All of a sudden, the Patriot League is wide open. All it took was an upset at the Naval Academy Jan. 31 four teams have a realistic shot at the league title at the season’s midterm.
Navy is in front in spite of a getting upset by Lafayette 70-69 at Alumni Hall Jan. 31. The loss dropped the Middies to 9-1 in conference play. Army is right behind them at 8-2. The squads next meet at Army Feb. 8. Jade Gief helped sink the Black Knights with 24 points during a 74-64 Navy win Jan.11.
The loss was the first for the Mids (17-4) in the Patriot League season (9-1) and left Navy one win short of tying the school record for the most consecutive wins (11, 1990-91 & 1995-96). Lafayette won its third-straight game to improve to 11-10 overall and 5-5 in league play.
Despite the loss, Navy still holds a one-game lead in the Patriot League standings over second-place Army, which won Saturday in overtime at home against Loyola.
Geif was limited to 21 minutes of playing time due to foul trouble, but she made nine-of-12 field goal attempts on her way to scoring 20 points and pulling down seven rebounds. Audrey Bauer scored 10 points with Chloe Stapleton tallied 13 points and six rebounds.
Lafayette was led in scoring by Kelly Loughney’s 16 points.
Army sophomore guard Kelsey Minato earned Patriot League Anaconda Women’s Basketball Player-of-the-Week Feb. 3 after leading her team to a pair of victories last week. Minato had a career-high 32 points in a 72-45 win over Boston University on Wednesday and tallied 18 in a 56-45 overtime triumph against Loyola Maryland on Saturday.
Just behind the military schools lurk American and Bucknell at 7-3. AU beat the Bison 77-40 on the PL’s opening night. The Eagles shot 32-of-61 from the floor that night while Bucknell hit only 12-of-59. The Bison have not had another game like that. Its other losses have come at the hands of Navy and Army by two and one point respectively.
On the other hand, AU dropped a 63-60 thriller to Holy Cross Jan. 15 that serves as a thorn in its side. In addition, Navy downed the Eagles 48-44 in Annapolis and Army stole a 64-63 decision.
American (14-7) snapped its two-game losing streak, opening the second half of Patriot League play with a 58-53 victory at Holy Cross (13-8) on Saturday in Worcester, Mass.
Jen Dumiak led three double-digit scorers with 17 points while Geleisa George scored 12 and Arron Zimmerman chipped in 10 points. Michelle Holmes posted a career-high 12 boards as the Eagles outrebounded Holy Cross 40-27 for the game.
Alex Smith led the Crusaders with 15 points.