Posted: January 16, 2010
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Defense was the key as Lehigh was able to roll to a 70-40 victory over Army Saturday night at Stabler Arena. The Mountain Hawks were able to hold the Black Knights without a field goal for a stretch of 14:03 in the first half and from there took control of the game. Lehigh did not trail for the rest of the game as it extended its home winning streak to 27 games. The Brown and White improves to 15-3 (2-1) following the victory, while Army falls to 8-9 (2-1).
“I thought we locked them down on the defensive end and in the first half really only allowed them to hit those three three-pointers,” head coach Sue Troyan said. We didn’t allow Erin (Anthony) to get comfortable inside and our guards did a great job of putting pressure on the ball.”
With an 18-point lead in the second half the Mountain Hawks kept the pressure up and never allowed Army to get closer than 15. For the first time in five games Lehigh won the battle of the boards as it out-rebounded the Black Knights 47-31.
Four Mountain Hawks finished in double figures including sophomore Alexa Williams (13), senior Kristen Dalton (13), junior Erica Prosser (13), and senior Alex Ross who had 12. For Dalton, the 13 points is a season-high as she was able to come off the bench and provide a spark.
“It was a great team effort tonight,” Dalton said. “It’s always nice to have a game like this and I’ve been trying to be more consistent. We have a lot of offensive weapons and it’s good to utilize everyone.”
The Black Knights finished the game shooting 26 percent from the floor and 28 percent from beyond the arc. Anthony, a junior, led Army with 12 points and nine rebounds, but the Lehigh defense was able to hold her well below her season average of 17.4 points per game.
With a big lead late in the game Troyan was able to go to her bench a little earlier and get everyone some playing time.
“Early on in league play it’s hard to predict how the teams are going to come out because we haven’t played them yet,” Troyan said. “Between American and Navy we played some closer games and it’s tough to get the end of the bench into the game. It’s tough because the kids have been working hard in practice and pushing the starters. It’s always great to get a game like this and get everyone some playing time.”
Army was able to open up the game and build a 13-11 lead, but then Lehigh took over. The Mountain Hawks used their stifling defense to hold the Black Knights without a field goal for two-thirds of the half. The Brown and White went on a 13-0 run to gain a comfortable lead that it would not relinquish for the rest of the half. Army finally hit a field goal with 28 seconds left in the half. At the break the Mountain Hawks held an 18-point lead, 38-20.
Lehigh had three players score in double figures in the first half: Williams (11), Prosser (10) and Ross (10). Lehigh held the edge in rebounds 19-12 and forced the Black Knights to turn the ball over 15 times.
Army was led by junior Jessie Coiffard who had six points and two rebounds. Anthony was held to only five points and two boards. The Black Knights struggled from the field shooting only 29 percent from the floor and were 5-for-6 from the free throw line.
The Mountain Hawks will hit the road for Hamilton, N.Y. as they take on the Colgate Raiders at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday evening. The game will be broadcast live on WLVR-FM (91.3) and can also be heard live on Lehighsports.com with Jeff Tourial calling the action.
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