Posted: November 29, 2009
PHILADELPHIA – Down nine points at halftime Lehigh outscored La Salle 38-18 over the last 20 minutes as the Mountain Hawks rallied for their fourth straight victory, 58-47 Sunday afternoon at Tom Gola Arena. Junior Erica Prosser led the way for the Mountain Hawks with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting while the Lehigh defense limited the Explorers to just 30-percent shooting for the game. The win improves Lehigh’s record to 5-1, while La Salle falls to 1-5.
"It was an ugly game overall," said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan after the game. "In the second half we kind of woke up, I think, our fist one o'clock game, had us sleeping through the first half. Honestly, we weren't able to get into any type of flow in the first half with foul trouble and playing [La Salle's] pace."
The game started as a back-and-forth affair with three ties and seven lead changes in the opening 20 minutes. Lehigh was limited to just 32-percent shooting from the field, including 0-for-7 from beyond the three-point arc as La Salle built a lead that increased to as high as 13 late in the half on a lay-up by Nadia Duncan. A pair of buckets by Prosser allowed the Mountain Hawks to get back to within 29-20 at halftime.
In the second half, Lehigh clawed back by scoring the first seven points of the half. The Mountain Hawks recaptured the lead for good on a Prosser three-pointer with 13:06 to play. Lehigh continued to build on its lead as the half progressed as the Mountain Hawks went up by ten on a Prosser lay-up with just over eight minutes to play and increased as high as 14 in the final minute.
"We told them at halftime there weren't a lot of adjustments to be made," Troyan explained. "It was on them to make the mental adjustment and realize that they need to play much harder in the second half."
Lehigh shot 37 percent from the field for the game. Prosser was the only Mountain Hawk to reach double figures, while senior Alex Ross added nine points and a game-high four steals. Senior Kristen Dalton and sophomore Emily Gratch added eight points for the Mountain Hawks, while junior Courtney Dentler led all players with nine rebounds, as Lehigh out-rebounded La Salle by a 37-34 margin.
Duncan led all players with 20 points including a 10-of-12 showing from the free throw line. Duncan also added a team-leading eight rebounds while Morgan Robertson added ten points and seven rebounds. The Lehigh defense asserted itself in the second half, limiting the Explorers to just 5-of-19 shooting (26%).
Lehigh understands the benefits that can be gained from rallying from a 13-point deficit. "It's something we can draw confidence from," Troyan said. "We didn't play particularly well, but they fought through it. You're going to have games like this, and they understand that we have to find a way to win them."
The Mountain Hawks will return to action Wednesday night when they travel to Princeton to wrap up the three-game road swing. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. from Jadwin Gym. The game can be heard on WLVR-FM as well as online at Lehighsports.com with Jeff Tourial calling the action.
Mountain Hawks Basketball Post-Game Extra