Upper Marlboro, MD – Junior Cat Nicholson scored 12 first half points but it wasn’t enough as sixth seeded Army upset third seed Lehigh 71-66 in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament at the Show Place Arena. Lehigh finishes the season 12-16 overall while the Black Knights (11-17) advanced to the semifinals on Sunday where they will take on second seeded Bucknell at 2:35.
Despite going an eight-minute stretch without a field goal and just four free throws, Lehigh managed put together a late 11-1 run to end the first half and go into the locker room tied at 28. Sharpshooting from Nicholson powered the Mountain Hawks.
Lehigh started the second half with a drought going the first three and a half minutes without a bucket. Meanwhile, Army slowly pulled away with nine straight points to start the stanza, and held as much as a 10 point lead midway through the half. Lehigh made a late run down the stretch, but Army quickly recovered.
Missed free throws in the last 40 seconds by Army nearly let Lehigh slip away with a win but Katie Macfarlane canned a pair with 19.5 seconds left to seal the deal for the Black Knights. The Mountain Hawks cut the lead to four but couldn’t get any closer.
Playing with a fractured left hand, junior Anne Tierney scored 8 points and pulled down 7 rebounds for Lehigh. All-league second team selection scored ten second half points for the Mountain Hawks, while freshman Jessie DePalo added ten, and junior Billi Ford poured in ten and a season-high 7 assists. Army was led by Macfarlane’s game high 24 points and nine boards. Christina Canelli chipped in with 13 for the Black Knights.
Lehigh shot 42% on the night, but was plagued by 24 turnovers.
"I thought we came out tentatively on the offensive end, and had to battle through our own mistakes all night," said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan. "Give Army credit; they played a great game and deserved to win."