Posted: 02/20/2013 | Last updated: February 20, 2013 at 10:35 PM
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Freshman Kerry Kinek grabbed a school and Patriot League record 22 rebounds, and added a team-high 11 points, to lead the Lehigh women’s basketball team to a big 49-37 win at Bucknell on Wednesday evening at Sojka Pavilion. Fifteen of Kinek’s rebounds came in the first half as the Mountain Hawks held the Bison to just eight points in the first stanza. The win is Lehigh’s third straight to improve to 13-13 and 5-6 in Patriot League play.
“It was pretty ugly on the offensive end for both teams in the first half,” said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan. “We knew they would pick up their offense and they did early in the second half. It was a good gut check for our team. They made a run at us and our kids were able to withstand their run.”
Kinek also added four assists to while adding two blocks and a steal.
“A lot of missed shots in the first half and rebounds to be had, but Kerry did a tremendous job and really controlled the boards in there,” said Troyan. “Offensively too, she saw double and triple teams at times. She had a real good presence about herself, being disciplined and not forcing shots. Just a sign of maturity from her end; she did the things she had to do with her defense and her rebounding while not forcing anything offensively.”
Sophomore Katie O’Reilly scored 10 points, eight coming in the second half, while freshman Liz Sharlow tied a career high with nine points and seven rebounds.
Shelby Romine scored a game-high 20 points to lead Bucknell while Lindsay Horbatuck posted five points and 12 rebounds.
Lehigh got off to a quick start, using an O’Reilly layup, two Hilary Weaver free throws and a Sharlow three to make it 7-2 at the first media timeout.
The Mountain Hawks extended their run to 9-0, using two more Weaver free throws and an Amina Affini layup to make it 11-2 with 11:59 on the clock.
Bucknell ended a 6:53 scoreless drought with an Audrey Dotson layup, but, but Lehigh answered with seven in a row to make it 18-4 following an offensive rebound and putback by Kinek with just over two minutes on the first-half clock.
The Bison ended an 8:05 scoreless drought on the other end to make it 18-6 then pulled within 18-8 at the half behind a pair of Romine free throws.
A first half dominated by defense saw Lehigh shoot 19 percent (6-of-32) while Bucknell came in at just eight percent (3-of-37). Kinek already had a career high in rebounds (15) at the half. Weaver, Affini and Sharlow each scored four first-half points to lead the way while Romine had six of Bucknell’s eight.
Both teams’ offenses stole the show early in the second as Bucknell outscored Lehigh 16-10 until the first media timeout, which came 5:02 in. That pulled the Bison within 28-24 with 14:58 to go. Kinek continued her hot play from the end of the first half, getting Lehigh on the board in the second. She scored again less than 30 seconds after that, then grabbed an offensive rebound and found O’Reilly for the easy layup to make it 24-15 with 17:48 on the clock.
A Romine three pulled the Bison within one at 28-27 with 13:48 remaining, but Sharlow answered on the other end with a nifty post move and layup to end Bucknell’s 12-2 run.
Up 31-29, Lehigh scored the next four to take a six-point advantage (35-29) following a Kinek free throw with 10:28 on the clock.
Leading 37-35 and with Bucknell rallying, senior Kelly Peterson knocked down a big three from the corner to give Lehigh a five-point advantage with 4:13 remaining.
The Bison pulled within three at 40-37, but that’s the closest they would get. The Mountain Hawks ended the game on a 9-0 run over the final 3:57 for the 49-37 victory.
Lehigh finished at 29 percent from the field (17-of-58) and 10 percent from three-point range (2-of-21). Bucknell came in at 21 percent (14-of-68) and 21 percent from long distance (3-of-14). The Mountain Hawks won the battle of the boards, 57-42.
The Mountain Hawks will return home Saturday for Senior Night vs. archrival Lafayette. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Stabler Arena.
Like Lehigh women’s basketball on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for the most up-to-date news, reports and recaps.
Lehigh women’s basketball tickets available here. Buying online is the preferred method. A print-at-home option is available for fans' convenience.