Posted: January 2, 2010
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s basketball team survived a scare from Akron Saturday night as it narrowly defeated the Zips 59-57 on a game-winning shot by sophomore Alexa Williams with two seconds left in regulation. Junior Erica Prosser finished with10 points to give her exactly 1,000 for her career as the Mountain Hawks won their seventh game in a row. Lehigh, now 12-2 on the season, is off to its best start in program history and has won 25 straight home games. Akron falls below .500 with the loss to 6-7.
“The first half we came out flat; we’re coming off a big win and we may have underestimated them a little bit,” head coach Sue Troyan said. “Akron played tough and took it to us for the first 10 minutes of the game. It was a real wake up call. I thought we responded well and played better as the game went on.”
With 28 seconds left Akron junior Kara Murphy hit the game tying three-pointer to bring the score to 57-57. Senior Tricia Smith found Williams under the basket with only two seconds left for the game-winning shot.
Williams comments on the game-winning shot, “When they tied it I said we’re not going to lose this game. They trapped Erica and it was only me and Tricia left and when they went towards her I knew it was now or never. There was no way we were going to lose.”
Sophomore Emily Gratch finished with a game-high 16 points before she fouled out late in the second half. Junior Courtney Dentler (13) and Prosser (10) were the only other players to finish in double figures. Dentler led the Brown and White in rebounding as she grabbed seven while Smith has six.
The Mountain Hawks struggled from the field only hitting only 38 percent for the game and were out-rebounded by the Zips 43-38.
Akron was led by 6-3 sophomore Kyle Baumgartner who finished with 15 points and five rebounds. Senior Jolene Tamboue led the Zips’ on the boards as she finished with a game-high 11.
The Zips couldn’t find their touch from three-point land as they finished shooting 2-for-14 (14%) for the game.
Akron came out in the first half with something to prove as they held the lead for the first 14:49 of the game. The Zips were able to build an 11-point lead mid-way through the half, but five straight points from Dentler cut the Zips lead to six at 28-22. The Mountain Hawks grabbed the lead when Prosser nailed a three-pointer with 4:46 left. The Brown and White held its lead for the final few minutes of the half and headed into the locker room with a 35-33 lead.
Dentler led all players with nine points in the half, followed by Prosser and Gratch with eight points apiece. Despite only holding a two-point lead, the Mountain Hawks shot 46 percent from the field which included going 55 percent from beyond the arc.
Akron was paced by Baumgartner who had a team-high eight points and Tamboue who had seven points and a half-high six rebounds. The Zips forced 10 Lehigh turnovers and won the battle of the glass 21-16.
The Mountain Hawks will have a few days to prep for their final non-league game this Tuesday.
“I thought this game showed a lot of character by our team and we continue to play well during our non-league schedule, Troyan explained. “We’re hoping to finish non-league play strong and get ready for the Patriot League.”
Lehigh will hit the road to take on in-state foe Penn Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. in Philadelphia. The game will be broadcast live on WLVR-FM (91.3) and Lehighsports.com with Jeff Tourial calling the action. Live coverage will begin at 6:45 p.m. from the Palestra.
Mountain Hawks Basketball Post-Game Extra with Jeff Tourial