A lights-out shooting performance by the host Lehigh Mountain Hawks in the first quarter on Sunday put the Navy women’s basketball team in a large deficit that it was unable to overcome during the ensuing 30 minutes of action.
The Mountain Hawks (7-8, 3-1 PL) started the game at Stabler Arena with a 10-of-12 showing from three-point range on their way to a 32-5 advantage over the Mids (0-15, 0-4 PL) through one quarter of play. The teams were more evenly matched over the final three quarters as Lehigh was just eight points better than Navy. The final score of the Patriot League contest was 77-42.
Maren Louridas (Fr., Delmar, N.Y.) was at the forefront of the Mids’ offensive effort as she finished with a game-high 15 points, including three three-pointers and seven rebounds. Fellow freshman Kate Samson (Richmond, Va.) provided strong back-up with 11 points and eight rebounds.
“I’m not sure I have ever seen a first quarter like that,” remarked head coach Tim Taylor. “10-of-12 from three-point range was impressive. I think we contributed to some of that with taking quick shots early and going against how we wanted to play them. We played into their strengths and they capitalized. Good teams like Lehigh will make you pay for your mistakes.
“I thought we continued to compete and play hard through the final three quarters. We have to find a way to stop bigger runs from other teams. We have had several games this year with three solid quarters. We need to be more consistent for 40 minutes.”
The host Mountain Hawks were on fire from the start on Sunday afternoon as they hit three straight three-pointers to open the contest. A drive-and-dish from Louridas to Morganne Andrews (Jr., Martinsburg, W.Va.) at 7:27 stopped that initial scoring run. Lehigh had an immediate rebuttal as next time down the court it dialed up another three-pointer to go up 12-2.
That Ella Stemmer trey kick-started a 14-0 run that consisted of four more three-pointers. A driving layup by Mimi Schrader (Sr., Plymouth, Minn.) got Navy back in the scoring column at 3:48. The lights-out shooting from three-point range carried the Mountain Hawks down the stretch as they sank three more triples to make it 32-5 through 10 minutes of action. As a team, Lehigh was 10-12 from three-point range and just 1-7 from inside the arc.
Navy and Lehigh played a near-even next 20 minutes as the Mountain Hawks edged the Mids by just two points in the second quarter, 15-13 before both teams registered 16 points in the third stanza. After Lehigh extended its lead out to 39-7 at the 7:20 mark of the second quarter, Navy responded with an 11-2 run from 6:48 to 3:28 on the strength of three three-pointers, two from Louridas and the third by Sydne Watts (Jr., Canton, Ga.).
Trailing 47-18 at the half, the third quarter saw the teams trade scoring opportunities early as Lehigh added eight points to their side of the ledger, while Navy countered with seven, five of which came from Samson. Active all day on the glass Gia Pissott (Fr., Toms River, N.J.) entered her name in the scoring column as Samson found her wide open at the basket after the Mountain Hawks collapsed on her with a double-team at 5:49 to make it 55-27. The Mids’ freshmen class continued finding success in the third quarter as Samson and Louridas scored five of the team’s final seven points in the period.
With the score 63-34 through three quarters of play, Louridas continued her double-digit scoring effort with an early three-pointer at 8:01 to make it 65-37. After a three-point response by Lehigh on its next possession, the game stayed in the 30-point range for the remainder of the contest.
In the 77-42 victory, Lehigh outshot Navy, 44.4 percent (28-63) to 25.8 (17-66) from the field, 48.1 percent (13-27) to 16.7 (4-24) from three-point range and 100.0 percent (8-8) to 57.1 (4-7) from the foul line.
The Mids grabbed six more boards in the rebounding battle than the Mountain Hawks, 44-38. The visitors were especially active on the offensive glass with 16 o-boards. Four different Navy players finished with seven or more caroms: Samson (8), Pissott (8), Louridas (7) and Andrews (7).
Navy will be back in action in the Lehigh Valley again on Wednesday as the Mids will head back to southeast Pennsylvania for a league tilt at Lafayette. The Mids and Leopards are scheduled for a 6 p.m. tip-off in Easton.