Posted: February 13, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Marquis Hall scored 22 second half points to keep Lehigh in the game, but the Mountain Hawks lost a nail-biter to Navy 80-75 Wednesday night. Navy has now beaten Lehigh in four consecutive games and improves to 16-4 all-time in Stabler Arena.
Lehigh missed a potential game-tying three-pointer with only seconds remaining, and two free throws by Greg Sprink iced the game for Navy.
The loss drops Lehigh to 11-12 on the season and 4-5 in a tight Patriot League. Navy improves to 12-12 (5-4 in the P.L.) with the win.
Hall finished with a game-high 25 points and 5 assists, while Zahir Carrington and Rob Keefer also reached double-digits for Lehigh. Kaleo Kina led the Midshipmen with 22 points.
“This one stings,” said Lehigh head coach Brett Reed following the game. “We did enough things well to win that game, but we weren’t able to pull that through. We’ve got to be able to find a way to pull through.”
Navy started the game quickly, getting up 6-0 early on the Brown and White. Keefer responded, scoring Lehigh’s first 5 points and cutting the Navy’s lead to 8-7.
After scoring runs by both teams, Keefer hit a 3-pointer the give Lehigh its first lead with 8:50 to play in the first half. Lehigh held the lead for the rest of the first half before Chris Harris made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game 35-35 at halftime.
Keefer and Carrington each scored 10 first half points, while the Patriot League’s leading rebounder, Bryan White, added 6 boards. Romeo Garcia scored 8 in the first half for Navy, who dominated Lehigh 14-2 in second chance points.
Navy came out in the second half hoisting up 3-pointers and took an early second half lead. Hall responded for Lehigh, leading the Mountain Hawks on an 8-2 run to tie the game at 50-50.
The teams traded baskets for the majority of the half, one that saw 11 lead changes.
Kina converted a 3-point play with 4:00 to play that put Navy up 67-63. A deep 3-pointer and a short jumper by Hall put Lehigh back on top 68-67.
Navy came back with 3 points of its own, before another Hall 3-pointer tied the game 71-71. Costly fouls by Lehigh with less than two minutes to play allowed Sprink to put Navy up 74-71 with under a minute to play.
Two Hall free throws cut the Navy lead to 74-73, but with time expiring, Lehigh was forced to foul Sprink on every possession. Keefer missed on a late chance to tie the game, and Sprink made his final free throws with under a second to play to give Navy the win.
Sprink finished the game with 18 points, 11 of them coming from the free throw line. Navy outscored Lehigh 25-12 at the line for the game.
Lehigh returns to action on Saturday, when the Mountain Hawks host the Black Knights of Army. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. from Lehigh’s Stabler Arena. Tickets may be purchased by contacting the Lehigh ticket office (during normal business hours), or by logging on to Lehighsports.com at any time.
-Story by Kylan McQuaig ’08, Lehigh Sports Media Relations.