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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Women’s basketball picks up comeback win against American, drops Colgate matchup

Sophomore guard Kay Donahue dribbles through the lane during the Leopards’ win over American. (Photo by Hannah Ally for GoLeopards)

The women’s basketball team (9-16 overall, 4-10 Patriot League) came from behind to defeat American University (9-16 overall, 7-7 Patriot League) to sweep the season series and pull closer to the pack in the Patriot League standings. The team followed up this win by dropping its matchup against Colgate University.

The Saturday game against American was dedicated to Play4Kay, a cancer research fund dedicated to fighting all cancers affecting women. Survivors of cancer joined the athletes as they took the court. 

“It was a game that was so much bigger than us,” junior guard Abby Antognoli said. “Walking out with a survivor for the starting five, it really hit me that playing is a blessing that we get, and we got to share it with people who have battled cancer for so many years.”

The Leopards did not capitalize on their offensive looks to start the game, as the Eagles quickly took control. Still, Lafayette did not give up. 

“It’s been a trend all year where we’ve had great looks that just don’t fall,” Antognoli said. “I think every game we’re getting better at weathering the storm. As long as we’re making stops and getting good looks, we know it’ll fall eventually.”

Lafayette found success in the second quarter, going on a 10-5 run to open the frame. Despite this surge, American managed to hold a 27-24 advantage at the end of the first 20 minutes.

The Eagles came out firing to start the second half, opening the third quarter with a 12-1 run off of five consecutive scoring possessions. After the Leopards struggled in the third quarter against Loyola (13-12 overall, 8-6 Patriot League) last week, they had to find a way to resist the pressure this time around. 

“Against Loyola there was a huge drop in energy, which made us realize that our energy is where we get our strength from,” sophomore guard Kay Donahue said.  “When we were able to pick up our energy on both offense and defense, it moved us to a more positive situation.”

Senior guard Makayla Andrews helped spark the offense, scoring the next eight points of the game. Subsequent baskets from Antognoli and senior forward Kayla Drummond cut the American lead to seven by the end of the third quarter.

“When players like Makayla get hot, it’s infectious,” Antognoli said. “It spreads to the whole team and gets everyone going. And once the ball starts going in for us, it’s inevitable that our defense picks up as well.”

The Leopards stayed hot heading into the fourth quarter, opening with a 12-4 run which saw Andrews net six points to reach a team-high of 22. After a missed 3-pointer from the Eagles, a no-look pass from Antognoli found Donahue, who hit the go-ahead bucket in transition. Having climbed back from an immense disadvantage, the team had no plans to look back.

“It feels like you’re on top of the world, especially coming back from 14 [points] down,” Donahue said. “Abby gave me a great pass, and from there we knew there was no shot we would give this one up.”

The Leopards clamped down defensively to end the game, securing the 64-57 victory. The win marked the third time this season that the last-place Leopards have beaten the team ranked second in the Patriot League.

“Recently, these games have shown that we’re right here and everything in the past needs to be let go,” Antognoli said. “We can compete with anybody in the league and make a run in the tournament.”

Lafayette was unable to follow up its success on Wednesday, dropping its game against Colgate (14-11 overall, 7-7 Patriot League) by a score of 75-49. The Red Raiders started well, taking a 34-17 lead into halftime. Lafayette managed to mount a small comeback in the third quarter, but their defense sputtered in the fourth.

Despite this loss, the Leopards remain optimistic about the future of the season.

“This is the most wide-open year I’ve seen. Every single team is upsetting the other, and that shows how open it is,” Antognoli said. 

The Leopards look to avenge this loss and pick up a season sweep against rival Lehigh tomorrow night.

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

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