The Lehigh women’s basketball team fell in a 60-44 loss as American University, the top team in the Patriot League, increased its winning streak to 14 games at the Mountain Hawks’ annual pink-out game Saturday afternoon at Stabler Arena.
Lehigh is now 13-11 on the season, with a league record of 7-6. American is 20-4 overall and built its perfect league record to 13-0 after tonight’s game.
The Mountain Hawks’ only double-digit scorer of the game was senior guard Quinci Mann, who led Lehigh in scoring with 15 points. Mann shot 5-for-10 from the field, including 1-for-2 from long distance and a perfect 2-for-2 from the charity stripe.
Despite the team’s loss to Bucknell University on Wednesday, Mann said Lehigh was confident going into tonight’s contest.
“We told ourselves in the practices before the game that Bucknell is Bucknell, but we have to put that behind us because we have American coming into our house on Saturday,” Mann said, “so everyone was just going around and being super confident, being super supportive of each other, not worrying about whatever shots were missed or whatever plays weren’t made on Wednesday.”
She said it helped knowing the Mountain Hawks were playing for something bigger than themselves in the Play4Kay game.
Sophomore guard Camryn Buhr contributed eight points and led Lehigh in rebounds with seven. Sophomore forward Gena Grundhoffer and senior forward Mae Williams each chipped in six points.
American started off the game on a 4-0 run, but Lehigh quickly answered with a Mann three.
After an Eagles’ layup, the Mountain Hawks responded with a Buhr jumper and a Grundhoffer layup to score their first lead of the game but were unable to hold it for long. American took off on a 10-0 run to end the first period, 16-7.
Despite outscoring the Eagles 17-12 during the second period, the Mountain Hawks were unable to break American’s lead. The Eagles headed into halftime with a 28-24 advantage.
Lehigh entered the second half of the game on a 7-0 run with the help of a Mann jumper, a Grundhoffer layup and a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Hannah Hedstrom to claim a 31-28 lead. American answered with an 8-0 run and maintained its lead throughout the rest of the third period.
Lehigh entered the final period down 46-38, but a Mann layup brought the score within 46-40. The only other points scored by the Mountain Hawks during the last period came from a pair of Buhr free throws and a Mann jumper, but they weren’t enough. American kept the lead it claimed during the third period to take the 60-44 win over Lehigh.
For the game, Lehigh shot 16-for-56 from the field, including 4-for-21 from the 3-point range and 8-9 from the charity stripe.
“It was a big game,” coach Sue Troyan said. “We’re at the point in the season where every game you approach over these last six games is a big game in terms of, you kind of take it a game at a time.”
Moving forward, Mann said the team needs to work on its mental focus. Both she and Troyan agreed that with a younger team comes additional challenges, but games like tonight’s are a valuable learning experience.
The Mountain Hawks have five games left in their regular season, starting with a home game against Colgate University on Wednesday.
Troyan said Lehigh will need to win the next few games to remain in the top four and play a home game in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament.