Posted: February 16, 2008
WEST POINT, N.Y. – For the second straight game Lehigh was able to hold off a late second half comeback, this time against Army, as the Mountain Hawks defeated the Black Knights 50-44 at Christl Arena. The Brown and White went without a field goal for 10 minutes late in the second half, but were able to keep Army at bay, to pick up its 15th win of the season. The Mountain Hawks (15-10, 7-3) are now in a first place tie with the Black Knights (16-9, 7-3), as both teams are 7-3 in league, but Lehigh holds the tie-breaker, having taken the season series.
“Defensively we played a great first half and it really opened up things for us on the offensive end,” said head coach Sue Troyan. “It was just a great team effort all around. We threw a lot of zone and man at them on defense and really did not allow them to get comfortable in any of their sets. Anytime [Alex] McGuire or [Cara] Enright got the ball, we made sure we had a hand in their face.”
The Mountain Hawks got on the board first on a quick jumper by Melissa Rich, less than two seconds into the contest. Lehigh increased its lead to 7-2 on a three-pointer by Erica Prosser at the 17:35 mark. Army answered back with a pair of baskets by Enright and Stefanie Stone to make the score 9-7.
The teams battled back and forth over the next five minutes, with Lehigh holding a 16-12 lead. Courtney Dentler gave the Brown and White five points over that stretch on a field goal and a three-pointer.
Lehigh increased its lead to 26-14, as it went on a 10-2 run, thanks to a pair of three-pointers from Alex Ross, including one from well beyond the line as the shot clock was expiring. Dentler also added another basket, to give her seven points for the half.
Army closed out the half on a 10-7 run, but it was the Mountain Hawks who entered the break with a 33-23 lead. Prosser ended the half with a team high 10 points. Stone and McGuire each had six points for the Black Knights, who were three-of-eight from the free throw. The Brown and White hit five three’s in the half, while holding Army to just two baskets from beyond the arc.
Lehigh started the second half the same as the first, on a quick score, just a couple of seconds into the half. The Mountain Hawks maintained their 10 point lead, 44-34, for first 10 minutes of the half, getting baskets from Haly Crites, Claire Sullivan, Smith and Prosser.
The Black Knights found their way back into the game, going on a 6-1 run, getting all six points from Erin Anthony, as Lehigh’s lead was cut to 45-40 with 6:21 to play.
Army made it a three-point game on a jumper by McGuire, with 4:43 remaining, to make the score 47-44. The Mountain Hawks made it a five point game again, on a field goal by Ross with 2:57 remaining. It was the first field goal by Lehigh in 10 minutes.
McGuire missed her three-point attempt on Army’s next possession and Lehigh had a chance to ice the game with under a minute to play. However, the Mountain Hawks lost control of the ball and Courtney Wright was able to come up with the loose ball for Army, giving them 33 second to erase a six-point deficit.
On the Black Knights ensuing possession, Crites stole the ball from McGuire with only 17 seconds on the clock. Prosser hit a free throw with eight seconds remaining, to secure the victory for the Mountain Hawks. Prosser ended with a team high 13 points, tied her career high with five rebounds, and added a game high four steals.
Tricia Smith recorded her third double-double of the season, recording 10 points and a game high 11 rebounds. Lehigh out-rebounded Army 38-32, and held the Black Knights without a point for the final 4:51.
McGuire scored a team high 11 points for the Black Knights and Anthony added six points and eight rebounds. Army was able to hold Lehigh to just 21.7 percent shooting in the second half, but it was the Mountain Hawks great shooting in the first half (52.2 percent) that set the tone for the game.
Lehigh returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts Colgate. The game can be seen live on Service Electric 2 Sports, dial position 50, with Mike Zambelli and Jim Wills calling the action. The game can also be heard live in the Lehigh Valley on 91.3 WLVR-FM and around the world on Lehighsports.com, with streaming provided by Yahoo! Sports. Ryan Chadwick will call the action, with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.