Feb. 18, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. -
Junior guard Anna Simmers paced Army with 19 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, while freshman forward Olivia Schretzman added 12 points, but Army was unable to solve undefeated regular-season champion American in a 54-48 loss in Patriot League women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Bender Arena.
While American remained undefeated in Patriot League play at 12-0, the Black Knights fell into a jumbled three-way tie with Lehigh and Navy at 7-5 in conference action. Army hosts Holy Cross (Feb. 22) and plays at Lehigh (Feb. 25) to close-out the regular season. American is the only team to clinch home-court advantage for the 2012 Patriot League Tournament. The top four teams will host quarterfinal games on Thursday, March 1.
The Black Knights trailed 22-14 at halftime and found themselves down 46-30 with 6:30 to play, but did not go quietly. Simmers and Schretzman engineered a 10-0 Army run over the next three-plus minutes to stay in the game. Schretzman scored on three-straight Army possessions and capped the surge with a putback that trimmed the deficit to 46-40 with 2:52 to play.
Army continued to remain on American's heals, but was never able to get over the hump. Schretzman buried her second career three-point bucket with 27 seconds remaining, pulling the Black Knights within 51-46. American sophomore Alexis Dobbs, who finished with a game-high 20 points, hit three of four free throws over the final 25 seconds to seal the Eagles' 12-straight victory.
Army shot 33 percent (19-of-58) from the field, while Schretzman's triple was the only three pointer for the Black Knights on the game. American also shot at a 33-percent (20-of-60) clip and hit five three-point buckets. The Black Knights held a slight 45-43 edge in the rebounding column. In addition to Simmers' game-high 12 caroms, sophomore guard/forward Jen Hazlett and sophomore forward Jessica Waggoner chipped in with nine and five rebounds, respectively. Hazlett led all players with four assists and tied for a game-high three steals.
American raced out to an 8-0 lead over the opening five minutes of the contest before Hazlett put the Black Knights on the board with a layup at the 15:05 mark. The Black Knights' offensive woes continued throughout the first half, but the Eagles cooled off as well.
The Black Knights whittled the deficit to a single point three times over the final 10:14 of the opening 20 minutes. Senior co-captain Meagan Doucette hit her only bucket of the game with 4:17 to play in the half, which trimmed the deficit to 15-14 in favor of the Eagles. American scored the final seven points of the first half and entered the locker room with a 22-14 advantage.
American took its first double-digit lead of the afternoon 2:03 into the second half, as a Sarah Kiely layup gave the Eagles a 24-14 lead. The Black Knights scored six of the next seven points, thanks to buckets from Simmers, Hazlett and Waggoner, and trailed 25-20 at the 15:21 mark.
The game never got out of Army's reach down the stretch, as American's 16-point lead (46-30) was the largest of the day, from which the Black Knights bounced back using the aforementioned sequence.
American's 12th win is a Patriot League record for the Eagles.
Army returns home, where the team is 9-5 this season, to take on Holy Cross on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Christl Arena. The Crusaders edged the Black Knights 62-59 in the first regular-season meeting between the teams on Jan. 25 in Worcester, Mass. Next Wednesday will serve as Senior Night for co-captains Kait Goodall and Meagan Doucette, along with student assistant coach Erin Jankowski.
Game Notes: Army's 14 points over the opening 20 minutes marked the fewest points scored in a first half this season ... the Black Knights lost their third straight game against American ... Anna Simmers led Army in scoring for the 13th time and reached double-figures for the 20th game this season ... Olivia Schretzman reached double-digit scoring for the second time in conference play and sixth overall ... Army was 9-of-17 from the free throw line.