WORCSESTER, Mass. – The Lehigh women’s basketball team (13-9, 3-4) picked up its second straight win on Saturday afternoon as it defeated the Holy Cross Crusaders, 77-67 at the Hart Center. Trailing 53-52 with a little over eight minutes remaining, the Mountain Hawks put together an 11-0 run to secure their third Patriot League victory of the season.
“This is a game where we gained a lot of confidence from,” said head coach Sue Troyan. “I loved how we responded when we got down. We did what we needed to do on both ends of the floor to get this win.”
The Mountain Hawks had four players score in double figures, including 21 coming from junior Emily Gratch. Senior Erica Prosser put in 9 points and is now fourth player ever in Lehigh women’s basketball history to score 1,500 points. Senior Courtney Dentler added 12 points to go along with five rebounds. Seniors Kristen and senior Aly Byorick each chipped in 11 points. Prosser also dished out nine assists.
Lehigh got off to a good start to begin the game. Trailing 5-4, the Mountain Hawks went on a 10-0 run to give them a 14-5 lead heading into the first media timeout. The run began with a layup from Williams followed by a put back layup from sophomore Becky Guman. Dentler and Byorick each hit threes to give Lehigh a nine-point lead with 15:25 to go in the first half.
Lehigh went on another run, beginning when it was leading 16-10 with 14 minutes remaining. Sophomore Becky Guman made a layup on a nice back door cut, followed by a three from Byorick. Prosser then cashed in on a steal and transition layup. Guman had another rebound and put back layup to go along with a Dalton three. Dalton then converted on a jumper and Dentler sank two free throws to cap off a 16-8 Lehigh run and a 34-18 lead for the Mountain Hawks.
Holy Cross cut into the 16-point lead a bit, as Whitney Fremeau led the Crusaders with 17 of her 26 points coming in the first half, including four three pointers made. Fremeau cut the Lehigh lead to seven with a field and a free throw to end the half. Lehigh went into the locker room with a 40-33 lead.
The Crusaders came out aggressive in the second half, and cut down Lehigh’s lead to two, thanks to two field goals by Meredith Ward and a three-point play from Christine Ganser. Dentler made one of two free throws and the Mountain Hawks had a 43-40 lead headed into the first media timeout of the second half. Things got closer when Ganser knocked down two from the charity stripe to cut Lehigh’s lead to 43-42. Lehigh went back up by three on a controversial no-call when Williams was bumped hard down low. Despite the bump, Williams put on a nice post-move and put in a layup, as Lehigh went back up by three. Dalton would score the next four Lehigh points after that, giving the Mountain Hawks a 49-45 lead with 12:40 remaining.
With 11:20 remaining, Lehigh went up by seven when Byorick hit her third three of the day. Fremeau answered back with a three and Alyssa May converted on a field goal off an inbounds pass. Ganser then put Holy Cross on top with a three-pointer, as the Crusaders led 53-52 with 8:39 to go.
The 11-0 run started when Prosser took over for the next few minutes, as she drove the lane and hit a floater to put the Mountain Hawks up again. Gratch then converted on the next possession to increase the lead to three. Prosser then drilled a three and Dentler drove for a layup. Gratch then put the Mountain Hawks up by 10 with 4:23 remaining.
Gratch scored eight points in the remaining 4:23 for the Mountain Hawks. Fremeau kept the Crusaders alive as she kept hitting threes and cut the lead down to five at one point. That is as close as the Crusaders would get though.
For the game, Lehigh shot 44.6 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from three-point range. Holy Cross outrebounded Lehigh 39-33 for the game. The Mountain Hawks forced 24 Holy Cross turnovers.
Lehigh will conclude a three-game road trip at American on Feb. 5 for a 1 p.m. tip time. The game can be heard on WLVR FM and Lehighsports.com with pregame coverage beginning 15 minutes prior to tip with Matt Markus. The Mountain Hawks return home to Stabler Arena on Feb. 9 as they look for revenge on a Navy team that beat Lehigh earlier in the season.