Purchase, NY (Mar. 1, 2011) – The slogan “New Team, New Dream” didn’t foster a championship in 2010-11 for the Purchase College women’s basketball team, but it was fitting for this group of emerging stars.
The Panthers reached the Skyline Conference Tournament this winter in spite of a below .500 record. And at times, you could see the wealth of talent that lies ahead for head coach Steven Loscher and Purchase.
Loscher coined the phrase "New Team, New Dream" in the preseason, printing t-shirts with the phrase emblazoned across the chest. In the end, the season was summed by ups and downs – all part of the growth process, Loscher believes.
Having graduated only one player, Sarah Straub, the Panthers will return their entire starting lineup for the 2011-12 campaign.
Led by captain Alyse LaPadula, who was a team high scorer in five of the Purchase’s 25 regular season games, the Panthers finished with an overall record of 8-17 and 7-11 in Skyline Conference play, good enough to earn the No. 6 seed in the postseason tourney. LaPadula led the team with 41 steals and was a calming presence on the floor for one of the youngest rosters in the league. The junior finished the season with two Honor Roll mentions and played her best basketball late in the year, helping Purchase grab the sixth and final playoff spot. LaPadula averaged solid numbers across the board, with 9.8 ppg, 4.9 assists and 1.76 steals in conference.
The story of the winter had to be the progression of the Perrone twins. Rachel Perrone earned All-Skyline 2nd Team honors averaging a double-double in points and rebounds (16.1 points per game and 10.6 rebounds per game). Perrone averaged a double-double for the season and was clearly among the best freshman players in the conference. She won the league Rookie of the Week three times and topped the Honor Roll six other times, remaining a constant in the league’s weekly awards. Her twin sister, Jessica Perrone, was instrumental in the team’s success as well, totaling 221 points on the year to go with 211 rebounds.
Another rookie, Devon Espel, came on strong toward the end of the season, rebounding from injury. She is expected to play a huge role next year. Fellow reserve Olivia Hintz rounded out a strong cast of up-and-coming players.
Standout transfer MaryAlice Palmer showed signs of potential throughout the year with her speed and court vision, while teammate Jessica Lindsay will also remain an important part of the rotation moving forward. Lindsay, a starting forward, finished the season averaging 8.1 points per game. Palmer, a very heady playmaker, also posted solid numbers throughout. Against the league, Palmer, who was also named to the league Honor Roll during the season, averaged 9.5 ppg, 5.6 rbg, 4.5 assists per game and equaled her teammate, LaPadula, with 1.76 steals per game.
[CAPTAIN ALYSE LAPADULA. -PHOTO BY OREN VOURMAN]
The young Panther squad, who made the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons under Loscher, suffered an early season injury to transfer Alyssa Guido. The high-scoring guard/forward had been averaging 10.6 points per game and will be looked heavily upon next winter to provide some of that same scoring punch.
The Panthers will miss Straub’s leadership and veteran play, but are excited for the future with a promising cast of underclassmen on board to go along with Loscher’s star recruiting class.
-Steve Miraglia and Bobby Ciafardini, SID