The Lehigh women’s basketball team outlasted rival Lafayette 73-66 on Saturday.
Sophomore guard Megan Walker led Lehigh with 23 points and junior guard Mary Clougherty contributed 19.
Lehigh started the game off strong, taking a quick 11-2 lead on the Leopards. The women were unfazed by Lafayette’s two-three zone, hitting four first quarter three-pointers.
Senior guard Camryn Buhr and Walker were both able to stretch the zone by hitting first quarter long range three-pointers.
After Lafayette started to come back, Clougherty checked into the game and gave Lehigh a quick spark, scoring five points in the first quarter. Lehigh ended the first quarter up 19-13.
Clougherty continued her scoring in the second quarter, hitting the first two shots of the period.
Walker and Clougherty carried Lehigh’s scoring in the first half, with Walker scoring 17 and Clougherty adding 14 points.
Lehigh turned up the pressure with two minutes left in the second quarter after implementing a 2-2-1 full court press. With the tempo raised, the women were able to run and spread the court, opening the floor for Walker and Clougherty to sink back-to-back three-pointers.
Lehigh ended the half leading 43-29.
But Lafayette came storming back in the third quarter taking a four-point lead only five minutes into the period. Coach Sue Troyan appreciated her team’s determination after Lafayette closed the gap.
“They’re a team that is going to make a run,” Troyan said. “Our goal was that we had to respond to the run and make a run of our own.”
The Mountain Hawks recovered after Walker scored her 20th point of the night, hitting a three to cut the Leopards lead down to one.
Lehigh ended the quarter leading 54-52.
Walker started the fourth quarter hitting another three pointer, opening up the Lehigh lead to five points. She credited her teammates for finding her in open spots all night.
“My teammates really helped me find space throughout the game to hit shots,” Walker said.
After senior forward Cameryn Benz put back a layup, Lehigh extended its fourth quarter lead to ten points with 5:23 to play. Senior point guard Hannah Hedstrom controlled the pace down the stretch once Lafayette tried to pick up the tempo toward the end of the game.
The men’s basketball team also pulled in a close win against Lafayette at Kirby Sports Center in Easton, defeating the Leopards 62-59.
The Lehigh women will look to make it three wins in a row when they face Holy Cross on Feb. 12 away from home.