The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Injury-plagued women’s basketball falls to Army

Freshman guard Kay Donahue, clad in a pink uniform for the team’s annual Play4Kay game, goes for a layup. (Photo by Hannah Ally for GoLeopards)

The women’s basketball team (8-18 overall, 5-11 Patriot League) fell 72-51 to Army this past Saturday during a home game held in honor of breast cancer survivors. The Leopards, constrained by their short roster, were unable to catch up with the Black Knights’ quick offensive start.

Army went up 27-13 in the opening quarter. The Black Knights shot 59 percent from the floor, hitting six-of-seven three-pointers.

The Leopards made several efforts in the first half to cut Army’s lead but trailed 43-28 heading into the locker room for halftime.

Army maintained this lead through the second half to solidify its 21-point win despite Lafayette outscoring the visitors 14-9 in the fourth quarter. It all came down to numbers. The Black Knights out-rebounded the Leopards 48-27 and limited the Maroon and White’s offense to 36 percent shooting.

“Tough and intense are really good adjectives to describe Army,” sophomore guard Halee Smith said.

Scoring 12 points on five-of-eight shooting, Smith was one of two guards who tallied double figures in the loss. Junior Makayla Andrews racked up 14 points and nine rebounds. Another impressive performance came from freshman guard Kay Donahue, who had nine points, five rebounds and a pair of steals.

The plethora of injuries sustained by the team this year has put a damper on their play. Key players like junior forward Kayla Drummond and senior guard Jess Booth were inactive against Army.

Booth, along with sophomore guard Abby Antognoli, was named to the Academic All-District II Team, College Sports Communicators (CSC) announced on Tuesday. This honor recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their stellar performances on the court and in the classroom. Before suffering an injury at the end of January, Booth started in every game for Lafayette.

“We’re still trying to figure out how to play with each other right now,” Smith said. “It’s the end of the season and that’s where things get pretty rough, so just giving my team props for staying together, even though … it’s hard to play when you’re down like that, especially at the end when you know you’re gonna lose.”

Saturday was the annual Play4Kay game. The team debuted pink uniforms and shooting shirts to signify support for women fighting cancer and to support the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, which is named after the legendary women’s college basketball coach who battled breast cancer.

Smith said that Army wore pink shooting shirts, too.

“Before the game, our coaches were like, nothing we had been through in our lifetime has compared to what people who have breast cancer or any cancer have to deal with,” Smith said. “That was kind of eye-opening in that moment because we haven’t had a full team because of injuries, and we thought it’s been hard on us but it’s really not that bad compared to what people have to deal with.”

Smith added that some of the survivors in attendance competed in a free throw competition at halftime, and the winner received a pink basketball signed by both teams.

The Leopards have just two Patriot League regular-season games remaining, as they face Bucknell tomorrow at 2 p.m. at home for senior day before closing out at Navy next Wednesday. Smith said that the outcome of games is vital in determining whether her team can clinch a first-round bye in the Patriot League tournament.

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Caroline McParland, Sports Editor

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