BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Tied at 28 late in the first half, the Lehigh women’s basketball team took over from that point forward, outscoring Wagner, 48-30 the rest of the way to cruise to a 76-58 home win on Saturday evening. Senior Erica Prosser led the way with 16 points and a season-high eight assists to lead the Mountain Hawks (7-5) to their sixth straight victory.
"We took care of the basketball, didn’t turn the ball over much and played aggressively," said head coach Sue Troyan. "[Those last three minutes of the first half were] a big momentum swing after we had struggled to get much going on the offensive end."
Lehigh impressed, shooting 47 percent from the field and from three-point range, led by 3-of-4 treys from senior Courtney Dentler, who finished with 14 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Junior Emily Gratch also chipped in with 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting while sophomore Becky Guman posted a career-high six points, while adding an assist and four rebounds. Sophomore Sarah Pearce posted a career-high six points as well.
With those 16 points, Prosser moves into sole possession of fifth place on the Lehigh all-time scoring list with 1,368 career points, jumping over Sandy Hume and Alex Ross, who had been tied for fifth with 1,352. Prosser currently stands 98 behind fourth-place Jessica DePalo.
The win gives Lehigh its sixth straight heading into an 18-day layoff, leading into the Christmas City Classic from Dec. 29-30 in Stabler Arena.
A back and forth first half saw five ties and five lead changes before the Mountain Hawks created some distance with a late surge. After Wagner took a 5-0 lead, Lehigh responded with a 7-0 run capped off by a steal and uncontested layup from Prosser to make it 7-5 Mountain Hawks with 14:14 on the clock.
Lehigh opened up a 14-10 advantage behind Prosser’s second steal and subsequent fast break layup with 8:55 to go, but the Seahawks scored 11 of the game’s next 17 points to retake a 21-20 advantage with 5:20 on the clock. Dentler previously finished a four-point play to give the Mountain Hawks a 20-18 advantage with 6:13 to go, hitting a three-pointer from the corner and the free throw after getting fouled.
With 2:44 to go and the score tied at 28, Lehigh staged an 8-0 to end the half to take a 36-28 lead into the locker room. Prosser’s third steal of the half led to a layup on the other end as time was expiring.
Lehigh continued the momentum into the second half, opening its first double-digit lead of the game following a Dentler jumper with 18:33 on the clock, causing Wagner to call a quick timeout.
The Seahawks pulled within nine with 17:19 to go, but that was the last time they were within single digits as the Mountain Hawks staged an 8-2 run capped off by a Prosser three-pointer to make it 51-36 with 14:21 remaining.
A three-pointer from sophomore Kelly Peterson gave Lehigh a 17-point lead (58-41) with 11:19 to go, but Wagner made a mini 6-1 run to cut five points from the Mountain Hawks’ lead. Lehigh slowly built up its lead again, as a Guman jumper gave the squad its first 20 point lead of the evening, 72-52, with 4:54 on the clock.
The final minutes were highlighted by a trio of blocks from freshman Alexandra Yantzi on a single possession as she denied Brittney Thorpe all three times from in close. Yantzi finished with a point and two rebound as well.
Lehigh shot 47 percent from the field (27-of-57) and three-point range (9-of-19) while Wagner finished 36 percent (20-of-55) and 35 percent (6-of-17) from long range. The Mountain Hawks won the battle of the boards, 39-33.
The Mountain Hawks return to action in 18 days when they host the Christmas City Classic at Stabler Arena. Lehigh will face Rider on Dec. 29 before playing Mississippi State or Buffalo on the 30th. Tickets for all home games are now on sale and may be purchased on Lehighsports.com or by calling the ticket office at (610) 7LU-GAME.