Feb. 13, 2013
Army 70, Lafayette 57
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army broke free of a tie for second place in the Patriot League women’s basketball standings with a 70-57 win over Lafayette on Wednesday evening at Christl Arena. Combined with a loss by American, the second-place Black Knights were led by a pair of 20-point scorers in senior Anna Simmers who totaled a game-high 23 points and freshman Kelsey Minato who chipped in 20 en route to Army’s second consecutive season sweep of the Leopards.
Army (18-6, 7-2 Patriot League) got some much-needed help from its bench after junior Jen Hazlett, the Black Knights’ third-leading scorer, went down midway through the first half with an injury. Army found itself in foul trouble halfway through the second period as well, as three of the Black Knights’ starters had four fouls apiece. Army’s bench had been cause for concern after being held scoreless the previous two contests, and averaging just six points per game.
Led by sophomore Ciara Jackson who matched her career high with six points as well as freshman Brianna Johnson who also totaled six, the Army bench added 15 points to register double figures for the first time since Jan. 2 at Brown. The Black Knights’ 15 points from non-starters are their most against a Division I opponent since the 2012-13 season opener at Wagner, when freshman Aimee Oertner came off the bench for 18.
The Black Knights had their most accurate shooting night since making 48.9 percent of their attempts in Game 1 of the Lafayette (10-14, 3-6 PL) series this season on Jan. 16. On Wednesday night, Army was 24 of 51 for 47.1 percent to improve to 11-0 this season with shooting above 40 percent.
Despite winning by 13, the game remained a single-possession contest as late as 6:55 in the second before Minato sank a three-pointer and Jackson and Johnson combined for the next six points to push the Army advantage to double figures.
The Black Knights won the battle of the boards for the 16th time this season and third consecutive game. Simmers and sophomore Olivia Schretzman grabbed nine rebounds apiece to tie for the game lead.
The pinnacle of the regular season is set for Saturday as the second-place Black Knights will travel to Annapolis, Md., to face first-place Navy. On the line at Alumni Hall is not only the top spot in the Patriot League but the annual Gold Star. Army defeated Navy 53-42 on Jan. 20 at Christl Arena and is aiming for its first season sweep of the Midshipmen since 2008.
Game Notes: Army scored 70 points in a Patriot League contest for the first time since Feb. 23, 2008 against Navy … the Black Knights had two 20-point scorers in one game for the first time since Dec. 19, 2010 … Army’s 18 wins are its most since 2008-09 (19-12) … the season sweep of the Leopards is the 10th of the series, the most against any Patriot League opponent … the win over Lafayette at Christl Arena was Army’s 14th consecutive regular season and 15th overall.