Posted: December 19, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Mountain Hawks edged out Sacred Heart 63-53 Wednesday night at Stabler Arena, led by four players in double digits. Melissa Rich and Kaela Pearce each had a team high 17 points, both setting career highs. Erica Prosser and Tricia Smith each added 11 points and Prosser tied her career high with six assists. With the win Lehigh improves to 4-6, while the Pioneers fall to 5-5 on the year.
“It was an important win for us,” said head coach Sue Troyan. “We were a little sloppy at times but it was still a good result. I give the kids a lot of credit because they had final exams this week, but they still managed to put up a great effort.”
Both teams struggled to find the net early in the first half, but it was the Mountain Hawks who jumped out to an early 6-0 lead at the 15:09 mark. The Pioneers tied it up with six straight points of their own led by two layups by Stephanie Ryan.
The teams traded points before Lehigh would take its largest lead of the half, with a 23-15 lead with 5:33 to play. The 10-3 run was topped off with a three-pointer by Smith, who scored six points in the half. Sacred Heart closed the gap entering the half, but the Brown and White managed to take a one point at half, 28-27.
Prosser led both teams with 10 points and Rich added another seven points and four rebounds to lead the Lehigh charge. The Mountain Hawks shot .385 for the half and out-rebounded the Pioneers 22-15.
Sacred Heart was led offensively by Alisa Apo with nine points off the bench. Apo hit two-of-four three-point attempts and as a team the Pioneers were five-of-nine from beyond the arc.
In the second half Pearce took over, scoring all 17 of her points connecting on all six of her field goal attempts and four-of-five free throw attempts. Rich added 10 more points in the second half to give her 17 for the game.
“It was good to see Melissa step up,” said Troyan. “She really needed that game. She did a nice job working on [Kaitlin] Sowinski inside.”
The Mountain Hawks hit 52.2% of their shots in the second half and ended the game with a .449 shooting percentage. Lehigh out-rebounded Sacred Heart in the second half as well and ended the game with a 41-30 advantage. Tricia Smith had a game high eight rebounds to go along with her 11 points.
After excelling from three-point range in the first half, the Pioneers struggled to find their shot, hitting just two-of-five attempts. Apo led all players with 20 points and Ryan added another 13 points and eight rebounds.
Lehigh returns to action on Friday when it travels to Binghamton for a non-conference game with the Bearcats. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and can be heard on 91.3 WLVR-FM in the Lehigh Valley and around the world on Lehighsports.com, with Ryan Chadwick calling the action.