Bethlehem, PA – Lehigh/Lafayette. That says enough. In a game that featured the ninth largest crowd in Stabler Arena history (3,892) and showcased a pair of schools separated by less than 20 miles, Lehigh picked up its sixth straight win with an 85-73 victory over their archrivals. With the win Lehigh improves to 12-5 overall, 4-0 in the Patriot League. The first place Mountain Hawks are off to their best start since the 1987-88 season.Lafayette falls to 7-10 overall, 1-3 in the Patriot League.
Zlatko Savovic continued his remarkable senior season, scoring a career-high 28 points, 15 of them in the first half and dishing out seven assists. Senior Matt Logie chipped in with 16 points while senior Mike Cowgill had 12 points and freshman Mitch Gilfillan added 10 points including three, three-pointers.
The Leopards were paced by Winston Davis who netted 18 points to go along with four rebounds. Three other Leopards broke into double digits. Justin DeBerry scored 14 points, while Andrew Pleick and Rob Dill each managed 13 points. Pleick and Drew Dawson both took home two assists, while Dill and Mike Farrell pulled down ten and 11 rebounds respectively.
Lehigh jumped out to an early 20-15 first half lead, however, Lafayette went on a 14-0 run, pushing the score to 29-20. Matt Logie’s bucket with 6:00 minutes to go broke the Mountain Hawks’ scoring drought, however three point shooting was the Leopards ace in the hole during the first 20:00 minutes. Lafayette went 4-of-5 from downtown and shot 64% from the floor, however a buzzer beating three pointer by Nick Monserez erased the Lafayette run and sent both teams to the locker room tied at 39.
Lehigh took control of the game in the second half by starting the stanza on a 12-4 run to take a 52-43 lead with 14:14 remaining. Lafayette got no closer than five points the rest of the way, while Lehigh built its lead to as much as 13 points with 3:55 remaining.
Lehigh won the shooting battle, posting a 52% mark compared to Lafayette’s 51%. Also in the contest, Lehigh head coach Billy Taylor ties former coach Roy Heckman (1967-68) for most wins by a first year head coach with 12.
Lehigh returns to the hardwood on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. vs. Army. The game can be heard live online at www.lehigh.edu and also on Oldies 1470, WKAP with Matt Kerr and Greg Falkenbach.