Posted: November 10, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh lost its season opener to Saint Joseph’s by a final score of 60-59. Melissa Rich led the Mountain Hawks with 17 points and seven rebounds and Tricia Smith added 10 points and six rebounds in her first game back with Lehigh. With the loss Lehigh is now 0-1 on the year, while the Hawks improve in 1-0.
Lehigh took a commanding 34-24 lead going into halftime, thanks in large part to the play of the bench. Kaela Pearce scored eight points, including two 3-pointers and Kristen Dalton added five points to lead the Mountain Hawks.
The Brown and White continued to play well through the second half, improving its lead to as much 15 points with eight minutes to play. The Hawks slowly crept back into the game thanks in large part to a 15-0 run to tie the game at 54-54 with 3:30 to play.
The teams exchanged points with Saint Joseph’s taking the lead 58-56, with one minute left, on two Sarah Acker free throws. The Mountain Hawks answered back on a lay-up by Rich with 40 seconds to play.
On the ensuing possession Smith made a great play to intercept the ball and had a clear break for the net. She was fouled on her shot attempt by Acker with just 17 seconds remaining. Smith missed the backend of her one-and-one, giving Lehigh a 59-58 lead.
Acker grabbed the rebound and brought it up court, where she found Timisha Gomez who was able to draw a foul with four seconds to play. Gomez sank both of her free throws giving the Hawks the lead.
The Brown and White took a last chance desperation shot but could not make it go, as Saint Joseph’s held on for the win.
The Hawks were led on offense by Ackers, who scored 10 points and 11 rebounds and Gomez, who added 12 points and nine rebounds.
Lehigh shot .333 from the field but lost the rebound battle 48-41, including 18-11 in the second half.
The Mountain Hawks return to action next Saturday when they travel to the Bronx, N.Y. for a non-conference game with Fordham. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Rose Hill Gym.