Mountain Hawks upended in Worcester
Posted: February 28, 2009
WORCESTER, Mass. – Lehigh fell to Holy Cross on Saturday afternoon by a score of 64-49 at the Hart Center. The Mountain Hawks were once again plagued by cold shooting as they scored only 16 first half points on 19-percent shooting. Sophomore Rob Keefer (13) and junior Zahir Carrington (10) hit for double figures as Lehigh closes out its regular season with an overall record of 15-13 and 5-9 in the Patriot League. Holy Cross was led on offense by freshman R.J. Evans who netted a game-high 15 points to help the Crusaders improve to 16-13 overall and 11-3 in league action.
Lehigh finished shooting 32-percent for the game, which included a 2-of-10 showing from three-point range. The Mountain Hawks handed out six assists on 15 field goals and pulled down 27 rebounds, led by Carrington’s six. Marquis Hall led the Brown and White with three steals, but shot only two-of-eight from the field. Freshman John Adams came off the bench and played a spirited 15 minutes for Lehigh, totaling six points and four boards, as he was the lone Mountain Hawk to shoot 50-percent from the field.
Holy Cross shot 44-percent from the floor and sank seven three-pointers, led by senior Colin Cunningham’s three shots from downtown. Evans added seven rebounds to go with his 15 tallies, while Cunningham led the home team with three swipes. Holy Cross totaled 19 assists for the game and hit on seven-of-nine attempts at the free throw line.
Lehigh head coach Brett Reed gave his thoughts afterwards. “I thought we had our share of opportunities to make shots today, we just couldn’t seem to get on track. Holy Cross has a great defensive system but we need to take care of ourselves and step up and make shots; unfortunately today we weren’t able to do that.”
He then gave his thoughts on the upcoming Patriot League Tournament. “It’s not really an issue of who we’re playing, or where we are playing them. We need to worry about ourselves. My hope is that our captains and our seniors will do a great job of leading our team, getting us as prepared as possible and we’ll come out and play with passion and give a tremendous effort.”
For the second straight game Lehigh got off to a slow start as the Mountain Hawks connected on only 19-percent from the field and scored 16 points in the opening 20 minutes. Holy Cross also started slow on the offense end as the home team led only 11-7 at the 9:39 mark of the half. The Crusaders lead swelled to ten however when Cunningham drilled a three with 6:48 remaining before halftime. Prentice Small’s jumper pulled the Brown and White to within nine at the 4:49 mark, and following two free throws by the New York native, Lehigh was within seven, 19-12. The Crusaders scored eight of the next 12 points however, including an Andrew Beinert jumper with one tick to go and took a 27-16 lead into halftime.
Small led Lehigh with six first half points, while Carrington added four to go along with four boards. Lehigh turned the ball over only five times and recorded five steals, with Hall totaling two. Holy Cross was led by Evans’ six points, while Adam May added five. The Crusaders handed out six assists, but turned the ball over ten times.
In the second half Lehigh closed to within ten on a lay up by Hall at the 18:55 mark, but two straight Holy Cross buckets upped its lead to 14. A Cunningham three with 15:40 to go pushed the Crusaders lead to 35-19, while Cunningham’s third and final trifecta made the score 44-26 at the 10:47 mark. Lehigh would get no closer than 15 points the remainder of the way as the Mountain Hawks dropped their 13th consecutive game at the Hart Center versus the Crusaders.
Lehigh will be back in action on Wednesday evening when the Mountain Hawks open postseason play in the quarterfinal round of the 2009 Patriot League Tournament. For the third consecutive season Lehigh will take on the Army Black Knights in the quarterfinal round, however this time the game will be played in West Point, New York. The No. 5 seeded Mountain Hawks and fourth-seeded Black Knights will get things started at Christl Arena beginning at 7:00 on Wednesday evening. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 AM as well as Lehighsports.com beginning at 6:30 with the pre-game show.