Posted: February 14, 2009
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Lehigh fell to Army on Saturday afternoon 82-75 in a triple overtime thriller at Christl Arena. The Mountain Hawks were without the services of three players due to injury and lost two others to fouls during the game, leaving them extremely shorthanded down the stretch. Marquis Hall led the Brown and White with 25 points as Lehigh falls to 14-10 overall following the loss and 4-6 in the Patriot League. Army received 17 points from Cleveland Richard and improves to 8-16 overall and 4-6 in the league. Saturday’s game was the first triple overtime affair Lehigh has played in since the inception of the Patriot League.
Joining Hall in double figures for Lehigh were Zahir Carrington with 17 points and 10 rebounds, along with Dave Buchberger, who hit for 15 points and recorded his first career double-double with 11 boards. The Mountain Hawks committed 28 turnovers for the game, and shot 35-percent from the floor, while handing out eight assists. Lehigh sank 22-of-26 free throw attempts and totaled seven steals, three of which were by Carrington.
Army placed three players in double figures, including Josh Miller with 13 and John Moonshower with 10. The Black Knights wound up shooting 40-percent for the game and pulled down 39 rebounds, led by Doug Williams and Miller with nine apiece. Army hit 17-of-24 free throw attempts and was credited with just two helpers.
Lehigh head coach Brett Reed gave his thoughts on the prolonged minutes his team played on Saturday. “If you look at the number of minutes our guys played and the number of guys we had out with injury, this was a tall order without question. I can’t argue with the effort, though, our guys really played hard for the entire game.”
He continued, “We showed lots of heart, and lots of fight, but at times we got a little bit out of sync. Even in the first half, we committed too many turnovers, we were called for a few offensive fouls and that hurt us. That said, we have to figure out a way to get past that and win this game.”
Watch the Lehigh - Army Post-Game Extra
He concluded, “Playing that many minutes will take a lot out of you. We’re all disappointed, we’re all hurt, but we need to turn around and put this behind us and get ready to play on our home court in front of our fans on Wednesday against Colgate.”
The first half was tightly contested with neither team able to open up a lead bigger than seven, which Lehigh did when Hall drained a three at the 5:04 mark. Army scored ten of the final twelve points however, and took a 29-28 lead into the locker room.
Army went in front by five with 15:10 on the clock when Richard hit a three, but baskets by Carrington and freshman Jordan Hamilton brought the Brown and White to within one at the 12:40 mark. Senior Matt Szalachowski then stepped to the line and sank a pair to put the Mountain Hawks up one, 38-37. Hall sank a three on Lehigh’s next possession that made the score 41-37 and following two more free throws, this par by Buchberger, the Mountain Hawks found themselves in front 43-37 with 9:54 left in the game.
The Black Knights eventually tied the game at 43 on Miller’s old fashioned three-point play, but Hall answered with a three at the other end to make it a 46-43 game. Army roared back with eight straight points to take a five-point lead with 4:13 left in the game, but Lehigh got to within one on a Carrington bucket and two free throws by Hall. Miller hit two foul shots to give the home team a three-point cushion with 33 ticks to go, setting the stage for a dramatic ending to regulation. Hall fired up a three that was off the mark, but Keefer grabbed the board and the ball eventually made its way to Buchberger, who sank a three with 14 seconds left. Miller drove the lane and spun away from Hall to free himself, but his shot was off the mark, sending the teams into overtime.
Army opened the first overtime with a three by Richard, but Lehigh scored four straight to take a one-point lead. A Hall jumper put the visitors up by three with just over one minute to go, but John Moonshower hit a huge three at the other end to tie the score at 61. The teams then exchanged foul shots, which made the score 63 all, as they entered the second extra session. Lehigh ripped off eight straight points to begin the second overtime in a span of 2:28, but Army would not go away, as the Black Knights scored the next seven points, making the score 71-70 with 1:35 to play. One free for each team kept the margin at one, and following a Hamilton free throw, Lehigh went up two, 73-71 with 20 ticks to go. Miller drove the lane and scored with seven seconds left to tie the score, and Buchberger’s shot was missed on the other end, setting up the third and final overtime.
Moonshower opened the final OT with a jumper, while Richard’s lay up on Army’s next time down court made the score 77-73 with 4:07 on the clock. Lehigh got to within two when Buchberger sank a pair, but Army scored the final five points, including an emphatic dunk by Kenny Brewer with one second left to seal the win.
Lehigh returns to action on Wednesday evening as the Mountain Hawks welcome the Colgate Raiders to Stabler Arena. Tip-off on February 18 is set for 7:05 and tickets can be purchased in one of three ways: by calling 610-7LU-GAME, by visiting the Lehigh Athletics Ticket Office, located in Grace Hall, or by logging onto Lehighsports.com.