Mountain Hawks look to rebound Wednesday against Bucknell

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BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania – The first roadblock for the Patriot League game was hit on Saturday afternoon when the Lehigh women’s basketball team fell 64-53 at Holy Cross and their five-game winning streak was abandoned by the Crusaders.

The Mountain Hawks return to the Stabler Arena on Wednesday to see Bucknell in a rematch from last season’s Patriot League semi-final at 6pm. A win over the Bison would put Lehigh 9-1 at home early in the season, which would be the best record since his unbeaten home defeat in the 2009-10 season. A win would also extend Lehigh’s winning streak at the Stabler Arena to four games in a row.

Senior Emma Grothaus again led the Mountain Hawks on Saturday on the offensive against Holy Cross, achieved a team high of 15 points with seven rebounds and shot over 40 percent out of the field. So far this season, Grothaus has scored double digits in all three Patriot League games. Clair Steele finished her second game after injury with four assists. She has recorded at least four assists in all nine games this year.

Despite losing on Saturday and having the lowest score (53) in any game this year, Lehigh is still in the nation’s top 10 for free throw percentage (7th, 79.0), 3-pointers (10th, 138th) ) and 3 pointers per game (9., 9.9). The second Mackenzie Kramer ranks 11th and 12th in the latter two categories, while Grothaus is currently 40th for blocked shots (26).

Another major streak streak was also shot against the Crusaders, as Lehigh previously scored 8-0 when allowing fewer ball losses than the opposing team. The Mountain Hawks only signed 12 while forcing 17 to lose.

After losing the first two Patriot League games, Bucknell got back on track with a 62:42 win over Loyola Maryland on Saturday afternoon.

Carly Krsul led the bison with 14 points and six rebounds from the bench while Cecelia Collins had 12 points, six boards and seven assists and Taylor O’Brien added 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks to take the lead.

Bucknell shot 41.5 percent (22-for-53) out of the field, including 36.4 percent (8-for-22) from beyond the arc in victory, while he shot the greyhounds at 39.1 percent (18-for- 46) shot the field and only 14.3 percent (1-for-7) from a distance. In the first year Lex Therien scored 23 points with 14 boards and was then named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the third time.

O’Brien remains one of the most persistent offensive threats in the league, leading the bison with 17.9 points per game and an average of 5.9 rebounds with 2.0 assists and 2.1 steals. Collins (11.2 ppg) and Krsul (11.2) also average double-digit points. Krsul is the team’s lead rebounder at 7.2 per game, while Marly Walls has 3.5 assists per game on the team so far this season.

Krsul ranks among the national front runners in terms of blocked shots and ranks 31st in blocks with 28 and 32nd in blocked shots per game with 2.00. O’Brien ranks 40th in the country with 250 points.

Bucknell has lost four games this season, one each against Army and Navy and also against the then No. 17/25 Ohio State and Temple in the non-league game.

For the past few years there has been an all-out rivalry between Lehigh and Bucknell in women’s basketball, with the bison leading the all-time series, 48-44, including a 39-25 lead in Patriot League competitions.

Bucknell has won nine straight games in the regular season but shot by the Mountain Hawks in the Patriot League semifinals last March.

The bison won all four regular season matchups last year – two in the Stabler Arena and two in the Sojka Pavilion.

Wednesday’s matchup will be broadcast live on ESPN + (subscription required) and on Fox Sports Radio 94.7 FM and 1230 AM.

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Date: January 12, 2022
Opponent: Bucknell bison
Tip: 6 p.m.
Arena (capacity): Stable arena (5,600)
Location: Bethlehem, Pa.
Lehigh’s record: 10-4, 2-1 PL
Bucknell’s record 10-4, 1-2 PL
Series history: Bucknell cable, 48-44
TV: ESPN + (Corey Spector)
Radio: Fox Sports Radio 94.7 FM
& 12:30 p.m. (Steve Lomangino)

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