LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s basketball team (12-9, 2-4) got back on track Wednesday night as it picked up a 64-48 victory over the Bucknell Bison at Sojka Pavilion. The Mountain Hawks came out strong and held Shelby Romine, the Patriot League’s leading scorer, to just four points.
“It definitely feels good to come out of here with a win,” said head coach Sue Troyan. “The team really executed well on both sides of the ball. It was a great team effort.”
Senior Erica Prosser led the way for the Mountain Hawks, scoring 19 points. She is now nine points away from being just the fourth player in program history to score 1,500 points. Junior Alexa Williams added 14 points and five rebounds. Romine, who was averaging 15.2 points per game coming into the game, was held defended aggressively by the Mountain Hawks all night.
“That was the focal point coming in,” said Troyan. “We wanted to keep the ball out of Romine’s hands. We did a good job knocking her off the ball and keeping her out of a rhythm.”
Lehigh got off to a good start, as junior Alexa Williams opened the game with a layup. After junior Emily Gratch made one of two free throws, Prosser drove to the basket for two, putting the Mountain Hawks up 5-0 and forcing a Bucknell timeout. The Mountain Hawks extended their lead to 7-0 when Dentler converted on a layup. Prosser was then fouled headed into the media timeout and then converted on her free throws to make the score 9-0 in favor of Lehigh.
Bucknell made its first field goal of the game at the 14:47 mark. Dentler answered back two possessions later with a three to up Lehigh’s lead to 12-2. After Cosima Higham made her first field goal of the game for Bucknell, Lehigh extended its lead to 16. As part of an 8-0 run, Williams scored on two layups, one of which came off an offensive rebound. Gratch made one of two free throws and Prosser sank a three, to make Lehigh’s lead 20-4 with 7:44 remaining. Bucknell was forced to call a timeout.
With Lehigh leading 22-6, the Bison went on a 5-0 run, as all five points were scored by Lindsay Horbatuck, cutting Lehigh’s lead to 22-11 with 3:52 remaining in the first half. The Mountain Hawks increased its lead to 15 though, making four consecutive free throws, including two from Lindsay Hoskins, who saw her first game action since the American game back on Jan. 8. Lehigh went into the locker room with a 28-13 lead. The 13 points by Bucknell was the second lowest for a Lehigh opponent in one half this season.
Up to the first media timeout in the second half, Lehigh maintained its 15-point lead. Prosser was the story early in the period, scoring seven points in the first 5:30, including a step-back jumper and a three-point play. Following the timeout, Williams increased the lead to 39-22. Romine then answered back for Bucknell, as she scored her first field goal of the day at the 14:04 mark. Moments later, threes by senior Aly Byorick and Prosser increased Lehigh’s lead to 47-28 with 11:20 remaining in the game.
Hoskins and freshman Hillary Weaver added layups to make Lehigh’s lead 51-32 with 7:52 remaining in the second half. Bucknell applied some pressure though, going on an 8-0 run to decrease the Mountain Hawks’ lead to 51-40 with 5:51 to go. However, Dentler answered back with a field goal and then senior Kristin Dalton hit a three to put Lehigh back up by 16 with 5:10 remaining.
Romine cut the score to 57-44 again, but Gratch answered back with a jumper in the paint and Dentler made a free throw to give the Mountain Hawks a 60-44 lead with 2:45 to go. Prosser then fed a nice pass to Williams down low for the layup to increase the lead to 18. Williams then sank two free throws with 1:45 remaining to give Lehigh a 64-44 lead. Bucknell hit two field goals, but that would not be enough, resulting in a 64-48 final score.
For the game, Lehigh shot 45.1 percent from the field while Bucknell shot 50 percent. The Bison won the battle of the boards, 32-31. Lehigh shot 27.8 percent from three-point range and 65 percent from the charity stripe.
Lehigh continues its three-game road trip at Holy Cross on Jan. 29 for a 1 p.m. tip time. The Mountain Hawks will then head to American on Feb. 5 for a 2 p.m. matchup with the Eagles. Both games can be heard on WLVR FM and Lehighsports.com with pregame coverage beginning 15 minutes prior to tip with Matt Markus.