The Lehigh women's basketball team huddles before practice on Nov. 4, 2019, at Stabler Arena. Lehigh defeated Holy Cross 75-57 on March 7 to advance to the Patriot League semifinals. (Julia Randolph-Flagg/B&W Staff)

Women’s basketball defeats Lafayette to capture the weekend sweep

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The Lehigh women’s basketball team defeated Lafayette 73-65 at Stabler Arena in their home opener to get the weekend sweep. Lehigh improved to 2-0, while the Leopards fell to 0-2.

“We’re really excited,” Head Coach Sue Troyan said. “Obviously, when you’re starting off the season and a lot of changes going into the weekend, and you’re starting with your rival, Patriot League play, a lot of different things going into the weekend. I’m proud with how our kids have responded. They’ve shown a great deal of resiliency all semester.”

While it was a win for the Mountain Hawks, it didn’t come easy. It was a back and forth battle. Lafayette guard Drew Freeland knocked down a 3-pointer with three seconds left in the first half, tying the teams’ at 37 going into halftime.

Although it was a tight-knit game with 13 lead changes, the Mountain Hawks offense got hot in the third quarter. They outscored the Leopards 23-13, which put them up 60-50 with one quarter remaining

Lafayette Head Coach Kia Damon-Olson called a full timeout with 7:13 left in the game after Lehigh went on a 6-0 run and had a 14 point advantage, tying their biggest lead of the game at the time. While Lafayette scored a quick bucket after her timeout, the Mountain Hawks held on to their lead to give them their second straight win.

Senior guard Mary Clougherty proved again why she is one of the best players in the Patriot League. Coming off of a stellar performance yesterday, where she scored 23 points, she had 20 today and was Lehigh’s leading scorer. While Clougherty would be a starter on most teams, Troyan has Clougherty come off the bench, which proves to how many weapons this talented team has.

Freshman guard Mackenzie Kramer also had an impressive game today, notching 13 points herself. Kramer, who played in her second every collegiate game today, said the difference between yesterday and today was her settling down.

“(Yesterday), the first game jitters were there,” Kramer said. “I was just getting used to the pace of college basketball. My teammates were really supportive last night, ‘saying keep shooting’. It just clicked today.”

In a tight-knit game like this, one of the key difference makers came down to free throws. Lehigh went to the foul line 12 times and converted 83.3 percent of them, while Lafayette only went to the stripe five times and converted 80 percent of them.

The Mountain Hawks will look to capture their third straight win when they take on American at 2 p.m. at Stabler Arena on Jan. 9.

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