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Showing posts from March 8, 2009

Lehigh Is Dancin'!

When my wife and I drove up to Stabler to watch the Rivalry-tinged Patriot League women's basketball championship game yesterday against Lafayette, we saw a sharp-shinned hawk perched on a speed limit sign. Really.

Despite this signal of good fortune, I was still nervous about the championship game.

I know it didn't make much sense if you saw the matchup on paper - the No. 1-seeded Mountain Hawks were 25-6 and undefeated at home, and the No. 7-seeded Leopards were 10-21 and had been crushed by Lehigh in their two regular-season meetings.

But this Lafayette team was different now. They had hit their stride with their two shock wins against American and Navy in front of quasi-home crowds. Now, fueled by "The Rivalry" and a nationally-televised game on ESPNU, the Lady Leopards had nothing to lose, and the Lady Hawks everything.

It was everything a college basketball fan could ask for.

Sure, Lehigh did their best to make the result inevitable early on. After both teams sh…

Weekend Wrapup: An Unexpected "Rivalry" Finale, and the "Lucky Seven" EIWA finishers

It sure didn't look like this was going to be how the Patriot League women's basketball championship would end up going into the tournament. Not so much No. 1-seeded Lehigh's presence in the tournament - but that the opponent is the No. 7 seed Lehigh fans love to hate.

My family and I were there yesterday, watching Lehigh overcome a slow start and a three point deficit at halftime to finally overwhelm the Army Lady Knights 61-42. Facing off against an Army team that beat the Lady Hawks 54-52 at Christl Arena and who gave them a run for their money in a 66-58 game on Valentine's day in Stabler, I was worried about this game from the outset.

But the ladies responded with an extraordinary second half where Lehigh shot 57.7% from the field and turned the screws defensively, only allowing 18 points in the second half. The unquestioned hero was senior G Tricia Smith, who came very close to a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds. When freshman C Alexa Williams took a…

Round 2: One Down, Army to Go

Game One for the ladies offered no surprises, thankfully. The Lady Hawks trounced the No. 8-seeded Colgate Lady Raiders 78-54 - and set up an intriguing (and dangerous) second round matchup with Army, who knocked out Holy Cross 54-47.

I'm off to see the game, quite literally, in the next few moments. Lehigh will have to do a better job holding G Nalini Hawkins in check than the Crusaders did, who had 24 points yesterday. Of course, if sophomore G Erica Prosser and junior G Alex Ross have days like they did yesterday (15 points and 19 points respectively), I like our chances.

Finally, with Lafayette upsetting No. 2-seeded American yesterday 68-66 - can you say, Lehigh/Lafayette final? You hate to root for "that school in Easton, but...