Bethlehem, PA – Lehigh wrapped up its non-Patriot League schedule with an 86-74 win over Haverford at Stabler Arena on Wednesday night. The victory improves the Mountain Hawks’ record to 8-5 on the season – the best start for a Lehigh team since the 1989-90 squad started out 9-4. Meanwhile the loss drops the Fords to 2-7 on the season.
In the first half, Haverford hung tough, forcing 11 Lehigh turnovers and coming away with seven steals, including three from Matt Stein. The Mountain Hawks took a 41-29 lead into intermission. Lehigh senior Zlatko Savovic paced the Mountain Hawks over the first 20 minutes, with 10 points, five steals, and two assists.
Haverford continued to battle in the second half, matching Lehigh basket for basket. Each squad netted 45 points; however, Haverford’s Mark Gabriel stole the show, posting a career high 32 points in 38 minutes of action. Gabriel, who averages 16.9 points per game, went 11-of-17 from the floor and 10-of-13 from the free throw line. Also in double figures for the Fords was Matt Duffy and Sam Adams with 12 points, while Jeremy Bass tallied ten points.
For Lehigh, Savovic and Matt Crawford led the way with 14 points each. Savovic ended the game 5-of-5 from the floor, 1-of-1 from three point land, and 3-of-4 from the foul line. Crawford put forth his best shooting percentage of the season, posting a 75% mark on a 6-of-8 performance. Two other Mountain Hawks tallied double figures. Matt Logie and Mitch Gilfillan each managed 11 points. Gilfillan’s point total was a career high. Mike Cowgill led the way in the rebounding department with eight, while teammate Ra Tiah dished five assists. As a team the Mountain Hawks shot 53% from the floor compared to Haverford’s 44%.
Lehigh opens Patriot League play on Saturday, as the Mountain Hawks visit Navy. Game time is set for 3:30 from Annapolis, and the game can be heard live on Oldies 1470 throughout the Lehigh Valley and around the world on the Internet at www.lehigh.edu.