Women’s BBall handles Mountain Hawks
By Drew Friedman ‘15
Published: Friday, February 1, 2013
Updated: Saturday, February 16, 2013 17:02
The Lafayette Leopards women’s basketball team didn’t win its game against Lehigh on Saturday afternoon when they stepped onto the court for the opening tip-off. They won it with the work they put in, starting at nine in the morning with a shootaround and a series of drills run by head coach Dianne Nolan and her staff.
“We began with free shooting, position shooting, and our offensive sets,” Nolan said. “We walked though our defense and then defended base line out of bounds plays.”
Coming off a tough home loss to Holy Cross a few days earlier, in which the Leopards outscored their opponents in the second half but fell just short in the end, both players and coach had a fire in their bellies. It showed during the practice.
“We’re fighters,” Linnel Macklin ‘15 said. “No matter what the situation, we never give up.”
As always, the team finished with a five-spot shooting drill and half-court shots. Then they gathered at half-court, put their hands in, and shouted some team cheers.
Afterwards the Leopards went to Farinon for their pregame meal, giving them an extra chance for them to bond together and talk about how they’re going to handle Lehigh.
“This season’s team is so special because we all get along really well on and off the court,” Madeleine Peabody ‘15 said.
At 12:45, the Leopards returned to Kirby, where they put up some free shots and went through their pregame warm-ups. This was their chance to start focusing on the elements of the game that were going to help them secure a win.
Their practice paid off. Early in the first half, the women broke away from Lehigh with a 15-2 run. By the end of the first half, the women’s squad was leading 33-20.
The Leopards continued their pressure on the ball during the second half, holding Lehigh to less than 32% from the field on the day and out rebounding their opponents 47-29. When all was said and done, the women upended rival Lehigh by a comfortale score of 68-52.
“Lehigh is always a special game, the rivalry speaks for itself,” player of the game senior Kelly Loughney ‘14 stated. “Everyone knows that we don’t like them and they don’t like us. I think that this particular win over Lehigh was special because we were looking for our first win in the Patriot League, and it felt really good that we could get it against Lehigh.”
Loughney put up 16 points on seven of nine from the field, and had four rebounds on the day. Captain Danielle Fiacco ‘14 led the team in scoring with 17 points, as well as contributed on defense with five blocked shots. Fiacco leads the team in points, rebounds and blocks, with 11 points, 8.5 rebounds and four blocks per game.
Fiacco said, “Winning a game is always a great feeling but beating Lehigh on our home court and playing as well as we did is even sweeter.”
Despite the team’s record of 8-12 on the season, and 1-4 in conference, they lead the Patriot League in blocked shots per game with 6.5 and are tied in second in assists per game with 13.6.
In their most recent game against Colgate (6-13, 0-5), the women defeated the raiders 53-45. Jamie O’ Hare ’16 scored a game leading 15 points with four rebounds and four assists. The team improved to 8-12 on the season and 2-4 in the Patriot League, and lead the Patriot League in blocks per game (6.5).
They stay at home on Saturday to face the league-leading American Eagles.