Posted: March 4, 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – For the second consecutive game, the Mountain Hawks’ season was determined by a last second shot. Unfortunately, that last second shot did not come as Lehigh fell 65-62 in overtime to Holy Cross in Sunday afternoon’s Patriot League Tournament semifinal game held at Navy’s Alumni Hall. Freshman Alex Ross led the Mountain Hawks in scoring with 18 points, while senior Adrienne Blount recorded her seventh double-double of the season—and her second in the tournament—with ten points and 12 rebounds.
“I thought it was a well played game by both teams,” said head coach Sue Troyan. “I’m proud of the team with how they fought back and never gave up. They really held their composure down the stretch. You have to give Holy Cross the credit; they made a key bucket to tie the game at the end and then it was back and forth in overtime. It just came down to the last possession.”
By the first media timeout, Lehigh had an 8-2 lead over Holy Cross at the 15:27 mark that was largely due to senior Sara Ellis. The Bellefontaine, Ohio native accounted for six of the Mountain Hawks’ points and made a pair of three-pointers on her first two shots of the game. Lehigh would increase their lead by an additional three points when Ross swished her shot from beyond the arc nearly two minutes later to make the score 11-4.
The Crusaders came back to cut their deficit and pulled to within two points with a Brittany Keil jumper, but sophomore Haly Crites made a pair of foul shots to increase Lehigh’s lead to three. However, Keil pulled Holy Cross to within one when she made her second trey of the game at 9:43 to make the score 13-12 still in favor of Lehigh.
Lehigh kept trying to pull away, but Holy Cross stayed within striking distance and tied the game at 20-all with 7:41 left in the half off a Bethany O’Dell three. The Crusaders took their first lead of the game 37 seconds later with a Keil jumper. Holy Cross would maintain the lead until freshman Kristen Dalton drilled a three-pointer with 47 seconds left in the half to give Lehigh a 31-30 lead. However, O’Dell responded for the Crusaders with a three of her own and Holy Cross entered halftime with a 33-31 lead.
Both teams were held scoreless for almost the first minute of the second half. Sophomore Melissa Rich tallied the first baskets of the half as she converted on both of her foul shots to tie the game. Although Holy Cross would take a two-point lead just 26 seconds later, Ellis drained a three from the right side and Lehigh regained the lead with 16:36 to go. Lehigh and Holy Cross would trade the lead once more before senior Adrienne Blount would hit a jumper and calmly sink a pair of foul shots within a minute’s span to make the score 40-37.
Christy Cushnie and O’Dell made consecutive three-pointers as Holy Cross took a 43-40 advantage. The Crusaders did not relinquish the lead until Blount made a jumper at 8:35 and Lehigh took a 46-45 lead. But just over a minute later, Holy Cross regained the lead and built a six-point advantage with 6:12 remaining.
Lehigh fought back and a pair of consecutive treys by sophomore Ryan Ingalls tied the score at 52. Rich made her first field goal of the game count as her jumper came at the 1:38 mark and the Brown and White took a 54-52 lead. With eight seconds remaining, Kaitlin Foley sank a clutch jumper to send the game into overtime.
The Mountain Hawks got the first points of the extra session with Rich’s jumper at 4:30, but saw the Crusaders tie the game and then take a 58-56 lead off a lay-up by Foley. Lehigh came to within one point on two occasions and tied the game once before Ross’ jumper in the paint with 47 seconds to go allowed the Mountain Hawks to take a 62-61 advantage. Unfortunately, those would be the Mountain Hawks’ last points as Holy Cross got clutch foul shots from Briana McFadden and Keil.
In addition to Ross and Blount, Ellis reached double-figures in scoring with 11 points.
O’Dell and Foley each tallied 16 points for the Crusaders, while Keil added 14. Foley grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, while McFadden handed out a game-high ten assists. The Crusaders will now face No. 4 American in the championship game on Wednesday night.