Posted: January 10, 2006
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Despite 25 points from junior Sara Ellis and 24 from senior Jenny Callan, Lehigh dropped a tough 89-82 overtime decision to visiting Navy inside Stabler Arena on Tuesday night. The loss snaps Lehigh’s nine-game regular season winning streak over Patriot League foes, and the setback drops Lehigh’s record to 0-3 in overtime games this season.
“Our execution wasn’t as solid as it should’ve been down the stretch,” said a disappointed Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan following the loss. “We had our chances [late in the second half] and got the game to overtime, but we just couldn’t seem to get a defensive stop when we needed one. Give Navy credit, they battled hard all night long.”
The win improves Navy’s mark to 8-7 overall and 1-1 in the league, while the Mountain Hawks drop to 6-9 overall and 1-1 in league play.
Things got off to a promising start for the home team, as Navy missed its first five field goal attempts and the Mountain Hawks corralled an early lead. Trailing 10-5, the Midshipmen went on a 5-0 run to tie the contest at 10-10. The rest of the first half was a see-saw affair, that saw the Mountain Hawks take a 35-33 lead into intermission, thanks to an Adrienne Blount jumper with 27 seconds remaining in the first half.
Callan was on fire in the first half for Lehigh, scoring 15 points, including nine-of-nine from the free throw line. Sophomore Claire Sullivan dished out seven first half assists.
In the second half, Lehigh seemed to be pulling away after a Jenny Callan runner in the paint put the Mountain Hawks up by nine – the largest lead for either team all night – with 7:12 to play.
However, the Midshipmen continued to chip away at the Lehigh lead, and Navy used an 11-2 run to go back in front with 3:22 to play.
Lehigh went without a field goal in the final 4:56 of the second half, as Navy forged ahead. Navy’s Lauren Skrel hit a pair of free throws with ten seconds to go putting the visitors on top 71-68 late.
Lehigh had one last-ditch effort in regulation, as Sara Ellis got off a running, off-balance three-point attempt as time was set to expire. Ellis got fouled on the attempt, and went to the line for three shots, down by three, with 0.2 seconds to play. The junior calmly hit all three shots, sending the game to OT.
In the extra session, Navy connected on 50% of its field goal attempts and all eleven free throw opportunities to put the game away. Five Midshipmen scored in double figures, led by Ashley Pelzek’s 23 points. Pelzek connected on five three-pointers for Navy. Lauren Skrel added 17 points, including 12-of-13 from the free throw line.
Ellis led Lehigh with 25, including four-of-eight from beyond the three-point arc and 11-of-11 from the free throw line. Ellis’ fourth three placed her in a tie atop Lehigh’s all-time three-point field goal leaderboard, matching Carli Toliver ’05 with 158 career makes. Her eleven free throws matched a personal best, and Ellis has now hit 45 of her last 46 free throw opportunities.
Callan’s 24 point, 12 rebound night marked her tenth double-double of the season. Sullivan matched her personal best with 12 assists – her fifth game this year with ten or more.
As a team, Lehigh connected on only 38% of its shots, while Navy hit for over 45%. Lehigh turned the ball over only 12 times, but the Mountain Hawks were out-rebounded 40 to 37. Lehigh did knock down 28 free throws (78%), and Navy hit on 21-of-23 (91%) from the stripe.
Lehigh returns to action on Saturday, as the Mountain Hawks host Army on Kids Night at Stabler. Game time is set for 5:05 pm, with Kids Night festivities getting underway at 4:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased on-line at lehighsports.com, or by calling (610) 7LU-GAME during normal business hours.