The Mountain Hawks put up a strong fight against the Eagles. At the end of the first quarter, American was up 22-16 after maintaining the lead for nearly the entire quarter. Lehigh notably took most of their shots outside of the paint, going 2-8 in 3-point field goals. Despite this, the Eagles maintained their greatest lead of the entire game in the first quarter, holding a total of 11 points over the Mountain Hawks for two and a half minutes.
Lehigh’s unique shooting trend continued for the remainder of the first half, as they went 3-10 for 3-point field goals in the second quarter. The Mountain Hawks’ dominant offense outside the paint caused their biggest lead in the entire first half, holding American by 3 points for roughly four minutes. Nonetheless, their impressive free throw performance ended the half with American in the lead, 34-33.
At the end of the half, American senior forward Emily Johns was the game's leading scorer with eight points.
Entering the third quarter, the stakes seemed to only elevate. Lehigh received their first free throws all game, ultimately going 7-9 in free throws. American went 5-6 in free throws in both the second and third quarters.
The Eagles notably dominated the rebound game this quarter, continuing to boost both their offense and defense. Head coach Tiffany Coll commented on American’s defensive style in this particular game, saying “We usually guard the 3-point-line. Now we’re going to be denying.”
This style was certainly effective in the third quarter, as the Mountain Hawks ultimately went 0-5 outside the paint. American concluded the third quarter still in the lead, 53-50.
Entering the fourth quarter, one thing was clear: neither team’s defense wanted to give up a shot. For nearly the first three minutes of the quarter, both teams were scoreless. While Lehigh’s 3-point completion improved to 2-7 this quarter, their field goal completion dropped to 3-11. American’s offense went 5-11 in field goals and 5-7 in field goals, ultimately contributing to the Eagles 68-65 victory over the Mountain Hawks.
American’s dominance of the scoreboard was evident in the game’s top shooters. Sophomore guard Laura Nogues led the half in scoring, totaling 16 points. Johns was a close second, with a total of 15 points. Nogues also notably fouled out at the end of the fourth quarter.
Coll commented on Nogues’ performance, saying “She’s always ready for a good press.”
American’s victory over Lehigh speaks volumes for the team’s ability to perform in the patriot league. Coll reflected on the Eagle’s performance, saying “Lehigh’s a great team, we know that. We had to do a lot of things we’ve worked on in practice and really haven’t been able to apply. The fact that we stepped up and actually were doing that was awesome to see.”
The Eagles look to take on Lehigh again at home on Jan. 20 and continue their winning record in Patriot League matchups.
This article was edited by Penelope Jennings, Delaney Hoke and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks and Isabelle Kravis.