Posted: February 17, 2010
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s basketball team found its offense in a big way Wednesday night as it thumped Colgate 80-49 at Stabler Arena. The Mountain Hawks scored 46-point first half points and kept it going through the second half as they tied their season-high in points and shot 46 percent from the floor. Sophomore Emily Gratch had a game-high 20 points and senior Alex Ross contributed 17 to lead the Brown and White’s offensive explosion. The Mountain Hawks have now won 10 straight games and 31 straight at home which is the third longest streak in Division I. Lehigh improves to 23-3 (10-1) and remains in a first place tie with American. Colgate drops to 9-16 and 4-7 in Patriot League play.
“It was a point of emphasis to come out strong early in the game,” head coach Sue Troyan said. “I thought we set the tempo early and we wanted to get out and run. Erica (Prosser) really controlled the tempo in the early going to lead our offense.”
Junior Erica Prosser had one of her best all around games of the season as she had 11 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Lehigh out-rebounded Colgate 44-33 as Tricia Smith and Ryan Ingalls each finished with six rebounds.
The Mountain Hawks were spreading the ball around well as they dished out a season-high 25 assists. Lehigh tied its season-high in three-pointers as it went 10-for-25 and was led by Ross who was 5-for-10.
Troyan commented on Ross’ night, “It’s amazing the energy we get when Alex is hitting her shots. We’ve struggled offensively the last three or four games and we can build a lot of confidence after a game like this. It was a great team effort on both ends of the court.”
Freshmen Kelly Peterson (three) and Sarah Pearce (four) both tied their career-highs in points as several bench players saw extended playing time with the comfortable lead.
“It was important to get the bench some playing time tonight,” Troyan said. “They play an important role in helping us get prepared at practice and they really are a bunch of talented kids. They have a lot of ability, but there playing behind some veterans this season.”
Colgate was led by junior Sami Kozlowski who had a team-high 12 points. Her classmate, Krista Moser, had a team-high nine rebounds and also added nine points. The Raiders shot 33 percent for the game and went 4-for-13 on threes.
Lehigh opened up the game and showed that it was ready to break out of its offensive slump as it exploded to take a 14-0 lead. The Mountain Hawks held Colgate scoreless for the first 5:16 of the game until Tricia Oakes buried a jumper. The Brown and White kept building on its lead as Gratch and Ross led the offensive charge. Lehigh led the entire half and took a 46-21 lead into the locker room.
The Mountain Hawks tied a season-high with 46-points in the half and had their largest lead going into a break (25). Lehigh was led by Gratch who had 14 points and three rebounds, while Ross contributed 11. The Mountain Hawks shot 47 percent from the field and knocked down five three-pointers.
For Colgate, Kozlowski had eight points, but the Raiders turned the ball over 12 times. Colgate shot 33 percent in the half which included going 3-for-8 from beyond the arc.
Lehigh kept it rolling in the second half as it built a 55-25 lead with 16:58 left. The closest the Raiders would get is 29 points as the Mountain Hawks continued to pour it on. The Brown and White had its largest lead (36) with 3:18 left in the game as it cruised to the victory.
The Mountain Hawks will play their final regular season home game Saturday evening at 7:05 p.m. on Senior Night in Stabler Arena against Lafayette. Saturday’s game is also Lehigh’s designated Pink Zone game in which it’s teaming up with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association to raise awareness for breast cancer. Lehigh Gas is donating $1 to breast cancer research for every fan in attendance. Tickets are available in advance by calling 610-7LU-GAME or online at Lehighsports.com, and on game day at the Stabler Arena box office 60 minutes prior to tipoff.
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