BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lehigh women’s basketball team (21-9, 10-4) extended its win streak to 10 games with an 82-58 victory over the Lafayette Leopards Saturday night in the Patriot League Quarterfinals. With the victory, the Mountain Hawks will host American at Stabler Arena this Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the league semifinals. Lehigh has won its last four games by at least 20 points, the most since the 1976-77 team accomplished the feat in five games.
"Ever since the 1-4 start, I really think the seniors have stepped up and played a huge role in our success," said Lehigh coach Sue Troyan. "They have put a lot of self-imposed pressure on themselves."
Alexa Williams posted another double-double, as she scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Mountain Hawks. Senior Erica Prosser was honored before the game by the Patriot League for winning Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. She proved to everyone why she was worthy of those awards, as she scored 17 points and tallied a team-high five assists. Courtney Dentler also netted 16 points to go along with six rebounds for the game.
The first seven-plus minutes were back and forth, as Lafayette had a 14-13 lead with 12:47 to go in the first half. That would be the last lead the Leopards would have, as Lehigh took over from there. The Mountain Hawks compiled a 6-0 run which included two layups from junior Emily Gratch and jumper by Dentler to give the Brown and White a 19-14 lead. Lehigh’s lead increased to 14 when Kelly Peterson drained a high-arching three with 1:41 remaining in the half. Lehigh headed into the locker room with a 40-26 lead.
Lehigh came out dominating in the second half, as Gratch opened the frame with a layup, followed by a Dentler layup on an assist from Gratch. Prosser scored the next eight Mountain Hawk points and would increase the Brown and White’s lead to 22, capping off a 12-2 run heading into the first media timeout.
Williams, who continued to be dominant on the boards, grabbed a rebound off a missed Kelly Peterson shot and was fouled. From there, she made both free throws and increased Lehigh’s lead to 26 with 12:08 remaining in the game. From there, the Mountain Hawks maintained a steady margin and walked into the semifinals with a 24-point win over Lafayette. Lehigh wins the season series, 2-1.
For the game, Lehigh shot 47.3 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three-point range. The Mountain Haws were strong under the boards as well, grabbing 44 rebounds compared to Lafayette’s 33. Lehigh improved its record to 18-1 when leading at halftime.
Lehigh will now turn to Wednesday, where it will take on the No. 3 seed American. The Mountain Hawks split the series with the Eagles earlier this season, earning a win in the most recent matchup back on Feb. 5. Pregame coverage of the game will begin at 6:45 on 1230/1320 ESPN Radio with Matt Markus calling the action.
Tickets are now on sale for the Patriot League semifinal game at $6 per ticket for the general public and just $3 for students of any age or children. Tickets can be purchased online at Lehighsports.com, by phone or in person at Grace Hall (10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri.)