Feb. 24, 2014
Army 78, Lehigh 69
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Three players reached double figures for Army, as the Black Knights overcame a season-high 19-point deficit to take a 78-69 victory over Lehigh in Patriot League women's basketball action on Monday evening at Stabler Arena. With the win, the Black Knights improve to 20-7 overall and 12-4 in the conference, while the Mountain Hawks fall to 12-15 and 5-11.
The victory also clinched Army a top-four seed in the Patriot League Tournament, which guarantees the Black Knights at least one home contest in the postseason. Lehigh went 17-for-26 (65.4 percent) from the floor in the opening half, while Army was just 11-of-37 (29.7 percent). The visitors stepped it up in the second half, knocking down 16-of-29 (55.2) of their attempts from the floor, and held the Mountain Hawks to a 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) clip.
Sophomore Kelsey Minato scored a game-high 31 points on 11-of-19 shooting and 5-of-9 three-point shooting while adding six assists and five rebounds. Minato extended her double-digit scoring streak to 43 games and jumped from 18th to 17th on Army's all-time scoring list with 993 career points. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native also passed the single-season scoring mark of 568 points set by Laurie Goetz (USMA'87) in 1986-87, with the new record standing at 596. Additionally, Minato's five threes makes her the all-time leader in single-season three-pointers at Army, as she raised her total to 67, surpassing the mark of 65 set by Jen Hansen (USMA '07) in the 2004-05 season.
Senior Jen Hazlett finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while sophomore Jean Parker netted 12 points and grabbed a career-high seven boards. Sophomore Brianna Johnson posted nine points, five rebounds and four assists, and classmate Aimee Oertner contributed six points and two blocks.
Sophomore Kerry Kinek led Lehigh with 18 points and five rebounds, and junior Sarah Williams recorded 15 points, including a 4-of-4 showing from beyond the arc. Freshman Kiernan McCloskey registered 12 points off the bench, while sophomore Elizabeth Sharlow turned in seven.
The Black Knights faced their largest deficit of the season with 58 seconds left in the second half, as the Mountain Hawks got out to a 47-28 lead. Army managed to make it a 17-point game at the break, with the 17-point margin being its largest halftime deficit of the campaign.
Minato, who scored 18 of her 31 points in the second half, netted 12 of Army's first 24 points to begin the second frame and lead the Black Knights on a 24-9 run that made the score 56-54 after 6:59 of action in the period. The hosts scored the game's next three points to move in front by five, but Parker converted a triple at the 10:06 mark to cap an 8-0 Army run and give the Black Knights a 62-59 lead, their first since leading 8-6 with 15:56 remaining in the opening half.
Army used a balanced attack the rest of the way, outscoring Lehigh, 16-8 in the final 8:59. The visitors received points from five players during the stretch, including six by Parker, who totaled 10 of her 12 points in a space of 9:26 in the second frame.
Army opened the game scoring eight of the first 10 points, with Oertner accounting for four of those points, during the first 3:11. The hosts responded with a 14-3 run that put them up, 16-11, over the ensuing 3:24. During the run, Lehigh received six points from Williams, who buried two of her four opening-half three-pointers in the stretch. Minato sunk her second three-pointer of the game at the 12:37 mark to cut the Black Knights' deficit to two, but the Mountain Hawks used a 24-8 run to jump out to 40-22 advantage with 3:30 left to play in the opening stanza.
The Black Knights are back on the court Wednesday, Feb. 26, when they travel to face Boston University for a 7 p.m. contest.
NOTES: Army improves to 27-28 all-time versus Lehigh ... Kelsey Minato netted 31 points to extend her double-digit scoring streak to 43 games ... Minato is now Army's all-time single-season leader in points (596), three-pointers (67) and free-throws (175) ... Army's 19-point comeback marks its largest of the season ... Jean Parker grabbed a career-high seven rebounds and scored 12 points, missing her career-high point total by one ... Lehigh's 47 first-half points were the most allowed by Army in the opening frame this season ... the Black Knights scored 48 points in the second half, marking their second-most in a half all season (63 in the first half vs. Staten Island, 12/29).