Posted: January 30, 2005
Worcester, MA – Lehigh led by as many as six points in the second half, but host Holy Cross rallied for a 71-68 victory in a well-played game in front of 1,488 at the Hart Recreation Center on Sunday afternoon.
The win keeps the Crusaders perfect in Patriot League play at the halfway point with a 7-0 mark (12-8 overall).
Meanwhile the setback is the Mountain Hawks’ first in the league.
Lehigh now stands at 14-6 overall and 6-1 in league play.
“I’m really proud of how our kids competed,” said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan following the game. "I thought they did a great job overall, but we didn’t make some plays down the stretch that we needed to make.”
Holy Cross came out strong in the first half, but as the Mountain Hawks began to settle in, the game began to live up to its billing. There were seven lead changes over the first 20 minutes, and both teams used several mini-runs to cut back in front of one another.
The Mountain Hawks used 11 first half steals to force 17 Crusaders turnovers. The miscues led to 15 Lehigh points, and the Mountain Hawks led by a slim 33-32 margin at the half.
In the second stanza, Lehigh built a six point lead on a Sara Ellis free throw with 8:11 remaining. From there, the Crusaders began to chip away. Holy Cross took the lead for good on a Sarah Placek jumper with 3:12 remaining.
Jessica DePalo led Lehigh’s efforts with 19 points on the afternoon, while Ellis chipped in 17. Adrienne Blount added 10 points and six boards off the bench.
Lehigh out-rebounded the Crusaders 39-33 for the game, but Holy Cross shot 83% from the free throw line (19-of-23) in the win. Maggie Fontana was the game’s leading scorer, pouring in 21 including 11-of-11 from the charity stripe.
Lehigh and Holy Cross will square off again in two weeks, when the Mountain Hawks welcome the Crusaders to Stabler Arena on February 13.
Lehigh returns to the court on Friday night, as the Mountain Hawks head to Hamilton, N.Y. to do battle with the Colgate Raiders. That contest tips off at 7:30 pm, with live radio coverage on WLVR-FM (91.3) and lehighsports.com beginning at 7:15.