Mountain Hawks win third straight, improve to 8-3
Posted: December 28, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Behind double-double performances by junior Zahir Carrington and senior Phil Anderson, Lehigh downed Longwood 72-57 at Stabler Arena on Sunday afternoon. Carrington netted a team-high 17 points and pulled down a career-best 15 rebounds, while Anderson tied his career-high with 16 points and established a new career-best with 12 caroms as Lehigh improves to 8-3 for the first time since 1980. Longwood was led on offense by Durann Neil’s 18 points as the Lancers fall to 6-7 following the setback.
Watch the Lehigh-Longwood Post-Game Show
Carrington was asked afterwards if having a veteran roster has helped Lehigh with its rebounding this season. “I think it does make a difference because we have a lot of guys playing a lot of minutes that saw time last year, so we’re familiar with where we need to be on the court and that helps us with our positioning.”
Lehigh head coach Brett Reed gave his thoughts on the win afterwards. “Following a somewhat long layoff (for the holidays), it was nice to get back out there today, and it is always nice to get a win. We had mental lapses at points today where we allowed Longwood to get back into the game, but ultimately we made enough plays, particularly on the defensive end to come out with a win.” He added, “When we have the type of balance we had today on offense, that makes the rest of our game flow that much easier.”
The Mountain Hawks wound up shooting 36-percent for the game, on a day in which every healthy player saw time. Junior Marquis Hall finished with nine points and six assists, while sophomores Michael Ojo and Prentice Small scored eight and seven points, respectively. Behind Carrington and Anderson’s big rebounding day, Lehigh pulled down 54 caroms, while Longwood totaled only 35. The Mountain Hawks forced the Lancers into 17 turnovers, but did turn the ball over 19 times themselves. Joining Neal in double figures for the visitors were Dana Smith with 11 and Ryan Bogan with ten.
After a jumper by Smith opened the game’s scoring, Lehigh ripped off eight straight points to take an 8-2 lead at the 17:37 mark. A three-pointer by Ojo at the 10:48 mark put the Mountain Hawks in front 17-7, while another three from the California native pushed the lead to 20-10 with 9:16 remaining. A pair of free throws from Small and a Keefer lay up made the score 28-13 at the 6:04 mark, while two Carrington free throws 30 seconds later gave Lehigh its largest advantage of the opening half, 30-13. The teams exchanged baskets down the stretch and Lehigh took a 32-19 lead into the locker room.
The Mountain Hawks shot 38-percent in the opening half, while limiting the Lancers to a 21-percent showing. Ojo led the Brown and White with eight first half tallies, including a two-of-three showing from three-point range, while Anderson added seven points and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. Hall handed out four of Lehigh’s ten assists and also registered one steal and a block.
Longwood was led on the offensive end by Washington’s six points, while Smith tallied five. The Lancers turned the ball over 12 times and made only six field goals. Dawson and Robinson, Jr. both registered three boards apiece and three Lancers handed out one assist each.
Junior Dave Buchberger scored on a lay up at the 18:17 mark and following a free throw by Hall, Lehigh found itself ahead by 20. Carrington scored on an offensive rebound and Anderson drilled a three to make the score 46-22 in favor of the Mountain Hawks, but from there Longwood scored eight straight to cut it to a 15-point game at the 14:12 mark.
Lehigh was able to up its lead back to 20 when Carrington sank one-of-two at the line, and the captain followed that with an old fashioned three-point play and another lay up to the Mountain Hawks a 60-35 lead with 10:08 remaining. The lead would swell to as many as 26 points, and although Longwood would close to within 14 in the closing minutes, the outcome was never in doubt as the Mountain Hawks cruised to their third straight victory.
Lehigh is back in action on Wednesday afternoon when the Mountain Hawks close out 2008 with a trip to Newark, New Jersey to take on the NJIT Highlanders. Tip-off is set for 2:00 and all of the action will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 as well as Lehighsports.com with Matt Kerr calling the action. Pre-game coverage gets underway at 1:30.