Lehigh senior forward Kerry Kinek dribbles down the court keeping the ball from Colgate University freshman forward Mylah Chandler on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Lehigh finished the season with an 18-12 record. (Hallie Fuchs/B&W Staff)

Lehigh women’s basketball season ends, but team keeps working

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The Lehigh women’s basketball season ended March 11 after the team’s elimination from the Patriot League tournament’s semifinal game with a 46-76 loss to top-seeded Army West Point. Lehigh finished the season 18-13 overall and 10-8 in conference play as Army went on to win the Patriot League Championship.

Even with the loss in the semifinals, the team still believes there are a lot of positives that came out of this year. It started the season undefeated in its first seven games.

“I think that gave us confidence in our abilities that we needed to start the season,” senior guard Amina Affini wrote in an email.

The team was second in the Patriot League in points per game and had four people awarded all-league team honors. Junior forward Lexi Martins made first team, sophomore guard Quinci Mann made second team, senior forward Kerry Kinek made third team and freshman guard Hailey Pascoe made the all-rookie team.

Martins was also given Patriot League women’s basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. Martins averaged 15.2 points per game, which was fifth overall in the Patriot League. She also led the country in rebounds per game (13.8) and was a big part in helping the team lead the Patriot League in offensive rebounds per game (41.5). She will be graduating this spring and plans on getting her Master’s degree next year.

Another key player this season was senior forward Elizabeth Sharlow, who led the team in field goal percentage.

“She was someone who kept our team together, and a lot of times it went unnoticed,” Affini wrote. “I think the grit and desire she had for the team’s success was aspiring and what we needed.”

The Lehigh team, which has already begun its offseason training for next year, will be working hard for the coming months to accomplish its goal of winning a Patriot League championship. Junior guard Kayla Burton said the team is still in the process of figuring out how to incorporate all the talent on the team and put it together into a championship-quality squad.

“For this past season at least, I really think that the talent was there, and there is so much we can learn from just looking back at the games,” Burton wrote in an email. “The good news is although we are losing some of our scoring players, we have such a great, talented and hardworking group of girls who are returning and ready to step up.”  

Even though the team will be losing a couple of their key contributors, including senior forward Kerry Kinek, a four-time All-Patriot League honoree, the team still believes the attitude, new understanding and hunger to make it to the next level will be a big part of its success next season.

Burton added that one of the greatest aspects of the team is everyone who’s returning is humble and ready to improve.

“Everyone can take criticism on this team, and I personally believe when you can handle tough criticism,” Burton wrote. “That right there already allows you to work on your weaknesses, humble yourself and get so much better especially in the postseason. I’m really looking forward to this next season.”

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