Aug. 22, 2014
EASTON, Pa. – The 2014-15 women’s basketball schedule, highlighted by games against three NCAA Tournament teams and 13 games inside Kirby Sports Center, was announced today by head coach Dianne Nolan.
The non-league schedule includes a pair of games against opponents from the America East, the Ivy League and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Leopards will also face off against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East, the Colonial Athletic Association, the Northeast Conference, and an Independent.
Nine teams advanced to postseason play last season, with three of the squads making the NCAA Tournament. Five teams were invited to the Women’s NIT and the final team played in the Women’s Basketball Invitational.
The Leopards tip off the 2014 campaign inside Kirby Sports Center against the University of Delaware (20-11, 10-6 CAA) on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. The Blue Hens fell in the first round of the WNIT to Rutgers last season.
The first road game of the season comes in New York City against Ivy League foe Columbia (6-22, 3-11 Ivy) on Nov. 19. The Maroon and White scored a season-high 95 points against the Lions last season in a 95-83 win.
Lafayette returns to College Hill on Nov. 23, when it hosts Hartford (13-18, 9-7 America East). The matchup is the first meeting between the two schools. A short trip to Rider (15-17, 9-11 MAAC) on Nov. 25, a team the Leopards beat in the season opener last season, is followed by a trip to Kentucky to take on Louisville (33-5, 16-2 American Athletic) on Black Friday. The Cardinals advanced to the Elite Eight in last season’s NCAA Tournament.
The Maroon and White return to Easton for a tilt with reigning Ivy League Champions Penn (22-7, 12-2 Ivy) on Dec. 2, before a three-game road swing. The road trip starts with a trip to Brooklyn to tip off against St. Francis (19-11, 10-8 NEC) on Dec. 5.
Two days later, the Leopards will travel to Big East foe Seton Hall (20-14, 8-10 Big East), who played in the WNIT last season. The Pirates advanced to the third round of the tournament before falling to Rutgers in double overtime. After a 12 day hiatus for final exams, Lafayette heads up to Stony Brook (24-9, 13-3 America East), another WNIT team, on Dec. 19.
The final home non-league game is scheduled for Dec. 21 against NJIT (8-21). A week later, the Leopards travel to Jersey City, N.J. for a matchup with Saint Peter’s (3-27, 2-18 MAAC) to close out the non-conference slate.
The Patriot League season begins on New Years Eve this season. The Leopards will take on each of the League rival twice, once at home and once on the road.
Lafayette’s first Patriot League opponent will be defending League champions Army (25-8, 14-4 PL) at 2 p.m. on Dec. 31 inside Kirby Sports Center. Lafayette will close out the regular season on Feb. 28 at West Point, N.Y. The Black Knights lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Maryland.
The Leopards knocked off first place Navy (24-8, 15-3 PL) at Alumni Hall last season, handing the Mids their first loss of the Patriot League season. The two squads will meet up on Jan. 3 in Annapolis, Md. and again on Jan. 31 in Easton. Navy fell in the first round of the WNIT last season.
Bucknell (16-14, 11-7 PL) makes the trip to College Hill on Jan. 7, while Lafayette travels to Lewisburg, Pa. on Feb. 4. The Leopards and the Bison split their games last season with each team winning at home. The Bison played in the Women’s Basketball Invitational in 2014, losing in the first round to Maine.
The Maroon and White will host Boston University (13-20, 7-11 PL) in the first matchup between the schools on Jan. 10. Lafayette will travel to Massachusetts on Feb. 7 to tip off with the Terriers. The schools split two closely contested games last campaign, with each winning on the road.
Next on the ledger is a date with Loyola (5-25, 2-16) in Baltimore, Md. The Maroon and White took both games from the Greyhounds last season, a 65-53 win in Easton and a 58-45 victory in Baltimore. Loyola travels to Kirby Sports Center for the second meeting on Feb. 11.
Lafayette squares off against American (22-10, 14-4), the team who knocked the Leopards out of the Patriot League Tournament last season, on Jan. 17 in Washington, D.C. and again on College Hill on Feb. 14. The Eagles held off a late push in the league tournament to escape with a 51-49 win. After losing in the Patriot League final, American was invited to the WNIT. The Eagles fell to Seton Hall 63-60 in the first round.
The first of two matchups with Holy Cross (20-12, 10-8 PL) will take place on College Hill on Jan. 21, followed by a game in Worcester, Mass. on Feb. 18. The Crusaders beat Lafayette in both meetings last year.
The Rivalry is renewed in Bethlehem, Pa. on Jan. 25, as the Leopards take on Lehigh (13-18, 5-13 PL) for the 86th meeting between the schools. Lafayette will host the 87th edition on Feb. 21 in Kirby Sports Center. The rivals split last seasons’ contests with each squad taking the home game.
The final team on the schedule is the Colgate Raiders (8-22, 4-14 PL), who travel to College Hill on Jan. 28 and host the Leopards on Feb. 25. Lafayette won both games last season, 90-75 in Hamilton,N.Y. and 81-70 at home.
The Leopards return nine players from the 2013-14 campaign including Emily Homan, a second team All-Patriot League selection. The senior ranks in the top 15 in career points and rebounds at Lafayette. The Maroon and White will also welcome three freshmen to the team for the 2014-15 season.
The women’s basketball tournament will feature all 10 Patriot League members and will be played entirely at home sites. First-round contests will feature the 10th-seed at the seventh-seed, and the ninth-seed at the eighth-seed. Each tournament will then move to the quarterfinals held at the top four seeds, followed by the semifinals and championship at the site of the higher seeds. The bracket will not re-seed, and dates are expected to be announced soon.
Check back to GoLeopards.com for Patriot League Tournament dates and season ticket information for the 2014-15 Lafayette women’s basketball campaign.