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 loses in first round of Patriot League playoffs

Junior+guard+Makayla+Andrews+led+the+Leopards+last+Saturday+with+14+points.+%28Photo+by+Rick+Smith+for+GoLeopards%29
Junior guard Makayla Andrews led the Leopards last Saturday with 14 points. (Photo by Rick Smith for GoLeopards)

The women’s basketball team’s season came to a close on Saturday after it lost 61-52 to Loyola Maryland in the first round of the Patriot League tournament.

The Leopards (10-19 overall, 7-11 Patriot League) started off the game slow, scoring only four points and conceding 13 in the first six minutes. Thanks to a couple of three-pointers from freshman guard Kay Donahue and sophomore guard Abby Antognoli, the team ended the first quarter only down by five points.

Lafayette and Loyola traded blows throughout the second quarter, but eight points each from Donahue and junior guard Makayla Andrews allowed the Leopards to enter the locker room ahead 27–26.

Loyola came out hot at the start of the third quarter, tallying eight points before the Leopards netted their first basket. The Greyhounds outshot the Leopards 63 percent to 27 percent in the quarter, taking a 44–37 lead going into the fourth.

The gap ultimately proved too much for the Leopards to overcome. Despite cutting the lead down to two points with 3:15 left in the fourth quarter, the Leopards were unable to capitalize on their offensive chances in the final moments of the game.

One of the team’s main goals going into the game was to manage Loyola’s two best players: sophomore forward Lex Therien and guard Taleah Dixon, who is a graduate student. Andrews said that the Greyhounds continually gave the ball to Therien, their post player.

“In the first three quarters, we saw what they were doing. They were trying to get it inside, so we were trying to limit that by playing 2-3 [zone defense],” Andrews said.

Andrews netted 14 points with eight rebounds in 35 minutes for the Leopards. She led the team in points this year, scoring 411 over the course of the season. Antognoli backed Andrews up with 13 points and Donahue netted 11 points, including a trio of three-pointers.

The Leopards played with limited substitutions the past several weeks due to multiple injuries. This limited roster impacted the team’s ability to defend against Therien.

“We held in there for a good while, but we’ve been playing with six to seven players for a while now, so I think fatigue just got the best of us, and in the end, the team that had a little bit more energy came out with the win,” Andrews said.

Donahue set several personal bests in the game, including matching her highest point total. She said that the team’s injury issues forced all of the freshmen to step into new roles.

“I think it had a lot to do with confidence and getting that from my teammates,” Donahue said. “We had six girls at the end of the game, and so me and the other freshmen had to step up and play a role that we hadn’t really had to play earlier in the season.”

Andrews noted that she is really proud of how the team adapted to the less-than-ideal circumstances it faced throughout the season.

“I’m really proud of this team because we’ve been through a lot this season with injuries and things of that nature. No one really ever gave up,” she said. “I think that we all really held each other up and came together as a team when we needed to. I think that’s all you can really ask for: to play together, believe in each other and support each other.”

With only senior guard Jess Booth graduating, both Donahue and Andrews are looking forward to the offseason.

“The team that we finished the season with is the team that we’re going into next year with, so I’m really excited about that,” Andrews said. “A lot of people that didn’t really have a lot of experience got a lot of experience this year, so I’m really excited to see what next year brings because I think that we’ll be a good, strong team.”

Donahue added that building team chemistry will be a big focus in the offseason.

“We have five incoming freshmen so that’s a really big class,” she said. “[We will be] learning more about how each other plays and how we can flow differently.”

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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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