Posted: January 26, 2008
EASTON, Pa. – Lehigh’s six game winning streak came to end Saturday afternoon at the hands of Lafayette. The Leopards were able to hold off a last second three-point attempt by Kaela Pearce to win the game 48-45. The loss is Lehigh’s first league loss of the year, as they fall to 12-8 (4-1). The win improves Lafayette to 12-8 (4-1), as the teams are now in a tie for first place in the Patriot League.
"Give their kids a lot of credit they played really well today,” said head coach Sue Troyan. “Our defense played well all game, but we struggled to get things going offensively. We expected it to be another tight [league] game, but we couldn’t manage to pull it out again this time.”
In the first half, the teams battled back and forth to a 10-10 with 10:06 to play. The Mountain Hawks took their first lead of the game, 13-12, on a three-pointer by Alex Ross at the 9:53 mark. This sparked an 8-1 run by the Brown and White, to jump out to an 18-13 lead with a little under seven minutes. However, the Leopards answered back on a three-point play by LaKeisha Wright, who was fouled by Melissa Rich, with 5:04 to play, to tie the game at 18-18.
Lafayette outscored Lehigh 9-4 over the final five minutes to take a 27-22 lead at halftime. Vanessa Van De Venter had a half high 12 points for the Leopards, while Tricia Smith had six points and five rebounds for the Mountain Hawks.
The second half was much like the first, with neither team able to break away. Lafayette had the biggest lead for either team, going ahead by six points, 42-36, with 7:01 to play. Lehigh responded with a seven-point run, capped off by a three-pointer by Ross, at the 4:11 mark.
The teams exchanged points over the final four minutes, before Lafayette broke away on the eventual game-winning free throw by Emily Garner, to take a 46-45 lead with 2:32 to play. Garner sank two more free throw to secure the victory for the Leopards.
Smith ended with a team high 12 points, and was one rebound shy of her third double-double of the year. Rich added a game high 10 rebounds and eight points for Lehigh, who shots 31.6 percent for the game, but just 26.3 percent in the second half.
Wright had a strong second for Lafayette, scoring eight of her 16 points, while Van De Venter put in five more points for a game high 17. The Leopards shot 42.9 percent for the game, including 46.7 percent in the second half.
Lehigh returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts the Bucknell Bison. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Stabler Arena. The game can be seen live on Service Electric 2 Sports, with Mike Zambelli and Jim Wills calling the action. Steve Lomangino will call the action on 91.3 WLVR-FM and on Lehighsports.com, with streaming provided by Yahoo! Sports.