Lehigh women's basketball's sophomore forward Lily Fandre drives past a defender in Lehigh women's basketball's home win over Holy Cross on Jan. 27. Fandre led the team with seven rebounds in the first half. (Eddie Fuhrer/B&W Staff)

Lehigh women’s basketball ends Holy Cross’s unbeaten streak


Two weeks ago, Lehigh’s women’s basketball team had their worst Patriot League loss since second-year head coach Addie Micir took over the program when they fell 75-54 to Holy Cross, a team in the midst of what would become a nine-game winning streak.

That streak came to an end Saturday at Stabler Arena when Lehigh (12-7, 4-4 Patriot) shot 49% from the field in a 70-60 win that gave the Crusaders (13-6, 7-1 Patriot) their first conference loss of the season.

In the latter stages of the game’s second quarter, Lehigh forward Meghan O’Brien and guard Ella Stemmer combined for three triples in a span of two minutes that gave Lehigh their largest lead of the half at 15 points, an advantage that Holy Cross was not able to cut into throughout the contest.

O’Brien finished with 15 points on 4-4 shooting beyond the arc.

“I think our team was really flowing today,” O’Brien said. “Shots were falling in the first quarter, and that just gave me confidence that we were all sharing it and shooting it like we do.”

Helped by O’Brien, Lehigh shot 42% from 3-point range, the second-highest percentage that the Mountain Hawks have had in conference play so far. This marked a considerable improvement from when the team made only 23% of their attempts in the first game against the Crusaders.

When the two teams played last in Worcester, Holy Cross won the game in part due to their 12 offensive rebounds. Lehigh cut the offensive rebounds given up this time  to nine and won the rebounding battle 38-28. 

Sophomore forward Lily Fandre had a double-double with 14 of those rebounds and 11 points.

“We didn’t let them get inside like they wanted to like last game,” Fandre said. “Getting those boards really helped us.”

Lehigh was led in scoring by senior guard Maddie Albrecht, who has scored at least 10 points in each of the last five games. Albrecht drove to the bucket all night and all six of her made buckets were layups. She also converted five of her six foul shots.

Holy Cross struggled offensively in the first half, shooting 31% and being limited to only four three-point makes. Throughout the entire night, they only managed to shoot 7-21 on 3-pointers.

Nearly half of those attempts were taken by senior guard Bronagh Power-Cassidy, who entered the game as the fourth-highest scorer in the Patriot League. Power-Cassidy only made two of her nine long-range attempts but still managed to score 13 points, sharing the team lead with sophomore guard Kaitlyn Flanagan.

Lehigh took the lead in the first minute of the game and held it throughout the rest of the contest. The Mountain Hawks led 37-26 at halftime.

The win keeps Lehigh in sixth place in the Patriot League, though they may rise as high as third place throughout the day depending on the results of other games.

Lehigh coach Addie Micir said the Patriot League is a tough league and that the hardest part of the season is yet to come when opposing teams continue to adjust their defenses to try to stop her team’s offensive production.

“Holy Cross is a really, really good team,” Micir said. “I’m really proud of the way we battled and gave effort.”

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