BETHLEHEM, Pa. – After connecting on 14 three-pointers and shooting 50 percent from the field, the Navy Midshipmen (12-9, 5-1 Patriot League) upended the Lehigh women’s basketball team (10-11, 2-4 Patriot League) by a final score of 72-47 Wednesday night. Freshman Kerry Kinek notched her ninth straight double digit performance with 15 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Mountain Hawks dropped their third straight contest.
"Overall I thought our effort level was disappointing tonight," said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan. "We struggled on the offensive end and couldn’t find our confidence. We could have made them a little more uncomfortable and they gained a lot of confidence in the first half."
Both teams found their touch early as the Mids shot 66.7 percent from the field over the first seven minutes, while Lehigh matched that percentage from beyond the arc yet trailed 15-8 in the early going. The Mids then quickly doubled up the Mountain Hawks over the next three minutes to take a 20-10 lead after making shots on two of their next three possessions.
Navy found the hot hand from beyond the arc, making six of its first seven three-pointers as the Mids’ lead grew to 18 with just over eight minutes remaining. From that point, Lehigh was only outscored by three over the remainder of the half, but entered the break trailing 40-19. Freshman Kerry Kinek paced the offense with nine points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field with perfect effort from beyond the arc (1-of-1) and from the charity stripe (2-of-2).
Lehigh and Navy each pulled down 17 boards over the first 20 minutes, with the Mountain Hawks grabbing eight rebounds on the offensive glass. The Mids shot a scorching 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from beyond the arc over the first 20 minutes including a 4-of-6 effort from sophomore Chloe Stapleton who led all scorers with 13 points. The Mountain Hawks turned the ball over just two more times than Navy (8-6), but the Mids capitalized on Lehigh’s giveaways, holding a 19-0 advantage in points off of turnovers.
The Mountain Hawks started the second half on a 9-2 run to cut the lead to 14, but Navy drilled a trey just under six minutes in to halt the Lehigh spurt. The Mids went on to come just one three-pointer shy of the league record (15), which they own, knocking down 14 on the night with six coming from Stapleton as she shot 60 percent from beyond the arc and led all scorers with 19 points.
Navy ended the night shooting 50 percent from the field (26-of-52) and 54 percent from long range (14-of-26). Kinek led Lehigh with her ninth consecutive double figure performance and 16th on the season, tallying 15 points and seven boards on the night. Senior co-captain Becky Guman added nine points and two steals over her 29 minutes on the floor, but 25 points off of turnovers and 16 second chance points helped the Mids to their 12th win, fifth in Patriot League play.
"We have a real physical team coming in on Saturday, so we have to put tonight behind us and get ready for them," said Troyan.
The Mountain Hawks will look to rebound when they welcome the Black Knights of Army into Stabler Arena on Saturday, February 2 at 7 p.m.
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