Bethlehem, PA – Lehigh rallied from a 17-point second half deficit to tie the score, but in the end fell short as American (10-6, 3-0 Patriot League) defeated the Mountain Hawks (5-9, 2-1 Patriot League) by a 71-67 score at Stabler Arena on Saturday afternoon. The loss snaps Lehigh’s three-game winning streak.
The Eagles came out strong in the first half, as American built a 12-6 lead just six minutes into the contest. The Eagles extended their lead to as many as 17 in the first half, and went into the locker room with a 43-28 cushion. Through the first 20 minutes, the Eagles were paced by Katryn Costenbader’s 12 points. She was 4-of-5 from beyond the three point arc in the half.
As they have done all season long, the Mountain Hawks battled back. Down 52-35 with 15:53 to go in the game, Lehigh answered with a 22-5 run over the next 8:23 to tie the score at 57. Lehigh managed to gain the lead – 62-60 – with under five minutes to play, but could not hold on down the stretch.
"To give up a game like this at home is very disappointing," said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan following the loss. "We came out sloppy in the first half, and it’s tough to dig yourself out of a 17 point hole."
On the afternoon, Lehigh was led by Jana Ransom’s 14 points and eight rebounds. Jessica DePalo added 12 points and 6 boards, and Dawn Gorynski added 11 points (including three 3-pointers) in a losing effort. American’s Costenbader led all scorers with 16 points.
Lehigh controlled the glass, out-rebounding the Eagles 38-28, but the Mountain Hawks turned the ball over 21 times to American’s 10. The Eagles came away with 14 steals on the afternoon.
The Mountain Hawks will pause from Patriot League play on Tuesday, as Lehigh hosts Pennsylvania at Stabler Arena. The first 1,000 fans to enter the gates will receive a free Anne Tierney bobblehead doll. Game time is 7:00.