Posted: December 10, 2005
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh snapped its two-game losing streak on Saturday afternoon, using a total team effort to defeat Harvard 67-56 at Stabler Arena behind a career-high 24 points from junior swingman Kyle Neptune.
The Mountain Hawks placed three players in double figures, including junior Jose Olivero who scored 15 points and sophomore Bryan White, who dropped a career-high 11 tallies.
With the win, Lehigh improves to 19-4 all-time at Stabler Arena under Billy Taylor versus non-league foes and 4-6 on the season, while the Crimson falls to 5-3 in 2005.
The Mountain Hawks played one of their best all-around games of the entire season, out rebounding Harvard 42-30 and handing out 19 assists on 24 field goals. Lehigh shot 44 percent from the field for the day, and 77 percent from the free throw stripe, while holding the Crimson to 36 percent field goal shooting. In all, ten Lehigh players played at least ten minutes, led by Olivero’s 37.
Taylor expressed his thoughts following the victory. “I thought this was a really good all-around effort today. We got a lot of contributions from a number of players, we played good team defense, rebounded the ball well, pushed it in transition, and I’m just very proud of the effort we gave today.” Taylor continued, “I liked the way our guys closed the game out. We took advantage of the opportunities Harvard gave us, and we were able to get two-on-one and three-on-one opportunities and as a result, we got some lay ups which allowed us to keep that comfortable cushion throughout.”
Lehigh held the lead throughout most of the game on Saturday, pushing it up to as many as seven in the first half on a three-pointer by freshman Philip Anderson from the left wing with 3:45 remaining. The Crimson would trim that down to four at halftime, as the Brown and White went into the locker room ahead 33-29.
As the second half began, Lehigh pushed its lead up to nine points on a three-pointer by Kyle Neptune that got the Stabler crowd rocking. A coast-to-coast lay-up by Neptune on the next possession increased the Mountain Hawks lead to 11 with 12:26 left, which is the largest margin the Brown and White would enjoy all afternoon.
The Crimson did manage to cut the deficit to four points with 7:14 left, but as Taylor stated, Lehigh stuck with its game plan, calmly breaking the Harvard pressure and picked up the big win.
Harvard was led in scoring by Preseason Ivy League Player of the Year Matt Stehle’s 13 points, but Jim Goffredo was forced into a 3 of 15 shooting day by Olivero’s tough defense. Stehle grabbed a team-high six boards, while Drew Housman and Goffredo handed out four assists on the day.
Lehigh returns to action on Monday evening when the Mountain Hawks host Monmouth at Stabler Arena. Game time is set for 7:05 and tickets can be purchased prior to tip-off at the arena box-office. The contest will also be broadcast live on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 AM as well as lehighsports.com with streaming audio provided by Yahoo! Sports. Veteran Matt Kerr and Greg Falkenbach ’72 will provide the commentary.