Posted: February 21, 2006
LEWISBURG, Pa. – Behind a career-high 17 points from freshman Melissa Rich, Lehigh downed Bucknell 56-55 at Sojka Pavilion on Tuesday evening to pick up its fifth league victory of the season and improve to 10-16 overall. Junior Sara Ellis added 14 points for the Brown and White, all coming in the second half, as the only scoring Lehigh got in the second stanza was from Rich, Ellis, junior Adrienne Blount and one bucket from senior captain Jenny Callan. Bucknell falls to 16-10 overall and 9-4 in league action following the loss.
Lehigh shot 41 percent from the field for the game, including 46 percent in the second half, which was bolstered by a blistering 67 percent from beyond the three-point line. The Mountain Hawks out rebounded the Bison 34-32 for the game and forced 14 Bucknell turnovers. Rich led the way on the backboards with a career-high eight, while Callan added six.
For Bucknell, Hope Foster scored 15 points, pulled down nine boards and absolutely owned the paint with five blocked shots. Kesha Champion also netted 15, while handing out two assists.
Lehigh trailed early, falling behind 9-0, but clawed its way back and was down by just six at halftime, 30-24. Rich led the way with ten first half points on five of nine shooting, while Blount added eight points and two boards, but was whistled for three fouls in the opening 20 minutes. Lehigh shot just 31 percent in the half, and 0 of 3 from three-point range, but only turned the ball over five times.
Bucknell was led in scoring by Foster’s ten tallies, while Lindsey Hollobaugh added eight. The Bison hit on 39 percent of their field goals, with Foster pulling down a team-high five boards. Lauren Schober dished out three assists and Bucknell out rebounded the Mountain Hawks 20-16.
In the second half Lehigh continued to chip away at the deficit, riding the hot hand of Ellis, Blount and Rich, as the three combined for 26 points between them. Ellis sank two three’s, including one from NBA range that propelled the Mountain Hawks into the lead with 8:35 to go. A lay up by Blount on the next possession put Lehigh in front 50-47 with 7:55 to go, but Bucknell would not quit. The Bison went up one on a lay up by Champion with 6:20 to go, and then up one again on another lay up from the feisty point guard with 4:42 left.
The Bison went up by three with 4:14 to go on a jumper by Champion, but from there, the Brown and White went on a 4-0 run on jumpers by Ellis and Callan and then played tremendous defense on the final possession to preserve the victory.
Lehigh wraps up the regular season on Saturday, as the Mountain Hawks visit Holy Cross. Game time is set for 1:00 pm, and the action can be heard live on WLVR-FM and Lehighsports.com beginning at 12:45.