Posted: March 5, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – For the second straight year a Patriot League quarterfinal game between Lehigh and Army came down to the wire. Wednesday night the teams needed overtime, and the fifth seeded Black Knights came away with a 64-61 win at Stabler Arena, ending the Mountain Hawks season. Senior Bryan White posted a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds in his final game in the Brown and White, but Lehigh’s season comes to an end at 14-15.
Josh Miller scored 25 points to lead all scorers as Army improves to 14-15 and advances to Sunday’s semifinal at American.
White spoke about losing to Army in the quarterfinals for the second straight season. "This one hurts a little more because it's my last game. But we all left it out there tonight. Every single one of us played our hearts out, but it's still a tough way to end my career."
White drilled a 15-foot jumper on the game’s opening possession before Army countered with an 11-2 run to take the early lead. The Black Knights led by as many as seven midway through the first half before Lehigh battled back, taking the lead on a Carrington jumper with 3:15 remaining. Army responded with another big run outscoring Lehigh 11-2 in the final two minutes, capped off by a three-pointer from Grant Carter as time expired to take a 28-20 lead into the locker room.
Lehigh was hampered by 12 first half turnovers, which the Black Knights converted into eleven points. The Mountain Hawks shot 39 percent from the field, led by White who scored eight points on 4-of-5 shooting. Josh Miller paced the Black Knights with six points and six rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Army shot 46 percent in the first half.
The Mountain Hawks opened the second half on a 10-2 run, tying the game at 30 on a baseline jumper from White with 12:54 to play. Two free throws from Miller gave the lead back to the Black Knights with just over 12 minutes remaining.
Freshman Prentice Small gave Lehigh its first lead of the second half with a pair of free throws with 9:50 left, but Miller again answered with an acrobatic layup underneath that turned into a three-point play. Lehigh responded with a 12-3 spurt to build a 7 point lead with just over six minutes play. The run was highlighted by a three-pointer from freshman Prentice Small and back-to-back layups from Carrington.
Army continued to chip away at the Lehigh lead and tied the game on a Doug Williams dunk with 22 seconds remaining. Lehigh had a final shot to win the game in regulation, but a three point attempt from sophomore Marquis Hall was off the mark, and the Mountain Hawks went to overtime in the Patriot League tournament since a 2005 semifinal loss at Holy Cross.
"The play called for me to come off a ball screen and read what the defense gave me," Hall commented afterwards. "That's a shot I usually make, but that's basketball; that's life. Sometimes the shots just don't fall. I'll be back in the gym working at that shot as soon as possible."
The overtime period began with the teams exchanging free throw attempts. A pair of free throws from junior Matt Szalachowski put Lehigh up by three with 2:13 to play, but Miller countered with a pair of free throws for Army, and following a turnover by White, Miller found Cleveland Richard for the go-ahead layup, which put the Black Knights up 62-61 with just over a minute remaining.
Lehigh had several chances in the final minute, but Small had his layup attempt blocked by Richard and Hall misfired on a jumper. The Mountain Hawks had the ball in the final seconds, but turned it over, giving the Black Knights the win.
White was one of three Mountain Hawks to hit for double figures on the night. Hall added 15 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Carrington chipped in ten points and four boards. Lehigh shot 43 percent for the game and committed just four turnovers in the final 25 minutes of the game.
Jarell Brown was the only other Black Knight in double figures, as he scored 13 and handed out five assists. Army shot 46 percent from the field on the night.
Photography 2008 (c), Specialty Photographic