Leopards Return Home for Battle with Rider
Nov. 26, 2012
The Lafayette women’s basketball team looks to put together back-to-back wins, hosting the Rider Broncs (1-3) on Tuesday evening inside Kirby Sports Center.Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. The Leopards (2-4) lead the overall series with the Broncs, 20-9, but lost the last meeting, 65-56, on Nov. 11, 2011 in Lawrenceville, N.J.
LEOPARDS’ LAST TIME OUT
Wagner had no match for the 6’7” force of junior co-captain Danielle Fiacco on Sunday afternoon at Stabler Arena. Lafayette snapped a four-game skid with a 64-45 victory over the Seahawks.
Fiacco notched 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting, hitting 4-of-6 from the foul line. She snagged 10 rebounds to complete the double-double and added four blocks on the defensive end.
Homan came up one rebound shy of her first double-double for the second straight game, picking up nine to go along with her 12 points, three assists and two blocks.
Sophomore Brya Freeland led all scorers with 16 points, a season-high. Freeland went 6-for-11 from the field and 2-for-7 from beyond the arc. Two made free throws rounded out her solid performance.
LET’S GO FOR A RIDE
Following a season-opening road win at Stony Brook, the Broncs have dropped their last three, losing two tight contests at home to NJIT and Mount St. Mary’s, and falling, 88-42, to Princeton on Nov. 20 in their last contest.
Rider has two players averaging in double figures as MyNeshia McKenzie and Sironda Chambers post 15 and 12.8 points per game, respectively. McKenzie is also the team’s leading rebounder, snagging 9.8 boards per contest. The Broncs are shooting 30.6 percent from the floor and 26.4 percent from the charity stripe.
ROAMING THE SIDELINE
Lafayette head coach Dianne Nolan enters today’s matchup with a career record of 538-461 and a 21-45 mark in her third year at Lafayette. On the other side, Rider head coach Lynn Milligan is in her sixth season with the Broncs. Milligan holds an overall record of 39-115, all in Lawrenceville.
RETURN OF THE MAAC
Tuesday’s matchup will mark the 30th time Lafayette has matched up with Rider in its history and the only Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opponent it will face this season. The Leopards are 29-27 all-time against MAAC opponents, having played all teams in the conference except Siena and Canisius in their history.
BACK TO FORM
Sophomore co-captain Emily Homan, nursing a sprained ankle through the first three games, has returned to being a consistent force for the Leopards’ low post game. Homan was one rebound shy of a double-double in back-to-back games this past week, notching 18 points and nine rebounds in the loss to Monmouth and 12 points and nine rebounds in the 64-45 win over Wagner. Homan saw 17 minutes of action against Villanova and started her first game of the season against Penn State. Homan led the Leopards with 11 points and six rebounds in 30 minutes of play at State College.
Homan was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year following the conclusion of the 2011-12 season, 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 joined Christel Rocha ’01 as Lafayette’s two Rookies of the Year in 22 seasons of Patriot League basketball.
LEANING ON THE BULLPEN
This season, Lafayette has trailed at the half in its five games, but played Seton Hall to a 29-29 tie in the second half on Nov. 10 and held Loyola Chicago to just 15 points in the second 20 minutes of that game to allow for the comeback. Despite trailing 43-14 at halftime against Villanova, the Leopards played a tough second-half, leading to a 30-20 second-half line. Down 42-14 at half to Penn State, the Leopards played the then-No. 9 Nittany Lions to a 33-20 margin in the second stanza. Against Monmouth, Lafayette was down 19 at the break, but played the Hawks to a 26-26 tie after the break. The Leopards finally went into the break leading against Wagner, 30-23, and came away with the 64-45 win.
The Leopards held a halftime lead in four of their Patriot League losses last season. Defending champion Navy rallied from a 12-point deficit at the intermission to steal a 60-55 decision on Jan. 7, and host Army overcame a seven-point margin to eke out a 44-43 victory to open the league slate. Lafayette owned a four-point edge over Bucknell at the break on Feb. 11 but ultimately fell to the visiting Bison, 65-54.