Closing out the regular season: Women’s basketball looks to make improbable run

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Olivia Gumbs ’20 looks to drive to the hoop. (Courtesy of Athletic Communications)

Michael Keating

The end to the regular season for the women’s basketball team couldn’t have come soon enough.

Having a record of 2-26 going into final two games of the season, the Leopards looked to end on a high note with a victories over Colgate and Bucknell. In a season in which the Leopards had a 22 game losing streak, a win on Senior Day would put a lot of woes to rest.

The Leopards came out hot and opened up a double digit lead on the Raiders at the end of the first quarter. Colgate got back within one point at halftime, but after a strong third quarter the Leopards were able to stave off the Raiders and win, 90-85.

Senior Ashley Lutz, in her last game at Kirby Sports Center, scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. But, on what was supposed to be a day for the upperclassmen, it was the freshman who showed them up. Freshman Olivia Gumbs scored a career high 30 points on the afternoon – the most by a Lafayette woman since 2014. More impressive, Gumbs was able to do it coming off the bench.

The Leopards’ offensive output was the best this season. Lafayette shot 52.5 percent from the field and 46.7 percent from three. Where the Leopards won the game was on the boards, where they out-rebounded the Raiders 40-26.

On Wednesday, Lafayette traveled to Lewisburg to take on Bucknell in the regular season finale. Bucknell, the Patriot League regular season champions, were too much to handle as nearly half of the shots they knocked down were from three and the Leopards lost, 78-61.

Despite the loss, Gumbs and Lutz had what some would call stellar performances yet again. Gumbs followed up her 30 point performance with 20 against the Bison. Lutz had 10 points, while grabbing a team-high 14 rebounds.

The Bison only shot 43.9 percent from the field, but they went 12-23 from three for 52.2 percent.

Next up for the Leopards is the first round of the Patriot League Tournament. After finishing last in the Patriot League, the Leopards secured the 10th seed and will travel to Worcester, Mass. on Saturday to take on seventh seeded Holy Cross in the “play-in” round of the tournament. Despite struggling mightily earlier in the season, some better play of late could mean the Leopards might be able to make a run in the postseason.