Posted: November 30, 2004
Bethlehem, PA – Lehigh placed four players in double figures led by sophomore Jose Olivero’s 17 points and career-high seven rebounds as the Mountain Hawks defeated Albany 72-61 on Tuesday evening at Stabler Arena, Lehigh’s 16th consecutive victory inside Stabler.
Lehigh, who is now 27-3 at Stabler under Billy Taylor, improves its record to 3-2 on the young season, while the Great Danes fall to 2-2 in 2004-05.
Lehigh jumped out to an early 9-3 lead on the strength of five quick points by Olivero, but the Great Danes recovered and took the lead at 11:15 of the first half with a 12-11 advantage. The two teams then battled back and forth for the next several minutes but Lehigh was able to establish a lead and took a 36-24 advantage into the locker rooms at intermission.
Olivero led the Mountain Hawks with ten points in the first half as the Virginia native connected on three of four shots, including a pretty spinning layup on a fast break that electrified the crowd. Senior captains Earl Nurse and Nick Monserez added five points each for Lehigh, while three different Mountain Hawks grabbed three rebounds in the first 20 minutes of action. The Great Danes were led by Lucious Jordan’s six points in the first half, while Jamar Wilson also scored six points and handed out three assists.
The Mountain Hawks shot a sizzling 57 percent from the floor in the half, while holding Albany to just eight field goals and 32 percent shooting. Both teams turned the ball over ten times, but the Mountain Hawks hot shooting was able to offset the turnovers.
The two teams went back and forth in the second half with Albany never seeming able to overtake Lehigh, and the Mountain Hawks unable to pull away for a comfortable lead. Lehigh once again used tight defense, timely shooting and several clutch performances at the free throw line to eventually pull away and pick up the win. The Mountain Hawks ended up shooting 50 percent from the floor and a blistering 86 percent from the free throw line. Defensively Lehigh held Albany to 40 percent shooting on the night.
Sophomore Kyle Neptune scored 11 points for Lehigh and pulled down two boards, while junior Joe Knight added 13 points and handed out three assists in the winning effort. Monserez finished with 12 points and four rebounds for the Brown and White. Albany was led on offense by Jordan’s 19 points, while Wilson added 15 points of his own for the Great Danes.
Lehigh returns to action on Saturday when the Mountain Hawks travel to Long Island to take on Stony Brook University. Tip-off is set for 1:00 and all of the action can be heard live on lehighsports.com with Matt Kerr.