The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Women’s basketball gets off to rocky start with road loss to VCU

Photo by Keith Lucas/Sideline Media for The Lafayette
Senior guard Jessica Booth drives through the paint and looks for a bucket. (Photo by Keith Lucas for Sideline Media)

The Lafayette women’s basketball team began its season with a 42-65 loss to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) on Monday afternoon.

The Leopards prepared extensively for their matchup, according to junior forward Kayla Drummond.

“We spent time as a team watching film on VCU and getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents. We made sure to practice how to defend their plays and worked to successfully carry out our defensive game plan,” she wrote in an email. “We went over our plays and tried to plan out how to break down their defense and find ways to score.”

The Leopards kept pace with the Rams in the first quarter, heading into the break at a six-point disadvantage, 19-13. Drummond put up three buckets, senior guard Jessica Booth had a pair of baskets and freshman guard Sauda Ntaconayigize scored a three-pointer in the first quarter.

VCU built upon its lead in the second quarter. Opening up with a 10-0 run, VCU outscored Lafayette 14-8 in the second quarter to take a 33-21 lead as the game reached its halfway mark. 

Drummond said consistency is key if the Maroon and White want to improve their performance beyond the first quarter.

“We need to be more consistent and learn how to withstand scoring droughts. We struggled to score at some times and allowed them to get second chances, which put us at a disadvantage to try and close the gap,” Drummond wrote. “We are looking to share the ball more and continue to work hard on defense.”

In the third quarter, the Leopards fell victim to cold shooting, missing all 11 shot attempts. Booth’s free throws with 1:01 remaining in the third provided the Leopards’ with their only points in the quarter as the Rams outscored the Leopards 18-2. 

While Lafayette outscored VCU in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t enough for the Leopards. Despite the loss, Drummond thinks the team can be proud of itself. 

“I think we did a good job of stopping them in transition and trying to limit easy points. We were able to feed our post players and get some points down low, which is something we put emphasis on during practice,” Drummond wrote. “Something we can do to improve is to have better shot selection and make sure we understand time and score so we can set ourselves up to get better offensive looks.”

Leading the Leopards was Drummond, who recorded 10 points and five rebounds against the 2022 WNIT (Women’s National Invitation Tournament) runners up.

All four newcomers to Lafayette saw playing time in the season opener. Freshman forward Emma Shields and sophomore guard Halee Smith made their first career starts for the Leopards, while Ntaconayigize and freshman guard Kay Donahue scored their first career points.

Next for the Leopards will be another non-conference battle against the Highlanders of the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, N.J. on tonight at 7 p.m.

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Luke Gutleber
Luke Gutleber, Staff Sports Writer

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