Lehigh loses heartbreaker to Pioneers
Posted: November 29, 2003
Fairfield, CT – Lehigh dropped a heartbreaker to Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon by a score of 58-56 at the Pitt Center. Kibwe Trim slammed home a Pioneer miss with seven seconds remaining to put Sacred Heart up two. Freshman Jose Olivero had a chance to win it for Lehigh, but his three point shot was long, and Earl Nurse’s follow was off the mark. James Samuels scored a game high 21 points for Sacred Heart. Lehigh falls to 1-2 on the season, while Sacred Heart improves to 2-1.
The two teams went back and forth in the first half, but Samuels shot seven of nine from the floor for 14 first half points, as no other Pioneer scored more than six points for the half. As a team, Sacred Heart shot a blistering 52 percent from the field and took a 32-29 lead into the locker rooms. Ra Tiah led the Mountain Hawks with eight points for the half, as he scored in a variety of ways, including one three-pointer, three free throws and a steal and nifty layup towards the end of the half. Lehigh came out sharp, connecting on its first several shots, but then struggled to find the basket, as the Mountain Hawks closed the half with a field goal percentage of just 35 percent. Senior Austen Rowland hit for five points in the opening stanza and also dished out two assists. Junior Dayne Mickelson led the Mountain Hawks with three rebounds in the half, as both teams grabbed 15 boards in the opening 20 minutes.
In the second half, it appeared as though Lehigh would take control as an early 6-0 run keyed by a Rowland three, put the Mountain Hawks ahead 35-34. But, as they had all day, the two teams battled back and forth, exchanging the lead numerous times. Freshman Jason Mgebroff came off the bench and provided a spark as he netted six points on the afternoon and also grabbed two rebounds. A three-pointer by Samuels at the one minute mark appeared to have put the game out of reach, but Rowland stole an inbounds pass and scored and pulled Lehigh to within three. After a missed free throw by the Pioneers, Olivero swished a three-pointer and appeared to also have been fouled on the play, but no call was made. That shot tied the game up and set up the dramatic finish. For the game, Lehigh shot 38 percent, while the Pioneers shot 47 percent.
Lehigh will return to action on Monday when the Mountain Hawks travel to Hartford to take on the nation's number one team, the Connecticut Huskies. Tip-off is set for 7:00 and the game can be heard live on 1470 WKAP and also on the Lehigh website.