Posted: January 20, 2004
Bethlehem, PA – Lehigh went out of the Patriot League for a home game with Brown Tuesday night, and the Mountain Hawks could not recreate the magic of conference play, dropping a close 78-73 decision to the visiting Bears.
In the first half Brown came out firing on all cylinders, running out to a 22-13 lead. Nyema Mitchell had the hot hand, scoring 11 of her 16 first half points in staking the Bears to the lead. However, Lehigh would answer, going on an 11-2 run to catch up and tie the game at 26-26. Jessica DePalo continued her hot play, shooting 5-6 in the first half for a total of 10 points. Brown would answer though, outscoring the Mountain Hawks 10-4 to end the half with a 38-32 lead.
In the second half, Brown used a wealth of offensive rebounds to keep their advantage for most of the half. For the game, the Bears had a total of 23 offensive boards, leading to 19 second chance points. The Bears appeared to be in control to stay on a layup by Sarah Hayes making it 59-49 with left, but then the Mountain Hawks went to work.
Getting production from everywhere, Lehigh (6-10, 3-0) went on a 16-2 tear to reclaim the lead at 65-61. But late-game turnovers proved to be the team’s demise, as Brown would reclaim the lead 67-66 on a bucket by Holly Robertson and never relinquish it.
A three-pointer by Sara Ellis and a steal and two free throws by Ransom would cut the Bears lead to 72-71, but another turnover by the Mountain Hawks allowed Brown to finish the game off for a five point win.
“We didn’t keep them off the boards,” said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan. “That was the difference in the game. We’ve got to better on that for Friday, and that will be our focus.”
The Mountain Hawks continue to get outstanding play from reigning Patriot League Player and Freshman of the week DePalo and Ellis, as DePalo went for 27 points, 8 rebounds, and a career high-tying 5 blocks, while Ellis finished with 16 points including 3 three-pointers. Mitchell ended up with 26 points and 6 blocks to lead Brown (8-6, 1-0).
Lehigh will return to the court on Friday as they travel to Easton to take on archrival Lafayette. The Mountain Hawks will be looking to keep their perfect conference record intact as they take on the Leopards, still in search of their first victory. Tip-off is set for , with audio coverage provided on WLVR-FM and Lehigh’s website at www.lehighsports.com.