Posted: February 15, 2006
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – After a slow start, Lehigh got in gear and downed Colgate 67-58 on Wednesday evening at Stabler Arena to move to 10-1 in Patriot League play for the first time ever. The ten league wins also match the most in school history. Jose Olivero led the Brown and White (17-9 overall) on offense with 15 points, while junior Kyle Neptune and senior Mitch Gilfillan both netted 12 in the win. Colgate falls to 8-17 overall and 2-9 in league action, and was led by Jon Simon’s 20 points on 7 of 15 shooting.
Lehigh shot 50 percent for the game, including a 60 percent clip in the second half, while holding the Raiders to 36 percent shooting, just 33 in the second stanza. The Mountain Hawks handed out 15 assists on 22 field goals and forced 15 Raider turnovers. Sophomore Bryan White pulled down a team-best five boards, while Gilfillan dished out four assists.
A quartet of Raiders (Marc Daniels, Kyle Roemer, Kendall Chones and Jon Foss) each pulled down four boards, while senior Alvin Reed dished out a team-high eight helpers. Lehigh out rebounded its opponent 32-30 on the night and shot 17 of 21 (81%) from the free throw line.
Gilfillan spoke about the slow start following the game. “We just didn’t come out with right kind of energy tonight. Coach (Billy Taylor) really got on us at halftime though, and we showed the right kind of enthusiasm and effort we needed to get this win here.”
Colgate came out fast, jumping out to an 11-4 lead at the 15:53 mark of the first half on a three from Simon. Lehigh was able to grab the lead for the first time with 9:46 to go, on a lay up by senior Joe Knight, and after the guard added a free throw, the Mountain Hawks were up 15-13. The Raiders tied the contest at 15 on a jumper by Chones with 8:01 to go, and then went up four when Foss sank a free throw with 5:25 remaining.
A pair of free throws from Olivero put the Brown and White back in front 20-19 with 3:58 to go, and the two teams would trade buckets for the remainder of the half. Two free throws from senior James Anderson gave the Mountain Hawks a slim 27-26 advantage heading into intermission however.
In the second half, Lehigh played like a different team, racing out with a 10-0 run to go up 37-26 with 17:49 on the strength of consecutive lay ups from White and senior Mike Fischman and back-to-back three’s by Gilfillan and Olivero. The lead increased to 13 when Neptune hit two free throws and the Mountain Hawks were in control. Colgate did cut into the deficit, slicing it to five on a three from Kyle Roemer, but Gilfillan came down and hit another three, to give Lehigh a 52-44 advantage with 7:17 to go.
Lehigh went 8 of 12 from the charity stripe in the final 3:28 to seal the win and remain in sole possession of second place in the Patriot League, ahead of Holy Cross, and still just one game behind No. 24 Bucknell.
Lehigh will return to action on Sunday afternoon when the Mountain Hawks welcome archrival Lafayette to Stabler Arena on Senior Day. Tip-off is set for 1:00 and tickets can be purchased by calling 610-7LU-GAME, by visiting the Lehigh Athletics Ticket Office during normal business hours, or by logging onto lehighsports.com.