Army Holds off Lehigh for 55-50 Victory

WEST POINT – The Army West Point women’s basketball team picked up its second straight Patriot League win after defeating Lehigh, 55-50, on Saturday afternoon at Christl Arena.
For the second consecutive outing, three Cadets reached double-figure scoring for Army (14-12, 7-8 Patriot League). Janae McNeal paced the squad with a 16-point effort on 7-of-12 shooting, to pair with five boards. Daizjah Morris finished the afternoon with 13 points, while Madison Hovren added 10 against the Mountain Hawks (13-13, 7-8 Patriot League).

After Quinci Mann scored the first basket of the game for Lehigh, a Libby Tacka three sparked an 11-5 Army run. During that stretch Tacka and McNeal combined for nine points. The Mountain Hawks put in one final basket in the final minute of play, but the Cadets carried an 11-9 advantage into the second frame.

Army’s first-quarter defensive pressure proved to give Lehigh issues as the Mountain Hawks turned the ball over six times in the opening 10 minutes of play.

The Black Knights turned to Hovren in the second quarter and she went a perfect 4-for-4 for eight points in the second. With the scored knotted up at 11, the Black Knights went on a 12-5 run with Hovren accounting for six of those points. Lehigh finished the half on a 7-2 spurt though to make it a two-point game, 25-23.

The two teams battled back-and-forth in the third frame and were efficient from the floor in the opening 2:31, combining to connect on 6-of-7 shots taken. Lehigh led by four, 33-29, but a 14-5 Army run to close out the quarter pushed the Black Knights ahead 43-38.

The Black Knight lead grew as large as nine, 49-40, but an 8-0 Lehigh run brought the game within a single point.

After an Army timeout, McNeal got the ball, drove to the basket and scored with 1:12 remaining in the game, but Lehigh responded with a Mann layup. Despite a missed three by Morris, Hovren collected the offensive board and the Mountain Hawks were forced to foul.

Jess Lewis knocked down a pair of clutch foul shots to make it a three-point game, 53-50, with 16 seconds left. Mann got a look in the corner for the tie, but it bounced off the rim and Army brought down the board to secure the league win.

Up next the Black Knights will remain at West Point and welcome Colgate for an 11 a.m. Patriot League contest on Wednesday at Christl Arena.

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