BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Despite a close second-half, where Loyola University Maryland women's basketball outscored Lehigh University, 37-35, the Greyhounds could not overcome the first-half deficit, falling to the Mountain Hawks, 75-61, Saturday afternoon in Stabler Arena.
Both teams struggled to find their footing at the start of the contest, as Lehigh and Loyola combined for nine turnovers in the first five minutes.
Lehigh connected on only two 3-pointers in the entire contest, hitting both midway through the first half to provide the Mountain Hawks with a double-digit lead which lasted for nearly two and a half minutes. With seven minutes remaining in the first half, freshman Bri Betz-White knocked down her own three-point field goal to pull the Greyhounds within nine, 26-17.
Senior Kara Marshall's charity stripe points with 5:15 remaining in the first half cut the deficit to seven, 26-19, but foul trouble by the Greyhounds helped Lehigh enter the locker room with a 16 point lead, 40-24.
Loyola and Lehigh traded shots in the first four and half minutes of the second half, earning eight and seven points, respectively, but it was back-to-back treys by freshman Carly Monzo and senior Nai Brown, that pulled Loyola within single-digits, 48-39, with 14:25 to play.
Lehigh (6-17, 4-8 PL) slowly added to its lead at the charity stripe over the next five minutes, before Kara Marshall pulled the Greyhounds back within nine, 57-48, on a 3-point field goal at the top of the key.
Lehigh's Kayla Burton countered with a fast-break layup following the trey, but Brown sunk a floater in the paint to keep Loyola within striking distance, 59-50.
Brown's jumper was the closest Loyola came to Lehigh, though, as the Mountain Hawks used a 12-0 run to lead by as much as 21 points and maintain the double-digit lead for the remainder of the contest.
The Greyhounds return to the Lehigh Valley on Wednesday to take on Lafayette College at 7 p.m.