Coming off an emotional game on Saturday against its archrival Army and faced with a matchup against the Patriot League’s highest-scoring team, Lehigh, the Navy women’s basketball team had its hands full on Wednesday night.
The Mids (1-24, 1-13 PL) didn’t let any of that initial affect them as they jumped out to a 12-10 lead through one quarter of play before the explosive Mountain Hawks (13-12, 9-5 PL) overtook them in the second period and rolled in the second half with a 40-15 scoring advantage on their way to an eventual 72-38 victory at Alumni Hall in Annapolis.
Lindsay Llewellyn (Sr., North East, Md.) bolstered Navy’s offensive effort with a team-high 15 points, including all 11 of her squad’s points in the second quarter. Morganne Andrews (Jr., Martinsburg, W.Va.) was active throughout the contest with seven points, a team-high 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals. Off the bench, Sam Schofield (Jr., Maumee, Ohio) hit a pair of three-pointers in the second half for the Mids.
“This was a tough matchup for us tonight, especially when we were unable to hit shots in the third quarter,” remarked head coach Tim Taylor. “Lehigh was really efficient in the second half. They are a difficult matchup as they spread the floor so well and Frannie Hottinger creates problems inside. We played great defense in the first half, but in the second half turnovers and fouls led to too many free points. Once they [Lehigh] get on-track, they can score from the inside, from three and from the foul line
“We have to do a better job in taking care of the basketball. Our 23 turnovers directly turned into 24 points tonight.”
Navy opened the action on Wednesday night fast with a quick 6-2 lead over the initial 2:45 of play. Sydne Watts (Jr., Canton, Ga.) was effective early for the Mids with perfect 2-2 showing during this stretch. Navy’s third basket was a fadeaway hook shot by Andrews off of a Llewellyn pass. Over the next two minutes, Lehigh dug out of its early hole and pulled even 6-6 by the 5:18 mark of the quarter. A trading of baskets by Andrews and the Mountain Hawks’ Lily Fandre advanced the score up to 8-8 a minute later. Consecutive field goals by Llewellyn and Kate Samson (Fr., Richmond, Va.) helped Navy re-take its four-point lead by 1:22. With the score 12-8, a late bucket by Lehigh’s Mackenzie Kramer closed the quarter at 12-10.
Kramer’s field goal in the closing seconds sparked her game as the junior opened up the second period with five more unanswered points to help the Mountain Hawks push out to a 15-12 lead. From that point at 7:38, Lehigh never looked back. Overall, they scored 10 of the first 12 points of the second quarter to open up a 20-14 advantage by 5:23. A three-pointer by Llewellyn at 4:29 stopped that burst and drew Navy back within three points. An immediate 8-1 rebuttal by Lehigh gave the visitors a 10-point edge before Llewellyn continued her individual effort with a layup and three-pointer on back-to-back possessions at 1:49 and 1:32. With the score 28-23, Lehigh scored the final four points of the half to take a nine-point lead into the locker room.
After shooting just 1-6 from the field in the first quarter, Llewellyn recorded all 11 of her team’s points going 4-6 from the floor, including a perfect 2-2 from three-point range and one free throw.
Coming out of the halftime intermission with the score 32-23 in favor of Lehigh, that nine-point margin stayed over the opening four minutes of the third quarter with both teams sinking three baskets. Maren Louridas (Fr., Delmar, N.Y.) was the catalyst for Navy’s early success with a pair of those makes. Ahead 39-30 at 6:19, the Mountain Hawks then ran off 12 unanswered points over the next 5:10 to break out to a 51-30 advantage. Schofield ended the Mids’ scoring drought with a step-back three-pointer with 53 seconds left in the period.
Early in the fourth quarter, Schofield’s number was called again when Mimi Schrader (Sr., Plymouth, Minn.) drove through the lane and whipped an over-the-shoulder pass to Schofield, who caught and fired away from the left wing for her second three-pointer in as many quarters at 7:22. With the score 55-36, Lehigh controlled the remainder of the game and closed out the contest on a 17-2 run to win by a final score of 72-38.
For the contest, Lehigh outshot Navy, 42.9 percent (24-56) to 27.1 (16-59) from the field, 47.4 percent (9-19) to 21.1 (4-19) from three-point range and 88.2 percent (15-17) to 33.3 (2-6) from the foul line.
The battle on the boards was nearly even with the visitors holding a scant 40-39 edge. Navy was active on the offensive end with 13 offensive rebounds. Andrews led the Mids’ effort with 10 caroms for her seventh double-digit rebounding performance this season.
Navy will continue Patriot League action on the road on Sunday with a local matinee at Loyola. Tip-off between the Mids and Greyhounds is set for 2 p.m. at Reitz Arena in Baltimore.