The Army women’s basketball team will enter the Patriot League tournament as the No. 1 seed. Its first game will be Monday against Colgate. Colgate defeated Lafayette 80-68 in the first round of the league tournament. It will be the third time in league history the Black Knights enter as the No. 1 seed. They did so previously in the 2005-06 and 2012-13 seasons.
Army and Bucknell shared the regular-season title – both finished 17-1 – but Army was awarded the top spot by holding a higher position in the College Basketball News RPI. The Black Knights have an overall record of 26-2.
The league semifinals will be March 11 and the championship March 12. The three games in the semifinal and championship rounds will all be hosted at the home court of the highest-remaining seed entering the semifinals.
Senior Kelsey Minato was selected as Patriot League Player of the Year for the third time in her career, highlighting a group of three Army players to draw Patriot League post-season honors Senior Aimee Oertner was named to the league’s second team; Janae McNeal was voted to the league’s All-Defensive Team.
Minato, who was named Player of the Year in both 2013 and 2014, is only the second player in league history to be named Player of the Year three times. Bucknell’s Molly Creamer earned the honor in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Minato also became the first player in league history to be named to the first team four times.
She became the Patriot League’s career scoring leader with 32 points in the regular-season finale at Boston University March 2, giving her a total of 2,477 points and passing Creamer’s previous record of 2,462. She leads the conference, and ranks sixth nationally, with 23.7 points per game and is second in the country with a three-point shooting percentage of .485. This is the third straight season she led the league in scoring.
Oertner ranks second in the conference with 2.9 blocks per game this year and became the team’s career shot blocking leader Jan. 2. She has a collegiate-high seven blocks in two games this season and currently holds a career total of 274 blocks. She leads the Black Knights with 6.5 rebounds and is Army’s second-leading scorer, averaging 9.4 points per game.
McNeal was named to the All-Defensive Team, leading an Army defense that allowed the fewest points per game in the conference, and the third fewest in the nation (49.8). The Black Knights’ defense also leads the Patriot League in field goal percentage defense (34.6) and three-point percentage defense (24.5).
Tenth-year Army head women’s basketball coach Dave Magarity is one of five regional finalists for the United States Marine Corps/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association National Coach of the Year Award.
The winning coach from each region will be one of eight finalists for national coach of the year. The award is presented each year to head coaches who best represent the following criteria – team success during the current season, team improvement from the previous season, fulfillment of team potential and professional manner and attitude.
The Black Knights’ victories are the highest in team history. Earlier this year, Magarity reached the 500-victory milestone. Magarity became the program’s all-time wins leader during the 2013-14 season and currently owns an overall record of 508-441 and a mark of 195-107 at Army. In 23 years as men’s head coach at first St. Francis (PA) and later at Marist, he had a record of 313-335.
At Marist, Magarity coached 7-foot-4 center Rik Smits, the second pick in the 1989 NBA draft.