Posted: January 18, 2005
Bethlehem, PA – Lehigh had its three-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday night as the Mountain Hawks dropped a 68-53 decision to visiting Penn at Stabler Arena.
The setback gives Lehigh an 11-5 record on the season, while the Quakers get set to begin Ivy League play with a 7-6 overall mark.
The first half was a tightly knit affair that featured three ties and seven lead changes. The teams combined for 11 three point field goals in the opening 20 minutes, including four each for Lehigh’s Sara Ellis and the Quakers’ Karen Habrukowich. Ellis finished the first half with 14 points as Lehigh shot 48 percent in the half. The Mountain Hawks led by as much as six in the half, and they took a slim 35-34 lead into the locker room.
Habrukowich finished the stanza with 16 points, giving her exactly 1,000 in her career.
In the second half, Penn took a 47-40 lead with 13:13 to play, and the Mountain Hawks began to rush their shots. Matching the frigid single digit temperatures outside Stabler Arena, Lehigh went ice cold from the floor. The Mountain Hawks connected on just 7-of-35 field goals in the second half (20%), as the Quakers built a 15-point advantage. Lehigh cut the deficit to 11 with two minutes to play, but could get no closer.
“I thought we panicked a little bit there early in the second half,” said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan. “They exposed some holes in our defense and we’ve got some things we know we need to correct.”
Penn’s Habrukowich led all scorers with 21 points, including five three-pointers. Lehigh was led by Ellis, who finished with 19 points while matching her career high with five treys of her own. Ellis was the lone Mountain Hawks player in double figures, as Jessica DePalo and Adrienne Blount finished with eight apiece.
Carli Toliver finished with six points on 2-of-5 three-point shooting. The two three’s give her 147 in her career, matching Cat Nicholson ’03 as the all-time leader in career three-point field goals.
For the game, Lehigh shot just 33% – its lowest field goal percentage of the season. The Mountain Hawks made it to the free throw line just twice in the loss. The defeat marked the first time that Lehigh lost when leading at the half, as the Mountain Hawks had won their first ten games when leading at the break.
The Mountain Hawks (3-0 Patriot League) return to the Stabler Arena hardwood on Friday, as Lehigh hosts league foe Colgate. Game time is set for 7:00, and tickets may be purchased by calling (610) 7LU-GAME, or by logging on to the Lehigh web site at lehighsports.com.