Mountain Hawks wrap up regular season on high note
Posted: February 29, 2004
Worcester, MA – Behind a career high 27 points from senior Jana Ransom and an additional 26 from junior Jessica DePalo, Lehigh defeated Holy Cross 79-70 on Sunday afternoon at the Hart Center. DePalo becomes only the fourth player in Lehigh’s history to score 500 or more points in one season. Except for two ties in the contest, the Mountain Hawks led from start to finish. With the win, Lehigh improves to 12-15 overall, and 9-5 in the Patriot League, while the Crusaders fall to 13-14, 8-6 in league action.
With the score tied 8-8 early in the half, the Mountain Hawks used a 16-2 run to open up a 24-10 advantage with 8:57 remaining in the first half. Holy Cross slowly whittled away at the Lehigh lead, but the Mountain Hawks managed to head into the locker room with a 41-34 lead. Ransom had one of her best halves of the season, scoring 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting in 16 minutes. DePalo also shot 6-of-10 in the opening frame, scoring 13 points. As a team, the Mountain Hawks shot 47% from the floor, and controlled the glass as well. Lehigh out-rebounded the Crusaders 25 to 18 over the first twenty minutes.
The second half proved to be more of the same, as the Crusaders continued to chip away at the lead, but the Mountain Hawks hung tough. In fact, although the Crusaders tied the game at 58 with 7:25 to play, Holy Cross never could get over the hump. The Crusaders never led all afternoon.
Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan was understandably pleased with her team’s effort Sunday. “I thought this win was the result of a total team effort,” she said. “Our kids really responded to the challenge and bounced back [from Friday’s loss at Colgate].”
Ransom finished the day with 27 to lead all scorers, while DePalo added 26. DePalo has now scored 502 points so far this season. Ransom set a new personal best by knocking down three three-point field goals on four attempts. Both Ransom and DePalo pulled down eight rebounds. Freshman Sara Ellis added 12 points in the win.
Lehigh picks up its second straight victory at the Hart Center, and the Mountain Hawks close out the regular season with nine league victories – matching last season’s school record.
The Mountain Hawks return to action in the 2004 Patriot League Tournament Friday at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Lehigh’s seed will be determined pending the outcome of the Bucknell at Colgate contest.