Lehigh's guards come up big in win over Harvard
Posted: December 6, 2003
Bethlehem, PA – Lehigh got terrific play from its three top guards Saturday night, as the Mountain Hawks moved back to .500 on the season with an 88-79 victory over the visiting Harvard Crimson. Freshman Jose Olivero went off for a career-high 24 points, including 9-10 from the line, as they moved to 3-3 on the season. With the loss, Harvard remains winless at 0-5.
The first half was close throughout, with the lead changing hands five times, and the score tied on three different occasions. The Crimson had a distinct advantage in the paint with 22 points, compared to the Mountain Hawks six. Freshman Jose Olivero scored 13 points in the opening stanza to lead Lehigh, as he connected on three of five shots, including two threes, and he also hit all five of this free throws. Ra Tiah had an all around great first half with eight points, two rebounds, and four assists, including a dazzling alley-oop pass to freshman Kyle Neptune that electrified the crowd at Stabler Arena. The Crimson were led by Matt Stehle with 13 points, on four of five shooting, as he made his presence in the paint felt. The Mountain Hawks shot a respectable 44 percent from the floor in the first half, while the Crimson were hot all half, connecting on 52 percent of their shots. Lehigh took a 43-39 lead into halftime thanks to a 6-9 performance from behind the arc.
The Mountain Hawks streaked out to start the second half as well, going on a 12-4 run to build their lead to 12 at 55-43. Rah Tiah hit a layup and a three pointer, helping the Mountain Hawks take control. Harvard would come back though, running off nine straight points to close within a single point at 62-61, but a couple of free throws and a layup by Austen Rowland put Lehigh back up by five, and Harvard would get no closer. David Giovacchini would hit a couple threes late to try to get the Crimson back in, but the Mountain Hawk guard play was too much and Lehigh was able to snap a three game losing streak to Harvard at Stabler.
In a game that saw 89 free throws between the two schools, both teams dealt with foul trouble the whole night. Ra Tiah fouled out for Lehigh, but not before contributing a season high 16 points and four assists. Senior Austen Rowland chipped in with 14. Matt Stehle led Harvard with 17 points. Lehigh returns to action on Monday when the Mountain Hawks travel to New York to take on Columbia. Tip-off is set for 7:00 and all of the action can be heard live on 1470 WKAP, and also on the Lehigh website.