Senior Megan Walker attacks the rim during a game against Army on Jan 5. The Mountain Hawks won the game 62-55. (Hannahally Photography/Lehigh Sports)

Women’s basketball looks to repeat in crowded Patriot League


The Lehigh women’s basketball team sits at 7-3 in the Patriot League conference with eight games remaining before the Patriot League Tournament.

The Mountain Hawks are 15-6 overall and in third place in the conference, behind Boston University (9-2) and Holy Cross (9-2). 

Lehigh defeated Boston University both times they played this season and split their two contests with Holy Cross. 

The team just returned junior Frannie Hottinger, a 2021 Second Team All-Patriot League player, who suffered an ankle sprain in practice, sidelining her for a month. She is easing her way back into form and played six minutes in her first game back on Feb. 5 against Boston University. 

Prior to in-conference games, the Mountain Hawks beat George Washington on Dec. 21, 70-57, marking the team’s third straight win heading into Patriot League competition. 

Senior captain Emma Grothaus became the 28th player in program history to reach 500 career rebounds, recording 20 in the game to go along with her 12 points.

After finishing pre-Patriot League play, Lehigh capitalized on its momentum with a 20 point win over Colgate University in their first Patriot League game on Jan. 2. 

The team struggled offensively in the first half, leading by only six at halftime, but finished the game with senior Megan Walker and junior Anna Harvey adding 16 and 13 points to the board, respectively. 

The Mountain Hawks maintained their five game winning streak on Jan. 5 after defeating Army 62-55 at Stabler Arena. 

Lehigh got out to an early 13-6 lead, led by Grothaus and sophomore Mackenzie Kramer. Each scored 15 points, contributing to the Mountain Hawks’ victory.

The Army game was indicative of the balanced scoring approach the team has taken thus far. Five Mountain Hawks have totaled more than 95 cumulative points this season, and each grade is represented in the ranks of the scoring leaders.

The Mountain Hawks’ winning streak ended abruptly in the second week of January with back-to-back losses to Holy Cross and Bucknell. 

In the Bucknell game on Jan. 12, the team struggled to find a rhythm on offense, finishing the game with 45 points, its lowest point total since 2018.

The team encountered challenges after returning from break with players being out due to COVID-19 and some minor injuries, Kramer said.

“I think coming back from break we definitely had to adjust to some circumstances, especially not having some strong players, so it took us a little bit longer to get back into it,” Kramer said.

The Mountain Hawks bounced back from their mid-season losses, taking down Loyola, Navy and Boston University in a week’s span, improving their home record to 10-2. 

Freshman guard Ella Stemmer contributed 15 points in the win against Loyola and another 15 in their win against Navy.

The Mountain Hawks won in dominant fashion against Navy, finishing the game with 99 points, marking the second highest point total in program history. 

“The Navy game was a super strong game for all of us,” Stemmer said. “We really came together and it felt good to really play as a team. We were there for each other offensively and defensively.”

Lehigh topped off their historic game against Navy by taking down undefeated Boston University just days later in Stabler Arena. 

Walker scored 20 points to lead all scorers, and Grothaus trailed just behind with 17.

The Mountain Hawks will finish their season series with Colgate Wednesday at  6 p.m. at Stabler.

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