Posted: January 10, 2004
Bethlehem, PA – The non-league schedule may have been tough on the Mountain Hawks, but the team got Patriot League play off to a great start on Saturday, as they used their best shooting effort of the season to defeat Navy 71-61. Jessica DePalo posted a career-high for the second time in four games, finishing the night with 25 points to lead Lehigh to their first conference win on the season.
In the first half, the Mountain Hawks took advantage of cold shooting by the Midshipmen to gain a five point lead at the break, 28-23. Lehigh held Navy to 8-29 (27.6%) from the field in the first half, and DePalo paced the team with eight first-half points to give the Mountain Hawks the advantage.
In the second half though, Lehigh began to drain nearly every shot they took, making an outstanding 15-of-21 shots (71.4%) to draw out the lead. A layup by Kate Maslowksi cut the lead to 43-39 at the mark, but that would be as close as Navy would get, as Lehigh went on a 10-1 run to begin to put the game out of reach. Lehigh would take its largest lead of the game at 69-56 with just a minute left on two free throws by Dawn Gorynski.
“We shot the ball well,” said head coach Sue Troyan. “We attacked inside, and it really opened up looks from the outside. This was a really good time for our offense to come around, and I thought we played tough defense as well.”
DePalo, who’s previous career high of 24 came against Mount St. Mary’s on December 31 in the Christmas City Classic, shot 10-15 from the field and finished one rebound shy of a double-double. “We take pride in what we are doing,” said DePalo. “and tonight the shots just finally started to fall for us.”
Freshman Sara Ellis hit double figures for the first time in her Mountain Hawk career, hitting three three-pointers on her way to a career-high 13 points. Jana Ransom also chipped in with 14 points, helping the team to shoot a season-high 60.4% from the field. For Navy, Courtney Davidson led the way with 21 points in the losing effort. Lehigh improves to 4-9 on the season (1-0 Patriot League), while Navy falls to 6-9 (0-1).
The Mountain Hawks will continue Patriot League action with a home game Wednesday night against Bucknell. Game time is set for , and the action can be heard live on 91.3 WLVR as well as on Lehigh’s website at www.lehighsports.com.