Holy Cross halts Lehigh’s win streak in Worcester

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01/12/2022 | 6 p.m.


Fox Sports Radio 94.7 FM & 1230 AM

WORCESTER, Massachusetts – The Lehigh women’s basketball team saw their small lead evaporate at halftime when the shots stopped falling and Holy Cross claimed a 64-53 win at the Hart Center on Saturday afternoon. The Mountain Hawks (10-4, 2-1 PL) see their winning streak of five games and drop their first Patriot League competition of the 2021-22 season. For the first time this season, Lehigh was kept below 60 points and had an eight-game winning streak by forcing more than 15 ball losses (17).

For the third game in a row, Senior Emma Grothaus led the Mountain Hawks on the offensive and scored a team high of 15 points with seven rebounds and two assists. Senior Megan Walker also reached double digits with 10 points and also had four steals in defense. Lehigh was only held at 32.1 percent (17-for-53) in the competition, while converting only six out of 25 3-point attempts.

“We didn’t perform well on our offense or played the pace we wanted, which resulted in a bad day of offense shooting,” said head coach Sue Troyan. “On the defensive, we struggled to control the defensive boards, struggled to contain Avery LaBarbera and, unusually, we fouled too often. All of these factors contributed to the game being slower than we’d like to play and I think that also contributed to it. ” also our offensive ailments. “

Holy Cross came out of the net in the first quarter, making an early 6-0 pad. The Mountain Hawks took their first points of the game at the 5:56 mark on the first frame after a 3-pointer for Walker. Two free throws by Jamie Behar reduced the Crusaders lead to three at 8-5 and went into the 4-53 media timeout. After the break, Holy Cross went on an 8-0 run, leading 16-5 with 3:30 after the Kelly Petro 3-pointer. Lehigh was able to reduce the lead to just seven points twice, but the Crusaders responded with another Trey and took over a 10-point lead with 1:03 remaining. After two fouls and a layup after a turnover, Grothaus scored five points in a row to reduce the deficit to 21:15 before the second quarter.

Although Holy Cross shot nearly 50 percent in the first quarter and the Mountain Hawks only scored three field goals, Lehigh went 8-on-8 from the free-throw line and was only six points behind.

“We talk a lot about being ‘ready to fire’ on offense and the importance of all five players posing an offensive threat,” said Troyan. “I didn’t think our players would have played with that mentality today and we gave up some good looks at the basket to settle for fewer shots and play slower.”

In the first year, Meghan O’Brien brought the Mountain Hawks back within three points with a 3-pointer straight from the break and while the Crusaders came out by five points, Emma Grothaus’ layup and 3-pointers were out of the corner for Die second Maddie Albrecht had tied the game again at 23 with 7:12 before the game. A mini-6-0 run for Holy Cross resulted in a six-point lead at the 5:20 mark, but Lehigh scored five points in a row and was 29- at the media timeout at 3:16 at halftime. 28 back. Two free throws from Madison Demski extended the Crusaders’ lead to three, but four points in a row from the Mountain Hawks at half-time led them by one after 20 minutes of play, 32:31.

. @walkermegan_ is fatal. ⚡

The steal and finish brings the Mountain Hawks back to the top! 👏.

View: https://t.co/wbj5dqHhzX pic.twitter.com/lKZecZl7Et

– Lehigh Women’s Basketball (@LehighWBB) Jan 8, 2022 Lehigh outperformed Holy Cross with 17:10 in the second quarter, keeping the Crusaders only 25 percent (3-for-12) off the field and 1-for-3 from beyond the bow . The Mountain Hawks were much more efficient at shooting the ball, going 7-on-16 off the field and sinking three from a great distance.

It wasn’t long before Avery LaBarbera scored a goal for Holy Cross to come into play with a layup after a quick break in the second half, giving the Crusaders the one-point advantage. With 7:11 in the quarter, Mackenzie Kramer sank her first three of the game in the second year and gave Lehigh the two-point cushion back. Walker was then fouled and went to the line, doing one of two to put the Mountain Hawks in the lead at three, 38-35 with 5:32 on the clock. Holy Cross finished the quarter with a 17-7 lead, 52-45 went into the fourth quarter.

Magic. ✨.

The things that @EmmaGrothaus does. # PLTop3

View: https://t.co/wbj5dqHhzX pic.twitter.com/4Lf5S4I07E

– Lehigh Women’s Basketball (@LehighWBB) Jan 8, 2022 Lehigh battled for the start of the fourth frame, cutting the Holy Cross lead down to just four points with 8:39 to go after two free throws for Clair Steele, but it was just the beginning for the Crusaders, who had risen nine points in the media timeout with 5:14 before the game. A 6-2 run brought Holy Cross at 13 with 28 seconds to go and won at 11 after Walker had a layup at the 0:21 mark.

Holy Cross had a firm lead on rebounds, 46-25, while it also had a ball loss point (14-9), color point (30-20), second chance point (16-4) and bank point (14.) Led the way -12). The Crusaders shot 80 percent (16-on-20) from the charity strip, while the Mountain Hawks shot 81.3 percent (13-on-16).

Avery LaBarbera was very difficult to stop for Holy Cross that day, hitting a game high of 30 points with 17 rebounds, adding three assists and two steals. It also had four 3-pointers. Oluchi Ezemma also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards.

“We knew when we got into the game that Holy Cross was winning because Avery was playing well, so she was a central point for us on the defensive end of the floor,” said Troyan. “She provides the lead and spark for her team as a fairly dynamic player who has the ability to score in a number of different ways. Obviously, we haven’t been successful in preventing her from carrying her team today.”

Lehigh returns to the Stabler Arena at 6 p.m. on Wednesday to see Bucknell in a rematch of last season’s Patriot League semi-finals. The matchup will be broadcast live on ESPN + (subscription required) and on Fox Sports Radio 94.7 FM and 1230 AM. Tickets can be purchased from LehighTickets.com and by calling 610-7LU-GAME.

“Every loss is an opportunity to grow as a program and it is important that our team translate the lessons learned from our game today into Wednesday’s clash with Bucknell,” said Troyan. “Implementing our schedule at both ends of the floor is critical to the success of our team. Any player who plays with a high level of confidence when they step on the floor will also be very important to our overall success.”

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