The Lafayette women’s basketball team has lost two straight after dropping consecutive contests to American University and Boston University.
In the Boston University game the Leopards got out to a hot start, opening a 15-12 lead after the first quarter and a 33-22 lead at the half before the offense went cold in the final two quarters, scoring just 11 second half points. Both teams wore customized jerseys with player nicknames for the contest.
Sophomore guard Olivia “Liv” Martino led the way with 15 points on 6-10 shooting, going 2-4 from long range and adding two rebounds and a blocked shot. Fellow sophomore guard Drew “Drewski” Freeland had another solid game with 11 points, two rebounds and two assists, and shot efficiently from the field, going 5-11. Freeland and Martino’s strong offensive efforts couldn’t overcome tough shooting nights by sophomore forward Natalie “Nicoletta” Kucowski, freshman guard Makaila “Mak” Wilson, and senior guard Alex “Clutch” Cantwell.
The Leopards were defeated by American University 60-45 last Saturday in a streaky contest that was decided by a late game run, before losing to the Terriers in a close contest by a score of 47-44 on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
In the American game, the Leopards played well through three quarters but ran out of energy in the fourth and allowed the Clawed Eagles to slip away in the final frame. Lafayette struggled from the opening tip, quickly finding themselves in an 8-0 hole before going on an 8-2 run and finishing the first quarter down by only two. The second quarter was a similar story, as American went on a 6-0 run to start the quarter before the Leopards battled back in the final 1:27 of the half to knot the game at 26 heading into the halftime break.
It was truly a game of runs, as the Leopards started the quarter with an 8-2 run before American responded by pulling within one heading into the fourth before outscoring the Leopards 26-10 in the final quarter en route to the 60-45 win.
Martino, who contributed five points and two assists, lamented the team’s late game struggles.
“We were leading up until the end,” Martino said. “We played well but weren’t disciplined down the stretch and it cost us.”
Despite the tough recent period during which the team has lost six out of their past seven games, the players are focusing on consistent improvement as the season progresses.
“We’re continuing to grow. We want to be sure that toward the end of the season, that is when we are playing our best basketball,” said Martino. “It wasn’t the best game for me personally, and it reminded me that even if I’m not scoring, I can’t let the other team score.”
Kucowski finished as the Leopards’ leading scorer, contributing 12 points and six rebounds for Lafayette. Freeland notched eight points and five rebounds, and Cantwell chipped in seven points and six rebounds.
Although the Leopards didn’t get the outcome they wanted, Freeland moved into a three-way tie with Martino and April Shippee ’96 at third on the all-time Lafayette three-point field goals list with 55 apiece after her two made shots from long range.
The Leopards’ next game is Feb. 2 at Holy Cross with a 1 p.m. tipoff in Worcester, Mass.