Souhan: Lehigh's Minnesota Roots

Ignatius L Hoops

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As we noted last season, The Lehigh Mountain Hawks. have a claim to be Minnesota's team. This season they are in the NCAA tournament as the Patriot league representative.

They live all over the Twin Cities, but last summer they would text each other and find a court at a public park, or in someone's driveway. The six Minnesotans who chose to play basketball at Lehigh, a small school in Pennsylvania, weren't going to let a pandemic keep them from inventing their own team-building exercises.

That's one reason those six are sitting in a hotel in San Antonio this morning, awaiting a first-round NCAA tournament game that is the result of a particularly difficult and rewarding season.

The Lehigh women's basketball program hadn't qualified for the NCAA tourney since 2010. This year, they won the Patriot League tournament to earn a berth, thanks largely to Minnesotans like Frannie Hottinger of Cretin-Derham Hall, their leading scorer, and league tournament MVP Emma Grothaus of Mahtomedi.

A 13 seed, they'll face fourth-seeded West Virginia on Sunday night in San Antonio.
 
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