Posted: December 29, 2005
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh placed three players in double figures led by senior captain Jenny Callan’s 20 points and 13 rebounds, as the Mountain Hawks rolled past Fairfield 70-42 in the opening round of the 2005 Christmas City Classic on Thursday evening at Stabler Arena. Junior captain Sara Ellis also added 20 points for Lehigh, who wins its second game in a row for the first time this season.
The win propels Lehigh (4-6) to the championship game on Friday night against New Hampshire (7-2), as the Wildcats topped Towson, 70-69 in overtime earlier Thursday. Fairfield (5-4) will take on Towson in Friday’s consolation game.
“I thought we got a great effort on the boards tonight,” said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan after the win. “[Fairfield is] an excellent rebounding team, and Jenny and Adrienne [Blount] put forth another big performance for us.”
After Fairfield scored the opening bucket, Lehigh went on a quick 10-0 run to take a 10-2 lead with 16:12 remaining in the first half. The Mountain Hawks maintained a double-digit edge for the bulk of the half, and Lehigh went into the locker room with a 39-21 halftime advantage.
Callan led the way for the Mountain Hawks with ten first half points and eight rebounds. Blount added nine points and six boards, and Ellis poured in 11.
Lehigh was 9-of-11 from the free throw line over the first 20 minutes, and LU held a 26-18 edge on the glass.
Lehigh built a comfortable lead of well over 20-points in the second half, and extended the advantage to 31 points on a pair of Emily Geosits free throws with 5:04 left.
Lehigh shot 46% for the game, while limiting the Stags to just 23% for the game. The Mountain Hawks were once again dominant on the glass, out-rebounding Fairfield by a 48-33 advantage. Lehigh has now controlled the boards in seven of ten games so far this season.
Callan recorded her fifth consecutive double-double, and sixth in the last seven games to pace the home team. Blount added 11 points and nine boards, and Ellis scored 20 for the fourth time this season. Kaela Pearce scored five and grabbed three rebounds, while dishing out a career high four assists off the bench.
Fairfield senior Ivana Podrug led the Stags with nine points and five rebounds.
Lehigh and New Hampshire will square off in the Christmas City Classic championship game on Friday night at 7:30, as the Mountain Hawks are seeking just their second Classic tournament title in the event’s nine year history. Towson and Fairfield will meet in the consolation game at 5:00 pm. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the arena box office on Friday.