Posted: December 31, 2003
Bethlehem, PA – It took ten more minutes than normal, but the Mountain Hawks finally achieved their second victory of the season Wednesday afternoon, as Lehigh outlasted Mount St. Mary’s 86-83 in double overtime. Jess DePalo had a huge game for the Mountain Hawks, establishing new career highs with 24 points and 10 field goals to go along with 14 rebounds. With the win, Lehigh takes third place in the Christmas City Classic.
Lehigh (2-8) used an 8-0 run early in the game to take the lead, which they held for most of the first half. Mount St. Mary’s would come back in the last few minutes of the half, and the lead changed nine times before a late 9-0 run gave the Mountain Hawks a game-high eight point halftime lead at 35-27. DePalo had 10 first half points, as did sophomore Dawn Gorynski. Lehigh played tremendous team offense in the first half, as they registered 14 assists on 16 baskets.
In the second half, Mount St. Mary’s used hot shooting from Myriam Baccouche and Samira Rashid to get back into the game and eventually get a six-point lead of their own at 55-49 on consecutive three’s by Baccouche and Brook Blain. Lehigh would counter though, as a Gorynski three and baskets by DePalo and Jana Ransom along with two free throws by Mary Francis Hynoski would tie the game at 58-58. Lehigh would in fact have a four point lead at 66-62 with under a minute to play, but the Mountaineers were able to tie the game on a basket by Rashid with just four seconds left in the game.
In the first OT, each team scored six points, the last of which was a turnaround jumper by DePalo with seven seconds left to tie it at 72-72.
In the second extra period, Lehigh got on top thanks to two baskets by Lauren Reini and a bucket and two fouls shots from DePalo. Clinging to a one point lead, Gorynski made two free throws with two ticks left to give the Mountain Hawks an 86-83 lead, and a desperation heave by Baccouche fell short at the buzzer.
For her efforts, Jessie DePalo was named as Lehigh’s representative to the All-Tournament team. Gorynski finished the game with a season-high 22 points, just one off her previous career best. Lauren Reini also posted a career high with 12 points off the bench. For Mount St. Mary’s, Baccouche finished with a team-leading 23 points while Rashid had a career-high 21 and 6 assists.
Lehigh snaps a four-game losing streak with the victory, and the Mountain Hawks will look to build on the win when they travel to Fairleigh Dickinson for a game on Saturday. Tip off is scheduled for , and all the action can be heard live on WLVR 91.3 as well as on Lehigh’s website at www.lehighsports.com.