Stemmer sparks Lehigh to 72-61 victory at Loyola
01/19/2022 | 6 p.m
Jan 19 (Wed) / 6pm
BALTIMORE — Starting with an impressive first half that showed first-year warden Ella Stemmer scoring 12 of her team-best 15 points in the first quarter, the Lehigh women’s basketball team led almost the entire competition en route to a 72-61 Victory over Loyola Maryland Saturday afternoon at the Reitz Arena. The win breaks a two-game losing streak as the Mountain Hawks (11-5, 3-2 PL) were led offensively by the four-man scoring tandem of Stemmer, Mackenzie Kramer (15), Emma Grothaus (12) and Megan Walker (10).
“I thought Ella stepped in and gave our team a huge spark from the bench today,” said head coach Sue Troyan. “We’ve talked a lot about how important it is for players to step up and give our offense a shot on goal in Frannie’s (Hottinger) absence. We have a number of players capable of doing what Ella did today that it will be important to our continued development that players have confidence in their abilities to contribute in a similar way. ”
She can’t stop! 👀😤
What a feat by @ellastemmer, her FIFTH treble of the day.
Watch: https://t.co/I5CjS43uNe pic.twitter.com/WtwLtiYXzx
— Lehigh Women’s Basketball (@LehighWBB) January 15, 2022 Total shooting and 3-point shooting were certainly focal points of the win, as Lehigh shot 44.4 percent (24-54) from the field and 40 percent (14-35) from far. The Mountain Hawks’ 14 3-pointers was the program’s second-highest mark so far and was tied by two from the program and the Patriot League-record 16 against American in the 2020-21 season.
“I felt our team did a good job today of dividing the ball and finding the open players, and I felt we had a good balance of inside and outside views,” Troyan said. “Most of the time we had some clean looks from the 3 and did a good job of taking what the defense gave us. Ella certainly provided the spark and confidence needed to take her down and others have followed her lead today.”
Walker had Lehigh on the board first to start the game and Loyola took his first and only lead of the game at 8:16 to play on a Bri Rozzi 3-point jumper. Stemmer then continued her spurt just over halfway through the first frame, scoring nine straight points with a trio of 3-pointers to give the Mountain Hawks an 11-5 advantage. Loyola closed the gap to one with 3:35 on the clock, but Stemmer’s fourth 3-pointer and a drive serve from first-year Kaylee Van Eps gave the Mountain Hawks a 16-12 lead after the first 10 minutes.
Kramer scored her first points of the contest from the first break in the second quarter, a 3-pointer to extend Lehigh’s lead to seven. Grothaus drilled a 3-pointer with 7:54 left to put the lead into double digits, forcing Loyola to time out. An 8-4 Lehigh run gave the Mountain Hawks a 12-point lead with 3:05 left at halftime, and the Greyhounds were able to reduce the deficit to nine points by the end of the half as Lehigh led 35-26.
Watch: https://t.co/yuIrpp0tjI pic.twitter.com/kLjuVNGU6A
— Lehigh Women’s Basketball (@LehighWBB) January 15, 2022 The Mountain Hawks shot 44.8 percent from the field in the first half and had nine assists on 13 shots made in the first 20 minutes.
Lehigh roared out of the gates in the third quarter after Grothaus converted a drive serve to extend the lead to 11 points. The Greyhounds were seven points down at 7:45 on the clock, but a 9-0 run by Lehigh pushed the lead to a game-high 16-point cushion after Stemmer’s fifth and final 3-pointer of the contest. Loyola got back to nine points with 2:38 on the clock, but a couple of personal fouls sent Grothaus and Steele to the line to extend the lead to 12 points, and a ride-on by Walker with 31 seconds left had the Mountain Hawks in Brought the lead , 57-43, which spill over into the final stanza.
As Kramer extended Lehigh’s lead to 17 points with 9:47 left, the Greyhounds began to fight back, going down to seven points on a 9-0 run, only to drop to seven points at the 5:49 mark of the fourth quarter. Van Eps quickly responded with a 3-pointer at 5:33 to put the Mountain Hawks back up to 10. Loyola came back to eight points, but Lehigh turned and went with a 7-4 push to close the game. as the Mountain Hawks prevailed 72-61 in the finals.
The four players who scored double figures were almost joined by two more players as Van Eps finished with nine points and Steele with eight. The Mountain Hawks recorded 16 assists on 24 field goals, led by a trio for Grothaus, Kramer and Meghan O’Brien.
“Our team is at its best when we share the ball, play with confidence and play selflessly as a team,” said Trojan. “Our balanced attack today was a step in the right direction, we had a number of different players stepping up and contributing.
“We’re at our best and a pretty difficult team to defend when all our players see themselves as a threat on offense.”
Even in the win, Lehigh led the competition in turnovers 15-9. It also came out on top in second chance points (7-5), points before quick breaks (11-4), and bank points (26-22). Defense kept Loyola 37.5 percent (24 to 64) from the field and 23.5 percent (4 to 17) from beyond the arc. Lehigh shot 71.4 percent (10 to 14) from the free throw line.
“Building our confidence in what we’re doing remains a priority (with changing roles due to Frannie’s injury), and we need to keep working on our offensive execution, keep appreciating the basketball and keep making strides on defense,” he said Trojan. “I thought we played a pretty tough defense today and forced Loyola to shoot hard. Defensive rebounds will definitely be a priority for us the rest of the way.”
In the Greyhounds, it was Bri Rozzi who led the team with 13 points while Lex Therien had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Rozzi and Taleah Dixon each recorded four assists.
The Mountain Hawks return to Stabler Arena Wednesday night for a two-game homestand, with Navy guest at 6 p.m. and streaming live on ESPN+ (subscription required). Tickets can be purchased through LehighTickets.com or by calling 610-7LU-GAME.
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