Hall's hot shooting leads Lehigh past Army
Posted: January 17, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh placed three players in double figures, led by junior captain Marquis Hall with 20 points, as the Mountain Hawks picked up their first Patriot League victory of the season with a 77-57 win over the Army Black Knights at Stabler Arena on Saturday evening. Hall tied his career-high with five three-pointers and sank six-of-ten shots overall, while classmate Zahir Carrington netted 18 points and sophomore Rob Keefer added 14 as the Mountain Hawks improve to 11-6 overall. Army was led on offense by Cleveland Richard and Julian Simmons with 14 points apiece, as the Black Knights fall to 4-13 overall and 0-3 in the league following the setback.
Bolstered by a 50-percent shooting performance in the second half, Lehigh wound up shooting 48-percent from the floor. The Mountain Hawks dished out 18 assists on 27 field goals, led by Hall’s eight helpers, while Carrington and freshman John Adams pulled down six rebounds apiece of Lehigh’s 39 total boards. Lehigh committed only 11 turnovers and hit 10-of-20 three-pointers on the evening.
Army shot 36-percent from the floor and turned the ball over 13 times. The Black Knights pulled down 33 rebounds and handed out 16 assists on 21 field goals. Tyrell Thompson led the visitors with seven rebounds, while as a team, they sank 8-of-11 free throw attempts.
Hall came out firing from the start as the Oregon native connected on his first three attempts, all from three-point range, as Lehigh opened up a 14-5 lead in the first five minutes of action. The Mountain Hawks lead grew to double figures when Keefer sank a three of his own at the 12:54 mark, while two free throws by Small with 11:52 on the clock pushed the lead to 21-8. A lay up by Carrington off of a feed from Hall put Lehigh up by 15 with 7:28 to go before halftime, while yet another three-pointer, this one by Small with 3:29 to go made the score 36-17.
From there Army went on an 11-2 run to close out the half, punctuated by a lay up by Nelson with one second to go that made the score 38-28 in favor of the Brown and White at halftime. Hall led the Mountain Hawks with 12 first half tallies, and he also handed four assists and grabbed two rebounds, while Keefer scored ten points on four-of-six shooting. Freshman John Adams came off the bench to lead Lehigh with five boards, while as a team the Mountain Hawks shot 47-percent from the field and turned the ball over only six times.
Army was led on offense by Simmons with nine points, while Tyrell Thompson added six. The Black Knights shot 38-percent from the field and grabbed 17 rebounds, led by Doug Williams’ four. Army dished out nine assists on 12 field goals and committed only five turnovers.
As the second half started Army did its best to hang around, as the Black Knights were still down ten at the first media timeout. A Keefer jumper made the score 52-40 in favor of Lehigh, while a Hall three-pointer pushed Lehigh’s advantage to 13 points at the 12:08 mark. Carrington sank two free throws and Lehigh was in front by 15, but Thompson came down the other end and drilled a three to make the score 57-45 with 10:32 remaining.
Senior captain Matt Szalachowski sank a three of his own off a feed from Adams with 7:19 to go and Lehigh found itself ahead 61-45. The lead swelled to 18 on a Phil Anderson jumper with 5:30 left, while a dunk by Carrington off a nice feed from Keefer gave Lehigh its first 20-point cushion of the evening, 69-49, and from there the Mountain Hawks cruised to the victory.
Hall spoke about breaking out of his recent shooting slump following the game. “I’ve been dissecting my game with Coach Reed, watching a lot of film, trying to get some shots up and get my rhythm back and tonight I was able to do that.” He continued, “We know Army has beaten us on our home floor a few times, and I don’t want to talk about that right now, but we know we have to defend our home court and it felt great to get that first league win here tonight.”
Lehigh head coach Brett Reed added his thoughts. “It was nice to see Marquis be able to step up with confidence and hit some shots tonight. Zahir (Carrington) had been doing a lot of scoring and had been a force for us lately. Rob Keefer has been making shots, but when Marquis hit that first three it was like ‘Ok, here we go, he’s got some momentum going.’”
Reed then commented on allowing Army back into the game on several occasions. “It’s a characteristic of this team that I am not pleased about and that is, we’re really good for a spurt and then we come back and have mental lapses, so we’ll have to get that figured out as we move along here.”
Service Electric 2 Sports Post-Game Show
Lehigh will return to action on Wednesday evening when the Mountain Hawks make the long trek to Hamilton, New York to take on the Colgate Raiders. Tip-off from Cotterell Court is scheduled for 7:00 and all of the action will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 AM as well as Lehighsports.com with veteran Matt Kerr providing the commentary. Pre-game coverage gets underway at 6:30.