Lehigh’s next stop is at Loyola Maryland on Saturday

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. — The Lehigh women’s basketball team hasn’t looked like themselves lately, falling in each of their last two matchups as the Mountain Hawks travel to Baltimore at 2 p.m. Saturday to take on Loyola Maryland

Lehigh has ended a two-year losing streak after losses at Holy Cross last weekend and at home to Bucknell on Wednesday. Against the Bison, the Mountain Hawks failed to reach at least 50 points for the first time this season and posted the program’s lowest total since 2018 at 45 points.

Mackenzie Kramer was the only bright spot on offense for Lehigh, scoring a team-high 16 with four 3-pointers to take the lead. Megan Walker finished a point behind her first double-double of her career with nine points and 10 rebounds, while Emma Grothaus had a team-high 13 boards with three steals.

The Mountain Hawks shot just 30.8 percent (16 to 52) from field and 21.4 percent (6 to 28) from long range. Kramer had four of Lehigh’s six 3-pointers that night with one each from Walker and Clair Steele. Steele hit five or more assists for the seventh time this season and the first since he hit six against Rider on Nov. 27.

Kramer remains at the top of the standings with 15.5 points per game this season. Grothaus leads Lehigh in league competitions with 13.3 ppg.

As a team, the Mountain Hawks rank in the top 15 nationally in five statistical categories, including free throw percentage (78.5, 11th), personal fouls per game (12.7, 12th), 3-point field goals attempted (441st , 8th), 3-point field goals per game (9.6, 9th), and 3-point field goals (144, 11th).

Three games into his Patriot League schedule and Loyola Maryland is still looking for his first win of the campaign.

The Greyhounds have dropped five straight contests as of December 8, 2021 and have not won against Mount St. Mary’s since December 4.

Loyola last suffered a loss on Wednesday in Lafayette and fell 48:39. First-year Lex Therien shone for the Greyhounds, scoring 16 points with 15 rebounds and two blocks in 37 minutes. Three players (Bri Rozzi, Taleah Dixon and Charia Roberts) each scored five points.

As a team, Loyola struggled off the field, scoring 11-49 (22.4 percent) while shooting just 10 percent (1-10) from beyond the arc. The Greyhounds shot 72.7 percent (16 to 22) from the free throw line.

Therien is the team leader with 11.8 points per game. She also averages 10.3 rebounds per game. Dixon is averaging 11.4 points and 2.5 rebounds, while Laura Salmeron is averaging 9.0 ppg and 3.4 rpg as a freshman.

Therien has been a bright spot for a team that has won just three games this season and could easily be the frontrunner for Patriot League Rookie of the Year right now. She was named Rookie of the Week three times this year. She has three straight double-doubles and her 10.3 rebounds lead the league and is 27th in the nation. She ranks second among first graders nationally, behind only DePaul’s Aneesah Morrow (11.9)

The Greyhounds’ three wins include home wins over Fairleigh Dickinson, UMBC and Mount St. Mary’s.

In 21 all-time encounters, Lehigh leads the streak, 14-7, including 10-4 in the Patriot League, dating back to the first meeting between the two teams in 1982.

The Mountain Hawks have prevailed in five consecutive encounters since February 21, 2018.

Lehigh has not played Loyola since the 2019-20 season, winning both matchups of the year.

Saturday’s game will be streamed live on ESPN+ (subscription required).

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Date: January 15, 2022
Opponent: Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds
Tip: 14 o’clock
Arena (Capacity): Reitz Arena (2,100)
Location: Baltimore, Md.
Lehigh’s record: 10-5, 2-2PL
Loyola’s record 3-10, 0-3PL
Series history: Lehigh leads, 14-7

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