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 snaps six-game losing streak against Bucknell

Senior+Jessica+Booth+is+honored+before+the+Leopards+senior+day+victory.+%28Photo+by+Rick+Smith+for+GoLeopards%29+
Senior Jessica Booth is honored before the Leopards’ senior day victory. (Photo by Rick Smith for GoLeopards)

The women’s basketball team (10-18 overall, 7-11 Patriot League) broke its six-game losing streak during its senior day on Saturday, defeating Bucknell 69-61. The game was the Leopards’ first victory over Bucknell since the 2014-15 season. 

The Leopards battled back and forth with the visiting team, as the lead switched several times over the course of the game. Sophomore guard Abby Antognoli led the team in minutes and points, playing 39 and scoring 21. Junior guard Makayla Andrews (16 points, 12 rebounds) and sophomore guard Halee Smith (15 points, 13 rebounds) both tallied double-doubles, while freshman guard Kay Donahue netted 11 points, a career-high. 

Senior guard Jessica Booth – the only graduating senior – was honored before the start of the game. Although she has been sidelined since early January due to an injury, she was able to start against Bucknell. Booth said that her athletic career at Lafayette has helped her develop skills off the court. 

“My time at Lafayette has been filled with being able to overcome a lot of different adversities,” Booth said. “[I was] hurt my freshman year and [had] to deal with that after being hurt my senior year of high school, and coming back from that, Covid cut our season short. I feel like I’ve really been able to grow as an individual in terms of being able to work through hardship and still find the bright side in everything.”

Although she is disappointed that she will not be able to return to action for the Leopards, Booth is focusing on what she can do for the rest of the team off the court.

“I definitely think that I’m the ‘mom’ of the team,” Booth joked. “I’m just focused on being the best teammate I can be and finding other ways to contribute to and uplift our very young and limited team, in terms of bodies and availability. So, being able to put my personal feelings aside and still do what my team needs me to do and help in any way I can.” 

Injuries have plagued the Leopards this season. Only six to seven of the 10 rostered players have been available for over half of their in-conference games. This has forced some of the younger players to embrace various leadership positions and has forced the team to become more resilient, according to Antognoli. 

“This season has been pretty challenging for our team … But I feel like we have come together, especially towards the end of the season,” she said. “Our little losing streak after our win streak was difficult, but beating a team like Bucknell that ranks pretty high in the league was a really good win.”

Booth said that the obstacles and unexpected injuries over the course of the season “has allowed for our very young team to grow up fast and I think looking long-term that’ll be one of the biggest ways we’ll benefit from this season.”

Both Andrews and Antognoli have performed exceptionally well this year. They’ve combined for 639 points, accounting for nearly half of the team’s points this season. Furthermore, they each average at least 30 minutes played per game.

The team will now turn its attention to the Patriot League tournament, which begins tomorrow.

“We want to play our best basketball in March,” Antognoli said.

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About the Contributor
Grace Sanborn
Grace Sanborn, Assistant Sports Editor
Thinks hitting a ball with a stick outside for four hours is fun.

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