Women's Basketball Set for Weekend Stay at LIU Tournament
Nov. 24, 2005
THE MATCH-UP: Lafayette travels to Brooklyn, N.Y. for a weekend stay at the Long Island University Tournament. The Leopards will meet LIU for the second time in school history on Friday afternoon, then play either Cal Poly or James Madison on Saturday.
TWO-FOR-TWO: Wins over Wagner and St. Francis (N.Y.) in the first two games of the season, both at the friendly confines of Kirby Sports Center, gave the Leopards their first 2-0 start since the 1996-97 season, when they won their first three games. Lafayette's best start in recent years was a six-win stretch to start the 1993-94 campaign.
LEOPARDS FROM THE LINE: Lafayette owned the free throw line on Wednesday night vs. St. Francis (N.Y.), making 15 of its 16 foul shots, compared to a 5-for-18 performance by the Terriers in a 56-51 win. The .938 percentage from the line was the Leopards best since equaling that mark on Jan. 30, 2005 at Army's Christl Arena.
ALMOST PURR-FECT: Sophomore forward Brittany Purr has had an outstanding start to the 2005-06 season, making 6-of-7 from the field and 8-of-9 from the line, and is averaging 10.0 points and 8.5 rebounds through two games. Purr was 5-for-6 from the floor while making all five of her free throws en route to a career-high 15 points in Wednesday's win.
ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES FOR STETLER: Junior guard Kara Stetler, who set Lafayette's single-season three-point record with 41 makes a year ago, has hit three triples on six attempts in both of the Leopards' first two games. The only player to score in double figures in both contests this season, Stetler leads Lafayette with 12.0 points per game.
GO TO GOMEZ: Sophomore guard Val Gomez led Lafayette with 14 points, the second-highest output of her career, against Wagner. She scored a career-high 17 points in Lafayette's loss to Holy Cross in the first round of the Patriot League tournament last season to cap a successful first year with the Leopards. Gomez, who played in 23 games after recovering from preseason knee surgery, was especially valuable at protecting the basketball. While Lafayette finished last in the Patriot League in turnover margin, Gomez recorded turned the ball over just 18 times in 284 minutes of action. She also shot 38 percent from the floor, 40 percent (4-of-10) from three-point distance, and made 15-of-19 from the foul line.
WINNING THE TURNOVER MARGIN: Lafayette, which turned the ball over five more times than its opponents last season, harassed the Seahawks into 25 miscues on opening night while giving up the basketball just 14 times. The +11 turnover differential marked the largest advantage for the Leopards in 113 games under head coach Tammy Smith. Included in those 25 forced turnovers were 14 steals, the most by a Lafayette team since making 14 in the Leopards' 64-61 Senior Night victory over American on Feb. 28, 2004.
FROM WAY DOWNTOWN: Junior Kara Stetler (3-for-6) and freshman Jessica Spicer (2-for-2) led a Lafayette attack that made 6-of-11 three-pointers against Wagner, matching a 6-of-11 performance in the Leopards' 68-62 win at Bucknell last season. Stetler was 3-for-6 from beyond the arc in that game as well, while Kristin Doherty made 2-of-3 three-point attempts.
GOOD AFTERNOON: One of the more remarkable statistics from last season was Lafayette's 0-13 record in afternoon games. The Leopards will test the validity of that number at least nine times this season, starting at the Long Island University Tournament on Nov. 25 when Lafayette plays tournament host LIU. Lafayette was 5-10 in games with an evening start time.
WELCOME BACK: Senior guard Lindsay Myers joins the Leopards for a fifth season after receiving a medical redshirt for her 2002-03 campaign, as she played in just four games before suffering a season-ending ACL injury. Myers led Lafayette in scoring (10.1 ppg.), assists (88) and steals (67), and tied for the team lead in rebounding (5.4 rpg.) a year ago.
Guard/forward Katie Kokolus is completely healthy for the first time in two years, and her return will bolster a backcourt that was already the strength of the team. Kokolus scored 40 points in her first three games in 2003-04 before a knee injury cut her season short, and was set to return to the floor last season when she was diagnosed with blood clots during preseason camp which forced her to miss the entire season.
THE CAPTAINS: Seniors Katie Kokolus and Lindsay Myers will serve as Lafayette's captains for the 2005-06 season. Both players have missed significant portions of their career due to knee injuries, and will provide leadership for a team that welcomes six freshmen into the program.
MYERS DOES IT ALL: Senior Lindsay Myers was one of only two players in the Patriot League to finish in the top 15 in points, rebounds and assists per game last season. Myers averaged 10.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.14 assists in 2004-05, and was in the top 10 in the league in both steals (third, 2.39) and blocked shots (eighth, 0.61) as well. Maggie Fontana of Holy Cross was the only other player to rank in the top 15 in each of the "triple-double" categories (10.5 ppg., 5.6 rpg., 2.27 apg.), but was unranked in steals and blocks.
Myers is already ranked on three career top 10 lists at Lafayette -- blocks (5th, 37), assists (7th, 226) and steals (10th, 169). If she matches her totals from last season in each category, Myers will finish her career ranked second in blocked shots and fourth in both assists and steals.
SHOOTING FOR 1,000: Seniors Kristin Doherty and Lindsay Myers both enter their final season within striking distance of 1,000 career points -- Doherty has scored 680 points in 86 career games, while Myers has 706 in 81 games. Myers played in just four games in 2002-03 and 19 games in 2003-04, missing all of November and December of her junior season as she was recovering from a torn ACL.
PLAYING THE PERCENTAGES: Lafayette returns four of five starters off last year's club for the 2005-06 campaign, and head coach Tammy Smith brings back 76.2 percent of the scoring, 64.7 percent of the rebounding, and 80.0 percent of the assists from last season's team. Center Brianne Welte, who averaged 4.6 points and 5.0 rebounds as a senior, is the only player who started 10 or more games that isn't with the team this season. Members of the 05-06 roster combined to make 97 three-pointers and shoot 76.0 percent from the foul line a year ago.
VAN DE VENTER EARNS ALL-ROOKIE HONOR: Sophomore forward Vanessa Van De Venter was named to the 2005 Patriot League All-Rookie Team. A four-time Rookie of the Week honoree, Van De Venter averaged 9.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in her freshman season. She was second among freshman in the league in scoring and rebounding last season and finished fourth in the PL in free throw percentage (80.4 percent). Van De Venter is one of three members of the Lafayette roster to have been named to the All-Rookie Team - Kristin Doherty claimed the honor in 2003, while Lindsay Myers garnered a selection in 2002.
FROM THE LAND O'PLENTY: The 2004-05 Leopards made 102 three-pointers, a new single-season mark for the program. Kristin Doherty's triple with in the first half at American on Feb. 19 was the team's 85th of the year and the record-breaker. Doherty and sophomore Kara Stetler were engaged in a duel to break the individual single-season record for three-pointers made, with Stetler winning out by a single bucket (41 to 40). Stetler broke the record first, hitting her 37th triple of the season in the first half against Navy on Feb. 23, and both entered the Patriot League tournament with 40 three-pointers.
FROM THE CHARITY STRIPE: One bright spot for Lafayette last season was at the foul line. The Leopards were second in the Patriot League in free throw percentage (72.1 percent) while making 375 of their 520 attempts. Kristin Doherty led the league, shooting 82.9 percent (58-of-70) from the foul line, and Vanessa Van De Venter was fourth (90-of-112, 80.4 percent).
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.
LAFAYETTE vs. the PATRIOT LEAGUE: Lafayette has played 295 games against the seven other current members of the Patriot League and is 133-162 (.452) in those contests.
LAFAYETTE IN THE PATRIOT LEAGUE RANKINGS: The Leopards had four top-three rankings when the final numbers were crunched last season: free throw percentage (second, 72.1 percent), rebounding defense (second, allowing 35.7 rpg.), rebounding margin (third, +1.3 rpg.) and offensive rebounds (third, 12.93 rpg.). Lafayette players in the final 2004-05 rankings:
Scoring - Lindsay Myers, 14th (10.1 ppg.)
LIKE A NEW TEAM: Since coming out of the halftime locker room against Lehigh on Jan. 12, Lafayette 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 14 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 scored at least 44 points in a half three times, including a season-high 48 at Bucknell on Feb. 4. Lafayette's offensive success followed a stretch in which the Leopards shot better than 40.0 percent from the floor just three times in the season's first 14 games, and were held to 50 points or fewer in eight of the first 14.
PILES OF POINTS: Lafayette scored more than 70 points in three games last season, but 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 an 89-80 win at Colgate in 2003.
ON THE BENCH: Head coach Tammy Smith is in her fifth season at Lafayette. Smith, who has seen key players miss part or all of the season in each of her first four years, is 14-100 as Lafayette's head coach. She has a career record of 127-168, which includes a 113-68 mark and two NCAA Tournament appearances in seven seasons at Division III Muhlenberg College.
NO DOUBT ABOUT IT: Only nine of Lafayette's 28 games last season were decided by fewer than 10 points. The Leopards' first two wins of the year were by 16 points, marking Lafayette's largest margin of victory since the 2000-01 season.
NEW FACES: Lafayette will play up to three first-time opponents this season (Akron, Cal Poly and Loyola Marymount), and as many as five others (Buffalo, Howard, James Madison, LIU and UMBC) for just the second time in school history. The Leopards will play in two events with a pure "tournament" schedule this winter, meeting LIU on the opening day of the Long Island University Tournament and then playing either Cal Poly or James Madison on the second day over Thanksgiving weekend. Lafayette will play in a holiday tournament at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H. the week between Christmas and New Years. Loyola Marymount will be the Leopards' opponent on Dec. 29, while Dartmouth and Akron will play in the other game.
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 the 58-56 loss at American on Feb. 19, 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.
BLOCK PARTY: Lafayette blocked eight shots in a game twice last 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.
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.
AND WE GO TO...OVERTIME: 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.
ALL-TIME RECORD: Lafayette's women's basketball program is in its 34th season and has played 801 games. Lafayette is 380-421 (.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. Defending champion Holy Cross was selected as the first-place team on 11 of the 16 ballots.
PATRIOT LEAGUE SCHEDULE: There has been a significant change to the Patriot League's scheduling format for the 2005-06 season. The latest incarnation of the league schedule brings a modified return of the same site, same day format for men's and women's games. Weekday league games for women's teams will generally be played on Tuesday nights, while the men will tip off on Wednesday. Both teams will play on Saturday, with the home institution assuming responsibility for setting the order and start times of those contests.
The schedule for the Patriot League Tournament will remain intact. 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.
LAFAYETTE ON TELEVISION: For the ninth-straight season, Lafayette features the most expansive television package in the Patriot League. The Leopards have seven 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.
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