BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Despite tying her career-high with 22 points and nine made field goals, junior forward Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) could not boost the Holy Cross women's basketball team to a victory as the squad fell, 75-60, to Patriot League foe Lehigh at Stabler Arena. With the final, the Crusaders collect a record of 8-7 (0-1 Patriot League) while the Mountain Hawks go to 8-7 (1-0 PL). Lepley led the team in points and rebounds on the day, bringing down eight rebounds and added five assists.
A total of six total points were scored in the first four minutes of action, with Holy Cross taking an early 4-2 lead. After the teams found themselves in a 9-9 tie at the 13:28 mark, the Crusaders went on an 11-3 run, taking the first two-possession lead of the game, 20-11, on two consecutive three-point shots made by sophomore Kelly Hamner (Manassas, Va.) and Lepley. Lehigh mounted a comeback, pulling within one point, 23-22, at 6:07. Lepley hit her second three-point shot in the half 30 seconds later to keep the Crusaders ahead and followed with a layup to give the Crusaders a six-point lead, 28-22, at 5:04. Lehigh followed with seven unanswered points to take its first lead of the game, 29-28, with two minutes left in the front half. Freshman Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) put Holy Cross back on top, 30-29, on her third basket of the game with 40 seconds on the clock and sent the team into the locker room ahead with the one-point advantage as Lehigh did not score again. The Crusaders shot 38.7 percent (12 of 31) from the floor over the first 20 minutes as Lepley led all scorers with 10 points.
Lehigh regained a 37-35 lead three minutes into the second. Three tie scores followed as sophomore Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) knotted the score at 42-42 with 15:40 on the game clock. The Mountain Hawks earned their first two-possession lead of the game two minutes later, moving ahead 49-43 on a three-point shot made. Holy Cross found itself down by an 11-point deficit, 56-45, halfway through the second as foul trouble allowed Lehigh to make crucial free throws. Down 61-50 at 8:51, Smith and Lepley scored two consecutive baskets to pull the team within six points, 61-55. Lehigh kept on scoring, going back out by an 11-point margin, 69-58, with 4:32 to go and continued to hold the lead the rest of the way. The Crusaders were outscored 6-2 in the final four minutes of the game as freshman Clare Sullivan (Belmont, Mass.) scored the final basket for the team. With the basket, Holy Cross fell by the 75-60 tally.
In the game, Holy Cross shot 38.7 percent from the floor (24 of 62) while Lehigh shot 47.4 percent (27 of 57). The Mountain Hawks also won the rebounding battle, 39-32. Lehigh was led by sophomore guard Hilary Weaver with 20 points. Smith was the only other Crusader to notch double figures as she scored 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting and led the team with seven dishes.
Holy Cross heads to Annapolis, Md. next for a mid-week match-up against Patriot League foe Navy. Tip time is set for 7:00 p.m. at Alumni Hall.