Hornet women struggle in 68-38 opening loss to Lehigh

DelState’s Tierra Floyd drives to the basket between Lehigh defenders Megan Walker and Cameryn Benz. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

DOVER — The new-look Delaware State University women’s basketball team made its season debut Wednesday night and the Hornets still have some gelling to do.

With 11 newcomers, the Hornets shot 21 percent from the floor and never led in falling to Lehigh 68-38 at Memorial Hall.

The 38 points were the lowest by a Delaware State team since it scored 36 in a loss at Michigan on Dec. 21, 2017.

Janasia Law of DSU was on a fast break when Lehigh’s Clair Steele caught up from behind and knocked the ball away.

It was always going to be a tough task for inexperienced DSU against a team like Lehigh so early in the season. The Hornets only have two letterwinners returning, while Lehigh returns most of a roster that won 21 games last season. The Mountain Hawks were picked to win the Patriot League in the preseason coaches poll.

The Hornets kept the deficit in single digits for most of the first half, as the Mountain Hawks took a 31-20 lead into the break before blowing the game open with a 17-8 third quarter.

The closest Delaware State got in the second half came when newcomer Tierra Floyd recorded a steal for a wide-open layup to trim Lehigh’s lead to 31-22 with 9:02 left in the third quarter.

Delaware State freshman guard Naomi Shorts defending Hannah Hedstrom of Lehigh.

Cameryn Benz immediately pushed Lehigh back up double-digits with a three-pointer, and after DSU’s Lanayjha Ashe converted a layup the Mountain Hawks responded with a 12-2 run.

Benz led all scorers with 20 points on 9-of-17 shooting. Camryn Buhr earned a double-double for Lehigh with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Sharajah Collins, one of 10 players who made their DSU debut, led the Hornets with eight points. The junior college transfer came from Hillsborough CC in Florida.

Floyd added six points. The graduate transfer from Xavier was also playing her first game for the Hornets.

Janasia Law of the Hornets looks for a way around Lehigh defender Clair Steele in the first half Wednesday night.

Ashe, Janasia Law and Naomi Shorts contributed four points apiece. Zoe Holmes, Miajah Bullock and Floyd tied for the team lead in rebounds with seven each.

The Hornets shot 14-of-66 from the floor (21.2 percent and struggled at the free-throw line, going 6-of-15 (40 percent) and behind the arc, where they shot 4-of-23 (17.4 percent).

Of the 12 players who suited up for DSU on Wednesday, only Ashe and Genell Addison played in games last season for the Hornets.

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