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Can Lehigh Shock the World? (Part II)

Everyone in America now knows that Lehigh's men's basketball team gave Kansas a very tough time for a while in the NCAA tournament on Thursday night.  The men's team didn't shock the world - a win of a 16 seed over a 1 seed would have done that - but they did open up some eyes.  (Not as many as Northern Iowa did, but hey, I'll take it.)

Tonight - at 9:30 PM on ESPN2 and online on ESPN 360 - Lehigh's women's basketball team will attempt to do the exact same thing, sorta.  Lehigh's women's basketball team will attempt tonight to win Lehigh's first-ever game in the NCAA tournament - but the odds on this "upset" happening are not "a googolplex to one".

Lehigh will open up some eyes tonight in the women's basketball world since they will hang - and maybe even beat - Iowa State (who are playing, in effect, a home game).  Some might even call it a shocker.  But the 29-3 Lady Hawks should not be a surprise to anyone.  For anyone who's followed this team in the past two years knows that they can definitely win this game.  (more)

Lehighsports' preview of the game reveals some interesting information:

The marquee match-up in the game is going to feature senior G Allison Lacey (Iowa State) and junior G Erica Prosser. Head coach Sue Troyan commented on the role of each player. “I think they are the engine that drives both programs, honestly. You look at what Lacey does for her program, offensively she’s a tremendous player in terms of her ability to score, shoot the ball, and she can score in different ways and distribute the ball just as well. Erica’s role in our program is very much the same in terms of, you know, she’s the one that runs the show for us and has the ball in her hands. We rely a lot on her decision-making on both ends.”
Prosser talked about Lacy, “She’s a great player, obviously; she is the leader for this team, and she is very talented. She’s smart, so it’s going to be a tough challenge for me personally guarding her and as a team focusing on her and playing tough defense.”

In many ways these are two similar teams; playing gruesome defense, relying on superstars at the point, and tough rebounding.  The key for Lehigh might be how they contain freshman C Anna Prins, the 6'7 center what has really come on at the end of the season.  Sophomore C Alexa Williams and senior G Tricia "Militia" Smith will need to really double-down and clamp on her the way they clamped on so many Patriot League opponents this year.

 Troyan gave a few of her thoughts on Iowa State, “They’re an outstanding basketball program with a rich tradition of success. They’re a team that shoots the three very well and defending the perimeter for us is going to be important. Also, defending (Anna) Prins inside at 6’ 7” is going to be important as well.”

 Senior G Alex Ross will be fighting to not make this her last game in a Mountain Hawk uniform:
Senior G Alex Ross spoke about the opportunity to play in front of a big crowd, “Last year, we played in front of a huge crowd at Rutgers (against Auburn in the 2009 NCAA Tournament) and just having that experience, coming in here and playing against Iowa State, we know they pull a very large home crowd. And so I think that experience from last year will definitely help us come in here and play in front of such a tough crowd.”

I'll be live on Twitter blogging about this event.  Go Lady Hawks!


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