Holy cross

The Mountain Hawks set to visit Holy Cross on Saturday in Worcester

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — The Lehigh women’s basketball team got off to a perfect start in the Patriot League following a 62-55 defensive win over Army West Point Wednesday night at Stabler Arena. The Mountain Hawks, the first Division I team from Pennsylvania to claim 10 wins, travel to Worcester on Saturday to face Holy Cross at noon at the Hart Center.

Lehigh trailed at halftime against the Black Knights before taking a 33-23 second-half advantage en route to victory. Emma Grothauswho was the hero against Colgate on Sunday, scored 15 points to lead the team with nine rebounds and three blocks. Mackenzie Kramer also scored 15 of three 3-pointers with four rebounds. Claire Steele made his first appearance in over a month, leading the Mountain Hawks with four assists.

The Mountain Hawks barely shot over 30%, shooting 32.8% (21 for 64) from the field, but shot 11 for 14 from the free throw line, which proved to be the difference maker .

Kramer remains Lehigh’s leading scorer with 16.2 points per game, while Frannie Hottinger is second at 14.5 points, and Grothaus (13.3) and Megan Walker (10.7) just behind them.

Currently, Lehigh is in the top 10 in the nation in free throw percentage (8th, 78.8) and 3rd points per game (6th, 10.2).

A victory over Holy Cross would mark Lehigh’s sixth straight victory, tying the six-game winning streak in 2019-20 and taking the Mountain Hawks to 3-0 in the Patriot League for the fourth straight year.

So far, so good for Holy Cross to start playing in the Patriot League, despite having their last two games postponed due to health and safety protocols on behalf of Loyola (Md.) and Lafayette.

The Crusaders won their opener at Navy on Dec. 29 63-53 and are playing their first game in over a week.

Three different players totaled 11 points as Avery LaBarbera, Bronagh Power-Cassidy and Oluchi Ezemma both hit that mark in the win. LaBarbera also had 11 boards and eight assists, finishing just two cents from a triple-double. She also recorded three interceptions. Janelle Allen had nine points with four rebounds, while Addisyn Cross had three assists with four boards and six points in 35 minutes of action.

Holy Cross shot 42.6% (23 for 54) from the field against the contenders and 34.8% (8 for 23) from beyond the arc. On defense, the Crusaders held Navy to just 38.5% (20 for 52) from the field and 26.7% (4 for 15) at long range.

LaBarbera leads the team with 13.3 points per game and also paces her teammates with 7.7 rebounds per game and 3.9 assists. Power-Cassidy is averaging 10.4 points and Oluchi Ezemma is at 9.5.

The Crusaders have won three of their last four games which have continued out of the league with victories over New Hampshire and Stetson.

Historically, Holy Cross has the all-time advantage over Lehigh, 46-28 with a 38-24 advantage in Patriot League play.

The Mountain Hawks are currently on a three-game winning streak against the Crusaders after three wins in the 2020-21 season – two in the regular season and a victory in the Patriot League quarterfinals. Lehigh has won five of the last seven matchups since Jan. 9, 2019.

At Hart Center, the Mountain Hawks have won just 11 times with an 11-24 road record. The last time Lehigh won at Worcester was a 79-74 overtime win on March 6, 2019.

Saturday’s game will air live on ESPN+ (subscription required) at noon.

In line with Holy Cross’ new spectator policy, spectator attendance has been temporarily suspended at all sporting events and Saturday’s game will not be open to the general public. Tickets purchased for events that do not allow spectator participation will be refunded to the original form of payment. Any questions regarding ticketing can be directed to the Holy Cross Box Office at tickets@holycross.edu or 1-844-GOCROSS.

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Dated: January 8, 2022
Opponent: Holy Cross Crusaders
Trick : Midday
Arena (Ability): Hart Center
Site: Worcester, Mass.
Lehigh’s record: 10-3, 2-0 SP
Register of the Holy Cross 7-5, 1-0 SP
Series history: St. Croix leads, 46-28