Posted: December 1, 2007
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Lehigh dropped its second straight game on Saturday afternoon falling to the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils 65-55 at Detrick Gymnasium. Tristan Blackwood knocked home six three-pointers en route to a game-high 25 points, while the Blue Devils out rebounded the Mountain Hawks 37-26, which included 16 offensive boards. Sophomores Marquis Hall and Zahir Carrington led the Brown and White on offense with 13 points apiece as Lehigh falls to 3-5 overall, while CCSU improves to 2-5.
Lehigh out shot its opponent from the floor on the afternoon, sinking 43 percent of its shots, while the Blue Devils hit 39 percent of their shots. The two teams combined for 35 turnovers, while Lehigh handed out nine assists and the Blue Devils dished out 13. Sophomore Rob Keefer contributed a career-high tying 12 points for Lehigh on five-of-seven shooting, while senior captain Bryan White pulled down a game-high eight boards.
The first 20 minutes went rather quickly as the two teams were whistled for a total of only six fouls and combined for just 13 turnovers as CCSU took a 29-24 lead into the locker room. The Mountain Hawks shot 42 percent from the field, led by White and Carrington who continued their strong play combining for 11 points and five rebounds, while Hall added five points, but did struggle from the floor, hitting only 2-of-9 field goals. Lehigh had only four assists in the half with Hall credited for two of them.
Central Connecticut State was led on offense by Blackwood who hit a trio of three-pointers en route to nine points, while Marcus Palmer scored seven and Ken Horton added five. The Blue Devils shot 48 percent from the field, including 50 percent from three-point range, and they out rebounded the Mountain Hawks 15-13 led by Blackwood and Palmer with three each. The lack of fouls by the two teams led to only seven free throws, six of which were taken by the home team.
Lehigh took its first lead since 14 minutes remained in the opening half at the 17:03 mark of the second when junior captain Matt Szalachowski splashed a three-pointer, and Carrington made it a three-point Mountain Hawk cushion with a lay up with 15:49 left in the contest. The Blue Devils took the lead back when Blackwood drilled a three at the 13:55 clip and Marcus Palmer followed with a jumper to put the home team in front 37-34.
Central Connecticut extended to a seven-point lead with 7:16 remaining when Dannie Powell hit a lay up and the cushion ballooned to ten when Blackwood sank a jumper at the 4:53 mark. Lehigh slowly worked its way back though starting with a three from Keefer and then a pair at the foul line from Carrington to make the score 55-48 Blue Devils with a little over two minutes to go. Two foul shots from Hall and another three from Keefer brought Lehigh to within five at 58-53 with just 54 ticks left.
The Blue Devils then turned the ball over when freshman Prentice Small stepped in front of a pass and picked it off. The New York native drove to the hoop, hit a lay up and appeared to get fouled, but the refs called a charge, and Lehigh was forced to foul. The Blue Devils hit two foul shots, resulting in a five-point swing when Lehigh could have pulled to within a single bucket. CCSU was strong down the stretch at the line and hung on for their first home victory of the season.
Lehigh returns to action on Wednesday evening when the Mountain Hawks play host to the Stony Brook Seawolves at Stabler Arena. Tip-off is set for 7:35 and tickets can be purchased by calling 610-7LU-GAME, by stopping into the Lehigh Athletics Ticket Office located in Grace Hall, by logging onto Lehighsports.com or at the arena box office prior to tip-off.