Women's Basketball Closes Regular Season at Lehigh

Go Leopards! Brianne Welte scored a career-high 13 points in the win over Navy on Wednesday.
Brianne Welte scored a career-high 13 points in the win over Navy on Wednesday.

Feb. 25, 2005

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THE MATCH-UP: Lafayette closes out the regular season on Saturday, visiting Lehigh. With a win and a Bucknell loss at Colgate, the Leopards would move into the No. 7 seed and set up a rematch with second-seeded Lehigh in the first round of next week's Patriot League Tournament. Lafayette leads the all-time series between the rivals 36-27, but the Mountain Hawks have won nine of the past 10 match-ups, including a 58-48 win in Easton on Jan. 12.

PERIMETER PROFICIENCY: Lafayette enters tonight's game with 92 three-pointers, a new single-season mark for the program. Kristin Doherty's triple with 2:19 left in the first half last Saturday at American was the team's 85th of the year and the record-breaker. Doherty and sophomore Kara Stetler are locked in a duel to break the individual single-season record. Stetler broke the record first, hitting her 37th triple of the season in the first half against Navy, but Doherty was 4-of-4 from three against the Mids and holds a 38-37 lead heading into the regular season finale.

SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST: Lafayette's 68-58 win over Navy on Wednesday marked the third straight season the Leopards have won their home finale. Lafayette downed American, 64-61, in the 2004 finale and Lehigh, 72-71, in the 2003 closer.

WELTE DOMINATES THE PAINT: Senior center Brianne Welte put together one of the best all-around games of her career last Saturday at American. The co-captain recorded her third career-double, 11 points and 10 rebounds, and also swatted a career-high five shots. She was 4-of-6 from the floor in 35 minutes and moved up to third on Lafayette's career blocks list. She enters Saturday's game at Lehigh with 49 career rejections. On Wednesday, Welte was 4-of-6 from the floor and 5-of-8 from the line, scoring a career-high 13 points in her final game in Kirby Sports Center.

DORSEY'S DEBUT: Junior forward Shannon Dorsey made the most of her first start of the season last Saturday, scoring a career-high 13 points in the loss at American. She was 5-of-6 from the floor and 3-of-3 from the foul line in 22 minutes of work.

CLOSE CALLS: Lafayette's stretch of three straight games decided by two points or less from Jan. 15-23 was unprecedented in program history. Including last weekend's 58-56 loss at American, Lafayette is 1-3 in games decided by two points or less this season. The Leopards' four games decided by two points or less are the most in a single season since the 1998-99 campaign.

VAN DE VENTER TABBED ROOKIE OF THE WEEK FOR FOURTH TIME: Freshman forward Vanessa Van De Venter was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the fourth time this season following her 22-point performance against Army on Feb. 13. Van De Venter was 9-of-14 from the floor and carried the Leopard offense in the second half, scoring 12 of the team's 17 points during a span of 9:37. She was 5-of-6 from the floor during that stretch, while the rest of the team was 2-of-9 combined.

SENIOR DAY SPECIAL: Lafayette's loss to Army on Feb. 13 snapped a modest two-game winning streak for the Leopards in Senior Day games, but continued a string of thrillers for the Kirby Sports Center crowd on Senior Day. Two years ago, Colleen Fitzpatrick scored with 0.1 seconds remaining to lift Lafayette to a 72-71 decision over Lehigh. Last year, the Leopards knocked off league-leading American, 64-61, for their lone win of the year. On Sunday, Lindsay Myers' turnaround jumper off Maureen Johnson's inbounds pass with 0.9 remaining capped a 13-4 run to end regulation and send the game to overtime.

OVERTIME BLUES: Lafayette's 82-77 loss to Army was the first overtime contest for a Lafayette team since a 76-69 overtime loss at Denver on Dec. 20, 2003. Lafayette's last overtime win was a 62-61, double-overtime decision over Central Connecticut on Feb. 3, 1998. The Leopards have dropped five straight overtime contests.

SWEEP IT UNDER THE RUG: Lafayette completed the regular-season sweep of Bucknell with its 68-62 win in Lewisburg on Feb. 4. The win marked the first sweep of a league foe since Lafayette took a pair from Colgate during the 1998-99 season. The last time Lafayette beat the same team twice in a season was the 1999-00 season, when the Leopards beat Lehigh twice, once in the Patriot League Tournament.

MAKE A BASKET, WIN A PRIZE: If the Leopards were shooting free throws at a county fair instead of Army's Christl Arena on Jan. 30, they would have gone home with a fine assortment of prizes. As a team, Lafayette was 15-of-16 (.938) at the foul line, including 11-of-12 in the second half. It was Lafayette's best single-game performance at the stripe since a 16-of-16 day against Holy Cross on Jan. 18, 2003. (See related free throw note below.)

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 357-of-497 foul shots (71.8 percent). The Leopards lead the Patriot League in both made foul shots and foul shot attempts and rank third in free throw percentage.

LAFAYETTE vs. the PATRIOT LEAGUE: Lafayette has played 293 games against the seven other current members of the Patriot League and is 133-160 (.454) in those contests. Lafayette vs. the Patriot League:

American 1-13	Army 20-17	Bucknell 31-24	Colgate 25-18
Holy Cross 5-34	Lehigh 36-27	Navy 15-27

LIKE A NEW TEAM: Since coming out of the halftime locker room against Lehigh on Jan. 12, Lafayette has looked like a different team offensively. The Leopards knocked in 13-of-30 shots from the floor (43.3 percent) and scored 33 points in the final 20 minutes against the Mountain Hawks. Since then, Lafayette has shot over 40.0 percent from the floor in nine of 12 contests, including a season-high 49.1 percent (28-of-57) against Army on Feb. 13. Lafayette's 28 field goals and 77 points against the Black Knights were also season highs. The Leopards have scored at least 44 points in a half three times, including a season-high 48 at Bucknell on Feb. 4. Lafayette's recent success offensively follows a time that saw the Leopards shoot better than 40.0 percent from the floor just three times in the season's first 14 games and be held to 50 points or fewer in eight of the first 14.

PILES OF POINTS: Lafayette has scored more than 70 points in three games this season, but has dropped all three of those contests. The Leopards' 77 points against Army on Feb. 13 were the most for a Lafayette team since an 89-80 win at Colgate on Jan. 11, 2003. Lafayette scored 75 and 72 points against Colgate and Princeton, respectively on Jan. 23 and 25. The Leopards' 147 combined points were the most in back-to-back games since Lafayette scored 164 against Penn and Colgate on Jan. 8 and 11, 2003. Lafayette's 48 points in the second half at Bucknell on Feb. 4 were a season-high and the most since a 48-point first half in the 89-80 win at Colgate in 2003.

DOHERTY DROPS BOMBS: Junior guard Kristin Doherty has shown a penchant for stepping up in the second half of games. Against American on Jan. 15, the co-captain was 4-of-4 from beyond the arc in the second half, 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. At Army on Jan. 30, Doherty hit three triples in 31 seconds to spark a 12-0 run that sliced a 19-point Black Knight lead to just seven. She continued her late-game heroics at Bucknell on Feb. 4. With Lafayette leading by three with just under a minute left, Doherty stepped back at the top of the key and drilled a three-pointer to bump the Leopard lead to an insurmountable six points. Against Navy on Wednesday, Doherty was 3-of-3 from beyond the arc in the second half, including a pair of triples 26 seconds apart during the Leopards' 18-3 run.

ON THE BENCH: Head coach Tammy Smith is in her fourth season at Lafayette. Smith, whose first three teams were beset with injuries, is 12-98 as Lafayette's head coach. She has a career record of 125-166, which includes a 113-68 mark and two NCAA Tournament appearances in seven seasons at Division III Muhlenberg College.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Freshman Vanessa Van De Venter has made an immediate impact in her rookie season. The 6-0 forward is currently first amongst her teammates in rebounding (5.6 rpg.) and second in scoring (9.5 ppg.). 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 fourth in the Patriot League in free throw percentage (.804), eighth in rebounding and 17th in scoring. Among freshmen, she is second in the league in both rebounding and scoring.

FROM THE LAND O' PLENTY: Sophomore guard Kara Stetler has established herself as a threat from the perimeter this season. Stetler has hit 37-of-121 three-point attempts (30.6 percent), including a season-high 4-of-8 against Wayne State on Nov. 20. She ranks eighth in the Patriot League in three-pointers made and 14th in three-point percentage. As a team, Lafayette is shooting 29.9 percent (92-of-308) 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), 3-of-5 in both games against Colgate (1/23 and 2/6) and 4-of-4 against Navy (2/23). She is currently first amongst her teammates with 38 triples, and ranksseventh in the league in three-pointers made and ninth in three-point percentage.

BEAT THE CLOCK: Junior guard Kristin Doherty was just 2-of-7 from the floor midway through the second half at Army Jan. 30 before single-handedly pulling Lafayette back into the game. With the Leopards trailing by 19, Doherty hit three-pointers on three consecutive Lafayette possessions. The trio of trifectas came within a span of 31 seconds and were the first nine points in a 12-0 Lafayette run.

WELTE SAVES THE DAY: Senior Brianne Welte's lay-up with 11 seconds left proved to be the game-winner against Bucknell on Jan. 21. 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, posted her second career double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) two days later as the Leopards nearly came back from a 17-point second-half deficit against Colgate.

INJURY UPDATE: Junior co-captain Katie Kokolus is the lone Leopard on the injury list this weekend. She was diagnosed with blood clots during preseason drills and has been held out of game action the entire season.

PUT AWAY THE TRAVEL BAGS: Lafayette's six game homestand in January was 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.

BLOCK PARTY: Lafayette has blocked eight shots in a game twice this season. Brianne Welte swatted four against Bucknell on Jan. 21, 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.

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 17 and seven starts, respectively, this season. Van De Venter is averaging 9.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in her 17 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 nine of Lafayette's 26 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 first amongst her teammates in scoring (10.2 ppg.) and second in rebounding (5.5 rpg.). She also leads the Leopards in assists (80) and steals (65) and is second in blocks (16).

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.

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.

ALL-TIME RECORD: Lafayette's women's basketball program is in its 33rd season and has played 797 games. Lafayette is 378-419 (.474) 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 six games televised and have the possibility of adding three more televised contests in the Patriot League Tournament. The Lafayette Sports Network will air the six 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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