Leopards Conclude Homestand
Nov. 30, 2009
Match-Up: Lafayette (1-5) vs. Mount St. Mary's (2-3)
THE MATCH-UP: The Leopards (1-5) conclude their three-game homestand tonight against Mount St. Mary's (2-3). Lafayette is looking to snap a four-game slide and capture its first home victory of the young season. The Mount begin a stretch of 10 games on the road tonight and have dropped their previous two contests.
NEXT UP FOR THE LEOPARDS: Lafayette travels to Ivy League foe Penn on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game.
LAST TIME OUT FOR LAFAYETTE: Facing yet another tough opponent, Lafayette was unable to pull off a win against Liberty, falling 90-55 on Saturday afternoon in Easton. Junior Lauren Jackson had a career game with 22 points, nine of which came from three-point range. She was joined in double figures by classmate LaKeisha Wright (14) as those two combined for 36 of Lafayette's 55 points.
SCOUTING MOUNT ST. MARY'S: The Mount have dropped their previous two games, including a 48-45 loss to Loyola on Saturday, a game during which they had held a 19-point lead. Mount St. Mary's opened the season with a win over Canisius but has since dropped three of four contests.
Mary Dunn leads the team in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 11.0 points and 6.8 boards per game.
The Mount is under the direction of third-year head coach Bryan Whitten and is coming off a 14-16 season in 2008-09 in which the team lost in the first round of the NEC Tournament.
ON THIS DATE: In 1991, the Leopards hosted Yale in just their second game of the season and won a decisive 81-59 decision over the Owls. Lafayette finished that season with an overall record of 19-10, including an 11-3 mark in Patriot League play, just the second season of Patriot League basketball.
THE LAST TIME...Two Lafayette players combined to score more than 60 percent of the Leopards' points, as Lauren Jackson (22) and LaKeisha Wright (14) did in the 90-55 loss to Liberty, came last season when Cristin Zavocki (21) and Elizabeth Virgin (18) accounted for 71 percent of Lafayette's offense in a 66-55 loss at Marist.
BUSTING OUT: Junior Lauren Jackson is having a career year, and we're only six games into the season. She has started every game and leads the team in scoring (11.7 ppg) and assists (11). Jackson had a career performance vs. Liberty with 22 points.
She is shooting 84 percent from the line, 35 percent from three-point range and is sinking nearly 36 percent of her shots from the floor, all while logging nearly 32 minutes per outing.
The Texas native entered the 2009-10 campaign averaging just 1.9 points per game while seeing the floor for less than eight minutes over her first two seasons.
HARD WORK PAYS OFF: Of the many strengths LaKeisha Wright has on the court, free throw shooting typically was not one of them. Entering this season, her junior campaign, she was a career 50 percent shooter (124-of-245) from the charity stripe.
To say Wright has fixed that potential weakness would be an understatement. She currently leads the team in free throw percentage (minimum 10 attempts) with an 87 percent showing from the line (20-23). That mark places her second in the Patriot League.
PROTECTING THE BALL: Despite their four losses on the season, the Leopards have been taking very good care of the ball. They have committed more turnovers than their opponent just twice this season (17 vs. St. Bonaventure's 12; 24 vs. Liberty's 14).
THE EARLY NUMBERS ARE IN...And several Leopards stand near the top of a few Patriot League statistical categories. Junior LaKeisha Wright is in second free throw percentage (87.0) and sixth in steals (10), while Alexandra Serowoky and Elizabeth Virgin are tied for fifth in blocked shots (4).
Finally, Lafayette as a team stands third overall in blocked shots (15) and fourth in turnover margin (+0.3).
REBOUNDING WOES: The Leopards have been out-rebounded in all six games this season. In the season opener, St. Peter's had as many offensive boards (18) as Lafayette had total rebounds.
Against Monmouth, the Leopards grabbed only 29 boards to the Hawks' 40. However, senior Amanda Smith had a career-best 10 rebounds in the win. Lafayette had a 20-rebound deficit (55-35) at Fairfield, 18 fewer boards than Bryant and 11 less than St. Bonaventure. The Leopards were edged 33-20 by Liberty.
EMPTYING THE BENCH: Against Fairfield, head coach Tammy Smith used her entire bench for the first time this season. Freshman Alicia Manning made her first appearance of the season and tied for the team lead with six points in her six minutes of action.
STREAK SNAPPED: The Leopards saw their streak of home-opening wins come to an end vs. St. Peter's. Lafayette entered the night having won its five previous home openers, starting with a 63-47 win over Radford on Dec. 2, 2004.
ALL-TIME RECORD: The program, now in its 37th season, has played 925 games, compiled an overall record of 418-507 (.452) 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 165-254 (.394), which includes a 113-68 mark and two NCAA Tournament appearances in seven seasons at D-III Muhlenberg.
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).
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.
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.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2008-09 CAMPAIGN:
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.
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.
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 Sports 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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