Wilson looks to pass
Rick Smith

Women's Basketball

Leopards Open Patriot League Play with The Rivalry

Lafayette welcomes its archrival to Kirby on Thursday

OPENING TIP
- For the second straight season, the Leopards and Mountain Hawks meet up in each team's Patriot League opener and first game of the new calendar year.
 
- Last time out, freshman Makaila Wilson recorded her first career double-double with career highs in both points and rebounds. She scored a game-high 16 points with 14 rebounds while sophomore Natalie Kucowski notched her second consecutive double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
 
- Sophomore Drew Freeland knocked down a 3-pointer at LIU Brooklyn to claim sole possession of 18th place on the all-time Lafayette 3-point field goals list with 46 makes in her career.
 
- The Leopards play back-to-back home games to open Patriot League play as Holy Cross makes the trip to College Hill on Jan. 6. It will be a tough test as the Mountain Hawks and Crusaders are currently in second and third, respectively, in the conference.
 
Scouting Lehigh
Lehigh holds an 8-3 record as it enters the Patriot League schedule with its last contest being a tough defeat at No. 2 Notre Dame.
 
Camryn Buhr is leading the charge, averaging 13.3 ppg and 6.7 rpg. Behind her is Gena Grundhoffer with 8.5 ppg.
 
Common opponents include Monmouth, Binghamton, Cornell and LIU Brooklyn, all wins for the Mountain Hawks.
 
All-Time Series
The Rivalry has been tight throughout its history as Lehigh holds a slight edge, 49-44 and has claimed the last six meetings.
 
The series dates back to the 1974-75 season and Lafayette claimed seven of the first eight matchups.  
 
Last Meeting
Lehigh swept the series last season, capping it off with a 10-point victory at Kirby Sports Center.
 
Both Olivia Martino and Alexis Santarelli came off the bench to score in double-figures with 12 points while Natalie Kucowski had nine.
 
Wilson Went to Work
Freshman Makaila Wilson earned her first double-double in a Lafayette uniform at LIU Brooklyn with career highs in both points and rebounds.
 
The Fairport, New York native scored a game-high 16 points with 14 rebounds to lead the way for the Leopards in their final non-conference matchup of the season. She went 6-of-8 from the foul line and had a steal, block and assist to her credit, as well.
 
Back-to-Back Double-Doubles
Joining Wilson with a double-double at LIU Brooklyn was sophomore Natalie Kucowski. After opening the season with four consecutive double-doubles, Kucowski has now recorded back-to-back performances with double-digit points and rebounds.
 
It was the first time this season that two Leopards had a double-double in a game as Kucowski teamed up with Alexis Santarelli for double-doubles against Loyola last season.
 
50 Rebound Games
Lafayette has pulled in 50-plus rebounds four times this season after doing so zero times in 2017-18. The last time a Lafayette team has had multi 50-plus rebounding games was in the 2013-14 season when it occurred seven times. Before this season, the last time the Leopards had a 50-plus rebound game was the opener of the 2016-17 season at La Salle.
 
Climbing the 3-point List
Sophomore Drew Freeland claimed sole possession of 18th place on the all-time Lafayette 3-point field goals list with 46 in her career, passing Alicia Manning '13. She became the fastest player in program history to the number, doing so in just 41 games.
 
Next on the list is teammate Sarah Agnello with 47 and beyond that is Brya Freeland '15 with 50 career makes from deep.
 
Getting Over the Hump
The Leopards hold a 4-1 record when scoring at least 60 points this season compared to their 1-5 mark when scoring under 60 points. 
 
Classroom Success
The 2017-18 Leopards ranked No. 14 among Division I women's basketball programs for team GPA. Lafayette compiled a team GPA of 3.538 last season and were 1-of-2 Patriot League institutions to rank inside the top-25.
 
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