Feb. 8, 2012
EASTON, Pa. -
Junior Anna Simmers led all players with 20 points and sophomore Jen Hazlett added 17 as the Army women's basketball team picked up a 62-47 Patriot League win over Lafayette on Wednesday night at Kirby Sports Center.
The Black Knights scored the final eight points of the game - all from the free throw line - to seal their sixth league win. Navy defeated Holy Cross on the road, while American handled Lehigh at home, moving Army into a three-way tie with Lehigh and Navy for second place in the Patriot League standings with identical 6-3 marks. The Black Knights battle Navy for the "Star" this Saturday, Feb. 11, at Christl Arena.
Army out-rebounded Lafayette 44-38, as Hazlett led all players with 11 rebounds en route to her fifth double-double of the season.
While Simmers and Hazlett combined for more than half of Army's points, Olivia Schretzman, Jessica Waggoner and Liz Benedict finished with five points apiece.
"I have to be proud of our gutsy effort tonight on the road," said sixth-year head coach Dave Magarity. "It's so important heading into the meat of our schedule down the stretch. We've got some really tough road games - at American, at Lehigh - coming up. It's important to learn how to win on the road."
The teams entered halftime tied, 30-30, but Army locked-down defensively in the second half to out-score Lafayette 32-17. The Black Knights finished the game 23-of-27 from the free throw line.
Army's defense held Lafayette's Danielle Fiacco, the league's tallest player standing 6-8, to three points and two rebounds on the night. Fiacco scored all three points from the free throw line.
"I thought (Olivia) Schretzman had a terrific night on defense," Magarity said of the rookie standout. "(Danielle) Fiacco was a real concern for us coming into this game. I also thought Jess (Waggoner) stepped in and did a good job for us being a physical presence off the bench.
"We had a lot of kids like Kait Goodall and Olivia Schretzman, who didn't end up with a ton of points or stats, but that was a result of them just being exhausted from working so hard on the defensive end."
Simmers scored Army's first six points of the game, while the Black Knights opened up an 11-4 lead and forced Lafayette to burn its first timeout of the contest at the 15:25 mark. Hazlett buried the first three-pointer of the game from the right wing during Army's opening spurt.
The Leopards countered with a quick 5-0 run to inch within 11-9 just over a minute later. Hazlett heated up from long range from there as she scored Army's next eight points - including consecutive three-pointers - to stay on top, 18-12, with 11:24 remaining.
The Black Knights went on to take a 28-19 lead on a Benedict three-pointer from the left wing (7:00), but that would be Army's final field goal of the half. A pair of Hazlett free throws with 4:27 to play marked Army's lone points the rest of the way, while Lafayette used an 11-2 run to close the half. The teams entered the locker room tied, 30-30.
After sitting the final 13 minutes of the first half due to foul trouble, Simmers picked up right where she left off and scored Army's first four points of the second half. The Black Knights netted eight of the first 10 points of the second half and stretched their lead to 38-32 after a Molly Yardley layup at the 13:35 mark.
Lafayette pulled within 40-36 midway through the action before Army scored the next six points unanswered on Hazlett's baseline triple (9:22) and Schretman's traditional three-point play (8:55) as the Black Knights extended their lead to double digits, 46-36.
Lafayette cut the lead to eight, but Simmers' three-pointer from the right wing with 5:22 to go gave Army its largest lead of the night, 51-38.
The Leopards continued to keep things close down the stretch, pulling within 54-47 with 2:25 remaining. That would be Lafayette's final bucket of the game. The Black Knights relied on an 8-of-8 effort from the free throw line over the final two minutes to seal the victory.
Army returns to Christl Arena, where the team is 8-4 this season, to host rival Navy on Saturday, Feb. 11. The sold-out contest will tip-off at noon and air live on CBS Sports Network. Check your local listings for channel information.
Game Notes: Army extended its win streak to three games ... the Black Knights wore specially designed Nike road black uniforms with pink ACU (Army Combat Uniform) insets in honor of breast cancer awareness month ... Anna Simmers picked up her second foul less than seven minutes into the game and did not play the rest of the first half ... Army entered halftime tied with its opponent for the first time this season.