BLUE BELL, Pa. - Frustrations got the best of the women's basketball team Tuesday evening as Montgomery lost 63-47 to the Cougars of Lehigh Carbon Community College in Region XIX play. It was the Mustangs' fifth straight setback.
Playing without Anna Morgan and Hiba Elrhanjaoui, Montgomery Head Women's Basketball Coach Francine Roseman could only watch as the team's leading scorer, Jessica Spano, along with Linda Sobeck, fouled out during a second half where the Mustangs were outscored 38-23 by their EPAC rival.
"Early foul trouble cost us," said Roseman, whose team dropped to 3-10 overall this season. "We lost two key contributors in the fourth quarter and that contributed to the outcome."
Spano, who entered the game averaging a healthy 14.8 points per game, was held to just two points. This marked just the fourth time in 13 games this season that Spano was limited to single-digit scoring. Ironically, she managed a pedestrian six points in the Nov. 10 game at Lehigh Carbon.
Alison Henning led the Mustangs with a season-high 18 points, including 3-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc, and five steals. Emma Hagel also recorded a season high with 11 points. Spano had five steals, while Sobeck finished with eight points and five blocks.
Montgomery converted 20 field goals, including a half-dozen from three-point range, and made just one of six free throws. Lehigh Carbon shot nearly 50 percent from the field, making good on 28 of its 57 shots. The Cougars held a decisive edge around the boards, out-rebounding the Mustangs 40-28, including 34-20 around the defensive glass.
The Cougars were led by Celina Fital's 26 points and another 19 points from Karen Tejeda. Kelly Walker added 10 points.
A see-saw affair early, the game was knotted at 19 with five minutes left in the first half. The Cougars took a one-point lead into the locker room at halftime and held a 40-32 advantage at the start of the fourth quarter.
The proverbial wheels fell off from there as the Cougars repeatedly made their shots while the Mustangs were off-target. Then Spano, followed later by Sobeck, found themselves on the bench while Henning received a technical foul.
"Frustrations got the best of us," said Roseman. "We need to play with more discipline and control our emotions bettter."
Next up, the women will participate in the annual Special Olympics event Thursday evening in the gym. On Saturday, the Mustangs will host the Hawks of Harrisburg Area Community College in a 1 pm tip-off.
- By Bob Kent, Sports Information Director