Jan. 29, 2012
Lehigh 83, Army 64
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Junior F Ella Ellis scored 24 points, his second straight 20-point effort, but the Black Knights (10-12, 3-4 Patriot League) could not overcome 39.0 percent shooting and 16 turnovers in their 83-64 loss at Lehigh’s (17-6, 5-2 Patriot League) Stabler Arena Sunday afternoon.
The Black Knights got off to a slow start, shooting just 26.7 percent (8-30) in the first half, helping Lehigh build a double-digit lead mid-way through the opening period.
Ellis has scored in double figures in 24 straight games, including 11 20-point outings during that span. Freshman G Milton Washington was the only other Army player in double figures with 10 points, including eight in the second half. Sophomore G Josh Herbeck scored nine points on three three-pointers and led the Black Knights with seven rebounds and four assists.
Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum posted a double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Mountain Hawks (17-6, 5-2 PL). Holden Greiner added 14 points, 11 of them in the first half, while Gabe Knutson and Jordan Hamilton each scored 10 points. Lehigh shot 44.2 percent for the game, but the Army defense limited the Mountain Hawks to just seven three-pointers in 30 attempts (.233).
Army scored first on a three-pointer by Herbeck and led 5-4 two minutes, 27 seconds into the game, but the Mountain Hawks seized control with a 31-7 spurt over the next 10 minutes to take a 35-12 lead. The Black Knights made just three field goals during that span, including a scoreless stretch of seven minutes, 16 seconds.
A three-pointer by senior G Julian Simmons stopped the Black Knights’ drought and started a run of seven straight points that pulled the Black Knights with 16 at 35-19 with 4:48 left in the opening period. McCollum ended Army’s momentum with a three-pointer, and the Mountain Hawks took a 42-23 lead into halftime.
Ellis led Army with nine first-half points, while McCollum and Greiner tallied 14 and 11, respectively for the Mountain Hawks.
The second half featured several runs by both teams. The Black Knights missed their first five shots of the second half before Ellis converted an old-fashioned three-point play to trim the Mountain Hawks’ lead to 16 points with 17:36 left. Lehigh countered with a 7-0 run to take a 49-26 lead, but the Black Knights scored seven of the next nine points to get back to a 16-point deficit with 14:17 left.
After Lehigh scored six in a row to stretch its lead back to 22 points, the Black Knights reeled off 10 straight, including back-to-back three-point plays by Washington. Herbeck capped the run with a three-pointer that pulled Army within 12 at 57-45 with 9:52 left.
Again the Mountain Hawks had an answer, scoring 12 of the next 15 points to get their lead back to 21 points at 69-48. Army refused to give in, countering with seven straight points, including five by Ellis to climb within 14 points with 4:16 to go. Army trailed 71-57 with 3:27 left before Lehigh scored 12 of the final 19 points to claim the 19-point victory.
Army ends a stretch of five seven games away from West Point on Saturday, Feb. 4 at first-place Bucknell. The Bison won the first meeting this season at Christl Arena.
Game Notes: Army has used the same starting five of Milton Washington, Julian Simmons, Josh Herbeck, Ella Ellis and Jordan Springer in 10 consecutive games … despite the loss, Army is still 7-5 in its last 12 games … Simmons had his streak of double-digit scoring games stopped at five … Sunday was the second straight season Lehigh led by at least 14 points in the second half … the Black Knights overcame a 14-point deficit in the final 13:09 of last season’s win at Stabler Arena … Whit Thornton matched his career high with five points … Josh Herbeck moved into 12th place on Army’s career three-point ledger with 94 … the Black Knights have now lost 29 of their last 30 games when allowing 80-or-more points … Washington has scored in double figures in six of his 10 starts.