Posted: February 23, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – For the first time in eight years, Lehigh suffered a home loss at the hands of Lafayette, losing 59-43 Saturday night at Stabler Arena. The Mountain Hawks struggled from the free throw line all game, shooting a season low 27.3 percent, while they allowed the Leopards to shoot 65 percent from the field in the second half. Erica Prosser was the only Lehigh player to score in double figures, recording 10 points, along with three steals and three assists. The loss drops the Brown and White (16-11, 8-4) into a second place tie with Holy Cross and American, while the Leopards improve to 14-13 (6-6).
“I was very disappointed with the outcome of the game,” said head coach Sue Troyan. “We lost our focus at times on the free throw line, but give [Lafayette] credit, they played a great game tonight. They made a lot of shots and we didn’t make the stops when we needed to.”
The first half was a back and forth battle featuring two lead changes and four lead ties. Tricia Smith scored the first basket of the game on a quick lay-up, but Lafayette responded back with five straight points. The Mountain Hawks tied the game on a three-pointer from Kaela Pearce but the Leopards put another six straight points on the board, to take its largest lead of the half, 11-5 with 13:28 to play.
Lehigh closed the gap with a three-pointer from Alex Ross and a lay-up by Melissa Rich. No team would get ahead by more than four points for the rest of the half, as it was a defensive battle with the teams heading into half tied at 20-20. Free throw shooting was a problem for both teams in the half, as Lehigh connected on just two-of-six from the line, while the Leopards were one-of-three.
The second half picked up where the first left off, with both teams battling for position. Lafayette took a five point lead, 32-27, with 10:30 remaining on a three-pointer from Jessica Spicer, but the Mountain Hawks responded with another three-pointer from Ross.
Lafayette then went on a 9-1 run to break the game open, taking a 41-31 lead with 5:49 to play. The Mountain Hawks tried to close the gap, but they just could not get their shots to fall, as they shot 30.8 percent in the second half. Turnovers were also a problem for the Brown and White all game, as it committed a season high 26.
Smith turned in another all-around performance grabbing a team high nine rebounds and seven points. Rich added eight points and four rebounds, and Pearce chipped in with seven points.
LaKeisha Wright had a game high 14 points for the Leopards. The freshman shot five-of-eight from the field, and four-of-six from the free throw line. Cristin Zavocki and Vanessa Van De Venter each added 11 points. Van De Venter also added a team high eight rebounds.
The Mountain Hawks are back in action on Wednesday when they travel to Bucknell. The game can be heard live on 91.3 WLVR-FM and Lehighsports.com, with streaming provided by Yahoo! Sports. Steve Lomangino will call the action, with tip-off set for 7 p.m.