The Lafayette women’s basketball team looks to start a new Patriot League win streak on Wednesday evening. The Leopards (10-13, 3-5) take on Army (17-6, 6-2) for the second time this season at 7 p.m. inside Christl Arena. Lafayette dropped a heartbreaker to Navy, 60-52, in overtime on Saturday afternoon in Easton. The Leopards are 23-30 against the Black Knights in their history and dropped the last meeting on Jan. 16 at Kirby Sports Center, 63-43.
LEOPARDS’ LAST TIME OUT
A week removed from its upset of Patriot League-leading American, Lafayette brought that same fight to Kirby Sports Center on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, the result was different as Navy snapped the Leopards’ three-game win streak, 60-52, in overtime.
The game was a tale of three periods as the first-half was dominated by missed shots and turnovers. Lafayette led 20-16 at the break, holding Navy to a tie of its lowest-scoring half of the season. In the second, it was the opposite as Navy doubled its first-half total with 32 points to Lafayette’s 28. In the overtime, it was all Navy as the Leopards managed just four points on 2-of-7 shooting compared to the Mids’ 12 on 4-of-6 from the floor.
It was Senior Day in Easton as senior co-captain Alicia Manning came up with multiple key shots toward the end of regulation to help the Leopards force overtime. She finished with a season-high 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting and went 2-for-3 from behind the three-point line. Fellow senior Samantha Jordan added two points and a rebound, while classmate Ashley Springer finished with two boards, an assist and a steal.
Sophomore Maddie Peabody notched a career-high with 10 points and Homan was the third Leopard in double figures with 12. Sophomore co-captain Emily Homan added four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal to round out her stat line. Lafayette held a 42-41 advantage on the glass and used 16 assists on its 23 field goals. For Navy, preseason Patriot League player of the year Jade Geif led all scorers with 19 points, 15 of which came in the second half and overtime. Membreno also added 18 for the Mids on 8-of-12 shooting from the field (66.6%).
SCOUTING THE BLACK KNIGHTS
Army wrapped up the first round of Patriot League play tied with American for second in the conference standings. The Black Knights currently have a 17-6 record overall and are 6-2 in the Patriot League. They opened conference play with four straight wins, wins over Lafayette (63-43), Bucknell (68-60), Navy (53-42) and Colgate (51-48). Army then lost to American (45-42) and Holy Cross (51-46) in back-to-back outings before righting itself with wins at Lehigh (61-56) and at Bucknell (44-35).
Kelsey Minato has made quite the name for herself in her freshman season. The rookie is sixth in the league in scoring (12.0) and third in three-point field goal percentage (.376). She has been named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week seven times this season.
ROAMING THE SIDELINE
Lafayette head coach Dianne Nolan enters today’s matchup with a career record of 546-470 and a 29-54 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 116-86, all at Army.
Wednesday evening’s game marks Army’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day and Pink Zone game. The Leopards and Black Knights will each wear pink as part of their uniforms to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
ELI, PEYTON, COOPER, ARCHIE...AND ALICIA?
Senior co-captain Alicia Manning showed her leadership on Saturday afternoon as she hit key shots down the stretch to force the game into overtime. Manning notched a season-high 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and went 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. She currently sits 10th on Lafayette’s all-time list in three-point field goals made with 44.
Manning scored five of her 10 points in the final 47 seconds to send the game into a third session.
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 notched career-highs in minutes with 28 each in the wins over Lehigh and Colgate and dropped a then-career-high nine points against the Mountain Hawks. 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. Her jumper from the right elbow with 1:39 remaining helped seal the win over American on Feb. 2.
Peabody continues to come into her own as the second half of the Patriot League season moves along. She notched a new career-high with 10 points in the overtime loss to Navy on Saturday, also tallying a season-high four field goals, including two in final four minutes to send the game to an extra session.
Head coach Dianne Nolan’s halftime speeches have been working this season, as the Leopards have clearly been a second-half team so far this year. Lafayette has posted a higher number in the second half compared to the first in 15 of its 22 games in 2012-13. Against Providence (12/30), the Leopards doubled their first-half output in the second, putting up 36 points in the final 20 minutes compared to 18 points in the opening stanza.
Additionally, the overtime loss to Navy was Lafayette’s first loss this season when leading going into the halftime break.
Through the early part of the second half of the Patriot League schedule, the Leopards have come upon the hardest stretch of games on their 2012-13 schedule. After back-to-back games against League leaders, the Leopards go on the road this week to face the number two and four teams in the League with Army Wednesday and Bucknell on Saturday.
‘PARDS ARE ROLLIN
The Lafayette men’s and women’s basketball teams have hit their strides at the same time through the second half of the Patriot League season. The men have won four of their last five, taking down Holy Cross, Lehigh, Colgate and Navy and falling to American. The women have won three of their last four with wins over the Mountain Hawks, Raiders and Eagles and an overtime loss to Navy on Saturday afternoon.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
Army holds a 30-23 advantage in a series that dates back to Nov. 26, 1983. The Leopards are 14-11 when the teams convene at Kirby Sports Center, where the Black Knights won their first since 2009 on Feb. 8, 2012, 62-47. Lafayette is 8-18 when the teams play in West Point, having not won in New York since Feb. 10, 1999. Army took the first meeting this season, with a commanding 63-43 win inside Kirby Sports Center.
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