Posted: December 29, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – After a slow start the Lehigh women’s basketball team came on strong to defeat the Wagner Seahawks 69-43 in its opening round game of the 13th annual Christmas City Classic at Stabler Arena on Tuesday. Junior Courtney Dentler earned her first career double-double as she finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The win gives the Mountain Hawks 23 straight home victories and improves their record to 10-2 on the season. Wagner falls to 2-9 on the season and will play in the consolation game of the classic tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m. against IUPUI.
“We had a little bit of a sluggish start,” head coach Sue Troyan said. “We were trading baskets with them and playing at their pace, but I thought we did a good job of picking up the tempo in the second half. Erica (Prosser) was a big reason we were able to pick up the pace and our ability to convert turnovers into offensive opportunities helped.”
Troyan continued on Dentler, “She is playing with a lot of confidence right now. She has really stepped up and is extremely versatile for us. Courtney can shoot the three, board and brings so much to the position.”
Prosser finished the game tied with senior Alex Ross for the game-high in points (16). The junior captain also contributed three assists and at one point scored seven consecutive points in the first half to turn the tide of the game.
Seniors Tricia Smith and Ryan Ingalls each pulled down five rebounds as Lehigh out-rebounded the Seahawks 36-31. The Mountain Hawks finished the game shooting 48 percent from the floor and tied their season-high by forcing 28 turnovers.
The Seahawks were led by junior Megan Mahoney who had 13 points and her classmate Sha’Ron Harrison with 12. Wagner shot 35 percent for the game and 43 percent from the free-throw line.
Wagner jumped out to a 6-2 lead early in the first half, but it wouldn’t be long until Lehigh evened it up. With a 12-10 lead the Mountain Hawks went on a 9-0 run to take a 21-10 lead. Prosser scored seven of the nine points during the run. For the rest of the half the Brown and White maintained a comfortable lead, as the closest the Seahawks got was eight points. Heading into the locker room Lehigh had a 29-21 lead over Wagner.
Prosser and Dentler led the way for the Mountain Hawks in the half each contributing eight points. As a team Lehigh shot 37.5 percent from the field and out-rebounded Wagner 18-16 with Dentler grabbing six.
The Seahawks were led by Mahoney who netted eight points which included hitting two three-pointers. Wagner shot 39 percent in the half, but turned the ball over 16 times.
The Mountain Hawks opened up the second half on a 14-2 run to really open up the game and never looked back. With the win Lehigh advances to the title game against St. Bonaventure with a chance to win its second straight Christmas City Classic.
“Bonaventure is a great program,” Troyan said. “Their RPI has been in the 50’s and they have received top-25 votes for the last couple of weeks. We’re excited to have the chance to play them and we’re going to treat the game as if it was a league championship.”
Dentler added, “We have to keep playing our game and we know we can be successful. We did it against Villanova and Duquesne and if we can come out and run it will be hard to stop us.”
In the first game of the Christmas City Classic, St. Bonaventure topped IUPUI 69-39. The Bonnies were led by a balanced attack as four players finished in double figures: Dana Mitchell (13), Chelsea Bowker (11), Alaina Walker (10) and Megan Van Tatenhove (10). IUPUI was led by Clara Mitchell who finished with nine points.
The Mountain Hawks and St. Bonaventure will meet in the championship game of the classic at 4:30 p.m. from Stabler Arena. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 610-7LU-GAME, by visiting the Lehigh Athletics Ticket Office, located in Grace Hall or by logging onto Lehighsports.com. If you can’t make it out to the game log onto Lehighsports.com to view the game free of charge with Jeff Tourial on the call.
Lehigh - Wagner Post-Game Extra