Posted: February 2, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Mountain Hawks suffered their second league loss of the season, falling 53-51, on a last second lay-up by Laura Aloisi. Melissa Rich led Lehigh with 14 points and five rebounds, while Briana McFadden had a game high 21 points for the Crusaders. The loss drops Lehigh into a second place tie with Holy Cross as both teams are 5-2 in the Patriot League.
“We had a couple of missed free throws and lay-ups down the stretch, but I thought the girls fought hard and the defense really stepped it up in the second half,” said head coach Sue Troyan. “I’m very disappointed in the outcome, but we definitely had our chances to get it done and this will be a game we look back on and regret losing.”
With 1:45 remaining in the second half, Holy Cross cut its deficit to 51-49 on a lay-up by Elizabeth Campbell. Erica Prosser missed her lay-up on Lehigh’s ensuing possession, but the Mountain Hawks got the ball back with after a missed three-pointer by Bethany O’Dell, with 1:08 to play. However, Lehigh turned the ball over with 39 seconds left, giving the Crusaders a chance to tie the game, and Campbell came through again, hitting her jumper in the paint with 21 seconds on the clock.
On Lehigh’s next possession, Prosser drove to the hoop and missed her shot, but was fouled by McFadden with six seconds remaining. Prosser missed the first shot of her one-and-one attempt, and an erratic rebound, gave Aloisi a clear path to the net for a lay-up with four-tenths of a second on the clock. The Mountain Hawks had one last shot, but they could not pull off the full court pass, and Holy Cross escaped with a victory.
In the first half, the Crusaders jumped out to a quick start, scoring the game’s first seven points. Lehigh responded with an eight point run, to take its first lead, 8-7, at the 16:11 mark. The teams traded points over the next seven minutes, with the score tied at 17-17, with 8:54 to play.
The Crusaders started to pull away, when they went on an 8-0 run, thanks to a couple of lay-ups by Campbell. The Mountain Hawks eventually cut their deficit down to four points, 27-23, with 1:10 to play in the half, on a lay-up by Haly Crites.
The score remained the same going into halftime, as Lehigh had one of its worst shooting halves of the season, connecting on just 28 percent of its shots, including one-of-nine from downtown. The Crusaders hit 42.3 percent of their shots, but were just two-of-seven from long-range. Rich had a team high six points for the Brown and White, and Tricia Smith had a half high six rebounds. Campbell led Holy Cross with eight points, while Briana McFadden and Bethany O’Dell had seven points each.
The missed free throw by Prosser was the only one all game by Lehigh, as the Mountain Hawks hit 14-of-15 shots on the charity stripe. Lehigh’s defense held the top three-point team in the league, to just 26.7 percent shooting from downtown, and 38.9 percent from the floor.
Alex Ross added 12 points, all coming in the second half, as she knocked down four three-pointers, and moved into sixth-place all-time at Lehigh, with 97 for her career. Claire Sullivan tied her career high with eight rebounds, to lead the Brown and White.
The Mountain Hawks do not return to the court until next Saturday, when they host the American Eagles at 7 p.m. Lehigh won this season’s previous meeting, 55-37, in Washington D.C. Saturday is also Lehigh’s “Pack the House” night, as the Mountain Hawks will try to set a new attendance record at Stabler Arena.