Posted: January 6, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Senior Sara Ellis moved into third place on the Patriot League’s all-time three-point made list and senior Adrienne Blount tied a new career-high in rebounds, but it was not enough as American emerged with a 55-52 victory over the Mountain Hawks, ending Lehigh’s eight-game winning streak in Patriot League openers. Both Ellis and Blount netted a team-high 12 points for the Mountain Hawks (5-10, 0-1). Blount also led the team in rebounding for the 13th time this season, grabbing a career-high tying 15 boards.
“At this point, its doing the little things and doing them for 40 minutes,” said head coach Sue Troyan. “We did not come out in the first half with the intensity, mentality and physical effort as we should have and it cost us. In the second half, we matched the intensity, mentality and physical effort. Had we done that for the entire game, we would have been in a different position at the end.”
American’s Talicia Jackson’s three-pointer at 13:30 sparked a seven-point scoring run as the Eagles carried a 14-9 lead with 11:52 remaining. Ellis ended the Eagles run at 11:25 when she sank the first of four treys on the evening. Ellis also ended a three-point drought for the Mountain Hawks, who had been scoreless from beyond the arc for 31:14.
Two minutes later, Ellis tied Denise Hammersley’s for third on the Patroit League’s all-time three-point field goal made list, draining a three-pointer that gave the Mountain Hawks a 20-19 lead.
American regained the lead with a Rachel Brazell trey at 9:04, but freshman Alex Ross’ three-pointer two minutes later gave Lehigh a 23-22 advantage. Lehigh continued to build its lead, this time off a three-pointer by freshman Kristen Dalton at 6:31. However, American stormed back, outscoring the Brown and White 13-2 in the final 4:50 of the half to lead 35-29 at the break.
The Eagles came out strong in the second half with Maggie Smith-Davidson hitting a jumper to give American an eight-point lead. Lehigh began to chip away at American’s lead, eventually coming to within two points as Blount calmly hit both free throws at 13:28 to make the score 41-39 in favor of the Eagles.
Liz Hayes increased American’s lead 20 seconds later with a three-pointer, but Lehigh responded with a trey by Ellis at 12:47. Ellis’ three-pointer also surpassed Hammersley to bring her career total to 212 three-point field goals made.
American increased its lead to eight points again off consecutive three-pointers by Jackson and Hayes. Lehigh began to cut into that deficit with sophomore Melissa Rich scoring on a lay-up at 5:07 to cut American’s lead to just three points. However, that would be as close as the Mountain Hawks would get as American hung on.
Hayes led the Eagles with 15 points. Abby Lipskis had a team-high ten rebounds before fouling out.
In addition to her double-double of 12 points and 15 rebounds, Blount dished out a personal-best five assists for the Mountain Hawks.
Lehigh returns to action on Tuesday night when the Mountain Hawks travel to Navy. Tip is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. from Alumni Hall. Live audio of the game can be heard on WLVR-FM in the Lehigh Valley as well as worldwide online at Lehighsports.com, with streaming provided by Yahoo! Sports.