Posted: January 14, 2006
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Behind a game-high 28 points from senior captain Joe Knight, including a 13 of 18 showing at the free throw line, Lehigh downed a gritty Army squad 63-60 on Saturday evening on Kids Night at Stabler Arena. Junior Jose Olivero added 14 points in the Mountain Hawks fifth straight win, which is their longest winning streak since the 2003-04 season. With the victory, the Brown and White improves to 10-8 overall and remains perfect in league play with a 3-0 record. The Black Knights, who were led on offense by Jarell Brown’s 14 tallies fall to 4-11 overall and 0-3 in league action.
For the game, Lehigh shot just 35 percent from the field and grabbed 34 rebounds. Army shot 42 percent and also grabbed 34 rebounds. Senior Mitch Gilfillan led the Brown and White with four assists, while for Army Matt Bell dished out five helpers. Lehigh shot 50 percent from down town, led by Knight’s three of four showing.
Neither team came out with much rhythm to their offense in the early going. Lehigh built a 22-15 lead at the 6:11 mark on a three-pointer from Knight, but the Black Knights would come back, and cut that lead to just four with 2:26 to go. The Mountain Hawks would head to the locker room up five, 23-18 behind ten points from Knight.
In the second half, Lehigh would open up some breathing room, extending their lead to as many as 14 points on a three by junior Jose Olivero, and again at the 7:25 mark on a jumper from Knight. But the Black Knights refused to go away, getting the score to 52-46 with 2:33 left on two free throws from Bell. Down the stretch Army seemed to answer every Lehigh basket, but solid free throw shooting helped the Mountain Hawks prevail and remain unbeaten in league play.
After the game, Knight discussed how it was in his second game back. “I really had a nice rhythm going tonight. The other night (Wednesday) I was a little too pumped up, but tonight I felt good, I had everything working for me.”
Gilfillan added, “I think Joe really relaxed and played well tonight. Army does a great job of getting you out of your game-plan, but we were able to come away with the win tonight.”
Lehigh returns to action on Wednesday evening when the Mountain Hawks travel to Hamilton, New York to take on the Raiders of Colgate. Game time is set for 7:00 and all of the action will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 as well as lehighsports.com with Tom Fallon calling the action.