Posted: February 8, 2006
Annapolis, Md. – Behind a trio of double figure scorers, Lehigh downed Navy 74-49 on Wednesday evening at Alumni Hall, as the Mountain Hawks improve to 8-1 in Patriot League play for the first time ever and now sit at 15-9 overall. Junior Jose Olivero, the Patriot League’s leading scorer hit for 18 points on the night, while senior Joe Knight added 14 tallies and junior Kyle Neptune netted 13. The Mids were led by senior Matt Fannin’s 12 points, as they fall to 9-13 overall and 2-7 in league action.
Head Coach Billy Taylor, who has never lost a road game to the service academies (Army, Navy) spoke about the win. “I loved our energy and effort tonight, particularly on the defensive end. It helped us get some easy baskets in transition and allowed to play with a comfortable lead throughout most of the second half.”
Lehigh shot an incredible 17 of 23 from the field in the second half, good for 74 percent, and finished with a 59 percent clip for the game. Senior Mitch Gilfillan handed out a game-high seven assists, while Olivero dished out six. Senior James Anderson and sophomore Bryan White both ripped down six boards on the evening.
Navy shot just 30 percent for the game, including a 24 percent mark in the second half, and was out rebounded 38-32. Lehigh turned the ball over 19 times, and forced 15 Navy turnovers.
Behind 10 points from Olivero and nine from Knight, the Mountain Hawks headed to the locker room with a 31-26 half time lead. Lehigh connected on 46 percent of its field goals in the opening 20 minutes, including a four of nine showing from three-point range, while the Mids hit 39 percent of their shots, but just 25 percent from behind the arc. Kyle Neptune cleared the boards five times, while Olivero handed out three assists, as the Mountain Hawks owned an 18-13 advantage on the glass through the first half of action.
Navy was led in scoring by Fannin, as the senior hit four of eight shots from the field and four of five at the charity stripe en route to 12 first-half tallies. Greg Sprink pulled down three boards and dished out two assists. The two teams had trouble holding onto the ball, as the Brown and White turned it over 13 times, and Navy gave it away 11 times.
In the second half, Lehigh came out on fire, extending its lead to 19 on a lay up by Gourlay with 13:05 left, and then pushed it to 23 on a pair of free throws by the Arkansas native with 6:09 left. Freshman Matt Szalachowski swished a three-pointer with 2:07 to go, to push the lead 25, the largest margin of the evening, and from there the Mountain Hawks cruised to the win.
Lehigh returns to action on Saturday afternoon when the Mountain Hawks take on their second service academy of the week, traveling to West Point, New York to take on the Black Knights of Army. Tip-off is set for 1:00 and all of the action can be heard 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 call the action.
Lehigh at Bucknell Tickets in Short Supply
Only 100 tickets are available for sale through the Lehigh Ticket Office for Lehigh Men’s Basketball at Bucknell on Wednesday, February 22 at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $8 each and are General Admission, good for section D in Sojka Pavillion. According to Bucknell’s website, Bucknell’s allotment of public tickets sold in advance has been exhausted. To purchase tickets, please call 610-7LU-GAME or visit the Grace Hall ticket office during normal ticket office hours.