Washington, DC – Fans watching the Lehigh at American game as part of the Patriot League television package may have seen the Brown and White’s true colors bleed through as Lehigh took the first place Eagles to the wire but fell just short losing 70-67 on Saturday afternoon at Bender Arena. Despite the loss, Lehigh’s Matt Logie became the 23rd player in school history to eclipse the 1,000 career point plateau when he drained a three pointer in the first half, landing him exactly on 1,000. He is only the seventh player to reach the mark as an underclassmen and the sixth junior to achieve the mark.
In what has become a common trend, Lehigh (4-21, 1-11 Patriot) led for a majority of the game including almost 18 minutes of the second half, but fell short in the end. At the final media timeout with 3:37 left on the clock Lehigh led 62-61 with the ball. A three pointer by Matt Logie off the inbound put the Mountain Hawks up four 65-61. A three-point play by Andres Rodriguez cut the lead to one with 3:03 to go but Lehigh did not quit. Bobby Mbom continued his work inside getting good looks in the paint. Mbom and Patrick Doctor traded buckets in the paint with Lehigh clinging to its one point lead. A pair of missed free throws and turnovers by both teams left American (15-10, 9-3 Patriot) with the ball, down one with one minute remaining. After a timeout, Steven Miles drained a 16-foot jumper from the corner giving the Eagles a one point advantage. Lehigh was unable to convert at the other end and was eventually forced to foul. Rodriguez missed a pair of free throws giving the Mountain Hawks life with 22 second left in the game. Lehigh worked for a shot but Logie eventually turned the ball over after he spun into a trap. Steven Miles then connected on two free throws and a desperations shot by Alex Jensen as time expired was no good giving the Eagles the win.
"We gave them a good run," said head coach Sal Mentesana after the loss. "We battled hard and never quit. We needed a big play at the end and just couldn’t get it. There is nothing more we could have done to win the game, sometimes the chips just don’t fall your way. I have a feeling we might see them in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament so it could be very interesting."
Logie finished with a career high 31 points on 11-of-21 shooting. He connected on 7-of-10 from behind the arc, falling one thee pointer short of the school record eight held by Brett Eppehimer. Logie added three rebounds and three assists to his effort. Mbom scored 12 points and pulled down a game high eight rebounds. Eric Heil rounded out the Mountain Hawks in double figures with ten points to go along with seven rebounds and a pair of blocks. Lehigh appears to have broke out of its shooting slump as it landed 45% of its shots from the floor and from beyond the arc.
Patrick Doctor led the Eagles with 30 points on 10-16 shooting. Doctor scored ten of his 30 from the free throw line and grabbed seven rebounds in the win. Glenn Stokes was the only other American player in double figures with ten points, six of which were late in the game and were instrumental in the Eagles win.
Lehigh returns to action on Wednesday when it travels down route 22 to Easton to take on archrival Lafayette at the Kirby Sports Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:45.