Posted: February 14, 2004
Bethlehem, PA – Lehigh dropped its second consecutive Patriot League contest on Saturday afternoon to American by a score of 55-48 at Stabler Arena. Sophomore Dawn Gorynski netted a team high 16 points, including three shots from behind the arc, but no other Mountain Hawk was in double figures, as Lehigh fell. With the loss, Lehigh falls out of first place and its overall record now stands at 9-14 overall (6-4 in the Patriot League), while American improves to 12-11 overall, and 7-3 within the league.
Lehigh started off cold from the beginning, falling behind by as many as 13 points at the 8:54 mark of the first half at 18-5. The tandem of Chanel Spriggs and Chanel Hunt continually hurt the Mountain Hawks on the glass and on the interior and the Eagles seized the early momentum. However, Lehigh exploded on the offensive end towards the end of the first stanza, going on a 19-2 run to end the half and surge ahead by four, 24-20, at the end of the first twenty minutes. Gorynski scored ten of her 16 in the first half, hitting on four of seven shots from the field. The sophomore point guard also recorded two steals. Sophomore Jenny Callan came off of the bench and put together a solid first half as well, netting five points and ripping down six boards.
The Eagles were led by Joanna Barnes with seven points, seven rebounds and three assists. For the half Lehigh connected on just 38 percent of its shots, while the Eagles struggled even more, hitting only 25 percent of their attempts.
The second half was a tight affair, as neither team could open a lead bigger than seven points, which was the final deficit facing the Mountain Hawks. Lehigh grabbed its biggest lead of the half at the 17:01 mark as the brown and white took a 29-24 lead. But the lead would be short lived as American used stifling defense and aggressive rebounding to come right back and take the lead at the 13:06 mark. Down the stretch the two teams exchanged the lead five times, until the Eagles took a 49-48 lead with 2:39 remaining to seal the victory. Lehigh was forced to foul in the final minutes and American did a nice job of hitting its charity tosses to ice the victory.
Gorynski wound up shooting six of 13 on the afternoon en route to her 16 points, while the Mountain Hawks leading scorer on the season, junior Jessica DePalo, was held to just eight points, as she struggled with her shooting all day, hitting only four of 13 from the floor. For the Eagles, Hunt tallied a game-high 21 points on eight of 16 shooting, while Spriggs also reached double figures, recording ten points on the day.
At halftime of the game, Lehigh honored Anne Tierney '03 in a special cermony that ended with her jersey being draped from the Stabler Arena rafters. The Mountain Hawks could have used Tierney - the Patriot League's all-time leading rebounder - on the glass Saturday afternoon. The Eagles were dominant on the boards, posting a 46-35 rebounding advantage for the game.
The Eagles upped their shooting in the second half, hitting 56 percent from the field to finish 38 percent from the field, while Lehigh hit only 29 percent of its field goal attempts in the second stanza and finished with a shooting percentage of 33 percent.
Lehigh will return to action on Friday, February 20, when the Mountain Hawks play host to Patriot League foe Army at Stabler Arena. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 5:30 and tickets can be purchased by calling 610-LU-GAME or by visiting Lehigh’s website at lehighsports.com.
Photo copyright (c) 2004, Demetra Stamus