Posted: January 27, 2007
WORCESTER, Mass. – Freshman Alex Ross sank a career-high four three-pointers and Lehigh scored a season-high 41 first half points, but Holy Cross came back strong in the second half, shooting 62.1 percent and netting 41 points as the Mountain Hawks could not overcome the Crusaders’ rally and fell 75-61 at the Hart Center on Saturday afternoon. Three starters reached double figures for Lehigh, with Ross scoring a team-high 15 points. Senior Adrienne Blount scored 11, while classmate Sara Ellis added ten. Freshman Kristen Dalton grabbed a team-high six rebounds. With the loss, the Mountain Hawks fall to 7-14 overall and 2-5 in the Patriot League, while Holy Cross improves to 8-14 overall and 3-4 in league play
After not hitting a three-point shot in over 50 minutes, the Mountain Hawks had three treys—two from Ross and one from Ellis—off their first four shots of the game. Senior Adrienne Blount made the team’s first successful jumper at 15:55 in order to give the Mountain Hawks an 11-10 lead. Following a basket by Holy Cross’ Ashley McLaughlin, Lehigh reeled off eight straight points to make the score 19-12 with 13:37 remaining. The Mountain Hawks pushed their lead to 11 when junior Kaela Pearce had a breakaway lay-up to give Lehigh a 29-18 advantage at the 8:28 mark.
However, the Crusaders began to cut into Lehigh’s lead when Christy Cushnie drilled a three-pointer at 8:09. With the Mountain Hawks leading 31-28, Briana McFadden brought Holy Cross to within two points when she made a foul shot at 4:57.
Lehigh would go on to outscore Holy Cross 9-5 in the last bit of the first half to carry a 41-34 lead at the break. Both team’s shot over 47 percent in the opening half, with Lehigh shooting 47.1 percent and Holy Cross shooting 47.8.
Holy Cross’ Kaitlin Foley came out shooting hot in the second half, scoring eight straight points and giving the Crusaders a 42-41 lead at 17:09—the first time Holy Cross had the lead since the 15:20 mark in the first half.
Ellis ended the Mountain Hawks’ drought, drilling her 221st career three-pointer at 16:56 to return the lead back to Lehigh for what would be the final time. With the trey, Ellis is now second all-time on the Patriot League’s career three-point made list.
However, the Crusaders would outscore the Mountain Hawks 14-2 in a span of 5:37 to take a 56-46 advantage with 11:19 left in the game.
Sophomore Ryan Ingalls’ cut Lehigh’s deficit to eight points when she made a basket at 9:53, but that would be as close as the Mountain Hawks would get as the Crusaders would get 17 points in the last nine-and-a-half minutes of the game.
Foley was 9-for-10 from the floor and 6-for-6 from the free throw line en route to scoring a game-high 24 points. Brittany Keil recorded the game’s only double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing a game-high ten boards.
Lehigh returns to the hardwood next Saturday when the Mountain Hawks face American at Bender Arena in Washington, D.C. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 pm. Live audio of the game can be heard in the Lehigh Valley on WLVR-FM (91.3) and worldwide online at lehighsports.com, with streaming provided by Yahoo! Sports.
Inside photo (c) 2006, Jim Ross.
Outside photo (c) 2006, Jeffrey A. Camarati