Women’s Patriot League Tournament Preview
By Drew Friedman '16
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 13:03
Despite a valiant second-half effort that cut a 23-point deficit down to less than ten, the Lafayette woman’s basketball team lost its last game of the season at American University by a score of 69-52.
After the American loss, the team looks forward to its first match-up in the Patriot League playoffs. The seventh-seeded Leopards will face off against the second-seeded Mids of Navy on Thursday night at Alumni Hall in Annapolis. Lafayette will look to avenge a 60-52 overtime loss in the teams’ previous encounter. The Patriot League also gave Leopard fans hope for the future by naming Lafayette freshman point guard Jamie O’Hare to the conference’s 2012-13 All-Rookie squad.
In the game against American, O’Hare led the team with 13 points, making five of her nine shots from the field, including three from beyond the three-point line. The 5‘6” O’Hare has been a spark plug for the team all season, starting in 19 of the 29 contests in which she appeared. She averaged 6.1 points and 3.1 rebounds, and her 2.4 assists per game placed her tenth in the league.
“Jamie has an uncanny ability to get to the rim and hit the three,” Nolan said. “She gives us a strong sense of competitiveness and tenacity along with her ability to handle the ball, knock down shots and be smart on the floor.”
Head Coach Dianne Nolan discussed the plan for her team in preparation for their match against Navy.
“To win at Navy, we need to compete in every possession, value the basketball, get stops, and score.” the third year coach said.
“It is a hard venue to play but our competitive juices can counter their home court advantage. We need to get off to a good start, control tempo and get the looks we need to score.”
Junior forward Jade Geif was named Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year for the Midshipmen and did not disappoint this season, averaging 13.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Junior Guard Alix Membreno is second on the team in both scoring with 11.2 PPG and rebounding 6.5 RPG. Membreno also leads the team in steals with 47.
“We must contain Geif and Membreno and keep their production to a minimum,” Nolan said.
Overall, Navy lead the Patriot League in three-point field goals made with 211 this season, and they are second in scoring defense 51.7 PPG.
Despite a losing record this season, center Danielle Fiacco ‘14 has continued her illustrious career for Lafayette. On February 2, she grabbed her 636th rebound against American, which put her in the top ten in Lafayette history. Fiacco is also fifth in the NCAA in blocks per game with 3.5.
This will be a big game for Lafayette coming up against the number two seed. Navy will be on their home turf as well as stats leaning in their favor. In overall matchups Navy has won 40 of 60 meetings historically between the two teams, and is 25-6 in Annapolis.
Nolan and her team have a clean slate to work with coming into Patriot League Tournament play.
“Its a whole new season now,” said Nolan.
While Lafayette faces Navy, there will be three other matchups. Number one seed Army will face eighth place Colgate, number three American will matchup with sixth seeded Bucknell, and number five Lehigh faces off against number four Holy Cross.
The game will have taken place past the newspaper’s deadline. If the women manage to pull off a victory at Navy, they will face off against the winner of Bucknell and American. Look for the full coverage of Thursday’s game at TheLaf.com