BALTIMORE, Md. – Despite a double-double and career-high 19 points from freshman Kerry Kinek, the Lehigh women’s basketball team fell to Loyola on Monday night, 60-48. The Mountain Hawks entered halftime with a four-point lead, but a strong second half shooting performance by the Greyhounds propelled Loyola to its second home win.
"We came out really cold on the offensive end to start the second half and we didn’t handle their pressure well which led to turnovers and some easy offensive opportunities for Loyola," said head coach Sue Troyan. "We had a good first half and now we just have to put two halves together."
Lehigh jumped out to an early 5-2 lead after Kinek hit a long jumper, followed by a deep three by junior Hilary Weaver. After the Mountain Hawks extended their lead to 7-2, the Greyhounds battled back to knot the game at seven apiece at about the 13 minute mark. Kinek took over, helping Lehigh to a 4-0 run and an 11-7 lead with 11:15 to play in the first half.
Out of the second media break, the sharpshooters broke out for both teams as senior Marybeth Egan answered Katie Sheahin’s trey with one of her own, but Loyola then rattled off four more long-range shots to take a 22-15 lead with 7:22 on the clock. Senior co-captain Becky Guman converted on a hoop and harm to cut the Greyhound lead down to four before Kinek connected on a layup to make the score 22-20.
With 2:20 on the clock, Guman drilled a three to knot the score at 23 which was followed by a late Kelly Peterson three and a bucket by freshman Elizabeth Sharlow at the buzzer to give the Mountain Hawks a 28-24 advantage after 20 minutes of play, entering halftime on an 8-1 run over the last 2:20.
Kinek led Lehigh with 10 points and five boards on 5-of-8 shooting at the break, while Guman’s trey helped her to six first half points. Weaver was the leading distributor, racking up four assists as the Mountain Hawks shot 35.5 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from beyond the arc, while going 2-for-3 from the charity stripe. The Mountain Hawks did most of their damage in the first half under the basket, outscoring the Greyhounds 12-2 in the paint and also 5-0 off of five Loyola turnovers.
Loyola’s Sheahin caught fire to start the second half, scoring six of the first eight Greyhound points in the final 20 minutes as the two teams tied at 31 with 15:30 left in regulation. Loyola then grabbed a 10-point lead at 41-31 after an 11-1 run was capped off by a steal deep in Lehigh territory and scored under the basket, forcing the Mountain Hawks to burn their first timeout.
The Greyhounds continued on their run, adding seven more points to open up a 48-31 lead with 11:18 to play before junior Lindsay Hoskins ended the run with a bucket under the basket. The Mountain Hawks put together a 12-5 run after a pair of Egan free throws to cut Loyola’s lead down to 10 at the 3:49 mark entering the final media timeout.
Down the final stretch, the Mountain Hawks hung tough, but a few key buckets by the Greyhounds kept Lehigh from overcoming the second half deficit as Loyola exited with the 60-48 victory.
Lehigh shot 24.1 percent in the second half, while Loyola turned in a 53.8 percent performance from the field to fuel the comeback victory despite hitting just one second half trey. Loyola forced 19 Mountain Hawk turnovers and turned those giveaways into 18 points. For the game, the brown and white shot 30.0 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from long range on a 6-of-21 effort.
Along with her 19 points, Kinek also pulled down 13 boards, while Guman turned in eight points on 3-of-8 shooting and four rebounds of her own. Hoskins grabbed seven rebounds and Weaver finished the game with six dimes to pace Lehigh’s offense.
"Kerry played really well tonight and we needed to do a better job of getting the ball in her hands," said Troyan. "She was really consistent around the basket and now we just have to find some flow from other players to balance that out."
Lehigh will be back on the court on Thursday, December 6 against Fairfield under the Stabler Arena lights at 7 p.m., before hosting Niagara on Saturday, December 8. Both contests are scheduled to tip at 7 p.m.