WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Lehigh women’s basketball team (10-8, 0-3) lost its second-straight game in the closing seconds with a 54-52 loss to Army on Sunday. Army’s Erin Anthony converted on a put-back layup with 18 seconds remaining to give the Black Knights the 54-52 victory.
“Army came out and played tough and physical,” said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan. “Our kids came out and played with a lot more composure in the second half, and hopefully we can learn from this.”
After losing its Patriot League opener to American by double-digits, the Mountain Hawks have now lost their last two games by a combined three points.
“The league is what we expected it to be,” Troyan continued. “All of the games are going to be tightly contested. It’s just frustrating being at the wrong end. We just need to keep learning and keep working hard.”
Senior Erica Prosser led the way for the Mountain Hawks, netting 19 points and dishing out three assists. Senior Courtney Dentler posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards. Junior Alexa Williams also grabbed 10 rebounds for Lehigh. Anthony played all 40 minutes for Army, scoring 17 points, tallying 11 rebounds and blocking seven shots.
The game started off with a back-and-forth start. Dentler kicked-off the game with a jumper. Anthony and Laura Baranek then answered with consecutive field goals. Prosser came back with a three-pointer for Lehigh. After a couple more exchanges of baskets, the Black Knights and Mountain Hawks were tied at nine heading into the first media timeout.
Following the official timeout, junior Emily Gratch came off the bench and scored the next two Lehigh field goals, giving the Mountain Hawks a 13-11 lead. The Black Knights however went on a 7-0 run to regain an 18-13 lead. Lehigh answered back though as Prosser and senior Kristen Dalton hit consecutive three pointers. Army had a 20-19 lead with 11:41 remaining in the half.
With Army then leading 23-21, Prosser seemed to have given the Mountain Hawks a spark as she hit a layup and was fouled. After missing the free-throw, Anthony followed on the other end with a jumper. Then, with Army leading 27-26, the Black Knights went on a 7-0 run to take a 34-26 lead. Dentler hit two free throws to decrease the lead to six, but Baraneck answered with a field goal with 29 seconds remaining. Army had a 36-28 halftime lead.
Five minutes into the second half, Lehigh cut the lead down to five points, and Dalton and Dentler connected on two-point field goals, while Prosser hit her third three of the day. Army had a 40-35 lead. Gratch would convert two more field goals headed into the second media timeout of the half, but Anthony and Hazlett kept pace with baskets. Army maintained its five point lead, up 44-39 with 11:11 remaining in the game.
Lehigh went on a mini 6-1 run to tie the game up at 45. The run was led by five points from Dentler, which included a three-pointer. Army picked up some momentum following that, as Jessie Coiffard drained a three. Baraneck then followed with a layup, giving the Black Knights a 50-45 advantage with 7:31 remaining. The Mountain Hawks stormed back though as Prosser hit a jumper in the lane. Then, junior Aly Byorick drilled a three off a rebound by Williams, tying the game at fifty. Army was forced to use a timeout.
Prosser was then fouled and sank both of her free throws, as Lehigh had its first lead of the half, 52-50 with 1:16 remaining. Anthony hit two free-throws on the other end to tie it back up. After an empty Mountain Hawk possession, Anthony grabbed a rebound for the Black Knights and put it back for a 54-52 lead in favor of Army with 18 seconds to go. Trailing by two and 1.5 seconds remaining, Lehigh inbounded under its basket. Williams attempted a layup, but her shot was blocked as time expired.
For the game, the Mountain Hawks shot 32.8 percent from the field while the Black Knights shot 42 percent. Lehigh hit 27.6 percent of its three-point attempts while Army converted on 25 percent. Lehigh was the stronger team on the boards, leading 40-33 in that category.
Lehigh returns to action on Jan. 19 when the Mountain Hawks play host to Colgate at 7 p.m. Three days later on Jan. 22, Lafayette will make the crosstown trip to Stabler Arena to play the Mountain Hawks. That game is also slated for a 7 p.m. tip time. Tickets are now on sale and may be purchased on Lehighsports.com or by calling the ticket office at (610) 7LU-GAME.