Lehigh Mountain Hawks Fabienne Eggenschwiler, Jamie Behar, Ella Stemmer and Kaylee Van Eps hold up signs to honor loved ones affected by cancer in the Play4Kay game on Feb. 19/ Lehigh won 73-49. (Billy Maroun/B&W Staff)

Playing with purpose: Lehigh women’s basketball team wears pink in Play4Kay game


While Lehigh’s women’s basketball team defeated Loyola-Maryland, 73-49, on Feb. 19 at Stabler Arena, it certainly wasn’t the biggest story of the day.

The Mountain Hawks hosted their annual Play4Kay day Saturday afternoon. The yearly tradition brings communities together and spreads awareness to all cancers affecting women.

Prior to the game, the teams’ players and coaches each held up a sign honoring a person of their choosing, followed by a moment of silence.

Lehigh coach Sue Troyan, in her 27th season with the team, said she is always excited to be a part of something bigger than the game. 

“Most of our players in one way or another have been impacted by it,” Troyan said. “Whether it’s a loved one, a friend or a family member, this day showcases the importance of not getting too focused on yourself, winning or losing.”

The Lehigh University Mountain Hawks basketball team wore pink jerseys in a contest against the Loyola Maryland Greyhounds on Feb. 19 at Stabler Arena. It was Play4Kay day, which is an annual game played in memory of former North Carolina State basketball coach Kay Yow who passed away from breast cancer in 2009. Play4Kay is an NCAA-wide initiative with the goal of raising money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. (Sandler Douglas/B&W Staff)

Senior forward Emma Grothaus said that while basketball is always important, on days like this, the team plays for a bigger cause than basketball itself. 

“It’s always awesome to have this day every year,” she said. “It’s a good reminder to put things into perspective.”

Grothaus, who recorded 13 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished five assists in the victory, held up a sign honoring her mother, who passed away in 2021.

“It was her birthday yesterday, so it’s a hard time now, but I was happy to play for her today,” she said.

Sophomore guard Mackenzie Kramer, who recorded 23 points on seven 3s, also played with a personal connection to the cause. 

“I played for my grandpa, who died of lung cancer,” Kramer said.

Fan Sadie Stern and parents Alyson Stern, Eric Stern, receive a ball from Clutch the Mountain Hawk at a Lehigh Women’s Basketball game vs. Loyola on Feb. 19. Lehigh won the game 73-49. (Billy Maroun/B&W Staff)

Kramer said she could feel the support coming from the Stabler crowd.

“It’s always great having a game on days like this,” she said. “It was a great environment, and we got a lot of people to come out.”

In the win, the Mountain Hawks hit a Patriot League single-game record 17 3-pointers. The previous record, which was 16, was also held by Lehigh (2021), shared with the 2017 Navy squad. 

Lehigh shot 47 percent from the field and held Loyola to just 34 percent shooting on the day.

Lehigh, which has won eight of their last 10 games, will look to continue their momentum on the road when they face American in back-to-back games next week. The first game between the two on Tuesday was originally scheduled for Dec. 30, but was postponed due to COVID-19.

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