Lewisburg, PA – Junior Carli Toliver scored a career-high 26 points on 8-of-8 shooting as Lehigh traveled to Bucknell and came away with a 74-67 win. With the victory Lehigh improves to 5-8 overall, 2-0 in league play, while Bucknell falls to 5-9 overall, 0-2 in the Patriot League. The Lehigh victory spoiled Bucknell's Sojka Pavilion debut, in the venue's first-ever basketball game.
In the first half, each team battled back and forth. The Bison led mid way through the first half, before the Mountain Hawks went on a 17-0 run in the final 7:57 of the half to take a 37-26 lead into the lockerroom.
Leading the way in the first half for the Mountain Hawks was Carli Toliver. Toliver posted a first half high 14 points on an impressive 5-of-5 shooting performance, including 4-for-4 from three point land. Anne Tierney was the leading rebounder with 11, Dawn Gorynski managed four assists, and Lehigh shot 41% as a team.
For Bucknell, Molly Creamer notched ten points on a 4-for-10 output. Creamer also tallied four assists. Desire Almind and Lindsey Geosits led the Bison in rebounds with four each, while the squad shot only 35% from the floor.
The Mountain Hawks opened the second half on a 9-0 run, holding the Bison scoreless for the first 4:00 of the half and opening up a 20-point lead, thanks to the 26-0 spurt that spanned 12 minutes and 13 seconds. Lehigh led by a score of 46-26. Bucknell’s first basket did not come until the 15:44 mark; however, Lehigh allowed its lead to dwindle to as little as three points with just under 1:00 remaining. In the end Lehigh prevailed, holding on for the eight-point win.
Jana Ransom ended the game in double figures for Lehigh and also posted a double double. Ransom was one of four Mountain Hawk starters scoring in double figures, managing 14 points, ten rebounds, and six assists. Toliver posted a team high 26 points and was perfect for the evening, going 8-for-8 from the floor, 4-of-4 from the free throw line, and 6-of-6 from three point land. Toliver's 6 three point field goals and seven rebounds are also career bests. Tierney and Jessica DePalo each tallied ten points for Lehigh, while Tierney led the way in rebounds, posting a game high 17. The Mountain Hawks shot 45% as a team and out rebounded the Bison 43-32.
Creamer, who recently tallied 41 points in a game, finished the game with 35 points. Creamer also became the all time leader scorer in Patriot League history with just under 1:00 remaining in the contest. Also for the Bison, Geosits and Almind tallied six rebounds, while Creamer led the way with eight assists.
Lehigh returns to action on Saturday at 1:00 vs. American. The game can be seen live in Service Electric TV 2 and heard live on 91.3 WLVR as well as the Lehigh website.