The Lehigh women's basketball team got their first victory of the season against Stonehill, beating them 60-43 at Stabler Arena on Nov. 7. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Defense leads Lehigh women’s basketball to win over Stonehill in season opener


The Lehigh women’s basketball team secured their first victory in their season opener at Stabler Arena after beating Stonehill 60-43 on Nov. 7.  

After serving as the team’s associate head coach since 2019, coach Addie Micir got her first victory in her new role as head coach. 

Micir said she was excited about the team’s first win and credited the victory to the chemistry on the court. 

“We chose to be about toughness, to be about fighting through when shots weren’t falling,” Micir said. “This game means a lot, but it means more that we get to do it with this group of people.” 

With 11 returning players on the team’s 14-athlete roster, Micir said the experience of her team played a role in the win. 

“They play really well together, and they now understand what it’s like to play together,” Micir said. “Our three first years have really integrated seamlessly. I’m really proud of our effort and the way we played together.”

Lehigh led 18-14 at the end of the first quarter. The Mountain Hawks were able to limit Stonehill’s offense by creating turnovers and making steals. 

Lehigh’s tough defense continued in the second quarter as Stonehill was forced to take bad shots. In the game, Lehigh limited Stonehill to 15-of-62 from the field. 

“We’re pretty big, so when you get your hands up, you take away space there,” Micir said. 

Lehigh senior forward Frannie Hottinger proved to be the key player in the game, notching a career high 18 rebounds, 21 points and four steals. 

“Stonehill came out very strong and it wasn’t necessarily easy,” Hottinger said. “But I feel like it felt good to come out as a senior and I have three years under my belt and had to come out with that confidence.” 

The Mountain Hawks outscored Stonehill 15-4 in the second quarter to extend their lead to 15 at halftime. 

Stonehill started the second half with two made 3-point shots in the first minute. 

The Mountain Hawks had an answer though, using their height and physicality to extend the lead to 45-27 with eight minutes left to go in the game. 

Last season, Lehigh made an average of 8.7 3-point shots a game, which was good for eighth in the nation. In their season opener, they finished shooting at 20.6% compared to 25.9% for Stonehill. 

Micir said the team will continue to work on creating the best shot selection in practice. 

“In the first half, I think we shot 45% from three, which is typically where we shoot if you come to a practice and watch us,” Micir said. “But what I really appreciate is we weren’t shy to shoot those shots in the second half, we just got to get in the lab a little bit more and focus on making sure that they were the right looks for the offense. And percentage will go up should we continue to take the right shots.”

Stonehill got within 11 in the fourth quarter, but Lehigh was able to close out the game maintaining their double-digit lead. 

The Mountain Hawks had 14 steals, compared to seven for Stonehill. Lehigh also had eight blocks, with three coming from sophomore Meghan O’Brien, two from junior Maddie Albrecht and freshman Lily Fandre and one from sophomore Kaylee Van Eps. 

The team also forced 23 turnovers. 

This was Stonehill’s first game ever as a Division I program.

“We don’t take them lightly by any means,” Micir said. “In the third quarter, they made some tough shots. I’m more than proud of the way we responded. I thought we responded really well to that, and we were able to stop their momentum and go on a run of our own.”

Lehigh will face its next opponent this Friday, as the team will travel to Brookings, South Dakota, to play against South Dakota State at Frost Arena.

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