BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Despite 18 points and nine rebounds from freshman Kerry Kinek, the Lehigh women’s basketball team fell to Bucknell Wednesday night by a final score of 53-37. The Mountain Hawks’ offensive woes of the first half were too much to overcome as Lehigh dropped its second Patriot League tilt of the season.
"We certainly struggled offensively tonight," said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan. "We have a quick turn around with Lafayette on Saturday so we can’t dwell on tonight. We are always working hard to get better and that’s what we’re going to do."
With both teams struggling offensively in the early-going, Kinek got Lehigh started with a jumper just over two minutes into the game, but the Mountain Hawks then went cold, missing their next 12 shots over an eight minute span. Bucknell also could not find the basket early, missing its first nine shots before getting on the board almost eight minutes into the game.
The Bison proceeded to put together an 8-0 run, but a three from junior Hilary Weaver cut the lead back down to three, before a layup by junior Lindsay Hoskins trimmed the advantage to just one.
Trailing 12-9, Hoskins drilled just the fifth trey of her career to knot the game at 12 with just over three minutes to play before the half. The Bison took advantage of the final three minutes, ending the half on another 8-0 run to take a 20-12 lead into the break.
Lehigh’s 12 first half points were the fewest since scoring 11 at Navy on February 7, 2006. In that game, the Mountain Hawks rallied for 31 second half points, but ultimately fell to the Mids 49-42.
The Mountain Hawks shot 13.8 percent from the field (4-of-29) over the first 20 minutes as Hoskins led Lehigh with five points. Kinek pulled down seven rebounds throughout the first half as the Bison missed 19 shots. The two teams combined for 22 turnovers and the Mountain Hawks outscored the Bison 3-2 off of the giveaways, but Bucknell took advantage in the paint, holding a 12-2 edge inside.
Lehigh started the second half on a 14-7 run over the first five minutes to again cut Bucknell’s lead down to just one at 27-26 after one of Kinek’s five second half buckets. The rally again was halted as the Bison seemed to answer every Lehigh comeback with a run of their own, eventually opening up an 11-point advantage at the 7:33 mark.
From there, the Mountain Hawks knocked the Bison lead down into single digits several times but were unable to get within striking distance as Bucknell ran out the clock for a 53-37 victory.
The Bison outscored Lehigh 30-12 in the paint, an area that the Mountain Hawks have constantly had success in. Though Lehigh held a 12-9 advantage on second chance points, the Bison finished the game with an 18-0 edge on fast break and bench points combined.
A few bright spots for the Brown and White was an 11-for-12 effort from the charity stripe and six minutes off the bench for senior co-captain Kelly Peterson after missing eight games due to an injury. Peterson did not score, but played in her first game since December 20.
Kinek tied with Bucknell junior Shelby Romine for the game-high with 18 points, while Kinek added a team-best nine boards. Hoskins was the second leading scorer for Lehigh on the night, adding seven points, while sophomore Katie O’Reilly chipped in six.
"Kerry played well and has been doing everything we’ve asked of her this season," said Troyan.
The Mountain Hawks will now turn their focus to Lafayette for a 2 p.m. tip-off in Easton, Pa. on Saturday, January 26. After traveling to face its crosstown rival, Lehigh will return to Stabler Arena in search of its first home Patriot League victory when it welcomes Navy into Bethlehem on January 30.
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