Feb. 25, 2012
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -
Lehigh scored 20 of the final 31 points to secure the second seed in the Patriot League Tournament, while the 56-47 setback dropped the Black Knights into the fourth seed on Saturday night at Stabler Arena.
With the loss, Army draws fifth-seed Holy Cross in a March 1 quarterfinal game at West Point, N.Y.
A physical game throughout, the Mountain Hawks went 15-of-22 from the free throw line in the second half alone. Junior guard/forward Anna Simmers led all players with 20 points and five steals. Sophomore forward Jessica Waggoner totaled a career-high 12 points to go with five rebounds. Senior guard Meagan Docuette led Army with six rebounds, as Lehigh won the battle of the boards, 36-22.
Army shot 35 percent (17-of-48) for the game, while Lehigh shot at a 44 percent (20-of-45) clip. Emily Gratch paced the Mountain Hawks with 19 points on Senior Night.
After Army raced out to an early lead, Lehigh tied the game at 21-21 at halftime. The Mountain Hawks then outscored the Black Knights 35-26 in the second half.
Simmers scored the first eight points of the game, including a pair of three-point buckets, before Lehigh could get on the board. The Mountain Hawks' Becky Guman scored her team's first points, a layup at the 15:46 mark. Sophomore Jen Hazlett answered with her first three-pointer of the game, extending the Black Knights' lead to 11-2 five minutes into the action.
A Waggoner layup with 13:00 on the clock pushed the lead to 13-2, but Lehigh netted the next nine points unanswered and sliced the deficit to 13-11 with 10:13 remaining.
Meanwhile, Army endured a four-minute scoring drought until Doucette fed Waggoner for a fastbreak layup at 8:51 to make it 15-11 in favor of the Black Knights. Waggoner's bucket spurred an 8-2 run, during which the Nevada native scored twice more, as Army pushed its lead to 21-13 with 6:45 on the clock.
Lehigh proceeded to score the final eight points of the half, as the teams entered the locker room tied at 21-all. Simmers, who picked up her second foul at the 10:26 mark of the first half, sat the remainder of the frame.
The Mountain Hawks, who took their first lead of the game at the 17:32 mark, opened the second half with an 11-6 run and took a 32-27 lead with 14:25 to go. Hazlett's baseline jumper on Army's next possession pulled the Black Knights within 32-29 with 14:13 to play.
With Lehigh continuing to lead, Simmers scored five unanswered points as the Black Knights inched within 36-34 with 11:35 to play. Waggoner's free throws 54 seconds later tied the game for a fourth time, 36-36.
Lehigh netted the next seven points to go back on top 43-36 on a pair of good free throws at the 7:13 mark. Army put Gratch on the line with their 10th foul of the half. The Mountain Hawks were whistled for three fouls in the same time.
Simmers got hot when the Black Knights needed it, scoring five-straight points including a long trey to pull Army within 47-43 at the 3:45 mark. Hazlett hit a pair of free throws with 2:05 on the clock, trimming the deficit to 47-45.
Simmers and freshman Olivia Schretzman would foul out of the game over the final 1:32, which translated into four Lehigh free throws as the Mountain Hawks pushed ahead 51-45 with 1:01 on the clock. Lehigh went on to hit three free throws in the final minute to seal the 56-47 victory.
Tickets for Army's quarterfinal round of the 2012 Patriot League Tournament, set for March 1 at 7 p.m., are on sale now through the Army Ticket Office. Fans can purchase online at www.goARMYsports.com, by calling 1-877-TIX-ARMY or in-person at the Holleder Center box office. Tickets are $6 for adults, and $3 for students/senior citizens/youth. Doors for the event will open up 90 minutes prior to tip-off.
Game Notes: Army once again donned its road black jerseys with pink ACU (Army Combat Uniform) insets as Lehigh recognized breast cancer awareness month during Saturday's game ... senior Kait Goodall started at forward for the second-straight game ... neither team took a free throw in the first half ... a total of three players (two Army, one Lehigh) fouled out of the game.