Posted: March 4, 2005
Worcester, MA – Junior Joe Knight scored a Patriot League Tournament record 45 points on 15 of 19 shooting, including a school record ten three-pointers as Lehigh defeated Colgate 77-60 in the quarterfinals of the 2005 Patriot League Tournament.
Knight’s 45 tallies breaks the record of 43 set by Mark Lueking of Army on March 4, 1995 vs. Bucknell.
Knight’s 45 points are the second most in school history, second only to Daren Queenan’s 49 which he scored vs. Bucknell in a double overtime affair on March 7, 1987.
The win gives head coach Billy Taylor his 50th career victory and moves the Brown and White to 14-14 on the year, while the Raiders slip to 12-16.
Knight spiced his showing with a 30-point outburst in a span of 9:50 in the second half, including 19 in a row at one point, and outscored the Raiders 32-31 by himself in the second stanza. Overall Knight shot 15 of 19 from the floor, including 10 of 12 from three-point range and also hit five of seven free throws. No other Mountain Hawk scored in double figures, with freshman Erik Smith the next highest scoring Lehigh player with eight tallies.
Colgate was led by freshman Kyle Roemer’s 18 points, while Andrew Zidar added 11. Lehigh shot 47 percent from the field for the game, including a sizzling 64 percent in the second stanza, while the Raiders connected on 41 percent from the game.
Lehigh came out ice cold, and trailed the Raiders 7-0 until Kyle Neptune scored the Mountain Hawks first points with just over 15 minutes remaining in the opening half. The Brown and White continued to struggle and fell behind by double digits on several occasions, but fought back and headed to the locker room down by just a single point at 29-28.
Head Coach Billy Taylor was pleased after the win and enjoyed Knight’s performance as much as anyone in the building, but was also happy with the all-around team effort of the Mountain Hawks. “Obviously Joe played one heck of a game out here tonight, but I also liked the way guys like Erik Smith and Kyle Neptune came off of the bench and performed for us.” Taylor continued, “I liked the way we defended tonight, forcing 16 turnovers and holding Colgate to just 60 points.”
Knight, who did not crack a smile once during the game joked afterwards about just how hot he was from the field. “I don’t think I’ve shot that well since in the summer in my backyard with my brother.” Knight continued, “I liked the way Kyle (Neptune) came in there at the end of the first half and gave us a lift, and then I just started feeling good from outside and my shots kept falling.”
Lehigh shot 30 percent in the opening 20 minutes, but the number was much lower than that before the Mountain Hawks finally started to connect on some shots in the closing minutes of the half. Joe Knight led Lehigh with 13 points on four of seven shooting, including three of four from beyond the arc, while Neptune contributed five points and five rebounds.
Lehigh returns to action on Sunday afternoon as the Mountain Hawks take on the number-one seeded Holy Cross Crusaders at 1:00 from the Hart Center. This will be the Brown and White's second consecutive appearance in the tournament semi-finals.