Senior guard Hannah Hedstrom shoots a free throw during a game against Mount Saint Mary’s at Stabler Arena on Nov 29, 2017. Hedstrom and her teammates will face Boston University in the Patriot League Championship semifinal. (Casey Farmer/B&W Staff)

Lehigh women’s basketball advances to Patriot League semifinals

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No. 6 Lehigh women’s basketball headed to Hamilton, New York, to face No. 3 Colgate where the Mountain Hawks eliminated the Raiders from the Patriot League tournament for the second straight year. 

Lehigh won 69-62 and will go to the semifinals for the second year in a row, where the team faces Boston University.

Lehigh and Colgate played twice before today’s game, in which they split the matchups. Lehigh won the last matchup on March 7, 86-70, and Colgate beat Lehigh 82-73 on Feb 19. 

The Mountain Hawks began the game with four turnovers before the team could get any points on the board. 

Despite the slow start, Colgate couldn’t convert, and the game was tied at 7 at the first media timeout.

Junior guard Mary Clougherty then hit two three-pointers, and junior forward Mariah Sexe converted a layup to help propel an 8-0 run for Lehigh. 

After the first quarter, Lehigh held a 17-11 lead. 

The Raiders were trailing by 10 in the second quarter but went on a run of their own to cut the deficit to three. 

Clougherty led in scoring in the first half with nine points to help give Lehigh a 34-30 edge. Tegan Graham also had nine points for Colgate. 

Although both teams were shooting above 40 percent in the first half, the two teams had a combined 25 turnovers. 

Colgate went on a 4-0 run to start the third quarter to tie the teams at 34 for the first time since early in the first quarter. 

The Mountain Hawks responded by hitting four of their last four shots to give the team a five-point lead with 4:45 left in the third quarter. 

Colgate had foul trouble after three players committed three fouls, so the Raiders turned to its bench for help. 

Clougherty had three fouls going into the second half and picked up another one late in the third, which limited the rest of her game.  

Colgate scored the first four points of the fourth quarter, but Lehigh quickly answered back with a 6-0 run. 

With five minutes left in the game, Lehigh led 62-53. 

Sophomore guard Megan Walker hit a three-pointer to give Lehigh a 65-55 lead, its biggest since the second quarter.

The Raiders continued its offensive pressure, cutting its deficit to five points with 53 seconds remaining. 

With Colgate’s late offensive spark, the team started fouling Lehigh with 30 seconds remaining while still trailing by five.

Before Monday’s game, Lehigh shot 68 percent from the free-throw line, but the team shot 84 percent from the line today, which helped propel the Mountain Hawks to clinch the victory. 

Sophomore forward Emma Grothaus led in scoring for Lehigh with 18 points. 

Lehigh will head to Boston, Massachusetts, on March 12, when the team looks to upset No. 2 Boston University.

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