Posted: November 30, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Lehigh snapped its two game losing streak thanks to great shooting in the second half, led by junior guard Tricia Smith. Smith scored a season-high 14 points and added a career-high 12 rebounds en route to a 54-50 win over North Florida. With the win Lehigh improves to 2-3 on the season, while the Ospreys fall to 2-4.
“Our defense played extremely well all game,” said head coach Sue Troyan. “They were able to keep us in it when our shots were not falling in the first half and they continued to play well in the second half.”
Lehigh started the game off on the right foot, breaking its 80 minute streak of playing from behind, scoring the first points of the game on a Smith field goal at the 18:51 mark of the first half. The lead did not last long, as the North Florida scored the next eight points to take an 8-2 lead before Lehigh struck back. The Brown and White slowly crept back into the game and took the lead, 18-16, with three minutes remaining in the half on an Erica Prosser three-pointer.
The Ospreys caught a break, with a little over a minute left in the half, trailing 20-18. UNF forward Dominique Barbosa’s shot looked like it did not get off before the shot clock buzzer; however, the shot was counted and the Lehigh bench was given a technical foul following the play. Shandrea Moore sank both of the free throws, to complete the four point play.
Lehigh added three free throws with less than two second remaining to regain the lead going into half, 23-22. Despite the lead, the Mountain Hawks shot just .250 from the floor, while their counterparts shots .333.
The Mountain Hawks saw a complete turnaround in their shooting in the second half, shooting .429 for the half, outscoring the Ospreys 31-28. The play of Lehigh’s guards helped secure the win, accounting for 45 of the teams total 54 points.
“Our guards played very well tonight, especially Tricia and Kaela [Pearce],” said Troyan. “They were able to keep the game in control when we couldn’t get the production we needed out of our post players.”
Pearce had 13 points, coming off of 10-of-12 shooting from the free throw line. Erica Prosser and Alex Ross each added seven points of their own. Smith also added two steals, one assist and one block.
“I just went out there and tried my best to put my team into position to win,” said Smith. “It was an important win for us. We need to build some [momentum] heading into our four home games coming up.”
Lehigh returns to action on Sunday when it travels up the road to Jacksonville University for an afternoon game at 1 p.m. The game can be heard live in the Lehigh Valley on 91.3 WLVR-FM and around the world on Lehighsports.com.