BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s basketball team won its ninth consecutive game on Sunday in an 85-67 victory over the La Salle Explorers at Stabler Arena. The Mountain Hawks improve to 10-5 and enter Patriot League play on a nine-game winning streak.
The Mountain Hawks dominated nearly every aspect of the game, scoring a season-high 85 points, outscoring the Explorers in the paint, 34-16, and scoring 25 bench points compared to La Salle’s five. Lehigh held a lead that was as large as 29 with 12 minutes remaining in the second half.
“I think we are in a good place right now, especially after coming off that big win on Thursday against Mississippi State,” said head coach Sue Troyan. “It was good for us not to let down after a big win. There were a lot of nice performances from our players and everyone got a lot of minutes.”
Senior Courtney Dentler led the way for Lehigh, as she tied her career-high of 21 points. Redshirt junior Aly Byorick netted a career-best 13 points, which included four three-point field goals. Senior Erica Prosser chipped in 13 points and nine assists, one shy of her career-high.
Lehigh jumped out to a solid start, leading 8-2 within the first five minutes of the game. Byorick hit back-to-back threes to start the game to give Lehigh the early 6-2 lead. Dentler made a jump shot to cap-off the 8-2 start. Following two made La Salle free throws, the Mountain Hawks went on a small 6-0 run to increase their lead to 10 at 14-4 with 11:56 remaining in the first half.
La Salle cut the lead back down to six, but Lehigh went on a 12-0 run, which increased its lead to 28-10 with 4:36 to go. During the run, freshman Hillary Weaver laid one in followed by a three-pointer by sophomore Sarah Pearce on the next possession. Sophomore Becky Guman put in a lay-up and Prosser followed with another one to make the score 25-10. Dentler capped off the run with three made free throws after she was fouled on a three-point attempt.
La Salle cut things down a little bit, as it went on an 8-0 run, to make the score 38-26 at halftime. That was the closest that the Explorers would get for the remainder of the game.
The Mountain Hawks outscored La Salle 47-41 in the second half. Leading 40-29, Lehigh went on a 12-0 run to increase its lead to 52-29 with 15:16 to go in regulation. Byorick, knocked down a three to begin the run. From there, junior Emily Gratch hit back-to-back layups to bump the lead to 47-29. A made free-throw by Prosser, followed by two scores from Dentler, capped off the 12-0 run.
Although La Salle outscored Lehigh 38-33 in the remaining 15 minutes, the Mountain Hawks would never look back and maintained the lead to earn the 18-point victory.
Lehigh finished 50 percent (30-of-60) from the field, 33 percent (9-of-27) from three-point range. La Salle shot 30 percent (20-of-66) from the field and 30 percent (6-of-20) from long range. La Salle out-rebounded Lehigh, 44-36. Lehigh had just 15 turnovers, while the Explorers had 16.
Lehigh returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. as it hosts American in the Patriot League opener. The Mountain Hawks then travel to Navy on Jan. 12. 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.