Olivero sinks last shot and Lions
Posted: December 8, 2003
New York, NY – Freshman Jose Olivero continues to lead Lehigh, as he scored 23 huge points, the biggest being a three-pointer that rolled around and eventually through the rim with four seconds remaining to lift the Mountain Hawks to a dramatic 60-57 victory over Columbia on Monday evening. Lehigh received contributions from many sources on the night, and in the end, Lehigh’s free-throw shooting, defense and calmness prevailed over the Lions. With the win, Lehigh improves to 4-3 on the season, while Columbia falls to 1-4.
Fresh off of a Patriot League Rookie of the Week selection, Olivero put in 11 points in the first half, which included one three pointer and several pretty pull-up jumpers. Junior Earl Nurse hit for five points in the opening stanza, as he connected on two of three shots from the floor. Fellow junior Nick Monserez pulled down six boards, scored two points, and swiped a steal. Lehigh led 32-21 at the half after senior Austen Rowland hit a running floater just before the first half buzzer sounded to give him four points in the first 20 minutes. As a team, the Mountain Hawks hit 52 percent of their shots and held the Lions to just 27 percent from the field. Dragutin Kravic led Columbia with eight points in the half, including two three pointers.
The second half was a different story as the Mountain Hawks went over nine minutes without scoring a point, as the Lions outscored Lehigh 24-0 during that span. But, the big first half allowed Lehigh to hang around for the game, and Olivero would take over to get the brown and white back into it. The freshman from Virginia spiced his showing with ten consecutive points at one juncture over a four minute span, which propelled Lehigh back into the game. Sophomore Mike Fischman came off of the bench and provided a spark, as he hit for six points, including two huge free throws and a clutch rebound in the final minute. Rowland finished with 10 points for the Mountain Hawks. Lehigh shot 44 percent from the field for the game, with the Lions hitting only 39 percent of their shots.
Lehigh will now take the week off and hit the books for finals. The Mountain Hawks return to action on Wednesday, December 17, when Del Val comes to Stabler Arena. Tip-off is set for 7:00.