Lehigh Scores 73-55 Win Over Army

Final Statistics: Lehigh 73, Army 55

Army Postgame Quotes

WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Army men’s basketball team (11-6, 1-2 Patriot League) suffered its first home loss of the season, a 73-55 decision versus Lehigh (11-7, 2-1 Patriot League) at Christl Arena on Sunday afternoon. The defeat snapped Army’s eight game home winning streak that started with its win over the Mountain Hawks in last season’s conference tournament.

The Black Knights struggled offensively all game, shooting a season-low 33.3 percent (21-63) overall and 25.0 percent (6-24) from three-point range. Army also turned the ball over 15 times that led to 18 Lehigh points.

Senior F Cleveland Richard was the only Army player in double figures with 11 points. Junior F Jeremy Hence scored eight points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Senior G Josh Miller added nine points, seven rebounds and five assists. Senior C Chris Walker chipped in with eight points and six rebounds.

Four of Lehigh’s five starters scored in double figures led by Zahir Carrington’s 20 points. Marquis Hall contributed 15 points and led the squad with seven rebounds and seven assists. CJ McCollum and Dave Buchberger scored 13 and 12, respectively.

The Mountain Hawks hit 45.3 percent from the floor, including 50 percent in the second half. Lehigh was 7 for 18 from long range, including a 3-for-5 effort from Buchberger.

Army held a 39-36 rebounding edge that included a 17-8 advantage on the offensive glass. The Black Knights scored 21 second-chance points. It was only the third time in 10 games this season that Army outrebounded its opponent and lost.

Army started with five straight points on a three-pointer by Hence and a jumper by Walker, but the Mountain Hawks answered back with four straight points by Carrington to cut the lead to one point with 16:16 to go. The Black Knights led 11-8 before Hall’s first three-pointer tied the game with 13:22 left on the first-half clock.

The game was tied at 15-15 when the Mountain Hawks went on 9-2 run to claim a 24-17 advantage with 5:48 left. Simmons hit his first three-pointer to cut the deficit to four points, but Lehigh’s Rob Keefer answered right back with a triple of his own to push the lead back to seven.

Army held the Mountain Hawks’ scoreless for the next three minutes, 22 seconds, but could only draw within four points at 27-23 with 1:37 to go. McCollum ended the Lehigh drought with his second three-pointer of the half to re-establish a seven-point lead for the Mountain Hawks. Lehigh took its largest lead of the half when Dave Buchberger drained a three-pointer as the shot clock expired with only four seconds left in the opening period. Army could not get off another shot and the Mountain Hawks took a 33-23 lead into the locker room.

Army started the half 6 of 12 from the floor, but made just four of its last 15 shot attempts to finish the half at 37.0 percent, including a 2-for-11 showing from three-point range. The Mountain Hawks overcame an 0-for-5 start and finished the half at 41.9 percent from the floor. Lehigh hit five of its 11 three-point attempts. Carrington led all scorers with 12 first-half points, hitting five of his six shot attempts. Hence led the Black Knights with seven points in the opening 20 minutes.

The Black Knights’ offensive struggles continued into the second half. Army missed its first two shots of the half and turned it over two times before getting on the board when Richard snapped his 0-for-7 start with a jumper. Meanwhile, the Mountain Hawks opened the second stanza on an 8-2 spurt to claim a 41-25 lead with 17:02 left .

Lehigh led 47-30 after a Buchberger three-pointer with 14:07 remaining, but the Black Knights scored four unanswered points to get within 13. The Mountain Hawks were able to reclaim a 16-point lead at 52-36, but Army had one final run left, scoring eight of the next 10 points to trim the deficit to 54-44 on a three-pointer by Miller with 6:03 left.

The Mountain Hawks countered with 10 unanswered points to take their largest lead of the game at 64-44 with three minutes left. Richard ended the Army drought with a three-point play with 2:47 remaining, but the Mountain Hawks maintained at least a 14-point margin for the rest of the contest before scoring the 73-55 win.

The Black Knights’ 18-point deficit market its largest loss of the season.

The Black Knights conclude their two-game homestand on Wednesday, Jan. 20 versus American. Tip-off at Christl Arena is set for 7 p.m.

Game Notes:  Marcus Nelson missed his second straight game with an ankle injury … Army’s 10-point halftime deficit marked the fourth time the Black Knights were down double digits after 20 minutes … Since 2005-06 Army is 0-30 when losing by double figures at the half … Army head coach Zach Spiker was assessed his first technical foul of the season with 17:13 left in the second half … the Black Knights did not have a player reach double figures until the 2:47 mark of the second half … Army is now 1-6 this season when allowing 60-or-more points and 0-3 when opponents reach the 70-point mark … the Black Knights have allowed 60-or-more points in three straight games for the first time since Jan. 23-30, 2008 … Cleveland Richard’s team-high 11 points were the fewest to lead the Black Knights this season … Army used all 15 players in uniform … Army’s shooting percentage was its worst since hitting only 31.8 percent at American on Feb. 4, 2009 … the loss snapped a two-game winning streak against Lehigh.

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