JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Led by a career-high 17 points and eight rebounds from junior Lindsay Hoskins, the Lehigh women’s basketball team pulled out its first win of the season on Wednesday, downing Saint Peter’s 62-60. The Mountain Hawks took their first lead of the game early in the second half, going up by as many as six before holding on for the hard-fought road victory.
“It’s good to get the first win in the books,” said Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan. “It was good to play in a close game like this with a very young team and a team that doesn’t have a lot of experience in these situations. It was good to fight down the stretch and learn how to win a game like this. It was a good game for us, a sloppy game on both sides with lots of turnovers, but we found a way to get it done without playing our best tonight.”
Sophomore Sarah Williams added 10 points, eight in the first half. Williams hit a big three-pointer as time expired in the first to pull Lehigh even at 28. The Mountain Hawks had trailed the entire first half, but the Williams trey sparked Lehigh into the second as it scored the first five points to extend its overall run to 11-0. The Mountain Hawks wouldn’t trail for the game’s final 11:31.
A game after posting a double-double in the opener at Cal, freshman Kerry Kinek posted a game-high 13 rebounds to go with five points. Freshman Elizabeth Sharlow impressed with eight points on 3-of-5 shooting while sophomore Katie O’Reilly added seven.
A sloppy game saw 57 combined turnovers between the two sides, 30 for Saint Peter’s.
“In the first half, I thought we were playing like we played Cal in terms of playing too fast and we needed to slow it down a bit.” said Troyan. “We have a lot to work on, a lot of areas to get better, but given we didn’t play our best, it was good to come out with a win.”
After spotting Saint Peter’s six points through the first three minutes, the Mountain Hawks came roaring back to eventually close the gap to just one with 5:50 remaining after Sharlow hit a layup for two of her four first-half points. Following a small spurt by the Peahens to extend their lead to five courtesy of a 7-3 run, Williams proceeded to score the next six points leading into the break.
After turnovers by both teams led to a scramble under the Lehigh basket with less than 10 seconds on the clock, senior Marybeth Egan kicked the ball out to Williams who hit a trey as time expired to knot the score at 28 after the first 20 minutes.
Williams went 3-of-6 for eight points over her nine first-half minutes as Lehigh’s leading scorer going into the break. The Mountain Hawks’ bench contributed 16 of the 28 first half points while it also used a strong presence in the paint, outscoring Saint Peter’s 14-10 inside. Lehigh shot just 27 percent from the field in the first half, but went 6-of-7 from the line to aid their comeback. Saint Peter’s came out firing from beyond the arc, knocking down four three-pointers in the first half, while shooting 44.4 percent from long range.
Lehigh started the second half with a 5-0 run after Kinek and Hoskins combined for three free throws followed by a layup from senior Becky Guman on a nice backdoor pass, forcing the Peahens to burn a timeout with 17:41 on the clock. The Peahens promptly responded with eight of the next 10 points as a pair of Kristal Edwards free throws gave Saint Peter’s a 36-35 lead with 15:47 to go.
With the Peahens leading 38-36, Williams again hit a clutch shot as she drained a jumper from the foul line to tie the score at 38 with 11:27 to play. The Mountain Hawks continued that run with a fast break layup by O’Reilly after junior Hilary Weaver picked the pocket of Saint Peter’s at half court.
At the final media timeout, Saint Peter’s had cut the Mountain Hawk lead to four (53-49) with 3:41 remaining. Hoskins took over from there, helping Lehigh maintain its five point lead at 57-52 with a layup in the paint with 1:45 to play. She then hit her second of two foul shots to up the advantage to six (58-52) with 1:23 remaining.
Leading by four with 36 seconds on the clock, the Mountain Hawk defense held its ground and after a missed layup, Hoskins came down with the rebound and promptly hit two key free throws to give Lehigh a 60-54 lead with 19 seconds to go. After a made three-pointer, the Mountain Hawks inbounded the ball to Hoskins who again hit two more free throws to help seal the win.
Edwards knocked down a three-pointer with just three seconds remaining, but it was too little, too late as the Mountain Hawks held on 62-60.
Lehigh shot 34 percent from the field (21-of-61) and just 13 percent from three-point range (2-of-15) while Saint Peter’s was 41 percent (20-of-49) and 35 percent from long distance (6-of-17). The Mountain Hawks held a 43-32 edge in rebounds.
Lehigh will be back in action on Tuesday, Nov. 20 when it hosts La Salle in the home opener at Stabler Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.