Surging Leopards Look to Knock Off American
Feb. 1, 2013
The Lafayette women’s basketball team looks to make it three straight Patriot League wins on Saturday afternoon. The Leopards (9-12, 2-4) take on American (12-8, 5-1) for the first time this season at 2 p.m. inside Kirby Sports Center. Lafayette took care of Colgate, 53-45, on Wednesday evening in Hamilton, N.Y. The Leopards are 4-27 against the Eagles in their history and dropped the last meeting on March 1, 2012 in the Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinal in Washington, D.C., 59-54.
LEOPARDS’ LAST TIME OUT
Despite shooting 4-for-25 (16%) in the second half from the field, Lafayette took care of the ball and held on for its second Patriot League win of the season, a 53-45 victory over Colgate in Hamilton, N.Y. Lafayette’s 11 turnovers were their second-fewest of the season and least since Jan. 5 (10 vs. Brown).
Two Leopards scored in double figures as freshman Jamie O’Hare notched a game-high 15 points and junior co-captain Danielle Fiacco added 10. Junior Kristan Liddle tied a career high in rebounds with seven on the night. For Colgate, Lauryn Kobiela and Kelly Reid led the team with eight points, while Missy Repoli snagged nine rebounds.
Lafayette knocked down 17-of-61 shots from the field (27.9%) and just 3-for-15 from three-point range (20%). On the other side, the Raiders were 18-for-57 from the floor (31.6%) and only 3-for-16 from beyond the arc (18.8%). The Leopards held a 49-40 rebounding advantage and also held a 15-5 edge in second-chance points.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
American knocked off Bucknell (66-58) on Saturday to improve its record to 12-8 overall and 5-1 in the Patriot League. The Eagles’ league slate so far has also included wins over Colgate (54-45), Lehigh (62-56), Holy Cross (67-62) and Army (45-42). Their lone loss, and their first in more than a year, came at the hands of Navy (61-42) on Jan. 23.
American finished its 2011-12 season at 23-8 overall and although they went a perfect 14-0 in the Patriot League, the Eagles lost to Holy Cross in the tournament semifinals and were relegated to the WNIT. American nearly swept the postseason awards last winter with the Player of the Year (Lisa Strack), Defensive Player of the Year (Ebony Edwards) and Coach of the Year (Matt Corkery). The only on-court honorees back this season, however, are First Team All-Patriot League selection Alexis Dobbs, who leads the league in steals (2.1) and assist/turnover ratio (1.5), and All-Rookie selection Jen Dumiak.
ROAMING THE SIDELINE
Lafayette head coach Dianne Nolan enters today’s matchup with a career record of 545-469 and a 28-53 mark in her third year at Lafayette. On the other side, American head coach Matt Corkery is in his fifth season with the Eagles, holding a career record of 98-47.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
American’s season sweep in 2011-12 ran the all-time series to 27-4 in favor of the Eagles. The Leopards’ last win prior to American’s current eight-game streak was an unprecedented upset by No. 7-seeded Lafayette in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament on March 7, 2009. The Eagles are 15-0 all-time against the Leopards in Washington, D.C. and 11-3 in Easton.
FOUND A PEANUT
Sophomore guard Maddie Peabody has taken advantage of her increased minutes over the past few games with Brya Freeland out due to a back injury. Peabody has seen 28 minutes of action in each of the last two games, the most of her career, and dropped a career-high nine points in the win over Lehigh on Jan. 26. Against Colgate, she set another career mark, this time in rebounds, as the 5’5” guard went in among the trees and ripped down six boards.
‘PARDS ARE ROLLIN
The Lafayette men’s and women’s basketball teams have hit their strides at the same time heading into the midway point of the Patriot League season. The men have won three straight, taking down Holy Cross, Lehigh and Colgate heading into the weekend. The women are looking for their third straight after wins over the Mountain Hawks and Raiders. The last time the Leopard women won three straight League games was Jan. 19-26, 2008.
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 Jan. 23 at Holy Cross with career-highs in rebounds (7) and steals (3). Continuing the trend, the Irvine, Calif. native notched a career-high seven assists in the win over Lehigh on Saturday afternoon and notched another seven-rebound performance at Colgate.
MOST VALUABLE MANAGER
Since team manager senior Mike Shapiro’s return to the team after a three-week stint overseas in Turkey, the Leopards are undefeated with wins over Lehigh and Colgate. Shapiro participated in one of Lafayette’s interim study abroad programs, visiting Istanbul and coast cities along the Aegean sea line.