The Lehigh women’s basketball team suffered a tough loss on Wednesday night as they fought to overtake first-place American University at the top of the standings.
The Mountain Hawks entered the night just two games behind the Eagles, but they lost 74-64. Lehigh now falls to 16-7 overall and 8-5 in the conference.
With momentum from its win against Loyola University (Maryland) on Feb. 7, Lehigh’s confidence showed from the start. They pulled ahead 11-2 at the 15-minute mark, and thanks to two free throws and a layup from senior guard/forward Katie O’Reilly, the team stretched its lead to 15-4 with almost 13 minutes on the clock.
The Mountain Hawks maintained a steady lead throughout the first half until American tied the game at 31 following a Shaquilla Curtis 3-pointer with five seconds to go. At the start of the second half, the Eagles emerged from the locker room with new-found energy, sinking one jump shot after another.
The teams’ differences in field goal percentage may have been the reason for Lehigh’s loss. The Mountain Hawks finished the game shooting 39.3 percent (24 for 61), while the Eagles shot an impressive 50.8 percent (30-for-59).
O’Reilly led Lehigh with 16 points, followed by fellow senior guard Sarah Williams with 12 points. Junior forward Kerry Kinek also helped the cause with 10 points and eight rebounds.
The team returns home on Saturday, Feb. 14 to face College of the Holy Cross at 2 p.m.