Posted: December 30, 2009
DOVER, Del. – Lehigh won its third straight game with a hard-fought 73-66 victory in overtime against the Delaware State Hornets at Memorial HallHallH on Wednesday evening. Seniors Marquis Hall (20) and Dave Buchberger (15) combined for 35 points, while freshman C.J. McCollum scored 16 as the Mountain Hawks overcame a ten-point second half deficit to improve to 7-6 on the season. Delaware State was led by Frisco Sandidge’s 17 points and following the loss the Hornets drop to 4-7.
For the second straight game Lehigh shot over 50% from the field as the Mountain Hawks sank 27-of-50 attempts (54%), including 8-of-16 from beyond the arc. Senior Zahir Carrington recorded his third consecutive game of double digit rebounds as he pulled down 11 and Hall moved within five assists of the school record.
Marcus Neal scored 15 points for the Hornets, while Sandidge added ten rebounds to go with his 17 points. Delaware State shot only 41% from the field and just 57% from the foul line. The Mountain Hawks out-rebounded their counterparts 39-33 and committed 14 turnovers to DSU’s ten.
Buchberger gave his thoughts on the game. “We turned the ball over towards the end of the first half which allowed them to get back into the game. Even after we went down in the second half we never let up, we continued to play our game and eventually it paid off for us. We had a lot of guys step up and make plays tonight, which was great to see. It was a good team victory.” He continued, “As seniors we have experience and we’ve been through this, in overtime games, and we were able to use that experience and get this win on the road.”
“I was proud of our guy’s effort on the road in a tough environment tonight” Lehigh head coach Brett Reed explained. “We were able to scratch and claw our way to victory and I was very pleased with the effort we gave.”
Reed then spoke of the contributions from his seniors. “Zahir Carrington did a great job of leading all night. Dave Buchberger hit some big shots for us and really did a nice job on (Marcus) Neal in defending him. That’s a tough matchup and I thought Dave did a good job of not letting up. And Marquis Hall continues to make big plays for us with his passing and the shots he makes.”
Lehigh opened an early eight point lead when McCollum sank a three with 12:31 on the first half clock, but Delaware State was able to close to within three on three foul shots by Alibaba Odd at the 8:21 mark. The Hornets pulled to within a single point on Marques Oliver’s jumper with 3:11 left before halftime and they took the lead on Sandidge’s lay-up on the next possession. Lehigh’s Justin Maneri got inside for a bucket with 26 seconds on the clock which made the score 30-28 in favor of DSU after one half of play.
Lehigh connected on 9-of-18 shots in the half, including four-of-seven from deep as Buchberger scored eight points and McCollum added seven. Freshman Gabe Knutson led the Brown and White with seven rebounds and as a team Lehigh turned the ball over eight times. The Mountain Hawks held their opponent to 38% shooting with two Hornets scoring six points, including Sandidge and Odd. Sandidge added six rebounds, while as a team Delaware State sank only 9-of-17 free throw attempts.
A three-pointer and lay-up by Neal opened up a 44-36 lead for the home team with 12:51 to play but baskets by Hall, McCollum and Knutson brought the Mountain Hawks within four at 46-42 two minutes later. A Sandidge dunk with 8:27 remaining put Lehigh in a ten-point hole, but Hall responded with a three and Buchberger and junior Rob Keefer scored back-to-back baskets, and Lehigh was back within three at 52-49.
Trailing by seven Knutson hit a jumper for Lehigh and Hall drilled a three off of a steal by junior Michael Ojo. A three from Buchberger with 1:32 left in regulation put Lehigh up one, 57-56, while a lay-up by the senior captain following yet another steal by Ojo, gave the Mountain Hawks a three-point cushion with 62 ticks left. Jay Threatt sent the game into overtime though as he sank a shot from deep with only five seconds to go. Hall turned the ball over and two shots by the Hornets were off the mark, sending the teams into the extra session.
A McCollum jumper to open overtime gave Lehigh a 61-59 lead but Greg Smith responded with a three for the home team, making the score 62-61. McCollum got to the basket for a lay-up and Hall hit a jumper as Lehigh went on top 65-62 with under two minutes to play, while another McCollum lay-up gave the Brown and White a 67-63 lead with 59 seconds remaining. After a three from Smith got DSU within one Carrington converted an old fashioned three-point play and McCollum hit one-of-two at the line to help Lehigh seal its second straight road win.
Lehigh - Delaware St. Post-Game Extra
Lehigh will return to action on Saturday evening when the Mountain Hawks play host to the NJIT Highlanders at Stabler Arena in game two of a Lehigh basketball doubleheader. Tip-off is set for 7:35 and tickets may be purchased by calling 610-7LU-GAME, by logging onto Lehighsports.com or at the arena box office prior to tip-off.