Ross leads Lehigh past Syracuse at Stabler
Posted: November 19, 2006
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh picked up its first home win of the season on Sunday afternoon with an impressive 55-48 defeat of Big East member Syracuse at Stabler Arena. Freshman Alex Ross led the way for the Mountain Hawks with a career-high 21 points on 8 of 11 shooting, while sophomore Melissa Rich added 13 points and four rebounds. With the win Lehigh improves to 2-1 on the season while the Orange, who were led by Nicole Michael’s 21 tallies, fall to 1-2 overall.
Lehigh was dominant on the glass on Sunday, out rebounding its opponent by a 45-32 margin, led by senior Adrienne Blount’s 11 boards. The Mountain Hawks shot 37 percent from the field, while Syracuse connected on 38 percent of its free throw attempts. Sara Ellis, who was held scoreless for Lehigh, dished out a game-high seven assists. Mary Joe Riley hit for ten points for the Orange, with Michael pulling down a team-best nine rebounds.
“It’s good to get a win over a Big East team,” said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan afterwards. “We didn’t play our best basketball today, but we played hard for the full 40 minutes and gave ourselves a chance to win. This is a big step in the right direction for us.”
Syracuse took an early five-point lead at the 15:04 mark when Michael sank a three-pointer to make the score 12-7. Lehigh made it a one-point affair when Blount hit a jumper with 13:7 remaining in the half, and the Mountain Hawks would tie the game for the first time at the 9:37 mark when senior Emily Geosits hit a three off of an assist by sophomore Haly Crites.
Lehigh took its first lead of the afternoon when Ross sank a jumper of her own with 8:35 to go in the half, but the Orange would go on a 7-0 run from there to go ahead 25-19 with 4:57 to go in the first half. The Mountain Hawks would trim the Syracuse lead to a single point at the intermission when Ross scored a bucket with just 32 ticks remaining. Lehigh shot just 34 percent in the opening half, while the Orange hit on 44 percent of their attempts, including four-of-ten from three-point range.
The start of the second half saw the two teams trade baskets and the lead until Lehigh was able to put together a 10-2 run that ended when Rich completed a three-point play the old fashioned way at the 6:56 mark. Syracuse would trim the Mountain Hawk lead to four with 2:34 remaining, but the Orange went cold down the stretch, not scoring another point for the rest of the way. The Mountain Hawks, who struggled at the foul line in the closing minutes, tightened up their defense and were strong on the boards to pick up their first victory at Stabler this season.
Lehigh will return to action on Friday evening when the Mountain Hawks play host to the Princeton Tigers at Stabler Arena. Game time is set for 7:00 and tickets can be purchased by calling 610-7LU-GAME, by stopping by the Lehigh Athletics Ticket Office located in Grace Hall or by logging onto lehighsports.com at anytime.
Photos (c) 2006, Specialty Photographic.