Posted: January 23, 2007
LEWISBURG, Pa. – A slow start proved to be the difference on Tuesday evening as Lehigh fell to Bucknell 62-44 at Sojka Pavilion. Freshman Marquis Hall did all he could for the Mountain Hawks, scoring 18 points, but it was not enough as Lehigh falls to 9-13 overall and 4-2 in league action. Seniors Donald Brown and Chris McNaughton each scored 15 points as the Bison improve to 11-8 overall and move into sole possession of second place in the league at 5-1.
“We certainly did not come out the way I would have liked,” said head coach Billy Taylor afterwards. “Give Bucknell credit for the way they came out and the way they attacked us right from the start. We weren’t ready and they (took advantage).” He continued, “I did take some positive things from the second half. Even though we didn’t finish some shots, we got a number of better chances on offense and hopefully that will carry over to Friday (at Holy Cross).”
Lehigh shot just 32 percent on the evening, including 5 of 21 (24%) from three-point range and was out rebounded 37-30. The Mountain Hawks turned the ball over just nine times, but had only eight assists. Senior Jose Olivero added nine points for the Brown and White, while junior Bryan White pulled down a team-best nine boards.
Senior Abe Badmus added nine points for the Bison, as did sophomore Jason Vegotsky, while McNaughton pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds. Brown, Badmus and John Griffin all handed out three assists.
Lehigh had a tough time on the offensive end in the first half, shooting just 31 percent from the field as the Bison went into halftime with a 37-21 lead. Hall was the lone Mountain Hawk who found his rhythm on offense, as the freshman connected for 13 points on four-of-six shooting, including three-of-four from three-point range. Olivero added four points, but Lehigh hit only 27 percent from three-point range and watched the Bison sink 57 percent of their field goals and 60 percent from behind the arc. White pulled down a team-high four rebounds, while senior Kyle Neptune dished out three assists.
McNaughton led Bucknell with 12 points on four-of-five shooting, while Vegotsky drilled a trio of three-pointers en route to nine first half tallies. The Bison out rebounded the Mountain Hawks 18-13 and had eight assists on their 13 field goals.
In the second half, Lehigh showed signs of life with a quick 7-0 run on a three by Hall and lay ups by Phil Anderson and Olivero, which made the score 37-28 with 17:34 to go. Bucknell would come right back however, upping its lead to 17 points on a three by Badmus with 5:58 remaining. From there, the Bison cruised to its 30th straight league victory at home.
Lehigh stays on the road for game two of a three-game road swing as the Mountain Hawks head to Worcester, Mass. on Friday evening to take on the Crusaders of Holy Cross from the Hart Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 and the game will be televised on ESPNU. The contest will be broadcast live in the Lehigh Valley on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 AM as well as around the world on lehighsports.com.