Leopards Take to the Road
Nov. 16, 2009
Match-Up: Lafayette (0-1) at Monmouth (0-0)
THE MATCH-UP: Lafayette begins a three-game road trip tonight against Monmouth. The Hawks open their 2009-10 campaign tonight while the Leopards already have a game under their belt as they hosted St. Peter's on Friday in their home opener. Unfortunately, the season did not start out how players and coaches might have liked, as Lafayette dropped a 61-38 decision to the Peahens.
NEXT UP FOR THE LEOPARDS: Lafayette has a quick turnaround as the squad travels to Fairfield on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game.
SCOUTING MONMOUTH: Tonight marks the Hawks' season opener. The team is coming off an 18-13 season that saw Monmouth advance to the NEC semifinals. Those 18 victories matched the most wins in a season since 1987-88.
The Hawks, under second-year head coach Stephanie Gaitley, lost their four leading scorers from a year ago in Jennifer Bender (16.1 ppg), LaKia Barber (12.7 ppg), Alexis Scott (8.8 ppg) and Marisa Jimenez (6.2 ppg). Sophomore Alexis Canady is the leading returning scorer (6.3 ppg) as well as the leading returning rebounder (4.3 rpg).
ON THIS DATE: Lafayette has played only three games on Nov. 15, including its season opener last year. While on the surface, that contest - a 85-47 loss at Middle Tennessee State - seems like one to forget, it marked the Leopards' opening-round game of the Preseason WNIT, the program's first-ever invite to the tournament.
STREAK SNAPPED: The Leopards saw their streak of home-opening wins come to an end on Friday. Lafayette entered the night having won its five previous home openers, starting with a 63-47 win over Radford on Dec. 2, 2004.
REBOUNDING WOES: The Peahens had as many offensive boards (18) on Friday night as the Leopards had total rebounds in the game. The last time Lafayette had 20 or fewer rebounds in a game was on Feb. 10, 2007 in a 68-65 win over Navy.
DOUBLE THE FUN: The women will play three home doubleheaders with the men's team this season, the first of which was the season opener on Friday when the men took on Wagner prior to the start of the women's game against St. Peter's. The other doubleheaders are as follows: Nov. 24 vs. St. Bonaventure (6 p.m. start for the women) and Nov. 30 vs. Mount St. Mary's (6 p.m. start for the women).
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.
Jordan played four years as a small forward at Stonewall Jackson (Va.) and was a 1,000-point scorer for the Raiders. She averaged 11.4 ppg and 6.2 rpg as a senior and finished her career with 1,151 points. The 5-11 Jordan was a three-time Lady Raiders' Defensive Player of the Year as well as a three-time member of the Second-Team Cedar Run All-District Team.
Manning was a three-year varsity starter at Cardinal O'Hara (Pa.). The 5-10 shooting guard averaged nearly 12 ppg and served as team captain her senior season. She earned Philadelphia All-Catholic League honors as a sophomore and senior, and picked up All-Delaware County honors her junior and senior seasons.
Springer joins the Leopards after a four-year career at Deforest (Wisc.). The 5-8 point guard cemented her role as a starter as a freshman and was a member of three conference champion teams and leaves Deforest as the second all-time leading scorer with 1,114 career points. She averaged 17.5 ppg as a senior to help her Norskies squad to a 12-9 overall record.
ALL-TIME RECORD: The program, now in its 37th season, has played 920 games, compiled an overall record of 417-503 (.453) and recorded five 20-win seasons.
SMITH ON THE SIDELINES: Head coach Tammy Smith is in her ninth season at Lafayette and 14th overall as a head coach. In 2008-09, she was at the helm of a program that made history by becoming the first No. 7 seed in the history of the Patriot League Tournament to advance to the championship game.
Smith is the fourth head coach in Lafayette's history. She has a career record of 164-250 (.396), which includes a 113-68 mark and two NCAA Tournament appearances in seven seasons at D-III Muhlenberg.
NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP HERE: Sophomore LaKeisha Wright led the team in scoring last season, averaging 11.1 ppg, and averaged 10.7 ppg during the 2008-09 postseason. Wright led the team in scoring for five straight games (Jan. 10-24), becoming the first sophomore to lead Lafayette in scoring in at least five straight games since Jen Bayer '03. Wright earned three weekly honorable mentions from the Patriot League.
That success came on the heels of an accomplished rookie campaign in which she finished with 276 points, becoming the first freshman since Vanessa Van De Venter '08 to reach the 200-point plateau.
2009-10 PATRIOT LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL: The Leopards were picked to finish eighth in the Patriot League's preseason poll, receiving 21 points. Defending league champion Lehigh garnered the top spot with 97 points, including 13 first place votes. American and Holy Cross tied for the number two spot with 76 points apiece, although the Eagles received three first place votes. Navy was chosen to finish fourth (54 votes), Bucknell fifth (52), Army sixth (50), and Colgate seventh (22).
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2008-09 CAMPAIGN:
IT'S A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT: Lafayette played 32 games last season, the most in a single season in program history. The Leopards had played 30 games five times.
HAVE A QUESTION? OUR TEAM CAN PROBABLY ANSWER IT: If you have a question about almost any topic ranging from psychology to chemistry, chances are one of the 15 players on Lafayette can answer it. There are nine different majors represented on the roster and two players (Amanda Smith, Amanda Leone) are a double majors.
FLIPPING THE SWITCH: After spending the majority of the season as the league's sixth or seventh scoring offense, the Leopards averaged 58.7 points during their three tournament games. Lafayette also shot 46.2 percent from the field. To compare, the Leopards averaged 55.7 ppg in their 29 other games while shooting only 39.5 percent.
12 GAMES OF CHRISTMAS: Lafayette played 12 games before Christmas last year--a first in program history. The Leopards played 11 games before the 25th in 2006 and had played 10 games before Dec. 25 three times (1998, 2000, 2007).
WELCOME TO THE WNIT: Last season, 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.
LAFAYETTE ON TELEVISION: For the 14th straight season, Lafayette features the most expansive television package in the Patriot League. This winter, nine of Lafayette's women's basketball games will be televised while three contests will be live streamed on Lafayette Sporst Netowrk (LSN) All-Access.
All nine telecasts will be produced by 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.
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