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 falls to Rutgers, 14th-ranked Notre Dame

Senior forward Kayla Drummond tips off the game against Rutgers. (Photo by Cos Lymperopoulos for Rutgers Athletics)

The women’s basketball team (4-5 overall) fell to Big 10 opponent Rutgers (6-5 overall) last Friday and #14 ACC opponent Notre Dame (7-1 overall) on Wednesday night in South Bend, Indiana.

Coming off a four-game win streak, the Leopards were hoping to extend it to five against Rutgers, but could not recover from an early seven-point deficit and lost 69-48. They were then blown out 96-42 against the Fighting Irish.

The Rutgers game, played inside Jersey Mike’s Arena, started fast for the Leopards, with junior guard Abby Antognoli draining a three to bring the lead to 5-0. The Scarlet Knights responded quickly, retaking the lead with 5:17 remaining in the first quarter and ending the quarter up 15-8.

This trend continued for the rest of the game with the Scarlet Knights outscoring the Leopards by nine points in the second quarter. By halftime, their lead was 33-17.

The last two quarters were a similar story. Despite junior guard Kylie Favours’ eight points, including an important three in the third quarter, the deficit remained in the double digits the entire game.

Both teams scored 18 points in the final quarter. However, going basket-for-basket was not enough for the Leopards to recover. The final score finished 69-48, with junior guards Antognoli and Favours finishing the game with 15 and eight points, respectively.

“[Although] we lost the game, I’m proud that our team was able to adjust in the second half and play the way we know how,” Favours said. “We learned from this game and [we] will continue to progress positively from it.”

Coming off a career-high 25 points against UMBC, including five three-pointers, Antognoli was named Patriot League player of the week. After her masterclass performance in the 59-53 win, Antognoli maintained her form, also recording a team-high 15 points against Rutgers.

“I’ve been working really hard on many aspects of my game, especially becoming a leader … vocally,” Antognoli said. “It’s nice to get recognition but I couldn’t without my teammates of course.”

The junior guard currently ranks sixth in the Patriot League for points scored, as well as third for three-pointers per game.

Antognoli said she hopes to “[compete] in the league and win a Patriot League championship.”

“I want to be the first-ever group to get a banner in our gym,” Antognoli said. “I think we have a special team and can do it.”

The team then traveled to Indiana to face off against #14 Notre Dame on Wednesday night, losing 96-42. This was the highest point total scored against the Leopards since the 2014-15 season when they lost 102-61 to Louisville.

Junior guard Halee Smith was the only Leopard who scored double-digit points, tallying 10 while hitting four of her seven shots. Senior guard Makayla Andrews grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

While the Patriot League preseason rankings have the Leopards in eighth, Favours claims this low ranking has only fueled the squad.

“A team goal [is] winning the Patriot League Championship, which could be [Lafayette’s] if we work hard for it.”

The Leopards return to Easton on Monday, where they will face the Monmouth Hawks at 6 p.m. inside Kirby Sports Center.

“[We] appreciate everyone who comes to all our games and supports us near and far,” Antognoli said. “It’s amazing to know we have a Leopard family watching us grow as a team.”

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