Posted: January 14, 2004
Bethlehem, PA – The Bucknell Bison came to town Wednesday night knowing they would need to stop Jessica DePalo to have any chance of winning. They didn’t come close, as DePalo had her way in the paint the entire night to lead the team to their second straight win, 69-58. DePalo shot an incredible 14-20 from the field for a career-high 28 points, her second career-best in as many games. The Mountain Hawks improved to 5-9 on the season, 2-0 in the Patriot League. Bucknell falls to 7-8 (0-2).
Although Bucknell sprinted to a 12-4 lead to start the game, a steady diet of DePalo and freshman Sara Ellis brought the Mountain Hawks back. The two combined for 14 straight points to give Lehigh the lead back at 18-16, and they would stay in front until the break, leading 27-25.
In the second half, DePalo really got heated up, hitting 8-10 from the field. It was a similar story for the Mountain Hawks to their win over Navy on Saturday, as hot shooting helped to keep Bucknell from making a game of it. Bucknell would take a 41-36 lead with 14:03 left, but then a 14-3 Lehigh run would put the Mountain Hawks ahead to stay 50-44.
For the game, the Mountain Hawks shot 50% from the field, including 62.5% in the second half. Meanwhile, the Lehigh defense harassed the Bison into 39.7% shooting, including only 1-13 from behind the arc. Lehigh also did a good job defending Desire Almind, the nation’s leading rebounder, holding her to 15 points and 10 rebounds, both below her season averages (18.3 and 14.9).
“Boxing out Almind was a focal point for us,” said senior Jana Ransom, who chipped in with 14 points on the night. “We wanted to hold her below her usual totals, and I thought we stayed focused and accomplished that.”
DePalo wasn’t the only Mountain Hawk to set her second straight career high. Ellis also re-upped her mark, hitting 3-7 from three-point range on the way to 15 points.
Said Ransom, “When Sara gets it going from outside like that, it really opens things up inside for us.”
Lehigh will take its perfect league record into American for a game with the Eagles on Saturday. Tip off is scheduled for , and the action can be heard live on 91.3 WLVR as well as on Lehigh’s website at www.lehighsports.com.