Mountain Hawks win streak snapped at Princeton
Posted: January 7, 2009
PRINCETON, N.J. – Lehigh saw its five-game win streak come to a close on Wednesday evening as the Mountain Hawks fell to the Princeton Tigers 73-64 at Jadwin Gym. Junior Zahir Carrington led the Brown and White with a double-double as he totaled 20 points and 11 rebounds, while classmate Marquis Hall tossed in 11, but it was not enough as Dan Mavraides led four Tigers in double digits with 21 tallies. With the loss Lehigh falls to 10-4, while the Tigers improve to 4-8.
Lehigh shot only 32-percent from the floor and made just 27 of its 41 free throw attempts (66%). The Mountain Hawks committed 13 turnovers on the evening, but did out rebound the Ivy League foe, 38 to 34. Lehigh, which did not make a three-pointer until two minutes remained, had only five assists in the game and saw Princeton shoot nearly 48-percent from the floor.
The Tigers turned the ball over 14 times, but had 16 assists on 22 field goals. Joining Mavraides in double figures for the home team were Doug Davis with 14 and Marcus Schroeder with ten. Princeton sank 20-of-28 at the free throw line and nine-of-22 from beyond the arc, including a four-of-eight showing by Mavraides.
Princeton opened the game on an 11-4 run, but Lehigh scored 10 of the next 12 points to surge in front 14-13 with 13:41 remaining in the half. Mavraides scored on Princeton’s next possession to put the home team up by one, while a Zach Finley lay up made the score 17-14 in favor of the Tigers at the 12:25 mark. One minute later, a pair of free throws by Buchberger brought the Mountain Hawks to within two at 18-16, while an old fashioned three-point play by Carrington made the score 21-19 in favor of Princeton with 9:13 left before halftime.
Lehigh tied the game at 21 when Small made his way into the lane for a lay up, and following a jumper by Keefer and yet another basket by Carrington, Lehigh found itself ahead 26-23 at the 6:07 mark. From there the teams went back and forth for the remainder of the half, trading baskets as Princeton took a 32-28 lead into halftime. Carrington led all scorers in the first 20 minutes with 13 points to go along with four rebounds and two steals, while Buchberger and Keefer both scored four points.
Princeton was led on the offensive end by Mavraides with eight points, while Davis hit for seven. Jason Briggs pulled down a team-best five rebounds and Schroeder handed out three helpers.
Back-to-back three-pointers early in the second pushed Princeton’s lead to 11 at 44-33, while a jumper by Schroeder at the 10:57 mark also gave the home team an 11-point cushion. Lehigh struggled on the offensive end all evening long, but the Mountain Hawks were able to create opportunities for themselves and got to the foul line quite often. Michael Ojo got fouled on an attempted three-pointer, and the sophomore from California stepped up and sank all three attempts to bring Lehigh to within seven with 9:53 left.
Two more free throws by Ojo and a jumper by Carrington got Lehigh to within four, at 51-47 at the 5:44 mark, however that was as close as the Brown and White would get. Princeton scored six of the game’s next eight points to extend to an eight-point lead with 3:07 remaining, and the Tigers sank 11-of-14 from the charity stripe in the final minutes to seal their fourth win of the season.
Head coach Brett Reed gave his thoughts afterwards. “We started a bit slow on offense tonight and although we had our chances throughout the game, we were never able to get ourselves playing as one cohesive unit and that ultimately hurt us.” He continued, “When a team is struggling with its offense, and particularly its shooting like we were, it’s critical for that team to take care of the other elements of its game such as rebounding and defense. I think we did a fairly good job in these two areas tonight, but ultimately Princeton made enough timely shots and really did a nice job from the free throw line to secure the win.”
Lehigh will be back in action on Saturday when the Mountain Hawks open up their 2009 Patriot League schedule versus the defending league champion American Eagles in Washington, D.C. Tip-off from Bender Arena is set for 2:00 and all of the action will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 AM as well as Lehighsports.com with Matt Kerr providing the commentary. Pre-game coverage gets underway at 1:30.
Lehigh Basketball Post-Game Extra with Matt Kerr and Marty Horn