Women's Basketball Opens Second Half of League Play at Holy Cross
Feb. 5, 2009
Match-Up: Lafayette (8-14, 2-5) at Holy Cross (9-13, 4-3)
Tip-Off: 1:00 p.m.
Site: Worcester, Mass.
Arena: Hart Center (3,600)
Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM (Worcester)
Internet: LSN All-Access
All-Time Series: 7-40
Current Streak: L, 4
Coach Smith vs. Holy Cross: 3-11
THE MATCH-UP: The second half of Patriot League play begins this afternoon when the Leopards (8-14, 2-5) travel to Worcester, Mass. to take on Holy Cross (9-13, 4-3). Lafayette is looking to snap a three-game slide, including Saturday's 11-point loss to American, while the Crusaders look to rebound from a 72-70 loss vs. Lehigh a week ago.
NEXT UP: Lafayette returns home on Wednesday to face Colgate in the first of two straight home games. Tip-off against the Raiders is 7 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT FOR LAFAYETTE: Lafayette nearly pulled off a double-digit comeback, but American proved too much for the Leopards to handle as they dropped a 72-61 decision last Saturday afternoon. The game, which concluded the first half of Patriot League play for both teams, featured five first-half lead changes but it was the Eagles who came out on top thanks to 46 second-half points.
Jessica Spicer drained a three-pointer with 1:18 left to play to cut what had been a 14-point Eagles lead to five (62-57), but American closed the game with four unanswered points to seal the 11-point win. Cristin Zavocki led the Leopards with 15 points. Zavocki and Spicer both finished with three baskets apiece from three-point range to account for all six of the team's threes.
HOLY CROSS IN A NUTSHELL: Despite last Saturday's narrow, two-point home loss to Lehigh, the Crusaders still stand at 4-3 in the league. Holy Cross has lost three of its last four games, however, with league losses to Navy and American during that stretch. The Crusaders' conference victories have come against Lafayette, Army, Bucknell and Colgate.
Two juniors lead the team in scoring: Briana McFadden (15.3 ppg) and Bethany O'Dell (11.1 ppg). McFadden currently leads the Patriot League in scoring and is the only Crusader to start all 22 games this season. Sophomore Whitney Fremeau is the team's leading rebounder (4.5 rpg).
ON THIS DATE: In 1998, the Leopards won a 63-45 decision over Patriot League opponent Bucknell. Ali Berlin and Kerri Hollister both scored a team-high 14 points. The victory was the third straight for Lafayete, which finished league play with a 7-5 record and advanced to the second round of the Patriot League Tournament.
PLEASE LOCK UP ALL VALUABLES: The Leopards have recorded four 11-steal games this season, including the last two contests (vs. Army and American). Earlier this season they also had 11 swipes against Colgate and Bryant. Jessica Spicer led the team in two of the games (5 vs. Colgate, 4 vs. Bryant), Meaghan Malone had a career-best three vs. the Black Knights and LaKeisha Wright finished a season-high four against the Eagles.
POWERFUL PAIR: Senior captains Jessica Spicer and Cristin Zavocki each drained three three-pointers against American to account for all six of Lafayette's treys in the game. Zavocki and Spicer are one and two, respectively in made threes for Lafayette, as Zavocki has 44 and Spicer has 24.
PUSHING 60: The Leopards have scored 60 or more points just once in the last five games (61 vs. American, Jan. 31) and have scored fewer than 60 points in 15 games this season. The team scored less than 60 points in only 16 games last season and probably not coincidentally had two more league wins (4) at the same point last season than they currently have (2).
LAFAYETTE vs. the PATRIOT LEAGUE: Lafayette has played 349 games all-time against the seven other current members of the Patriot League and is 152-197 (.436) in those contests. The Leopards own an 86-160 (.350) overall record since joining the league in the 1990-91 season.
American 3-18 Army 21-24 Bucknell 33-29 Colgate 29-22 Holy Cross 7-41 Lehigh 40-32 Navy 18-32 TOTAL 152-197
TIME CHANGE: Lafayette's Feb. 21 home game against Lehigh has been moved to 1 p.m.
SAVE THE DATE: The following are the dates of the remaining 2008-09 basketball media luncheons: Feb. 10 and March 2.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: After opening the season 6-0 at home for the first time in 14 years, the Leopards are now 7-3 at Kirby Sports Center, matching their home win total from all of last season. Even if the team drops its remaining three home contests, Lafayette is still guaranteed to finish the season with a winning record at home. The most home victories in a single season is 13, recorded by the 1986-87 team.
LET ME HELP YOU WITH THAT: Senior Jessica Spicer leads Lafayette with 62 assists (2.8 apg) through 22 games. She has 248 for her career, good for eighth on Lafayette's career assists list. She needs five more to tie Kim Costello '03 for seventh all-time.
BUILDING BLOCK: Senior Emily Garner has 32 career blocks and is tied with Christina LeVecchi '02 for sixth all-time. She needs 12 more to tie Alicia Yapsuga '99 for ffith place.
COUNTING DOWN: Emily Garner is also nearing another one of Lafayette's top-10 lists. Garner has 593 career rebounds, including a team-leading 134 this season, and needs nine more to move into a tie for 10th place with Keri Hollister '98.
TALE OF TWO HALVES: Lafayette held Army to just 17 first-half points, the fewest scored by an opponent in the opening half this season. However, the Black Knights' offense erupted for 39 points in the second half to come from behind and pull off the 10-point win.
NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP HERE: Sophomore LaKeisha Wright had a team-high 14 points against Lehigh, marking the fifth straight game in which she led the team in scoring (15 vs. Holy Cross, 16 at Colgate, 13 at Navy, 14 vs. Bucknell, 14 at Lehigh). The last sophomore to lead Lafayette in scoring in at least five straight games was Jen Bayer '03 (20 at Maryland, 11 at George Mason, 23 at Rider, 21 at Albany, 11 vs. Lehigh). For her efforts against Bucknell and Lehigh, Wright picked up her third weekly honorable mention from the Patriot League.
WELCOME BACK: In the game against Lehigh, junior Danielle Jenkins saw her first action in nearly two years after a knee injury kept her off the court for all of 2007-08 and for the first 20 games this season. Jenkins appeared in 25 games her rookie season, with one start.
ONE AWAY: The Leopards made eight threes against Bucknell and one more would have matched the team record of nine, which has been achieved in two games (vs. Colgate-2/7/06 and vs. UMBC-12/10/05).
HOT HALF: The Leopards scored 41 first-half points in their eventual 75-58 win over Bucknell. The first half total marked the most scored by the team in any half this season and gave Lafayette a 19-point edge at halftime. That lead was the largest in eight years when the team took a 45-21 edge into halftime against Colgate on Jan. 31, 2001.
RAINING THREES: Lafayette shot 66.7 percent (8-of-12) from three-point land against Bucknell, matching its season-high. The Leopards also made two-thirds of their three-point attempts (6-of-9) in a 70-49 win over NJIT on Dec. 5.
ABOUT LAFAYETTE COLLEGE: Located in Easton, Pa. (70 miles west of New York City and 60 miles north of Philadelphia) on the banks of the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers, Lafayette is a small liberal arts school with a renowned engineering program. Lafayette, which has 23 Division I sports with a student body of 2,382 undergraduates, competes in the Patriot League with Army, Navy, Bucknell, Holy Cross, Colgate, American and Lehigh. Lafayette is the alma mater of Pete Carril and Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon.
HELPING HANDS: The Lafayette women's basketball program has recently become involved with the Easton Area High School Tutoring Program. The program, which is held Monday-Friday for two hours each day, helps ease the transition between middle school and high school. A total of 40 Lafayette students, including the members of the women's basketball team, assist the students with homework, study skills, and preparation for exams. They also serve as role models and mentors.
DOUBLE VISION: Senior captain Emily Garner recorded her first double-double of the season with 11 points and a career-tying 12 rebounds against Holy Cross. Garner is the second Lafayette player with a double-double this year, joining Elizabeth Virgin, who has two. Virgin is one of only eight Patriot League players to record more than one double-double this season.
FIVE FOR FIGHTING: In the last-second victory over Princeton, five Leopards reached double figures in a game for the first time in nearly two years. Cristin Zavocki led the team with 15 points. Joining her in double figures were Emily Garner (13), Elizabeth Virgin (11), LaKeisha Wright (11) and Jessica Spicer (10). The last time five players reached double figures in a game came on Feb. 17, 2007 (Garner 18, Spicer 13, Zavocki 11, Stetler 10, Van De Venter 10).
WHAT AN HONOR: Senior Cristin Zavocki has received two weekly honorable mentions from the Patriot League. She earned the most recent recognition on Jan. 5 following a week in which she averaged 14.3 ppg and sank 10 three-pointers, including five against Virginia Tech. Her first mention came after averaging 16.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game during the week of Dec. 1 as she helped lead the Leopards to a 3-1 record. She reached double figures in all four games, including a season-high 21 against Marist.
SKY-HIGH: Sophomore LaKeisha Wright's 22 points in Lafayette's loss to North Carolina A&T were a career-high, surpassing her previous mark of 20. The 22 points were the most scored by a Lafayette player this season. Wright also made eight of her 11 free throw attempts, yet another career high.
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Senior Cristin Zavocki was named to the Hokie Hardwood Classic All-Tournament Team. The senior scored 28 points in the two games, all but four of which game from three-point range.
ACCESS DENIED: The Leopards had six blocks against the Hokies, the most this season. Elizabeth Virgin accounted for four of those six blocks, a career-high for the sophomore that doubled her previous career mark of two. The six blocks were the most since the team recorded eight against Bucknell in a 55-53 win on Jan. 21, 2005.
FREE THROW WOES: Lafayette went to the line just seven times against Virginia Tech and made only one of those shots (14.3 percent). The last time the Leopards took fewer than seven attempts from the charity stripe was on Nov. 27, 2007, when the team went 4-of-5 against St. Francis (N.Y.).
EXTRA, EXTRA! The Dec. 21 overtime victory against Rice was the second extra-session game for the Leopards this season and they have been successful in both. The last time the Leopards won at least two overtime games in a single season came in 1997-98 when the team had three overtime victories (at Princeton, vs. Lehigh, vs. Central Conn. (2OT)).
HOOPS FOR HOPE: Prior to the start of Lafayette's game against Rice, members of the women's basketball team presented the money raised from their September shoot-a-thon, Hoops for Hope. The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society both received checks of nearly $2,000.
The Leopards hosted the Sept. 28 shoot-a-thon in honor of two of the team's off-court heroes-Kasey Keenan and Lauren Loose, daughter of Lafayette defensive coordinator John Loose. Kasey's charity, Kasey's Krusaders, will donate its check for $1,802.50 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, while Lauren's charity, Lauren's First and Goal, will donate an equal amount to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
THE LAST TIME...(courtesy of Coach Pat Fisher): The last time Lafayette faced a nationally ranked opponent, as the team did against No. 14 Rutgers on Dec. 19, was during the 1990-91 season when the Leopards took on No. 1 Virginia at the Cavalier Classic in Charlottesville, Va. Lafayette lost a 103-41 decision.
12 GAMES OF CHRISTMAS: Lafayette played 12 games before Christmas--a first in program history. The Leopards played 11 games before the 25th in 2006 and have played 10 games before Dec. 25 three times (1998, 2000, 2007).
MORE THAN MARGINALLY GOOD: The 21-point victory against NJIT on Dec. 5 was the team's largest margin of victory since a 76-49 win at Colgate on Jan. 31, 2001. The Leopards also won a 21-point decision last season against Morgan State (83-62).
OFF AND ON: Starting Nov. 29, the Leopards began a stretch in which they played five games in nine days. The stretch began against UTPA and ended on Dec. 7 against Bryant. The last time Lafayette played five games in nine or fewer days came in 1999 when the Leopards played five games in eight days (Nov. 27-Dec.4 against Georgetown, Delaware, Princeton, Air Force and Penn).
NOT SO SWEET SIXTEEN: It took Lafayette seven games to break the 60-point mark with its 70-49 win over NJIT on Dec. 5. The last time a Lafayette team started the season without scoring 60 or more points in at least seven games was in 1994-95 when it took the Leopards 16 games to reach that mark (80-66 loss against Bucknell).
HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?: The 114 combined points scored by Lafayette and Penn in the 59-55 overtime Leopard victory were the fewest scored in a single overtime game in team history. The previous low of 124 points had been reached twice before, with the most recent a 64-60 overtime win at Fordham on Feb. 19, 1994.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME: With the 57-51 win over UTPA on Nov. 29, Lafayette has now won five straight home openers. The streak began with a 63-47 win over Radford on Dec. 2, 2004.
WALK A MILE, OR 3000, IN MY SHOES: Lafayette wrapped-up its four game, season-opening road trip on Nov. 25, the longest stretch of away games this year. In a span of 10 days and four games, the Leopards traveled 3,262 miles (all miles roundtrip totals): Murfreesboro, Tenn. (1632 miles), Cullowhee, N.C. (1336 miles) and Emmitsburg, Md. (294 miles).
The last time Lafayette opened the season with four straight road games was in 2001 (at Sacred Heart, at Fairleigh Dickinson, at Binghamton, vs. Long Island).
NOT TOO SHABBY: The Leopards shot 58.3 percent (21-of-36) in their season opener at Middle Tennessee on Nov. 15. That stands as the second-best single-game showing in the Patriot League this season, behind American's 62.7 (32-of-51) percent effort vs. Columbia.
NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT: For the second straight season opener, all three of the Leopards' freshmen saw action: Melissa Downey, Sarah McGorry and Alexandra Serowoky. Serowoky led the trio with five points against Middle Tennessee.
WELCOME TO THE WNIT: Lafayette earned the program's first-ever invite to the Preseason WNIT. The invitation came following a 14-16 2007-08 campaign, the winningest season in a decade for the Leopards.
FEELS LIKE THE VERY FIRST TIME: The Leopards will play at least six new opponents this year: Bryant, Marist, Middle Tennessee State, North Carolina A&T, Rutgers and Virginia Tech.
ALL-TIME RECORD: The program, now in its 36th season, has played 909 games, compiled an overall record of 415-494 (.457) and recorded five 20-win seasons.
SMITH ON THE SIDELINES: Head coach Tammy Smith is in her eighth season at Lafayette and 13th overall as a head coach. In 2007-08, she directed the Leopards to their most wins (14) and league victories (6) in a decade.
Smith is the fourth head coach in Lafayette's history. She has a career record of 162-241 (.402), which includes a 113-68 mark and two NCAA Tournament appearances in seven seasons at D-III Muhlenberg.
STRIVE FOR FIVE: All five of the team's seniors--Laura Cullen, Emily Garner, Meaghan Malone, Jessica Spicer and Cristin Zavocki--were chosen by their teammates to serve as captains for the 2008-09 season.
2008-09 PATRIOT LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL: The Leopards were picked to finish sixth in the Patriot League's preseason poll. Lafayette received 38 points. Holy Cross garnered the top spot with 90 points, including eight first place votes. Lehigh took the second spot with 83 points (six first place votes) and American was chosen to finish third, receiving 75 points with two first place votes. Bucknell took fifth with 53 points. Navy and Colgate rounded out the seventh and eighth spots with 35 and 14 points, respectively.
Downey, a 5-8 point guard from Havertown, Pa., was a four-year starter at Cardinal O'Hara High School. Downey's squad won the Philadelphia Catholic Championship her freshman and sophomore seasons, and she earned Second Team All-Delaware County honors during her high school career.
A 6-0 forward from Doylestown, Pa., McGorry was a four-year starter at Mount St. Joseph Academy. She scored her 1,000th career point during her senior season, during which she also shot 80 percent from the free throw line. As a junior, McGorry averaged 13 points and six rebounds per game. Serowoky hails from Dearborn, Mich. and was a four-year letterwinner at Ladywood High School. Serowoky, who stands at 6-1, saw time as both at both forward and center. As a junior, she earned a spot on the Free Press Top 25 Preseason List and was later named an All-Catholic League and All-Area player.
HAVE A QUESTION? OUR TEAM CAN PROBABLY ANSWER IT: If you have a question about almost any topic ranging from psychology to computer science, chances are one of the 15 players on Lafayette can answer it. There are eight different majors represented on the roster and one player (Amanda Smith) is a double major.
COMING TO YOU LIVE: History was made on Nov. 4, 2008, for a multitude of reasons, the most obvious of which was the election of the United States' 43rd President, Barack Obama. History was also made that night on the campus of Lafayette when the College televised a presidential election for the first time in school history. Junior Amanda Leone played a large role in the telecast, serving as Political Director where she oversaw a group of students who researched various aspects and key issues of the election.
PENNSYLVANIA PLAYERS: Three players with local connections - Melissa Downey (Havertown, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara), Amanda Leone (Easton, Pa./Easton) and Sarah McGorry (Doylestown, Pa./Mount St. Joseph Academy) - are on Lafayette's 2008-09 roster. Two of those players--Downey and McGorry--are freshmen, while Leone returns for her junior season.
REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD: There is no denying the chemistry between seniors Jessica Spicer and Emily Garner on the court. Perhaps that is because the two have a long history of playing ball together, beginning with an AAU stint when the girls were just 10 years old. They played on the same AAU team in Fairfax, Va., while also both making the varsity team at Robinson High School as freshmen. Midway through their sophomore year, Spicer's family moved to Illinois, but the duo reunited at Lafayette for the 2005-06 season.
ACADEMIC ACCOLADES: Six members of the basketball team were named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll in 2007-08. Maureen Johnson '08 led the group with a 3.80 grade-point average (GPA) during the spring semester.
SUPREMACY FROM BEYOND THE ARC: Last season, Cristin Zavocki set a Lafayette women's basketball record with eight threes against Fairleigh Dickinson on Jan. 8. Against Holy Cross, she came close to re-writing the record books yet again. Zavocki drained six more treys (6-of-8) against the Crusaders to account for all 18 of her points.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2007-08 CAMPAIGN:
Lafayette's 14 wins doubled the win total from 2006-07 and also marked the most single-season victories in a decade
The six league wins were the most in 10 years
Second in the Patriot League in field goal percentage (.395)
Held four opponents under 50 points on five different occasions. It was the first time since the 1993-94 season the Leopards gave up 50 or fewer points five times in a single season
Senior Vanessa Van De Venter was named to the All-Patriot League First team and LaKeisha Wright earned a spot on the league's All-Rookie team.
LAFAYETTE ON TELEVISION: For the 13th straight season, Lafayette features the most expansive television package in the Patriot League. This winter, 10 of Lafayette's women's basketball games will be televised during the 2008-09 season, with the possibility of three more games being added during the three rounds of the Patriot League Tournament in March.
All 10 telecasts will be produced by the Lafayette Sports Network (LSN), which annually produces the most expansive and highest quality television packages in the Patriot League. Each of those broadcasts will air live regionally to more than 10 million viewers on RCN-4 and WBPH-60.
As an element of Lafayette's long-term multi-media agreement with CSTV, all LSN telecasts are streamed live on the internet and available worldwide through LSN All-Access on GoLeopards.com. Lafayette was the first of the CSTV.com partners to make live video streaming available to fans everywhere when the 2000 Lafayette-Lehigh football game aired live on GoLeopards.com
Emmy-nominated local sports broadcaster Gary Laubach will handle all of the Leopards' play-by-play duties for the 12th straight season. Former Lafayette men's basketball coach John Leone will provide color analysis for the 11th season. In his eighth year as a member of the announcing crew is RCN's Dan Mowdy, who will report on the Leopards from the sideline.