Nov. 22, 2013
The Leopards travel south to Villanova for a 2 p.m. tip against the Wildcats, looking to extended their season-opening win streak to five games. Lafayette enters the game 4-0 for the first time since 1993-94, when the Leopards opened with six straight wins. Villanova also comes into the game with a perfect 4-0 record after an overtime win against Sacred Heart on Wednesday night. Lafayette and Villanova are two of 20 schools with 4-0 records, and two of 66 teams that remain unbeaten. The Leopards are also receiving votes in the College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 Poll.
Last time Out
The Leopards improved to 4-0 with a 48-45 win at Pittsburgh on Nov. 17. Both teams struggled from the field, with Lafayette shooting 28.6 percent, and Pitt 30.2 percent. Lafayette was able to withstand Pittsburgh’s second half comeback and went on to beat the Panthers, 48-45. With a two-point lead, Lafayette’s defense stood tall, as Danielle Fiacco blocked Brianna Kiesel’s attempt with under ten seconds to play. Maddie Peabody grabbed the rebound and knocked down 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to seal the win.
Dianne Nolan is in her fourth season at the helm of the Leopards, holding a 33-60 mark at Lafayette. She has 551 wins in her coaching career. Harry Perretta is in his 36th season in charge of the Wildcats, and he holds a 641-404 career record.
Nova holds a 4-1 edge in the all-time series, winning the last four games, including last season in Easton, 73-34.
Scouting the Wildcats
Junior forward/center Emily Leer leads the Wildcats’ offense, averaging 15.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. Leer is shooting 50 percent from the field, including a 12-24 mark from beyond the arc. Senior guard Devon Kane is second on the team scoring at 13.3 points per game, while junior Lauren Burford is the third Wildcat in double figures, averaging 10.0 points per contest. Kavunaa Edwards leads Villanova in rebounding, grabbing seven boards per game.
The Leopards are in the midst of a five-game road swing, where Lafayette will travel over 2,300 miles, that started last Sunday at Pitt. Lafayette tips off at Villanova this afternoon, before a trip to Chicago to take on Northwestern on Nov. 27 and Loyola Chicago on the 29th. A trip to Newark, N.J. to play NJIT on Dec. 5th ends the five-game trip. Lafayette returns home on Dec. 8th, when the Leoaprds host Stony Brook.
Getting it Done in Crunch Time
In the Leopards’ opener, Emily Homan and Jamie O’Hare combined to go 4-for-4 from the charity stripe in the final minute. The duo iced the game, holding off a ferocious Rider comeback. Against Brown, Homan was the hero again, making a layup with 24 seconds left, on a pass from O’Hare, to give the Leopards a one-point lead. Lafayette got the stop at the other end and controlled the rebound with two seconds to play to win, 70-69. At Pittsburgh, Maddie Peabody knocked down a free throw down the stretch, and Danielle Fiacco came up with a huge block in the closing seconds to preserve a 48-45 victory.