Posted: February 18, 2009
HAMILTON, N.Y. – Lehigh clinched its first 20-win season in 19 years as the Mountain Hawks cruised to a 71-42 victory over Colgate on Wednesday on Cotterell Court. Alex Ross buried seven 3-pointers and scored 27 points as Lehigh improved to 20-6 on the season with a 9-2 record in Patriot League play.
With the win, Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan earned the most victories in a season in her 14 years at Lehigh. The last time the Mountain Hawks won 20 games was during the 1989-90 season. The win also gave Lehigh seven straight victories over the Raiders.
“Alex’ shooting definitely carried us, especially in the first half,” Troyan said. “We had a lot of really good looks at the basket and just couldn’t finish them. We really felt if this was a game where we came out and played hard we could take care of business early.”
Erica Prosser scored 10 points and added five assists and five rebounds to give the Mountain Hawks two players in double figures. Alexa Williams and Kristen Dalton each pulled in five rebounds to tie Prosser for the team lead.
Kelly Korkowski paced the Raiders with 9 points and five rebounds as they fell to 5-21 on the season with a 1-10 record in league play.
Ross would shoot 7-for-8 from downtown in the game and 9-for-13 overall from the field for her 27 points. She also added four rebounds in the win. The Mountain Hawks shot 9-for-16 as a team from behind the arc for a 56.3 percent success rate. On the flip side, Colgate shot just 2-for-16 (12.5 percent) from 3-point range as a team in the game.
“I knew I was feeling it when everything I shot seemed like it was going to go in,” Ross said. “I hit a couple threes right off the bat, and I was going to just keep shooting it after that.”
Lehigh opened the game on a 13-2 run thanks to three triples from Alex Ross in the first six minutes. Williams, making her third consecutive start, scored on the opening possession for the Brown and White, and Lehigh would never trail again.
Ross would wind up with four threes in the first half, leading all scorers with 14 points in the period, trailing the entire Colgate team by just three points.
Both the Mountain Hawks and Raiders struggled to put the ball in the net for long stretches in the first. Neither team sank a field goal for almost five minutes, and Colgate suffered through a field goal drought of nearly eight minutes, while Lehigh’s lead ballooned to 26-12.
“The defense definitely kept us in the game and gave us the chance to extend the lead,” Troyan said. “We used some good defensive pressure to not give them any easy looks, and in the second half we were able to build on that.”
The highlight for the Raiders in the first came with 1:42 remaining when Candice Green buried a 3-pointer from 10 feet behind the arc as the shot clock expired. But Lehigh answered right back with two unanswered buckets to finish the half up 31-17.
Colgate would cut the lead to 10 points, 44-34, on a 3-pointer by Gretchen Polinski with 11:27 left in the game. But 13 straight points from the Mountain Hawks, including Ross’ sixth 3-pointer of the game, extended the lead back to 57-34 with seven minutes remaining and ensured the lead would not slip away.
One minute later, Ross drove home her seventh three of the game, just two off the school record she set on Dec. 20 against Binghamton.
“We were running some sets to give her looks coming off screens,” Troyan said. “She definitely was feeling it today so we wanted to give her the ball as much as we could.”
Lehigh returns to action on Saturday afternoon when the Mountain Hawks head just down the road to Easton for the second matchup of the year with archrival Lafayette at 1 p.m. Lehigh ran away with a 73-51 win in the schools’ only meeting of the year on Jan. 24, and will be looking to complete the regular season sweep with a win at the Kirby Sports Center. All the action can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1230-1320 as well as Lehighsports.com with Jeff Tourial providing the commentary starting at 12:45 p.m.
Buzzer beaters: Six-time Patriot League Rookie of the Week Patricia Oakes was not active for the game on Wednesday due to injury…Ross has now sunk at least five 3-pointers in six games this season…The 17 first-half points allowed by the Mountain Hawks tied the best defensive start of the year for Lehigh, when it held Navy to just 17 points in the first half on Jan. 14.
Lehigh - Colgate Post-Game Extra with Jeff Tourial and Erica Prosser