Patriot League Tournament Notes
Feb. 29, 2012
EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette women's basketball team travels to top-seeded American on Thursday, March 1 for a Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal showdown. Tip-off from Bender Arena in Washington, D.C. is set for 7 p.m.
The Leopards led first-place American for most of Saturday afternoon's regular-season finale at Kirby Sports Center, but the Eagles rallied late to escape with a 58-54 decision. Emily Homan posted a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebound, while Sarah McGorry shared the team high of 12 points and Linnel Macklin tallied her second consecutive double-figure effort with 11 points. American's Alexis Dobbs led all players with 20 points. Lisa Strack (14 pts., 13 rebs.) and Jen Dumiak (13 pts., 10 rebs.) each registered double-doubles for the visitors.
Lafayette led by as many as eight points in the first half and held a seven-point cushion after the intermission, but the Eagles answered every run with a spurt of their own, guided by five three-pointers from Dobbs, to stay within striking distance. Leading 54-50 with under minutes to play, the Leopards went cold and Strack, who had been held in check to that point, reeled off six straight to give the Eagles their first lead of the second half at 56-54 with less than 90 seconds remaining. After an empty trip for the Leopards, Melissa Downey stole the ball with just 9.6 seconds left. After the ball went out-of-bounds off American, Downey got a good look from the wing but couldn't find the mark. Dobbs corralled the rebound with three seconds to go and sank two free throws to ice a 58-54 win.
Emily Homan was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year, as voted upon by the league's head coaches. Homan led all freshmen in points, rebounds, blocked shots and free throw percentage during league play. She averaged 12.8 points and 8.5 rebounds while hauling in a league-best 3.9 offensive boards per game during the 14-game Patriot League slate. Homan joins Christel Rocha '01 as Lafayette's two Rookies of the Year in 22 seasons of Patriot League basketball.
The Leopards are currently slated to be the No. 8 seed in the Patriot League Tournament, but a Lafayette win today and a Bucknell loss at Navy this evening would move the Maroon and White into the No. 7 spot. The seventh-seeded Leopards would travel to either Lehigh or Navy for a quarterfinal matchup, while eighth-seeded Lafayette would head to Washington, D.C. for a rematch with American.
After completing the first 14-0 season in the history of the Patriot League, American enters the Patriot League Tournament as the top seed with an overall record of 22-6. The Eagles are led Patriot League Player of the Year Lisa Strack, who averages a team-best 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest. Strack and Alexis Dobbs (11.1 ppg) were both named First Team All-Patriot League, while Jen Dumiak (7.1 ppg) earned All-Rookie Team honors. American also boasts Defensive Player of the Year Ebony Edwards and is helmed by Coach of the Year Matt Corkery.
In addition to a 14-game winning streak, the Bison have won 17 of their last 19 overall and nine of their last 10 at Bender Arena. Including Saturday's thriller at Kirby Sports Center, the Eagles have won their last four games by a total of just 16 points.
Should the Leopards defeat American, they will play at the winner of the No. 5 Holy Cross at No. 4 Army matchup. The semifinal contest will be held on Monday, March 5 at 7 p.m.