Posted: January 10, 2004
Bethlehem, PA – The Mountain Hawks got the Patriot League season started the right way Saturday night, dominating Navy from the get-go for an 80-61 victory. Lehigh (8-6, 1-0) was hot offensively the whole night, shooting above 50 percent from the field and hitting a season-high 12 three-pointers. The Mountain Hawks swept the Midshipmen in front of a rowdy crowd of 1825, as the women’s team won 71-61 in the earlier game.
Austen Rowland had a career night for the Mountain Hawks, draining a season-high six threes in his way to a team-leading 24 points. Rowland’s previous high was 23 in Lehigh’s victory over Wagner January 2nd.
After the game was tied 7-7 early on, Lehigh went on a 12-0 run in just to take a 19-7 lead with left in the first half. The Mountain Hawks would never trail again, using runs of 9-0 and 12-4 later in the half to push the halftime lead out to twenty-six points, 50-24. In the half, Rowland missed just one attempt, going 4-5 from the field and 4-4 from the charity stripe to lead the team into the break with 15 points.
Navy would play much better in the second half, cutting the lead back to 58-43 with 13 minutes left. But again the Mountain Hawks would take off, making 7-14 threes to finish off the Midshipmen.
Head coach Billy Taylor was happy with the team’s effort in its first league win on the season. “We wanted to set the tone on defense from the opening tip,” said Taylor. “We did a good job reacting, and taking advantage of opportunities.”
Freshman Jose Olivero had 17 points, playing the game in front of his father, Colonel Jose Olivero, who before the game presented the team with an American flag that flew over his Army base while recently stationed in Afghanistan. Earl Nurse was the only other Lehigh player in double figures, finishing the game with 11 points. Carlton Baldwin led Navy (3-11, 0-1) with 18 points in a losing cause.
Lehigh will return to the court on Wednesday, as they welcome Bucknell into Stabler Arena. Game time is set for , and the game will be televised along with the women’s game locally on Service Electric TV-2. Audio coverage can also be heard on 1470 WKAP, as well as on Lehigh’s website at www.lehighsports.com.