Posted: February 4, 2005
Bethlehem, PA – Behind 21 points from sophomore Jose Olivero, Lehigh got back in the winner’s circle on Friday evening, defeating Colgate 63-53 in front of 2,516 in attendance at Stabler Arena. Olivero scored 15 of his points in the first half and hit six of seven free throws for the game. With the win, the Mountain Hawks improve to 11-10 on the season, 5-3 in Patriot League play, while the Raiders fall to 8-13 overall and 3-5 in league action.
Senior captain Nick Monserez added 11 tallies, eight rebounds, one assist and a block for the Brown and White, while junior Joe Knight scored 12 points and handed out six assists. Knight is now just 18 points shy of becoming Lehigh’s 25th 1,000 point scorer. Colgate was led in scoring by Alvin Reed’s 11 points and Andrew Zidar added ten.
Lehigh jumped out to an eight point lead at 18-10 at the mark of the first half, as Olivero scored 12 of his points in the opening run. The Raiders would come back however, closing to within three at 23-20 with remaining in the half. After the Mountain Hawks pushed their lead up to five points, the Raiders went on an 8-0 run to jump ahead by three with left in the opening stanza. The two teams then exchanged baskets for the rest of the half and retired to the locker room tied at 30.
Olivero scored his 15 first-half points on four of nine shooting, while Knight hit for six points and handed out three helpers. Colgate was led by Jon Simon’s seven points on three of five shooting from the field. Lehigh shot 44 percent from the field for the half, while the Raiders hit on 46 percent of their field goals. The Mountain Hawks out rebounded their opponent 15-13 in the first half.
The second half was a back and forth affair, with neither team able to pull in front by more than four points, until Lehigh pulled ahead by five tallies with 3:09 remained on a three-pointer by Olivero. Jason Mgebroff hit a short jumper on the next possession and the Mountain Hawks were in front by seven. Colgate would cut the lead to four on a three by Zidar, but rebounding and foul shooting would pave the way down the stretch to win number 11 for the Brown and White.
“This was a good win for our guys, it got us back on track and now we can move ahead to our next game,” explained head coach Billy Taylor after the game. “I liked the energy that our bench players (Brian White, James Anderson, Mike Fischman and Mitch Gilfillan) came with tonight. Particularly James and Brian, those two have been playing very well of late in practice and so we rewarded them with playing time and they responded.”
Lehigh returns to action on Sunday afternoon when the Mountain Hawks welcome Bucknell to Stabler Arena. Lehigh is 31-6 all-time at Stabler Arena under Billy Taylor, including a 15-3 mark in Patriot League contests. Tickets will be available at the arena box office prior to tip and the first 1,000 fans will receive a Philadelphia Eagles team picture.