HAMILTON, N.Y. – Behind 18 points from junior Hilary Weaver and freshman Kerry Kinek, the Lehigh women’s basketball team (10-8, 2-1 Patriot League) knocked off the Colgate Raiders (6-11, 0-3 Patriot League) in Hamilton, N.Y. for its second Patriot League victory of the season. The Mountain Hawks maintained double figure leads throughout the contest for their fourth consecutive road win.
"I thought we played a strong game overall," said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan. "Our defensive effort in the first half held them in check and opened up our offense. We executed well and Hilary was real big for us with a lot of good shots early."
The Mountain Hawks came out with the hot hand early, racing out to a 7-2 lead after scoring on three of their first four possessions. Lehigh showcased a strong three-point attack, hitting three treys over the first five minutes of the game as the Mountain Hawks gained a 15-5 advantage into the first media timeout.
Lehigh kept the Raiders at a distance throughout the first half, continuing to knock down long range shots as the Mountain Hawks finished the first half with five three-pointers, including four from Weaver as she led all scorers over the first 20 minutes with 13 points.
After the Raiders closed the gap to 11 with just under three minutes left, Lehigh closed out the half on a 7-2 run, four points coming from Kinek as she poured in eight and pulled down four boards, while junior Lindsay Hoskins added six points and four rebounds of her own throughout the half.
The Lehigh offense never lost its touch over the first half, shooting 55.6 percent (5-for-9) from beyond the arc and 59.3 percent (16-for-27) from the field. The Mountain Hawks dominated in the paint, outscoring the Raiders 20-6 and 7-0 off of second chance opportunities. The Brown and White also locked down defensively, holding Colgate to just 2-of-10 from long range and eight field goals over the first 20 minutes.
After a 7-0 run over the first four minutes to start the second half for Colgate, junior Alexandra Yantzi ended the run with a put back layup which began a scoring barrage for both teams, as the Raiders hit four buckets and a pair of free throws while Lehigh dropped three field goals and a free throw over the next two minutes.
"We talked a lot about it in the second and the first five minutes of that half haven’t been real strong for us but I’m proud of the way our team responded," said Troyan. "Our kids played tough and played through it, and this is a tough place to get a win."
Leading 47-37 with just over 10 minutes to play, the Mountain Hawks put together a mini 4-0 run but the Raiders answered with a three to cut the lead back down to 11. Lehigh continued to hold off any comeback, as Weaver answered again with another long three, followed by the completion of a three-point play by Kinek as the Mountain Hawks extended their lead to 17 at 59-42 with just under seven minutes left.
The Mountain Hawks cruised over the remainder of the game, keeping the Raiders at a lengthy distance over the course of the final seven minutes. With the win, Lehigh improved to 5-0 on Saturdays and has now won 14 of the last 15 meetings against Colgate. The Brown and White are now just the second team to win at Cotterell Court this season, proving its ability to win behind enemy lines.
For the game, the Mountain Hawks shot 49 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three-point land as the offense continued to click all afternoon. Lehigh once again dominated in the rebounding facet, outrebounding Colgate 42-26 and outscoring the Raiders 14-9 on second chance points and 36-20 in the paint.
Also eclipsing double figures for the game was sophomore Katie O’Reilly with 10 points and four rebounds including a 4-for-4 effort from the second leading free throw shooter in the Patriot League entering Saturday’s contest.
Lehigh will now return home to face the Bison of Bucknell on Wednesday, January 23 for a 7 p.m. tip-off inside Stabler Arena in what will be FREE child admission night.
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