Hall's 28 and 15 leads Lehigh past Rutgers
Posted: November 26, 2008
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Junior Marquis Hall scored 28 points, including 18 in the second half, and ripped down a career-high 15 rebounds to lead Lehigh to a 76-71 victory over Rutgers on Wednesday evening at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. The win was Lehigh’s first over a Big East school since the inception of Patriot League play in 1990 and moves the Brown and White to 4-1 for the first time since the 1980-81 season. Joining Hall in double figures for the Mountain Hawks were classmates Zahir Carrington with 15 points and Dave Buchberger with 12 points, as well as senior Phil Anderson, who netted ten points.
“This was a total team effort to get this win,” Lehigh head coach Brett Reed explained. “Of course we had several incredible individual performances, such as Marquis and some others, but this really came down to us making the plays we needed to make as a team to defeat a very good team.” He continued, “We have tremendous respect for Rutgers and its program and the growth they have shown over the last several years, but this was a great win for our program.”
Lehigh shot just 40-percent from the field, including a 5-of-22 showing from three-point range, but the Mountain Hawks more than held their own on the backboards versus the Big East foe, as the Brown and White pulled down 44 boards, and only turned the ball over eight times. “Rebounding was a major point of emphasis going into this game for us,” Reed said afterwards. “Rutgers has tremendous size and we knew coming in that we would have to battle for every rebound. The job we did with our rebounding was tremendous, but more importantly, I thought the job our guys did with getting to loose balls and giving their bodies up was just as significant.”
Leading the way on the glass for Lehigh was the six-foot Hall, who snagged a career-best 15 rebounds, his first-ever game of double-digit boards. Anderson pulled down six caroms, while Buchberger grabbed five. Hall dished out a team-best five assists and was also credited with one steal.
Rutgers was led on offense by Corey Chandler’s 15 points, while backcourt mate Mike Rosario netted 14. Greg Echenique pulled down a team-best nine rebounds on a night in which Rutgers shot just 38-percent from the floor and turned the ball over 12 times.
Lehigh led by eight in the early going, as Anderson scored in the paint with 9:03 to go in the first half. The lead reached double figures on a three-point play by Buchberger with 2:44 remaining, but Rutgers closed to within seven at halftime. Hall scored ten points in the first 20 minutes and was joined in double figures by Buchberger, who also hit for ten.
The Mountain Hawks held onto their lead for the majority of the second half, but Rutgers closed to within three on a tip-in by Echenique at the 17-minute mark. The Scarlet Knights made it a two-point game when Chandler hit a jumper three minutes later, but from there Hall took over, scoring Lehigh’s next 12 points, including a lay up with 8:37 on the clock to put the Brown and White ahead 56-52.
Rutgers claimed its first lead of the second half on a Chandler three-pointer at the 7:31 mark, but Carrington answered to tie things up at 59 one minute later, and following his ensuing free throw, Lehigh held a 60-59 advantage. Carrington then sank a jumper to make it a three-point lead but Rutgers responded with the game’s next four points to take a 63-62 lead with 4:29 remaining.
Lehighsports.com Basketball Post-Game Extra with Matt Kerr and Matt Markus
A pair of free throws from J.R. Inman put the home team back up by one with 3:30 on the clock, but sophomore Rob Keefer gave Lehigh the lead back when he scored underneath the basket with 2:42 to go. Keefer’s bucket capped a wild sequence in which Lehigh had several chances from point-blank range, and continually outmuscled the Big East foe for the rebound. The teams traded baskets for the next few minutes, until Hall sank an off-balance jumper from the left elbow to put Lehigh in front 72-69 with 50 seconds to go. The junior captain then connected on three free throws and fellow captain Matt Szalachowski sank one-of-two to seal Lehigh’s first win over Rutgers since 1967.
Lehigh is back in action on Saturday afternoon when the Mountain Hawks travel to Hanover, New Hampshire to take on the Big Green of Dartmouth. Tip-off is set for 2:00 and all of the action will be carried live on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 as well as Lehighsports.com with Matt Kerr providing the commentary. Pre-game coverage gets underway at 1:30.