Posted: February 20, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Senior Adrienne Blount moved into ninth place of the top-ten of Lehigh’s rebounding list, grabbing her 579th career board on Tuesday night, but the Mountain Hawks fell 63-53 to Bucknell at Stabler Arena. This is the first time Lehigh has been swept by Bucknell since the 2001-02 season. With the loss, the Mountain Hawks fall to 9-18 overall and 4-9 in Patriot League, while the Bison improve to 20-8 overall and 12-1 in the league and clinch the regular season Patriot League Championship. Blount and freshman Kristen Dalton each scored a team-high 12 points, while Blount pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
The Bison enjoyed a 6-0 run in the opening minutes with Kesha Champion sinking three consecutive jumpers. The Mountain Hawks missed their first seven shots of the game and did not get on the scoreboard until Blount was sent to the free throw line at the 15:40 mark. Blount calmly sank both her shots to give Lehigh its first two points.
Bucknell would increase its lead to seven as Jacquie Seawright hit a jumper and drew a foul at 14:53. Seawright sank her foul shot for the three-point play and gave Bucknell an 11-4 lead.
Both teams would go scoreless for the next two minutes, combining for five missed shots and three turnovers. Blount ended the drought, hitting a jumper to bring the Mountain Hawks to within five. Champion increased the Bison’s lead to seven again, but Lehigh pulled to within five off a sophomore Haly Crites jumper to make the score 13-10 in favor of Bucknell at the 11:12 mark.
The Mountain Hawks stayed within striking distance of the Bison over the next three minutes, not allowing Bucknell to get a lead any bigger than five points. Dalton made it a two-point game by draining Lehigh’s first three-pointer of the game at 9:07 to make the score 17-15 still in favor of Bucknell.
However, Champion gave the Bison a six-point lead with a trey at 7:47 to give Bucknell a 22-16 advantage. But the Mountain Hawks clawed back and took a 23-22 lead off senior Emily Geosits’ first trey of the game at 5:35. For Geosits, it was her first three-pointer since sinking one against NJIT on December 9.
Hope Foster returned the lead to Bucknell with a jumper at 4:07 to make it a 24-23 game, but Dalton would sink a jumper and draw a foul at 2:53. Dalton completed the three-point play to give Lehigh a 26-24 lead. However, the Bison would reel off consecutive three-pointers by Amanda Brown and Seawright to take a 30-26 lead into halftime.
Sophomore Melissa Rich cut Bucknell’s lead to three points to start the second half when she made a free throw at 19:41, but the Bison quickly increased their lead to seven points with jumpers by Brown and Champion. However, just as quick as Bucknell increased their lead, Lehigh cut it back as senior Sara Ellis and freshman Alex Ross both hit three-pointers to make the score 36-33 in favor of Bucknell with 18:00 to go.
Although Bucknell got another seven-point lead off a pair of Hope Foster foul shots at 15:27, Lehigh fought back once again to pull within three off a fast-break Crites lay-up at 12:40. Over the next four minutes, the Bison kept trying to pull away from the Mountain Hawks, gaining a 45-39 lead at the 10:15 mark only to have it cut to a 46-44 lead at 8:39 when Geosits drained her second three-pointer of the evening.
The Bison would push their lead to seven points two more times before seeing Lehigh just two points behind them as Blount sank a jumper and drew a foul on Lauren Schober, who fouled out with only three points. Blount saw her shot drop through the basket to make the score 53-51 with 4:18 to go. However, that would be the closest Lehigh would get to the Bison as Bucknell outscored the Mountain Hawks 10-2 in the closing 4:04 to earn its ninth consecutive win.
Brown and Champion led the Bison with a game-high 17 points each, while Seawright grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
The Mountain Hawks play their season finale on Saturday night when they welcome the Holy Cross Crusaders at 7:05 pm. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 610-7LU-GAME, by logging onto lehighsports.com, or by visiting the Stabler Arena box office prior to the tip-off.
On Tuesday, February 27, fans are invited to meet Lehigh head basketball coach Sue Troyan along with a select student-athlete at the final Lehigh basketball luncheon held at Starters Restaurant on Route 378 in Bethlehem as the Mountain Hawks prepare to for the 2007 Patriot League Tournament. Coach Troyan and the student-athlete will field questions from fans and alumni. Cost of the all-you-can-eat buffet is $11. The luncheon is scheduled to begin at 12:00 pm.
Outside photo (c) 2006, Jeffrey A. Camarati