St. Francis Edges Army In Season Opener, 56-53

Danielle Failor

Danielle Failor

Nov. 11, 2013

Box Score

St. Francis 56, Army 53 Get Acrobat Reader

BROOKLYN, N.Y.  – Army women’s basketball suffered a 56-53 setback on Monday night in its season debut at St. Francis. The Black Knights struggled to adjust to the new rules on fouls as three of Army’s main components were sidelined with foul trouble for much of the contest. Despite playing just 18 minutes, senior tri-captain Jen Hazlett totaled a game-high 19 points, including a trio of clutch threes which kept Army in the hunt.

Eighth-year head coach Dave Magarity made a decision pregame to be proactive towards the NCAA’s new guidelines on handcheck and blocking fouls, opting not to start sophomore Aimee Oertner in order to keep her out of foul trouble. Despite coming off the bench, Oertner picked up a pair of quick fouls after just three minutes of play in the first. As a rookie, Oertner averaged 27 minutes per contest and was limited to just 11 on Monday night.

Starting in her place was freshman Danielle Failor. Failor had an impressive debut, totaling a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, following in the footsteps of Oertner who notched a double-double in her career debut as well. Failor was one of just three Black Knights to score in the first half, joined by Hazlett and sophomore Kelsey Minato.

The Black Knights went into the locker room at halftime trailing 29-23. Minato boasted a game-high nine points while Failor and Hazlett chipped in seven apiece after 20 minutes of play.

The Terriers went on a 10-3 run to open the second half, leading by as much as 11 with 8:45 remaining. Hazlett stopped the bleeding with the first of three decisive threes down the stretch, before junior Olivia Schretzman made four consecutive free-throws to make it a two-possession game, 50-44, with 4:43 remaining.

Oertner, Hazlett and Failor chipped in to cut the deficit to three points, 53-50, with 1:21 remaining. Jessica Kaufman’s layup with 1:03 left put Army back on its heels, before Hazlett drilled her fifth three-pointer of the game, tying her career best. Down three with 18 seconds left and the ball, Army failed to make another shot as St. Francis held on for the win.  

“The last play wasn’t poorly executed, Hazlett needed to create more separation,” said Army head coach Dave Magarity. “We weren’t playing with our top players and if we don’t adjust to the way the game is being called now, we’re going to be in trouble. Aimee Oertner got in trouble and we had no inside presence without her. We’re a different team without her; she’s our best post player right now.

“Kelsey Minato struggled and that’s going to happen, she’s going to attract attention all year. Hazlett has a good game but she was on the bench with foul trouble for 20 minutes. I thought Failor was terrific; she’s an incredible athlete and relentless player. I’m thrilled with her performance. Ocran gave us a couple good minutes. Minato can’t carry us night-in and night-out and we need to find a replacement for Anna Simmers and nobody stepped up tonight. I really think this St. Francis is a very, very good team. I was pleased with our effort; we played hard, we just didn’t play particularly smart.”

Minato shot just 4-of-19 from the floor, while Army shot 32.8 percent (19-of-48) as a team. Seven of Army’s nine losses in 2012-13 came in games which the Black Knights shot under 35 percent, including a 25.8-percent showing against the Terriers.

Army won the battle of the boards rather handily, outrebounding the Terriers 41-29. Schretzman grabbed a game-high 12 caroms, her highest total since setting her career standard (15) at Morgan State on Jan. 6, 2013.

The Black Knights will host Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday at 7 p.m., at Christl Arena in Army’s home opener. Three Black Knights recorded double-doubles in a 57-52 win at FDU in 2012-13. The Knights opened their season on Sunday afternoon with a 73-63 loss to Manhattan.

NOTES: Army falls to 10-2 all-time against St. Francis with its second consecutive loss to the Terriers … Army won the first 10 games of the series … Olivia Schretzman was credited with a career-best five assists … Danielle Failor becomes the second consecutive Army freshman to record a double-double in their collegiate debut/season opener following Aimee Oertner a season ago … the 42 combined fouls are the most in a game for Army since the Air Force contest on Nov. 23, 2012, when the teams totaled 49 … all four of Jen Hazlett’s second-half field goals came from beyond the arc … Brianna Johnson made her second career start … Kelsey Minato played all 40 minutes for the eighth time in her career.  

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