Posted: January 23, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Freshman Prentice Small scored a career-high 19 points and sophomore Zahir Carrington notched his first career double-double with 18 points and ten rebounds as Lehigh won its second straight game with a hard-fought 63-60 victory over Colgate on Wednesday evening at Stabler Arena. The game marked the second straight in which Lehigh won after trailing at halftime, as the Mountain Hawks faced a five-point deficit at intermission. With the win Lehigh pulls even on the year at 9-9 overall and 2-2 in the Patriot League, while the Raiders fall to 9-9 with the loss and 1-3 in league action.
Lehigh once again did it with defense as the Mountain Hawks held the Raiders to 34 percent shooting, including a 29 percent clip in the second half. Lehigh outscored its opponent 40-32 in the final 20 minutes as the Mountain Hawks connected on 44 percent from the field overall and 46 percent in the second stanza. Senior Bryan White added nine points, six rebounds and a career-best five steals, while Marquis Hall, who struggled with his shot all night long, scored six points, handed out three assists and pulled down two rebounds. Sophomore Dave Buchberger pulled down four rebounds in 18 minutes of play as he continued to provide tremendous hustle plays off the bench.
For the second straight game Lehigh came out of the gates slowly, as the Mountain Hawks trailed 28-23. Colgate took nine more field goal attempts than Lehigh, but made only three more than the home team, as the Mountain Hawks “D” held the Raiders to 39 percent shooting. Chones netted a game-high 13 points in the opening 20 minutes, while Lehigh was led by Carrington’s 12 points on five-of-seven shooting. The Mountain Hawks shot 42 percent from the field but did not hit either of their three-point attempts.
Colgate out rebounded the Brown and White 20 to 15 led by Kyle Roemer’s six, while Lehigh was led by Carrington’s four caroms. No Mountain Hawk had more than one assist and for Colgate, Alex Woodhouse handed out four helpers, to go along with six points and three blocked shots. Lehigh was outscored 8-2 in second chance points and 16-2 in the paint but the Mountain Hawks were still down just five at the break.
The Raiders biggest lead of the opening half was nine points, which came at the 12:23 mark, but a pair of free throws from Carrington and a lay up by junior John Gourlay cut it to a five-point contest two minutes later. A jumper by Chones with 6:23 to go again put the visitors up nine, but Lehigh responded with four points and trailed by only five at the 2:54 mark. A turnaround jumper by Carrington with 16 ticks brought the Brown and White to within three – the closest Lehigh had been since trailing 2-0 – but Daniel Waddy hit an off-balance fall away jumper with four seconds to go to give Colgate some breathing room at the half.
In the second half Lehigh continued to inch closer, pulling to within two on a pair of free throws from White with 16:45 to go and following a jumper by Carrington at the 14:50 mark, the teams were tied at 33. Colgate went back in front however when freshman Mike Venezia drilled a three-pointer with 13:57 to go and another three, this one from Kyle Roemer, put the visitors up by four at the 9:39 mark. Lehigh pulled to within one point on a pair of free throws from White and following a steal by the senior captain, the Mountain Hawks sprinted down the other end where Hall found Small, and the New York native drilled a three-pointer to give Lehigh its first lead of the night at 46-44 with 7:39 remaining.
From there Lehigh controlled the tempo of the game, increasing its lead to eight, 55-47, when Small sank a pair at the line. The lead increased to nine with 1:21 to go when Hall hit two foul shots, but Colgate went on a run from there, starting with a three from Venzia. A long three from Roemer with 27 ticks left brought the Raiders to within four and yet another trifecta, this one from Venezia, cut Lehigh’s lead to just two with 14 seconds to go. Junior captain Matt Szalachowski went to line for a pair and hit the front end, setting up Colgate for one final shot, which came up short and Lehigh earned its seventh home win of the season.
Lehigh returns to action on Saturday evening when the Mountain Hawks welcome archrival Lafayette to Stabler Arena. Tip-off is set for 7:00 and tickets can be purchased by calling 610-7LU-GAME, by logging onto Lehighsports.com or at the arena box office prior to tip-off. Lehigh Athletics will honor longtime public address announcer Bill McCoach, who has not missed a Lehigh basketball game for 20 consecutive years, prior to the game and the 1988 East Coast Conference Championship team at halftime. For more information on these events, please click on the link above.