Posted: November 12, 2006
EUGENE, Ore. – For the third time in as many days Lehigh put forth a strong effort on the hardwood, but the Mountain Hawks were unable to break into the win column yet again, falling to Cal-State Northridge 74-68 on Sunday afternoon in the finale of the Basketball Travelers Classic. Senior Jose Olivero led the Brown and White with 20 points, while classmate Jason Mgebroff chipped in with 13. The Matadors, who improve to 2-1 on the young season, were led on offense by Jason Hill’s 13 tallies.
Lehigh shot 44 percent on the afternoon, but just 18 percent from beyond the three-point arc. Cal-State Northridge connected on 45 percent of its shots, including 7 of 13 from downtown. Freshman Marquis Hall continued his strong play for the Mountain Hawks, scoring 10 points and dishing out three assists, while senior Kyle Neptune added 13 points and eight boards. For the Matadors, Rob Haynes scored 12 points, while Calvin Chitwood contributed 11 and six rebounds.
As was the case in Lehigh’s game on Saturday, Sunday’s contest was close throughout, with five ties in the first half alone. The Matadors opened up the biggest lead of the opening 20 minutes at the 4:01 mark when Tre Peters connected on a jumper making the score 32-24. Lehigh chipped away however, and cut the deficit to just two heading into halftime as Mgebroff sank two free throws with no time left on the clock.
In the second half, the Matadors quickly extended their lead, as it ballooned to 12 points at the 17:10 clip when Thomas Shewake scored on a lay up. Consecutive baskets by Olivero would slice that lead down to eight, while a free throw from freshman Zahir Carrington and another score by Olivero made the score 47-42 Cal-State with 13:09 remaining.
Lehigh would get to within just one on two more free throws from Olivero at the 9:28 mark, but that was as close as the Mountain Hawks would get, as the Matadors scored five straight points to go in front 54-48 with 7:45 to go. Lehigh would then find itself down seven with 4:03 to go after a pair of Matador free throws, and after a three-pointer by Jason Hill at the 1:14 mark, Lehigh found itself down nine.
For his efforts over the weekend, Olivero was named to the All-Tournament Team. Freshman Tajuan Porter from Oregon was named the MVP after scorching the nets for 93 points in the Ducks three tournament games.
Lehigh returns to action on Friday evening when the Mountain Hawks open their 2006-07 home schedule versus the Big Red of Cornell. Tip off is set for 7:00 and tickets can be purchased by calling 610-7LU-GAME, by visiting the Lehigh Athletics Ticket Office located in Grace Hall, or by logging onto lehighsports.com at anytime.