Posted: November 23, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Lehigh hung with Maryland for the first 25 minutes on Friday afternoon at the Comcast Center, but the Terrapins were eventually able to pull away for a 72-51 victory. The Mountain Hawks were ultimately done in by a 15-0 Terps run in the second half as they fall to 2-3 on the season. Junior captain Matt Szalachowski and freshman Rob Keefer led the Brown and White on offense with 12 points apiece, while Greivis Vasquez scored a game-high 22 points for Maryland as the Terrapins improve to 4-2 overall.
Lehigh head coach Brett Reed spoke about the big Maryland run afterwards. “I think we were going a bit too fast and they (Maryland) took advantage.” He continued, “This is a disappointing loss for us, but we showed that we are capable of playing in this type of environment and that our guys can handle it.”
Led by Szalachowski’s 12 first half tallies Lehigh trailed by just seven at halftime, 38-31. The junior guard sank five-of-six field goals, including two-of-three from behind the arc. Classmate Phil Anderson hit two-of-three from behind the arc for six first half tallies, while senior Bryan White and Keefer both added four points. Anderson’s first three-pointer, which came at the 10:40 mark of the half put Lehigh in front by one, its last lead of the first 20 minutes.
As a team Lehigh shot only 39 percent from the field, but a sizzling 56 percent from downtown. The Mountain Hawks more than held their own on the backboards, grabbing 17 rebounds, led by Keefer’s four, while Hall dished out three assists.
The Terps were led on offense by Braxton Dupree’s ten points to go along with a team-high five rebounds. Eric Hayes sank two three’s en route to eight points and James Gist added seven tallies as well as a pair of emphatic blocked shots. Maryland shot 48 percent from the field, but missed five-of-13 free throws and shot just 29 percent on its three-pointers.
The Mountain Hawks pulled to within five points on a lay up by sophomore Zahir Carrington at the 18:20 mark, and following a three by Keefer, it was once again a five-point game at 43-38. From there however, the Terps unleashed their 15-0 run keyed by seven points from Vasquez to take a 20-point lead with 9:34 remaining. Carrington stopped the run with a lay up to bring Lehigh within 18 at the 8:32 clip, but the Brown and White was unable to get any closer than that.
For the game, Lehigh shot only 33 percent, including a tough 26 percent showing in the second half. The Mountain Hawks were forced into 19 turnovers and forced Maryland into only 12, but Lehigh was strong on the glass, out rebounding the ACC school 36-34 led by White and Keefer who both had six boards. Hall handed out a team-high five assists while Carrington was credited with three steals.
Maryland wound up shooting 51 percent from the field, including 54 percent in the second half as four Terps hit for double figures. Eric Hayes handed out a team-best seven helpers, while Gist pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
Lehigh returns to action on Monday evening when the Mountain Hawks return home to face the Highlanders of NJIT at Stabler Arena. Tip-off is set for 7:05 and tickets can be purchased at the arena box office prior to tip-off.