Vestal, NY – It was close but no cigar on Saturday afternoon for Lehigh, as the Mountain Hawks rallied back from an eleven-point deficit in the second half only to fall in the end 62-55. Lehigh (1-7, 0-0) fought all the way back to tie the game at 55-55, but the Bearcats (5-3, 0-0) hit seven straight free throws to end the game and give the home team the victory.
Jana Ransom scored 13 first half points as the Mountain Hawks jumped out to an early lead in the first half, and Lehigh led by as many as seven on their way to a 31-28 halftime lead. Ransom would end the night with 18 points, a season high. But a sluggish start to the second half made it appear as if Binghamton was on their way to a blowout. Using a 15-1 run to start the second stanza, the Bearcats held Lehigh without a field goal for the first nine minutes and led by eleven.
Lehigh would begin its rally though, led by the efforts of co-captain Jess DePalo and freshman sharpshooter Emily Geosits. Geosits scored 8 points for the Mountain Hawks, including two huge three pointers, to help the team get back into the action. Though they would tie it late, Dawn Gorynski missed the front end of a one-and-one with the team trailing by two and 36 seconds left, and Binghamton would hit 7-8 free throws to seal the victory.
Coach Sue Troyan was disappointed with the loss. “I thought they did a good job to come back” said Troyan, “and we had our chances late, but just couldn’t get it done. Usually Dawn is going to make those foul shots, but those things happen. They just seem to happen a bit more often to a 1-7 team I guess.”
Ransom led the team with her 18, and Jess DePalo filled the box score as well, totaling 16 points and 11 rebounds for her third double-double on the season. She also swatted away a career-high five shots defensively. Gorynski chipped in with seven points as well. Rachel Laws led Binghamton with a career high 19 points and 11 rebounds, which also tied her career-best.
Lehigh will have a few days off for the holidays, and will return to the court on December 30, as they host Marshall to open up the Christmas City Classic at Stabler Arena. Tip-off is set for 3:30, and the game can be heard live on 91.3 WLVR as well as on Lehigh’s website at www.lehighsports.com.