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Women's Basketball Held Off at Lehigh

Kristan Liddle scored four points at Lehigh

Jan. 21, 2012

Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lafayette women's basketball team returned to Stabler Arena - the scene of its most memorable win of 2010-11 - on Saturday night to meet rival Lehigh. However, a repeat performance was not in the cards as the Mountain Hawks pulled away late to claim a 68-55 decision.

With the loss, the Leopards fall to 7-13 overall and 1-4 in the Patriot League. Lehigh improves to 11-8 on the season with a 4-1 league mark.

Danielle Fiacco led the way for Lafayette with 20 points - 16 of which came in the second half - and 10 rebounds. Her Patriot League-leading seventh double-double of the season was complimented by five blocks. Already Lafayette's single-season record holder, Fiacco is now tied for seventh in Patriot League history with 82 blocks this season. She is 13 shy of the league single-season record of 95 as well as seven rejections short of the Lafayette career mark (160, Lenora Johnson '81).

While Fiacco was the only Leopard to reach double figures, 11 Lafayette players found the scoring column for the second straight game. Melissa Downey netted six points, and Ashley Springer scored five. A quartet of Leopards - Madeline Fahan, Brya Freeland, Kristan Liddle and Sarah McGorry - each posted four, and Maddie Peabody, Emily Homan, Linnel Macklin and Alicia Manning rounded out the offense with two points apiece. Peabody and Downey dished out three assists apiece.

Lafayette was bested on the boards, 53-39, though Fiacco's 10 were the game high. The Mountain Hawks pulled in 22 offensive rips that led to 26 second-chance points.

Both teams started slowly on the offensive end, and the score was tied at just 6-6 with 10:54 to go in the period. Two minutes later, with Lehigh holding an 11-10 lead, the Mountain Hawks scored the next 10 points to claim a 21-10 advantage with 6:04 to go. However, the Kelela Blake jumper that capped the run was Lehigh last field goal of the frame. The Leopards finished the first 20 minutes with an 11-4 stretch, sparked by 4-for-4 showing from Liddle at the stripe, to head into the locker room trailing, 25-21.

Lehigh was the aggressor coming out of the intermission, tallying the first nine points of the second half as a part of a 14-2 run prior to the Leopards first field goal - a Fiacco jumper with 13:22 remaining in the game. The bucket was the start of a trend, as Fiacco netted the Leopards first five field goals of the period en route to 16 second-half tallies. However, Lafayette would never put together the run it needed and trailed by double figures for the majority of the frame. The Leopards momentarily cut the lead to nine points at 58-49 with 4:01 remaining, but the Fiacco free throws that slashed the Lehigh lead were followed by a 9-0 Mountain Hawks run. The Leopards put up six points in the final 64 seconds of the contest but ultimately fell to their historic rival, 68-55.

Lehigh's Alexa Williams led all players with 23 points, and Kelly Peterson tallied 17 for the home team. Williams and Emily Gratch paced Lehigh on the boards with eight apiece.

The Leopards return to College Hill on Wednesday evening with a visit from Colgate. The Raiders, who lost at Navy this evening, are 4-16 overall and 1-4 in the Patriot League. The 7 p.m. outing will be broadcast live on the Lafayette Sports Network and