BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh had five players tally double-digit points, led by junior guard Sarah Williams' 16 points, as the Mountain Hawks defeated Holy Cross, 87-82, in Patriot League women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Stabler Arena. With the win, Lehigh improves to 9-8 overall and 2-4 in the conference, while the Crusaders slip to 11-6 on the season and 3-3 in the League.
The Crusaders grabbed the early 7-4 edge in the contest (17:17), but the Mountain Hawks rallied with a 15-5 run to gain the 19-12 lead with 12:44 on the clock. Lehigh increased the margin to eight points (30-22) on an old-fashioned three pointer by Katie O'Reilly (9:49), but Holy Cross responded with an 11-3 surge to knot the score at 33-33 (6:40). Holy Cross senior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) tallied five points during the Crusader rally.
With the game still close – Lehigh on top 37-35 (5:28) – the Mountain Hawks embarked on a 10-0 run over the next 2:40 to earn the 47-35 advantage. Holy Cross closed the second half with a 7-2 run, but the Mountain Hawks would hold the 49-42 lead at halftime.
Holy Cross started the second half on a 6-2 run to cut the margin to three points (51-48), with 18:02 on the clock, but a 9-2 counter rally by Lehigh gave it the 60-50 lead (14:49). The Crusaders again fought back to make the score 62-57 after sophomore guard Lisa Mifsud (Erie, Pa.) converted the and-one (12:20), but again the Mountain Hawks answered with another run to go back up by 10 points (70-60) with 8:12 on the clock.
Lehigh held the nine-point advantage (81-72) with 2:07 to go, but five quick points by Smith made the score 81-77 (1:42). The teams traded buckets for the remainder of the game, but Holy Cross could not get any closer than three points over the final two minutes, as Lehigh would claim the 87-82 victory.
The Crusaders were led by sophomore forward Raquel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) who notched her conference-leading eighth double-double of the season with game-highs of 23 points and 16 rebounds. Smith recorded 19 points, hitting five of 11 from behind the arc, as well as six rebounds and five assists. Mifsud tallied 15 points and a game-best seven assists, while second-year center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) posted 12 points and a game-high five blocked shots. In addition to Williams for Lehigh, Elizabeth Jordan (12), O'Reilly (12), Lindsay Hoskins (11) and Kerry Kinek (10) all recorded double-digit points.
Holy Cross shot 43.2 percent from the field (32 of 74), while Lehigh canned 32 of its 71 shots from the floor (45.1 percent). The Crusaders went eight of 22 from behind the arc (36.4 percent), while the Mountain Hawks drilled 35.3 percent of their shots from downtown (6 of 17). Holy Cross shot 55.6 percent from the free throw line (15 of 27). The Crusaders held advantages in rebounding (46-45), assists (18-16) and points in the paint (50-44), while they were outmatched in offensive rebounds (18-16), points off turnovers (20-12) and steals (12-6).
Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 22, when it will host Lafayette for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff at the Hart Center.