PHILADELPHIA--The Penn women's basketball led at the half, but the tightly contested game ended with Lehigh pulling out a 53-49 win. The Quakers fell to 3-11 on the season while the Mountain Hawks improved to 8-7.
The Red and Blue looked like a new team, springing out of the gates to a 7-0 start and held a lead throughout the entire first half, allowing just one tie at 9-9. Junior Kelly Scott's return to the lineup was immediately felt as she scored 13 of her team-leading 15 points in the opening stanza.
The Quakers held a four-point lead at halftime and up until tonight, that would have meant a win. This season, Penn had not lost a game it led at halftime. Still, in recent years, the Penn-Lehigh match-up has been a close one with dramatic finishes. Two years ago it was an overtime thriller and last season, Maggie Burgess gave her team a one-point advantage with 15 seconds remaining.
Tonight it was Lehigh that had the final say. The Mountain Hawks burst out of the locker room and grabbed a four-point lead nearing the midway point. The Quakers regained a seven-point leadwith 7:30 left to play, but LHU chipped away at that and took a five-point lead with 1:14 left to play, they stretched it to seven, but Sarah Bucar's three-pointer swished with 12 seconds left to slice the defeat to four.
Bucar scored seven points for Penn and though the other four came off field goals, they were just inches from the arc. She led her team in rebounding with six while Katarina Lackner pulled down five to help the Quakers out-board Lehigh 36-33. Caitlin Slover had quick hands and nabbed three stealswhile dishing four assists for Penn.
For Lehigh, Erica Prosser and Tricia Smith both had 12 points while Smith grabbed 10 rebounds and four steals.
The Quakers dive into the Ivy League season with a quick trip to Princeton, Saturday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.