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 Lehigh, Loyola

Junior+guard+Abby+Antognoli+dishes+the+ball+during+the+Leopards+loss+to+Lehigh+over+the+weekend.+%28Photo+by+Rick+Smith+for+GoLeopards%29
Junior guard Abby Antognoli dishes the ball during the Leopards’ loss to Lehigh over the weekend. (Photo by Rick Smith for GoLeopards)

The women’s basketball team (8-15 overall, 3-9 Patriot League) fell to Lehigh (14-9 overall, 6-6 Patriot League) last Saturday by a score of 70-68 in a tightly contested overtime game. The Leopards then traveled to Loyola (12-11 overall, 7-5 Patriot League) on Wednesday night where they fell to the Greyhounds 76-51.

According to junior guard Halee Smith, Lehigh’s ability beyond the arc forced the Leopards to rethink their defensive game plan.

“Usually we play zone defense, but this game gave us the challenge to play out of our comfort zone and play man defense,” Smith said. “We knew we had to run them off the three-point line to keep their percentage down.” 

The Leopards got off to a sluggish start in the first quarter, displaying a lack of defensive discipline. The Maroon and White surrendered 10 free throw attempts in the opening period leading to a score of 20-13 in favor of the Mountain Hawks at the start of the second.

“We’re not a team that draws fouls well,” Smith said. “It’s really important for us to contain our fouls and not put the other team on the line.”

This game continued a trend of first-quarter deficits for the Leopards, who have put themselves in an early hole in seven of the last nine games. 

Senior guard Makayla Andrews, who led the team with 16 points against Lehigh, noted that there’s still room for improvement in this regard. 

“In the first half, we’ll have a quarter that will set us back, and sometimes we’re able to dig out of it, but sometimes we aren’t,” Andrews said. “Limiting our deficits is very critical to the rest of our season.”

The team bounced back in the second quarter, with junior guard Abby Antognoli and sophomore guard Kay Donahue both draining three-pointers to cut the deficit to three. Smith then added another to give the Leopards the lead, showcasing the team’s scoring depth. 

“It’s very important that all five players are contributing,” Andrews said. “That’s something we had been struggling with, but I think people are finding their groove and being more confident.”

The game tightened up in the second half, with the lead changing hands nine times before the Mountain Hawks began to pull away late in the fourth quarter. The Leopards were able to erase this deficit as well, thanks to key baskets from Donahue and senior forward Kayla Drummond.

Drummond led the team with a season-high 13 rebounds. After four quarters, the score was level at 63-63.

Lehigh ultimately silenced the Leopards in overtime, allowing only five points. Two late layups saw the Mountain Hawks return to Bethlehem with a win.

Despite the loss, Andrews believes this game will provide the team with the experience it needs going forward.

“This game proved that we are better than what we have shown, and we can step up and play at the highest level,” Andrews said. 

In a tightly contested Patriot League, Smith said that the Leopards are getting close to truly establishing themselves as a threat.

“I think we’re establishing the roles on the team, whether it be points, assists, or rebounds,” Smith said. “Fixing those little lapses that we have in each quarter is important because we’re only losing games by a few possessions.”

Lafayette currently sits in last place in the Patriot League standings after its loss to Loyola on Wednesday.

The Leopards finally got off to a strong start, leading the Greyhounds throughout the first half. However, they could not hang on in the third quarter, as Loyola put up 30 points to Lafayette’s six coming out of the half.

Antognoli paced the Leopards, tallying 12 points. Andrews put up 10 points and led the team with six rebounds.

The Maroon and White will look to complete the season sweep of American in Kirby Sports Center on Saturday at 2 p.m. in their Play4Kay breast cancer awareness game.

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About the Contributor
Martin Familetti, Staff Sports Writer
Come On You Spurs.

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