BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Despite a career-high 18 points from junior Lindsay Hoskins, the Lehigh women’s basketball team fell to Army on Wednesday night, 61-56. Hoskins shot 6-of-8 from the floor and 6-of-9 from the charity stripe, but the Black Knights edge the Mountain Hawks on 43 percent shooting and 21 points from senior Anna Simmers.
"She (Hoskins) was aggressive tonight and got to the foul line a lot," said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan. "Her defense was really tough tonight as well. One of our points of emphasis was to get to the foul line and try to get them in some foul trouble. They rely a lot on their starters and we tried to get them into their bench."
The Black Knights ran out to a 10-3 lead over the first three minutes, but the Mountain Hawks rallied, using a 7-3 run of their own to cut Army’s lead down to just three after sophomore Katie O’Reilly drilled a jumper at the 13 minute mark. With Army holding a slight 15-12 advantage, the Black Knights used a 6-0 run to open up their largest lead to that point at nine (21-12).
The Mountain Hawks locked down on defense, allowing just four points over the final eight minutes and with a 12-4 run to close out the half, pulled within just one at 25-24 entering the break. Senior Kelly Peterson capped the late run with a buzzer-beating three just before the half. Lehigh’s tough defense forced a plethora of off-balance shots from the Black Knights along with 13 turnovers, leading to 11 Mountain Hawk points.
Lehigh and Army each scored 10 points in the paint over the first 20 minutes as junior Lindsay Hoskins paced the Mountain Hawk offense with seven points and added three steals. Senior co-captain Becky Guman notched four points and pulled down a team-high seven boards throughout the half. The Mountain Hawks shot 32 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the arc. Their tough defense held Army to just 2-of-9 shooting over the final 8:22 after the Black Knights shot 7-of-15 (47 percent) throughout the first 12 minutes to start the half.
Army again started strong, this time in the second half as the Black Knights began on a 5-2 run out of the break, but Lehigh remained resilient, battling back to cut the score to 30-28 after Hoskins drained a jumper from the foul line.
A 10-5 run by the Black Knights helped Army to a 40-33 lead at the half way point of the final 20 minutes. After a Weaver jumper from the line made it a five-point game, Army drilled one of just two second half treys to push the lead back to eight.
Two free throws from Hoskins at the six minute mark cut the Black Knight’s lead back down to six at 51-45 and also gave her a new career-high, surpassing her 17 points scored at St. Peter’s on November 14.
Using an 8-4 run, capped by a fast break layup from Peterson, the Mountain Hawks cut the score to 55-53 with just two minutes remaining.
Army scored the next four points to hold a 59-53 advantage with 44 seconds to play as Lehigh used a timeout to regroup. The Black Knights survived a late Lehigh push, using a pair of clutch free throws from freshman Kelsey Minato to escape Stabler Arena with a 61-56 victory.
"We competed hard and showed a lot of toughness tonight," said Troyan. "I’m disappointed we didn’t come away with the win, but we were much improved."
The Lehigh bench outscored Army’s 18-0 on the night, but the Black Knights held slight advantages in points in the paint (28-25), off of turnovers (19-17) and on second chances (11-7) en route to the five-point victory.
The Mountain Hawks will conclude the three-game homestand with a nationally-televised game on CBS Sports Network on Sunday, February 10 against Holy Cross. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.
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