Posted: January 5, 2010
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s basketball team finished the non-league portion of its schedule in impressive fashion defeating the Penn Quakers 66-51 Tuesday night at The Palestra. Sophomore Emily Gratch contributed her second double-double of the season as she finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Mountain Hawks have now won eight straight games and improve to 13-2 on the season. With the loss Penn falls to 1-11 on the season and has now lost three straight to the Brown and White.
“We came out a little sluggish to start, but I thought defensively we were pretty solid in the first half,” head coach Sue Troyan said. “Offensively we couldn’t control the tempo and get the ball up the floor, but I thought we did a much better job in the second half.”
Junior Erica Prosser led Lehigh’s offense as she tied for a game-high 16 points and she also contributed five steals. Despite not scoring any points, senior Tricia Smith put together a strong effort on the boards collecting eight rebounds while sophomore Alexa Williams pulled down six of her own.
For the game Lehigh shot 35 percent from the floor and 65 percent from the free throw line. The Mountain Hawks hit 15 of their 17 free throws in the second half to give them almost half of their points.
“Part of our emphasis in the second half was to go inside and attack the basket and I thought we executed it well,” Troyan said.
The Quakers were led by junior Kim Adams (16) and senior Sarah Bucar (14) as they both finished in double figures. Sophomore Jess Knapp helped Penn outrebound Lehigh 47-46 as she collected a game-high 14 boards.
Penn struggled from the field only shooting 29 percent and turned the ball over 19 times compared to the Brown and White’s 13.
Lehigh once again came out slow in the first half, but was able to finish off strong and take a seven point lead into the locker room, 30-23. The Quakers led 13-12 midway through the first half, but the Mountain Hawks ended the half on an 18-8 run to grab the lead.
Prosser led the Mountain Hawks with eight points in the half which included going 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. Smith (7) and Gratch (6) led the Brown and White on the boards as it outrebounded the Quakers 23-17.
Penn was led by Adams who had 11 points and four rebounds in the half. As a team the Quakers shot 38 percent from the field and only hit one third of their free throws (3-9).
The Mountain Hawks built a 10 point lead in the second half, but Penn kept chipping away until Lehigh pulled away with eight minutes left in the game.
“13-2 is our best start in non-league play, but everything gets thrown out the window with the start of league play,” Troyan said. “I think our schedule has been challenging up to this point and has prepared us for the challenge ahead.”
Tonight’s game wraps up the non-league portion of Lehigh’s schedule and next it will be off to Washington, D.C. this Saturday to open up Patriot League play. The Mountain Hawks will take on the American Eagles (7-7) this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live by Jeff Tourial on 91.3 WLVR as well as Lehighsports.com.
Lehigh Mountain Hawks Basketball Post-Game Extra