May 2, 2013
EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette women's basketball team held its year-end banquet on Saturday, April 27, celebrating its 2012-13 season and honoring its senior class of captain Alicia Manning, Samantha Jordan and Ashley Springer.
The Leopards’ season was highlighted by multiple high-quality wins including victories over Big East opponent Pittsburgh and Atlantic 10 Tournament finalist Fordham. Lafayette defeated American for the first time since 2009 and took the eventual Patriot League champion Navy to overtime twice, eventually falling in heartbreaking fashion. Additionally, the Leopards’ stretch of three straight League wins over Lehigh, Colgate and American is the first time they have accomplished that feat since 1998.
Senior captain Alicia Manning was awarded with the Patriot League Play of the Year after her circus, behind-the-back shot at the buzzer fell through to send the game into overtime against Bucknell on Feb. 16 and freshman Jamie O’Hare was selected as a member of the Patriot League All-Rookie Team.
Head Coach Dianne Nolan presented a pair of team awards: The Pat Fisher "Hold the Rope" Award and the Hannah Hart Inspiration Award.
The Pat Fisher "Hold the Rope" Award, named in honor of the legendary Lafayette women's basketball and softball coach, is presented to the player who exemplifies Coach Fisher's commitment to Lafayette women's basketball. As voted upon by her teammates, the award was presented to sophomore Maddie Peabody.
Nolan describes the award winner as the player who, "Played with poise, did what was asked and never shorted her commitment to get better. She gave it her all in every workout and game, held the rope when the going got tough and continually helped her teammates do the same. Through her efforts as a player and teammate, she made herself and others around her better."
Peabody took over the starting point guard duties in the final six games of the regular season, narrowly missing a game-winning three-point shot at the end of regulation in the Patriot League Quarterfinal against eventual-champion Navy.
The Louisville, Ky. native averaged 3.7 points per game and was second on the team in assists with 1.9 per contest. She played in 18.4 minutes per game, tallying 26 steals and 64 rebounds.
The Hannah Hart Inspiration Award, also awarded via a team vote, was presented to freshman Morgan Miller.
Hannah Hart, a local teenager with neurofibromatosis, has been a member of the Lafayette women's basketball family since 2009. She and Gracie Loose, whose sister Lauren is a pediatric brain tumor survivor, sit on the team bench at home games to assist the players and coaches and to cheer for the Leopards. The women's basketball team met Hannah and Gracie through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.
The award is described by Nolan as, "Presented to the player who exemplifies Hannah's will to persevere through hardship with a positive spirit - the person who brings joy, energy and a willingness to always perform at her highest level."
Hailing from Cranford, N.J., Miller saw action in three games in her rookie campaign, inspiring her teammates with her work ethic on and off the court.
The 2012-13 Leopards, playing in their third season under Nolan, posted an 11-19 overall mark and went 4-10 in league play, improving by three wins overall and two league wins on their marks from a year ago.
Lafayette is tentatively scheduled to open its 2013-14 campaign at Kirby Sports Center on Nov. 8 against Rider.