West Point, NY –Head coach Billy Taylor became Lehigh’s (16-8, 8-3 Patriot League) all-time winningest first year head coach. Taylor topped the previous mark of 15, set by Roy Geary in 1916-17, in a 59-52 win over Army (5-18, 0-11).
The first half was a see-saw battle, as neither team led by more than six points and Lehigh entered the break with a 28-26 advantage. Gilfillan came off bench for eight first half points, including 2-2 from long range. Senior guard Zlatko Savovic added seven points to help spark the Lehigh attack. Senior forward Matt Collins paced the Army offense, going 4-5 from the field to match Gilfillan’s eight points.
The teams traded buckets for the first 3:56 of the second half, until a three-point play by Sean O’Keefe gave the Black Knights a 33-32 advantage with 16:04 to play. Gilfillan banked a jumper, then Savovic scored and was fouled. After Savovic missed the free throw, Lehigh retained possession and sophomore Dayne Mickelson made a lay up to put Lehigh up five. Army fought back and regained the lead momentarily, until senior Matt Logie picked up his first points of the evening. The Black Knights again took back the advantage, but a Gilfillan three gave the Mountain Hawks the lead for good. Lehigh used a 13-2 run to take ten point lead. Army would get no closer than five the rest of the way, going home with the 59-52 victory.
Gilfillan added five more points in the second half to finish with a career high 13. Savovic was the game’s top scorer, pouring in 14 points to go with three rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Mike Cowgill also reached double figures with ten points, while leading all players with six rebounds.
Joey Payton was the Black Knights top scorer with 11. Bill Mohr pitched in with 10 points and a team-high four boards.
"Army really fought hard," Coach Taylor said. "We had to fight hard for everything we got. I’m really proud of the way we played tonight on the road in a tough environment."
The Mountain Hawks return to action on Sunday, when they travel to Easton to take on rival Lafayette. The 3:22 tip off can be seen live on WBPH, and heard on the Lehigh website at www.lehigh.edu and on 1470 WKAP AM.