Posted: February 16, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh capitalized on great defense and clutch free throw shooting late in the second half, to hold on for a 58-53 win over Army. Zahir Carrington had a team high 19 points for the Mountain Hawks, and Marquis Hall recorded his sixth straight game in double digits, with 15 points to pace Lehigh. Despite shooting 28.6 percent from the field in the second half, the Brown and White were able to secure its 12th win of the season, improving to 12-12 (5-5), while the Black Knights fall to 11-13 (4-6).
"It was tough...we had six second half field goals and usually you don't win a game like that but it's a credit to our intensity and effort and aggressiveness on the defensive end,” said head coach Brett Reed.
It was a back and forth battle for the first 12 minutes, with Lehigh holding a slight 16-13 advantage. The Mountain Hawks pulled in front by nine points, thanks to a pair of three-pointers from Hall, taking a 26-17 lead with 4:35 to play.
Army responded with a 7-2 run to close the gap to 28-26 with 2:09 remaining. Jarell Brown put in a pair of jumpers, to bring his total to 11 for the half. Lehigh went on a 6-1 to close out the half and took a 34-27 lead at halftime. The Mountain Hawks shot 44 percent for the half, including 45.5 percent from three-point range. Army shot 44.4 percent from the field, but was zero-for-three from long range.
The Brown and White came out flying to start the second half, scoring the first nine points to take a 43-27 lead, its largest of the game. Army slowly chipped away at Lehigh’s lead, as a three-pointer by Brown made it a three-point game with a little over nine minutes to play.
The Mountain Hawks hit five free throws from Phil Anderson and Hall to increase its lead back to 50-43 with 5:55 to play. Army slowly made its way back into the game on a couple of jumpers from Cleveland Richard, to make the score 52-51 with 2:28 remaining.
Lehigh got a big jumper from Carrington with just under a minute on the clock to increase its lead to 54-51. Bryan White went four-for-four from the foul line in the final thirty seconds to secure the victory. The Mountain Hawks defense played great over the final two and a half minutes, and did not allow the Black Knights to make a field goal, as they shot zero-for-three from the field in that time range.
“Army's a real physical team, and we wanted to be tough inside and we knew that we'd have to fight hard,” Carrington said after the game. “It's a Patriot League game, and they're all really important at this point."
Army was one-of-eight from three-point range for the game and was held to 39.6 percent from the field. The Mountain Hawks hit 67.9 percent of their free throws, including 12-of-18 in the second half.
White was a perfect six-for-six from the free throw in the game, and finished with six points and seven boards. Rob Keefer added another six points and four rebounds for the Brown and White.
Brown led Army with 19 points and Josh Miller had another 11 points and seven rebounds. Richard recorded a game high four steals to along with his 14 points.
Lehigh returns to action on Wednesday when it travels to Colgate. The game can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 AM, as well as on Lehighsports.com, with steaming provided by Yahoo! Sports. Matt Kerr will call the action, with tip-off set for 7 p.m.