The Lafayette women's basketball team returns home, still searching for its first Patriot League win on Saturday afternoon. The Leopards (7-12, 0-4) take on their archrival Lehigh (10-9, 2-2) for the first time this season at 2 p.m. inside Kirby Sports Center as part of National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Lafayette is coming off a 60-55 defeat at the hands of Holy Cross on Wednesday evening in Worcester, Mass. The Leopards are 41-40 against the Mountain Hawks in their history and dropped the last meeting on Feb. 18, 2012 in Easton, 57-47.
NATIONAL GIRLS AND WOMEN IN SPORTS DAY
Free t-shirts and wristbands will be handed out to all in attendance as part of National Girls and Women in Sports Day. The National Association for Girls and Women in Sport`s mission is to develop and deliver equitable and quality sport opportunities for ALL girls and women through relevant research, advocacy, leadership development, educational strategies, and programming in a manner that promotes social justice and change.
LEOPARDS' LAST TIME OUT
Playing with a short-handed lineup on the road, Lafayette fought to overcome a nine-point halftime deficit and take the lead with 15:44 left in the game. However, a 6:30 field-goal drought late in the second half sealed its fate, giving Holy Cross its first Patriot League win, 60-55.
Sophomore Linnel Macklin and junior Kelly Loughney led the team in scoring with 12 points apiece as all of Loughney's came in the second half of play. Junior co-captain Danielle Fiacco did not make the trip due to illness and sophomore Brya Freeland was held out because of a back injury. In addition, sophomore co-captain Emily Homan's minutes were limited to just seven as flu-like symptoms cut her production.
The Leopards shot 21-of-57 from the floor (37%) and their second-best of the year, only behind the Pittsburgh game, from three-point range, knocking down 8-for-18 from beyond the arc (44%). On the other side, the Crusaders went 22-of-51 from the field (43%) and 5-for-13 from three-point range (38%). Amy Lepley led the way for Holy Cross with a game-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting (78%) and went 3-for-4 from the free-throw line (75%).
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAIN HAWKS
One of five League teams to reach double-digit wins already this season, Lehigh enters Saturday's game at 10-9 overall. The Mountain Hawks are 2-2 in the Patriot League having alternated between wins and losses this season, earning victories over Holy Cross (67-65) and Colgate (70-62) and surrendering losses to American (62-56) and Bucknell (53-37). In those four games, Lehigh has put itself atop the conference rankings in free-throw percentage (72.1) and second in the League in rebounding margin (+5.9).
The Mountain Hawks return three of their five starters from a team that went 17-13 overall and 9-5 in the Patriot League last season. One of their personnel losses, however, was Alexa Williams. After leading Lehigh in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocked shots, Williams was named First Team All-Patriot League, making her the Mountain Hawks' only all-league selection in 2012.
ROAMING THE SIDELINE
Lafayette head coach Dianne Nolan enters today's matchup with a career record of 543-469 and a 26-53 mark in her third year at Lafayette. On the other side, Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan is in her 18th season with the Mountain Hawks, holding an overall record of 282-238.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
Lafayette owns a 41-40 lead in an all-time series that dates back to Feb. 4, 1975 - the 16th game played by the Leopards as a varsity program. Lafayette is 23-14 against its historic rival at Kirby Sports Center, though the Mountain Hawks have claimed the last four meetings in Easton. Including Patriot League Tournament play, both teams have notched a win in the series in four of the last seven campaigns.
NOT SO LIDDLE PRODUCTION
Junior Kristan Liddle made her first start of the season and fourth start of her career against Bucknell on Jan. 19. The forward came up with a season-high seven points in the first half on 3-of-6 shooting from the field. She also ripped down six rebounds and added two steals, an assist and a block.
Liddle followed up that performance on Wednesday at Holy Cross with career-highs in rebounds (7) and steals (3).
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