Freshman guard Mackenzie Kramer defends an opponent. Lehigh women's basketball defeated Holy Cross 87-68 on Jan. 23. (Katie McNulty/B&W Staff)

Mariah Sexe leads Lehigh women’s basketball to win over Holy Cross

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Lehigh women’s basketball defeated Holy Cross 87-68 at Stabler Arena Saturday afternoon in the first game of the weekend series. With today’s win, the Mountain Hawks improved to 5-2, while the Crusaders fell to 4-3.

After a Frannie Hottinger layup put the Mountain Hawks up 10-8, Lehigh stayed on top for the rest of the game. They started opening up their lead after freshman guard Mackenzie Kramer and sophomore guard Anna Harvey hit two-crucial 3-pointers.

“Our offense is heavily dictated by 3’s,” head coach Sue Troyan Said. “ Our philosophy is we either take 3’s or layups, and they were obviously pushing us up the line to take away the three, and I thought our team adjusted well, making reads, and getting the ball to the point, and taking layups, finding the open people. “

The Mountain Hawks opened up the second quarter with a 6-0 run. A Clair Steele free throw gave Lehigh a 14 point lead, which was the largest lead of the first half, but the Crusaders had their own 6-0 run to cut the deficit to nine. Lehigh led 44-25 at the half.

Hungry to capture their first win since Jan. 11, Lehigh came out of the second-half ready to dominate. A Kramer 3 pointer gave Lehigh a 24 point lead, which was the biggest lead of the game with 2:05 to play in the third quarter, but Holy Cross ended the quarter eight-second chance points to cut the deficit to 69-53 at the end of the third quarter.

Senior guard Mariah Sexe scored four straight points in the fourth quarter to give the momentum back to Lehigh. She finished the night with a career-high 25 points and 10 rebounds and helped snap Lehigh’s two-game losing streak.

“Props to my teammates,” Sexe said. “Almost all of those points were off of great assists. (They) were using ball screens, and I was open on the roll or getting (offensive rebounds) and getting those shots up. We were just playing in our offense and taking away what the defense gave me.”

After Sexe gave them a little momentum, Holy Cross fired back with a 9-0 run, but it wasn’t enough to get them back in the game. Lehigh stayed on top to capture the first win of the weekend series.

The Mountain Hawks will look to capture their second straight when they take on Holy Cross at Stabler Arena tomorrow at noon.

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