Bethlehem, PA – Bucknell junior Molly Creamer scored a game high 28 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, as the Bison escaped Stabler Arena with a 73-72 overtime win over Lehigh in the regular season finale for both teams. The Bison wrap up the season with an overall record of 18-9, and an 11-3 Patriot League mark. The Mountain Hawks head into the league tournament with a 12-15 overall record, and an 8-6 record in league play.
Bucknell ran out to a six point lead in the first half, propelled by ten points from both Creamer and Kate Franks. Lehigh rallied, though, and the Mountain Hawks took a slim 29-28 lead into halftime. Lehigh shot 40% from the floor in the first half, while holding the Bison to just 30% shooting. The Mountain Hawks were led by six points apiece from Jana Ransom, Cat Nicholson, and Teniece Johnson.
In the second half, Lehigh opened up a six point cushion (54-48) with a pair of free throws from Johnson with 6:26 remaining. The Bison refused to give in, and cut the deficit to 60-59 with just 33 seconds left on a pair of Kate Rounsley free throws. Rounsley finished the day with 10 points and a perfect 8-8 from the line. Carli Toliver and Jessica DePalo each went to the free throw line in the closing moments of regulation, hitting a free throw each, to give the Mountain Hawks a 62-59 lead with under ten seconds to play. Vicki Quimby picked up an offensive board and found Creamer, who hit an off-balance three pointer with just three seconds left to tie the score at 62 and send the game to overtime.
In the extra period, Carli Toliver scored the first five points to give Lehigh a 67-62 lead with just under four minutes remaining. Bucknell battled back, and Desire Almind’s jumper with six seconds left proved to be the difference, as the Bison went on to the 73-72 win.
Lehigh was led by 20 points from Toliver on 7-14 shooting. Jana Ransom, Cat Nicholson, and Teniece Johnson all scored 11 for the Mountain Hawks, who shot 41% on the afternoon, but were out-rebounded 50-37. Lehigh drops to 2-11 in games when its opponent controls the glass. In addition to Creamer’s 28, Kate Franks added 19 points and Almind 10 for the victorious Bison.
The Mountain Hawks will now prepare for the Patriot League tournament, which begins Friday at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Lehigh is the three-seed, and will take on number six Army. The Mountain Hawks won both regular season meetings between the two schools, by a combined 11 points.