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Women's Basketball Falls to Army in Star Game

Jade Geif

Feb. 16, 2013

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Army held the Navy women's basketball team to 28 percent shooting from the field and a 3-of-22 effort from three-point range to win a defensive battle between the teams, 48-40, Saturday afternoon at Alumni Hall in Annapolis.

The game served as the annual Star Game, which has now been won by the road team for a fifth-consecutive season. Additionally, the result of the game places Army and Navy in a tie for first place in the Patriot League standings with identical 8-2 records. However, the Black Knights own the tiebreaker over the Mids due to their having won both meetings between the teams this season.

"Army plays defense against us like we play defense against everybody," said Navy head coach Stefanie Pemper. What I mean by that is they are really into what we do. They obviously have really good players, smart players, they work really hard, their coaching staff does a good job. This game means a lot and they just execute their game plan really well in addition to have talent, length, athleticism."

With the two teams ranked first (Navy, 44.8) and second (Army, 48.6) in scoring defense in the league, points were at a premium, especially in the first half. A 6-0 run by Army late in the half allowed the Black Knights to take a 17-15 lead at halftime. The Mids were 5 of 23 (21.7%) from the floor in the first half, while the Black Knights were 7 of 21 (33.3%).

Kara Pollinger (Jr., Fort Gay, W.Va.) drilled a three-point field goal on Navy's opening possession of the second half to give Navy its first lead of the game since holding a 12-10 advantage. Army answered by scoring the ensuing 11 points to take a 28-18 lead. Navy responded with a 6-0 run to close to within 28-24, but Army went on a 6-0 run of its own to reclaim a double-digit lead at 34-24.

Navy was able to winnow the margin down to six points at 38-32 (6:33), 42-36 (2:20) and 44-38 (:48) but could pull no closer than that over the remainder of the game.

While Navy only slightly improved its shooting percentage in the second half (33.3% in all, 14.3% in three-point attempts), Army shot 45 percent from the field, made 5 of 9 three-point attempts (55.6%) and sank 8 of 10 attempts from the foul line after halftime.

Jade Geif (Jr., Lakeville, Minn.) led Navy with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Pollinger and Alix Membreno (Jr., Loxahatchee, Fla.) both chipped in nine points.

"Jade played well," said Pemper, "but we really didn't have anyone else play well other than her. They defended her tough with the best shot blocker in the league, so Jade played well, but we weren't able to keep our heads in the game and keep our poise."

Navy played the game without the services of starter Chloe Stapleton (So., Cary, N.C.), who missed her second-straight game due to an injury.

Army was led in scoring by Kelsey Minato's 19 points.

Navy will next play Wednesday at American.



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