Lehigh's season ends in Patriot League semifinals
Posted: March 7, 2004
Upper Marlboro, MD – Lehigh’s season came to a conclusion on Sunday afternoon at The Show Place Arena, as the Mountain Hawks fell to American by a score of 71-58 in the Patriot League semifinals. Despite the loss, junior Jessica DePalo stamped her name in the Lehigh record books as she hit for 22 points on the afternoon, giving her 549 on the season, the most ever scored in a single season by a women’s player in Lehigh history.
Lehigh came out cold from the beginning and its inability to connect on shots hurt the Mountain Hawks. American applied pressure to the Mountain Hawk guards all day, resulting in 29 Lehigh turnovers, well above its average, and combined with American’s torrid shooting, the Mountain Hawks just could not overcome it. The first half saw Lehigh shoot just 35 percent and connect on only six field goals, while American hit 44 percent of its shots and attempted double the amount of shots that the Mountain Hawks had. Lehigh was able to keep it close however, by hitting nine of ten shots from the free throw line, to close the gap to 36-22 at the intermission.
The second half, American came out scorching and opened up its biggest lead of the day, at 20 points on a Joanna Barnes 3-pointer with 12:05 to go in the game. But, like so many times before, the Mountain Hawks showed their resiliency and refused to go away. Lehigh used some pressure defense of its own to close the margin to just nine points on a DePalo runner with 3:30 to play.
However, the Eagles simply shot too well and were too athletic to overcome. American shot well from the line down the stretch and went on to the 13-point victory. Four Eagles finished the game in double figures, led by Kaitlin Schuyler and Joanna Barnes, who finished with 13 points apiece. As a team, the Eagles sank 52% of their shots, but their defense was the story. American forced 29 Lehigh turnovers, leading to 32 points.
“We didn’t have our ‘A’ game today,” said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan. “We made too many mistakes and gave them too many chances on their offensive end.”
American pulled down 12 offensive rebounds, and outrebounded the Mountain Hawks 29-23 for the game. Lehigh falls to 0-11 for the season when getting beaten on the glass.
DePalo wrapped up her season with another terrific offensive performance. Jessie’s 22 marked the twelfth time this season she hit for 20-plus in the scoring column. Senior Jana Ransom scored eight points and came away with two steals in her final Lehigh effort. Sophomore Jenny Callan added eight points and seven boards before fouling out of the game.
With the loss, Lehigh finishes up its season with a record of 13-16, while the Eagles improve to 16-13 and advance to play Colgate in the Patriot League Championship on Wednesday evening.