Posted: March 2, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. – Lehigh saw its 2005-06 season come to an end on Thursday evening in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament with a 64-54 loss at the hands of third-seeded Bucknell at the Hart Center. The Mountain Hawks put together a late run to cut the deficit to just five points with 2:43 to go, but could not get any closer that that. With the loss, Lehigh’s final record stands at 10-18, while the Bison improve to 18-10 and move onto Saturday’s semifinal round of the tournament.
"I'm disappointed with a lot of things we didn't do well tonight," said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan on the radio following the game. "We missed way too many open looks and we turned the ball over far too often."
Lehigh was led on offense junior Adrienne Blount’s 17 points, which came on six of 12 shooting, while Sara Ellis and Jenny Callan both netted 13 on the night. Lehigh shot 37 percent for the game, including 43 percent in the second half and dished out 16 assists on 21 field goals. Callan pulled down a team-high seven boards, while Claire Sullivan grabbed six. Sullivan and Ellis tied for team-high honors in assists with five, and Sullivan swiped a game-high five balls for the game.
Bucknell was led in scoring by Kesha Champion, who netted a game-high 20 points on six of nine shooting, which included three shots from beyond the arc, but did turn the ball over 11 times, as the Bison as a team, were forced into 25 turnovers by Lehigh. Sophomore Hope Foster, the 2006 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, pulled down a game-best 14 boards and added eight points, while Lindsey Hollobaugh tossed in 16.
Both teams came out very slow in the beginning with the Mountain Hawks leading by just a 2-0 count at the first media time out. Bucknell did not get on the scoreboard until the 14:28 mark of the opening half, but Lehigh’s defense was strong throughout, forcing 14 Bison turnovers, which included seven Lehigh steals, four of which came from Sullivan. However, Lehigh turned the ball over 14 times itself, resulting in a 22-16 deficit at the halftime break. The Mountain Hawks went the final 5:46 of the half without a field goal, and saw the Bison go on an 8-0 run over that time to surge in front.
Blount led the Brown and White with six first half tallies, while Callan added four points and three rebounds. Lehigh shot just 30 percent in the opening twenty minutes, but held the Bison to only 35 percent. Kesha Champion led Bucknell with seven points, coming on three of five shooting, but did it over six times. Foster pulled down six boards in the half, while Jacquie Seawright recorded five rebounds.
The Bison came out strong to begin the second half, upping their lead to 11 on a Hollobaugh jumper at the 17:55 mark and then to 13 on a jumper by Champion with 15:13 to go. After Hollobaugh sunk a lay up with 8:48 remaining, Bucknell was enjoying its largest lead of the evening at 15 points, but Lehigh would not go down without a fight.
Freshman Ryan Ingalls drilled a three from the left corner, Blount hit a jumper of her own and then added two free throws as Lehigh closed within ten. Ellis then hit a three from way out, and Callan used a nice up and under move to get free for a score, and with just 2:43 left, the Brown and White closed to within just five. However, from that point on, the Mountain Hawks would score only eight more points, as Bucknell paraded to the free throw line and sank ten free throws to pull away and move into the next round.