Lehigh wins season opener at Fifth Third Classic
Posted: November 19, 2004
Huntington, WV – Lehigh opened up the 2004-05 season with a victory as the Mountain Hawks defeated UNC-Asheville 61-51 in the semifinals of the Fifth Third MU Classic, hosted by Marshall University. Lehigh won its season opener for the first time since 1999 and will next face the winner of Marshall-UT Pan American in tomorrow’s finals.
The Mountain Hawks showed some first game jitters early, as evidenced by 14 first half turnovers. With 12 minutes to go, the Mountain Hawks utilized a 10-2 run to turn a two point lead into a ten point advantage. Lehigh was able to keep Kristal Hood, the Bulldog’s leading scorer without a field goal in the first half. The Brown and White led by eight, 31-23 at the half.
UNC-Asheville started the second half reeling off four quick points, but the Mountain Hawks refocused after a time out and were able to build the lead back to double digits following a pair of jumpers from Carli Toliver and three pointer from Chantal St. Laurent and were able to hold on for the win.
“Defensively we did a good job,” said coach Sue Troyan. “We put in a new scheme and the kids adjusted well to it.” The Lehigh defense held the Bulldogs to a mere 36 percent shooting on the night while shooting 48 percent themselves.
Senior Jessica DePalo led the Mountain Hawks in scoring with 25, while sophomore Sara Ellis contributed 11 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, including several pretty feeds in transition.
“Sara and Jess both played well, but we need to get some more people involved on offense and cut down on turnovers in our next game,” Troyan said.
Lehigh will face the winner of Marshall and UT Pan American in the finals on Saturday afternoon. If the Mountain Hawks face Marshall, the game will get underway at . Should UT-Pan American be the opponent it would be an start time. Tomorrow’s game will be broadcast on WLVR and online at lehighsports.com