Feb. 24, 2012
Army at Lehigh Game Notes
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Having already secured a home game for the quarterfinal round of the 2012 Patriot League Tournament, the Army women's basketball visits Lehigh for its final regular-season game and a chance to clinch the No. 2 seed in the tournament.
The winner of Saturday's game will play as the second seed, while the loser drops to third or fourth depending on the outcome of Saturday's early games. The Black Knights and Mountain Hawks are tied for second in the Patriot League standings with identical 8-5 Patriot League records. Army edged Lehigh 66-64 in the first regular-season meeting on Jan. 29 at West Point, N.Y.
American has sewn up the regular-season Patriot League title and top seed, while Army, Lehigh and Navy represent the three remaining teams to secure home quarterfinal games.
Date - Saturday, Feb. 25
Tip Off - 7:30 p.m.
Location - Bethlehem, Pa.
T.V. - Service Electric-2
Radio - 1390-AM, 1340-AM
Play-by-play: Seth Cantor
Web - ITT Exelis Knight Vision
Live Stats - lehighsports.com
Twitter Updates - @ArmyAthletics
Series - Lehigh leads, 27-23
Last Meeting - 1/29/12
Army 66, Lehigh 64
West Point, N.Y.
With the loss of four starters and three-year All-Patriot League star Erin Anthony to graduation, it was no surprise the Patriot League's head coaches and sports information directors voted Army to finish seventh in the 2011-12 preseason poll. With 26 points, the Black Knights were listed just three points above eighth-place Colgate. Three months later, Army is playing for the second seed in the Patriot League Tournament and is guaranteed a home quarterfinal game as one of the top four seeds. Army last played as the No. 2 seed in 2007 and has been No. 4 or 5 in four tournaments since.
LAST TIME OUT: ARMY 65, HOLY CROSS 62
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012 - Christl Arena
WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army women's basketball team clinched home court advantage for the quarterfinal round of the 2012 Patriot League Tournament following a 65-62 win over visiting Holy Cross on Senior Night at Christl Arena. Junior guard Anna Simmers led all players with 22 points, but it was two defensive stops in the final minute that delivered a key victory for the Black Knights. The win marked head coach Dave Magarity's 99th victory at Army.
Army trailed 35-31 at the half and overcame a 58-51 deficit with 7:42 remaining in the game. The Black Knights outscored Holy Cross 14-3 over the final seven minutes to secure a home quarterfinal game on Thursday, March 1, at 7 p.m.
Seniors Meagan Doucette and Kait Goodall totaled eight and seven points, respectively, with both of their families in the stands for Senior Night festivities.
After scoring 11 of the first 12 points of the game, the Black Knights' offense cooled off a bit and they shot 32 percent (22-of-68) for the game. Army committed a season-low six turnovers. Meanwhile, Army scored 18 points off 16 Holy Cross miscues. The Crusaders shot 46 percent (21-of-46) for the game, taking 22 attempts less than the Black Knights. Army out-rebounded Holy Cross, 42-34.
THE LAST MEETING: ARMY VS. LEHIGH
Saturday, Jan. 29, 2012 - Christl Arena
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Junior guard Anna Simmers scored 20 first-half points and finished with a career-high 28 as Army upset visiting Lehigh, 66-64, in Patriot League women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Christl Arena. Simmers led three Army players in double-figure scoring as the Black Knights notched their fourth league win and moved into a three-way tie for third place in the conference standings.
The Black Knights entered the locker room with a 42-26 halftime lead only to watch it evaporate over the opening four minutes of the second half. Lehigh tied the game at 58-all with 5:11 to play, but Army managed to maintain the lead the rest of the way and escape yet another close decision.
Sophomore guard Jen Hazlett and freshman forward Olivia Schretzman amassed 17 and 16 points, respectively. The pair combined for 15 rebounds on the afternoon, led by Hazlett's eight caroms to go with a game-high four assists.
INSIDE THE SERIES: ARMY VS. LEHIGH
After dropping four-straight games to Lehigh spanning 2008-2010, the Black Knights have won two of the last three meetings with the Mountain Hawks.
Lehigh was one of just a half dozen teams to beat Army during a record-setting 2006-07 campaign. Army finished that year with a program-best 24-6 mark, but saw its hopes for a second-straight Patriot League title dashed when Lehigh upset Army (57-53) in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament.
Army players own the top three individual performances in the Patriot League this season thanks to sophomore Jen Hazlett and junior Anna Simmers.
Hazlett poured in a career-high 30 points in a 62-47 win over Colgate last Wednesday (Feb. 15) at Christl Arena. Not only was that the top performance by any player in the league this season, she also became the first Army player to reach the 30-point plateau since Cara Enright (West Point '08) accomplished the feat in 2005.
Simmers has taken her offense to a new level during Patriot League play, as evidenced by a 27-points effort at Bucknell in the league opener on Jan. 7. She later went on to score a career-high 28 points at home against Lehigh on Jan. 29. Army won both contests.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Some say timing is everything and the Army women's basketball team's success this season seems to mirror that mantra. The Black Knights are 8-1 when playing on a Wednesday, which is six more wins than on any other day of the week. Army is also sporting an 11-5 record in night games as opposed to 3-9 when playing during the day.
It's been the story of Army's season thus far and the first Army-Lehigh meeting of the year was no exception. The Black Knights have played in 14 games decided by four points or less and are 6-8 in those contests. Eight of Army's 13 league games have been decided by four points or less -- at Bucknell (W, 67-64), vs. Lafayette (W, 44-43), at Navy (L, 58-56), vs. American (L, 40-39), at Holy Cross (L, 62-59), vs. Lehigh (W, 66-64), vs. Bucknell (W, 60-56) and most recently vs. Holy Cross (W, 65-62). The Black Knights were 1-5 in games decided by four points or less to start the season, but have since rebounded to win five of their last eight "close encounters."
One of the most experienced post teams in the Patriot League, Lehigh feeds off the combination of seniors Alexa Williams and Emily Gratch down low. The pair is averaging 12.4 and 11.6 points per game, respectively. Williams leads the Patriot League in rebounding (8.9 per game), while Gratch is second on the team averaging 6.4 caroms per game. Williams is coming off a 13-point, 14-rebound effort in a win over Navy on Wednesday night. The Mountain Hawks lead the conference in free throw percentage (72.4) and are second in scoring (59.3) and rebounding (39.4). Sophomore Hilary Weaver bolsters the backcourt and is tied for second in the league with a 3.5 assists-per-game average. Lehigh won back-to-back Patriot League titles in 2009 and 2010 under current head coach Sue Troyan.
Head coach Dave Magarity began his sixth season at the helm this year. The veteran coach with 29 years of collegiate head coaching experience recorded his 400th career win on Nov. 16 at St. Francis (N.Y.). He is the eighth head coach in Army women's basketball history. After a brief hiatus from coaching, he was an associate head coach under the late Maggie Dixon during Army's 2005-06 Patriot League Championship season. Magarity, who spent 18 years as the head men's basketball coach at Marist, stayed on board after Dixon's passing and has remained the head coach since. He is just one win shy of reaching the century mark at Army.
TOURNAMENT TICKET TIME
Tickets for Army's quarterfinal round of the 2012 Patriot League Tournament, set for March 1 at 7 p.m., are on sale now through the Army Ticket Office. Fans can purchase online at www.goARMYsports.com, by calling 1-877-TIX-ARMY or in-person at the Holleder Center box office. Tickets are $6 for adults, and $3 for students/senior citizens/youth. Doors for the event will open up 90 minutes prior to tip-off. Click here to order your tickets today!