BALTIMORE - Four players in double figures and a double-double from Natalie Kucowski created a winning formula for the Leopards on Saturday afternoon, as they earned a 73-64 win over the Greyhounds to sweep the season series.
The Maroon and White’s offense was firing on all cylinders, shooting 54 percent from the floor and 50 percent from behind the three point arc. Kucowski finished with her ninth double-double on a career-high 22 points and 12 rebounds. Anna Ptasinski, Sammy Stipa and Alexis Santarelli were the other double figure scorers for Lafayette, adding 13, 13 and 11 points, respectively. Santarelli finished with her first career double-double, adding a career-high 10 rebounds to her stat line.
With the win, Lafayette improves to 9-14 on the year with a 5-8 mark in the Patriot League. The loss drops the Greyhounds to 7-17 overall with a 5-8 record in league play.
The Leopards jumped all over the Greyhounds to start the game, opening on an 11-4 run over the first 4:15. Kucowski got things started with a trey while Ptasinski capped the run with a three from the elbow. Loyola responded with an 8-0 run of their own as Alexis Gray knocked down a three to put the Leopards down 12-11 with 3:23 left in the period. Drew Freeland put the Leopards within two, 19-17, as the opening quarter came to a close.
Lafayette seized control of the game once again to start the second quarter, outscoring the Greyhounds 10-2 over the first 6:25. Kucowski supplied six of the points for the Maroon and White during the run. Following the media timeout, the Leopards couldn’t keep the Greyhounds at bay Stephanie Karcz led the charge for Loyola. The teams traded buckets the rest of the way, as Loyola pulled within three points as the half came to a close. Kucowski continued to find the bottom of the net, keeping the Leopards in front 38-35 heading into the halftime break.
The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair, as the teams traded buckets for the entirety of the 10 minutes. Lafayette edged Loyola 19-18 in the period, carrying a 57-53 lead into the fourth quarter. A barrage of threes brought the period to a close, as Stipa and Freeland answered two treys from the Greyhounds with triples of their own as the quarter came to a close.
The Leopards were able to frustrate the Greyhounds defensively in the fourth quarter, holding them to 11 points on 5-of-14shooting. The Maroon and White pulled away as two straight baskets from Kucowski made it 67-59. Izzy Therien answered for the Greyhounds, but Stipa and Santarelli went back-to-back to put the Leopards up for good, 71-62.
Lafayette stifled Loyola’s offense to the tune of 24-for-66 (36%) shooting from the floor. The Leopards won the battle on the boards, 41-33, which led to 16 second chance points for the Maroon and White. This game marks the second time this season the Maroon and White finished with four players in double figures, as they achieved the feat in the win over Holy Cross on Jan. 2.
The Leopards return home for their next contest on Wednesday, Feb. 14, when they welcome Navy to Kirby Sports Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Story courtesy of Lafayette Athletics