BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh jumped out to 44-13 lead and wouldn’t look back, rolling past Arcadia, 95-55, on Monday for its ninth win in its last 10 games. All 12 Mountain Hawks who saw action scored in the contest, including the first-career points from sophomore Cory Goodman and freshman Tyrone Staggers. Freshman Stefan Cvrkalj led the way with a career-high 19 points while freshman Conroy Baltimore finished with nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
The 95 points marked Lehigh’s most since scoring 96 against Swarthmore on Nov. 29, 2006. It also marked the fourth time this season the Mountain Hawks have won by 20 or more points.
“The challenge at the beginning of this game was to establish a high standard of play.” said Lehigh head coach Brett Reed. “Ultimately, although we weren’t perfect, I was pleased how our players came out and played to a high standard.”
Senior Jordan Hamilton finished with 16 points in only 18 minutes, 12 coming in the game’s first 6:23. Junior Holden Greiner also added 15 in only 16 minutes. Despite only six points, junior C.J. McCollum lit up the scoresheet with six rebounds, four assists and two steals in only 15 minutes. Overall, the Mountain Hawks’ starters finished the game 18-of-29 from the floor.
Goodman posted five points on 2-of-3 shooting while Staggers hit his only field goal attempt along with a pair of free throws. Cvrkalj’s 19 points came on 6-of-11 shooting and 3-of-4 from three-point range, while he also added a career-high six rebounds and two assists. The Lehigh point guard duo of sophomore Mackey McKnight and freshman Corey Schaefer combined for 10 assists, with each recording season highs of six for McKnight and four for Schaefer.
“I thought it was important to get a lot of guys an opportunity to play,” said Reed. “They’ve been working hard in practice and contributing to what we’ve been doing. To get that game experience and have that type of opportunity is really valuable, not only for them to grow personally, but also for our team as a whole. It’s nice to build their experience so they can be productive when they’re called on in pressure situations.”
Greiner got the scoring started with a three-pointer just 15 seconds into the game. Arcadia came back with a basket at the other end, but the Mountain Hawks scored six of the next eight points to open up a 9-4 advantage following a McCollum jumper with 17:58 on the clock.
McKnight hit a jumper with 16:09 to go, becoming Lehigh’s fifth starter to score before the game was four minutes old.
Hamilton continued to impress in the early going, getting his 12th point with 13:37 on the clock, taking a nice feed from McCollum and finishing a three-point play. That came just 21 seconds after knocking down a three-pointer from the corner.
After Arcadia pulled within 17-11, Lehigh staged a 13-0 run to open a 30-11 advantage before the Knights broke a 4:06 scoreless drought with a Colin McCarthy basket to make it 30-13.
Lehigh eventually opened up a 31-point, 44-13 lead following a Baltimore three-point play with 6:21 on the clock. Cvrkalj rounded out the scoring with a putback with time winding down, giving him 13 points at the half as Lehigh led, 55-28. Every healthy Mountain Hawk saw action in the first 20 minutes.
The Mountain Hawks used a 9-0 run in the second to open a 64-28 advantage following a Greiner three with 17:23 on the clock. Arcadia responded with four of the next five points, but Lehigh continued to extend its lead, taking a 70-32 advantage following a nifty set of passes on a fast break which led to a Hamilton layup with 14:18 on the clock.
A layup by sophomore Anthony D’Orazio followed by a dunk from Baltimore along with two Cvrkalj three-pointers helped the Mountain Hawks break 80, taking an 82-42 lead with 8:13 on the clock.
Lehigh held onto the 40-point margin down the stretch, which included Goodman’s first-career points (a fastbreak layup) with 3:28 on the clock and Staggers’ first points (via two free throws) with 2:46 remaining.
The Mountain Hawks finished 55 percent from the field (35-of-64) and 44 percent from three-point range (8-of-18). The Knights shot 29 percent from the floor (18-of-62) and 12 percent from long range (2-of-17). Lehigh won the battle of the boards, 47-33.
The Mountain Hawks will return to game action on Thursday, Dec. 22 when they travel to Michigan State to face the Spartans. That game will tip at 9 p.m. on ESPNU. Lehigh won’t return home until Jan. 3 against University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Tickets for all home games are now on sale and may be purchased on Lehighsports.com or by calling the ticket office at (610) 7LU-GAME.
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