2/26/04), then followed that with an 11-point, 11-rebound peformance against American two days later.

SHOOTING STRUGGLES: Twice this season, Lafayette has been held to 33 points and 10 field goals in a game. The Leopards made just 10-of-60 field goals and scored 33 points against Penn on Monday. On Dec. 22, Lafayette was held to 33 points on 10-of-41 shooting at St. Francis. The Leopards' 33 points are the fewest in a game since an 84-28 loss at St. Joseph's on Jan. 6, 1996.

HITTING THE BOARDS: Lafayette's 51 rebounds against Howard were the most in a single game for a Lafayette team since a 50-rebound performance against Dartmouth on Dec. 28, 2001. Vanessa Van De Venter and Lindsay Myers led Lafayette with nine and eight rebounds, respectively, against Howard.

INTO THE MIX: Freshmen Vanessa Van De Venter and Maureen Johnson have made 11 and seven starts, respectively, this season. Van De Venter is averaging 9.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in her 11 starts, while Johnson has averaged 4.6 points and 3.0 rebounds from the point guard position in her seven starts.

NO DOUBT ABOUT IT: Only five of Lafayette's 17 games this season have been decided by fewer than 10 points. The Leopards' first two wins this season were by 16 points, marking Lafayette's largest margin of victory since the 2000-01 season.

SUCCESSFUL OPENERS: Lafayette's 60-44 win over UMES was the first win in a season-opener since a 74-60 win over Drexel to open the 1997-98 season. The Leopards also claimed a 63-47 win over Radford in the home opener on Dec. 2, Lafayette's first win in a home opener since a 75-72 win over Rider in the 2001-02 season. The win over Drexel to open the 1997-98 season represents the last time Lafayette won both the season opener and home opener in the same season.

THE CAPTAINS: One senior and two juniors are serving as co-captains for the Leopards this season. Senior center Brianne Welte and junior guards Kristin Doherty and Katie Kokolus share the duties.

NEW FACES: Lafayette has played six first-time opponents this season, three at home and three on the road. The Leopards opened the season with three road games against first-time foes, while UMBC, Texas-Pan American and Howard made their first trips to Kirby Sports Center. Lafayette is 1-5 against first-time opponents this season.

VAN DE VENTER ROOKIE OF THE WEEK, PART 2 (12/5): Freshman forward Vanessa Van De Venter was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the week ending Dec. 5, based largely on her performance in the win over Radford. Van De Venter posted her second double-double against the Highlanders, hitting 5-of-6 shots from the floor and finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds and three steals.

MYERS DRIVES THE OFFENSE: Senior guard Lindsay Myers played all 40 minutes against UMBC on Dec. 9 and finished with a career-high 22 points in the loss. She hit 8-of-14 shots from the floor and 6-of-9 from the foul line. Myers currently is tied for first amongst her teammates in rebounding (5.8 rpg.) and second in scoring (9.5 ppg.). She also leads the Leopards in assists (47) and steals (41) and is second in blocks (11).

NAIDA'S NIGHT: Senior forward Naida Dupovac was the catalyst of Lafayette's 13-2 game-opening run against Radford on Dec. 2. Dupovac scored seven of the Leopards' first 13 points, establishing a new career high just 3:30 into the contest. She finished 4-of-4 from the field and tallied nine points.

POST PRODUCTION: Lafayette dominated play in the paint in the win over Radford. Seniors Naida Dupovac and Brianne Welte and freshman Vanessa Van De Venter combined to hit 13-of-16 shots from the floor, while collecting a total of 29 points and 20 rebounds. For the game, the Leopards held a 49-29 edge on the boards.

SOLID "D": Lafayette held Radford to just 5-of-27 shooting (18.5 percent) in the second half in the home opener on Dec. 2. The Highlanders' 15 second-half points were the fewest allowed in a half by Lafayette since Air Force scored 12 in the first half on Dec. 21, 2000.

FROM THE LAND O' PLENTY: Sophomore guard Kara Stetler has established herself as a threat from the perimeter. Stetler has hit 22-of-75 three-point attempts (29.3 percent), including a season-high 4-of-8 against Wayne State on Nov. 20. She ranks sixth in the Patriot League in three-pointers made and 13th in three-point percentage. As a team, Lafayette is shooting 28.3 percent (53-of-187) from three-point range.

DOHERTY FROM DOWNTOWN: Junior guard Kristin Doherty led her teammates with 25 three-pointers last season, nearly one-third of the team's total (80) for the season. The only Leopard to play in all 28 games last year, Doherty hit at least one triple in 15 games, including a school-record tying five against Quinnipiac on Jan. 5...This Season...Doherty was 4-of-5 beyond the arc at Buffalo (11/27), 4-of-4 against American (1/15) and 3-of-5 against Colgate (1/23). She is currently second amongst her teammates with 20 triples.

VAN DE VENTER ROOKIE OF THE WEEK (11/22): Freshman forward Vanessa Van De Venter was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week for her performance in the season's opening weekend. Van De Venter made the most of her collegiate debut, collecting 14 points and 10 rebounds in the opener against UMES. She tacked on nine points, courtesy of a 9-of-10 day at the foul line, and four rebounds in the loss to Wayne State.

STETLER NAMED TO EMU ALL-TOURNEY TEAM: Sophomore guard Kara Stetler represented Lafayette on the Eastern Michigan Classic All-Tournament Team. Stetler scored 28 total points in the two games and was 7-of-13 from beyond the arc. She also grabbed nine rebounds over the two games.

INJURY UPDATE: Lafayette struggled with injuries throughout the 2003-04 season, resulting in 12 different players appearing in the starting lineup a year ago. The Leopards have been healthy throughout most of the 2004-05 campaign, with one notable exception. Junior Katie Kokolus is out indefinitely after doctors discovered her as having two blood clots, one in her shoulder and one in her lung. Kokolus missed all but three games with a torn ACL last year.

ALL-TIME RECORD: Lafayette's women's basketball program is in its 33rd season and has played 788 games. Lafayette is 376-412 (.477) 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. Holy Cross edged out Colgate as the preseason favorite, with both teams earning five first-place votes.

PATRIOT LEAGUE SCHEDULE: There have been a pair of significant changes to the Patriot League's scheduling format for the 2004-05 season. The first is a decision to play men's and women's games at opposite sites. Previously, doubleheaders were common for league games, with the women's contest preceding the men's. Under the new format, when the Lafayette men are playing at home against, for example, Bucknell, the Lafayette women will be playing at Bucknell on the same date. The other change is in the format for the Patriot League Tournament. Previously, the quarterfinals and semifinals were played at a neutral site, with the championship game played at the home site of the highest remaining seed. Under the new format, the top two seeds on the men's and women's sides will host four-team mini-tournaments, with the championship game still to be played at the site of the highest remaining seed.

THE GIANT Q: The biggest question mark for Lafayette entering the season is how to replace the production of Colleen Fitzpatrick. A four-year starter, Fitzpatrick graduated in May as the school's fourth all-time leading scorer (1,399) and sixth all-time leading rebounder (678). She led the Leopards in scoring and rebounding each of her final three seasons and posted the top field-goal percentage in the Patriot League for four straight seasons.

FINISHING STRONG: Junior center Tricia Indoe finished the 2003-04 season with a flurry, and is expected to be one of the first players off the bench this season. Indoe started each of the final four regular season games a year ago, posting double-doubles in the last two. She collected 12 points and 10 rebounds against Navy on Feb. 26, then tallied 11 points and 11 boards in the win over American on Feb. 28. For the season, Indoe snagged at least five rebounds in 10 different games, and finished second on the team in total rebounds with 110.

PERFECT TIMING: Lafayette's lone win last season could not have come at a better time. The Leopards defeated then league-leading American, 64-61, at home on the final day of the regular season. A pair of seniors led the charge in their final game in Kirby Sports Center. Colleen Fitzpatrick collected 13 points and 15 rebounds, while guard Elecia Kruise dumped in a career-high 16 points.

LAFAYETTE ON TELEVISION: For the eighth-straight season, Lafayette features the most expansive television package in the Patriot League. The Leopards have seven games televised and have the possibility of adding three more televised contests in the Patriot League Tournament. The Lafayette Sports Network will air the seven games to more than 9.1 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. Several of Lafayette's games that appear on the Lafayette Sports Network will also be picked up by Empire Sports Network which reaches more than 19.5 million viewers in Upstate and Western New York as well as more than 60 million potential viewers on DIRECTV (626) and Dish Network (432).

 

 

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