Posted: December 5, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Mountain Hawks got back to their winning ways with a 68-55 show of force over the Bryant Bulldogs Friday night in Stabler Arena. Haly Crites started the game off with a layup to make the score 2-0 in the first minute, and the Mountain Hawks never looked back, as they held the lead for the entire game after that.
Alex Ross led the way for the Brown and White, putting up 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting on the night. Crites joined her teammate as the only other player in double figures, scoring 11 points and adding one block.
With the win, the Mountain Hawks improve to 6-2, the squad’s best start since the 2004-05 season. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, fall to 3-5 with the loss.
“I’m pleased with getting the win tonight and starting 6-2 on the season,” Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan said. “But I’m still disappointed with the sloppy play and how we finished up the game tonight.”
With just a one point lead 5:16 into the game, Lehigh went on a 23-4 run that showed its dominance over the Bulldogs, who are currently in their first season of Division I play.
The Mountain Hawks were not in danger for most of the game Friday night – the closest Bryant came was when it drew to within 8-7 in the first half – but the Mountain Hawks were unable to put the Bulldogs away for much of the game.
Lehigh shot 46.6 percent from the floor, but the Brown and White turned the ball over 23 times. The sloppy play was exhibited on both sides of the floor, however, as the Bulldogs committed 24 turnovers in the loss.
“We have to give Bryant a lot of credit for how tough they played through the end,” Troyan said. “We knew they would be scrappy and fight a lot, but we did well adjusting to that.”
The physical play allowed Tricia Smith and Courtney Dentler to show off their defensive skills. Smith led the way with nine rebounds, with seven coming on the defensive end, and Dentler added a career-high three blocks for the Mountain Hawks.
The Lehigh defense clamped down on the Bryant shooters all night, holding the Bulldogs to just 32.8 percent from the floor. That tough defending was especially evident behind the arc, where Bryant shot just 3-for-23 for a 13.0 percentage from downtown.
“It was a sloppy game out there tonight,” Troyan said. “But I have to say I’m proud of how our defense played.”
The Mountain Hawks will head back out to the road for their second-consecutive meeting with a Big East foe on Sunday. Lehigh travels to Villanova on 1 p.m. to take on the Wildcats. Tune in to Lehighsports.com for a live radio broadcast with Jeff Tourial calling the action.
Watch the Lehigh - Bryant Post-Game Show