BETHLEHEM, Pa. Jose Olivero scored a game-high 30 points and Marquis Hall chipped in 20 points to help lead Lehigh over Army, 75-64, in a Patriot League men’s basketball game Saturday evening at Stabler Arena.
The Mountain Hawks improve to 11-15 overall (6-4 Patriot League), while the Black Knights fall to 13-12 (3-7 Patriot League).
Olivero scored all six of Lehigh’s points during a 6-0 Mountain Hawk spurt that put the hosts ahead, 63-54, at the 6:40 mark.
Jarell Brown tallied eight of his team-high 23 points during an 8-4 Black Knight run that made the score 67-62 at the 5:02 mark, but the Black Knights were unable to get any closer the rest of the way.
Lehigh used a 5-2 run to begin the second half to increase its lead to 39-28 at the 17:18 mark. It did not take long for Army to answer as Brown and Josh Miller knocked down three-pointers on successive possessions to draw the Black Knights to within five points at 39-34 just one minute later.
Lehigh regained a double-digit lead with a 10-5 run that gave the Mountain Hawks a 49-39 cushion at the 13:23 mark. After a lay-up by Kenny Brewer trimmed Lehigh’s lead to eight points (49-41), the Mountain Hawks assumed their largest lead of the game at 55-43 thanks to a 6-2 spurt, which was capped by an Olivero triple.
Army then made its largest push of the game, outscoring Lehigh 11-2 over the next four minutes to trim the Mountain Hawks’ lead to 57-54 with 8:37 left to play in the second half. Brewer and Miller each netted four points during the run, which pulled the Black Knights to within three points for the first time since trailing 16-14 midway through the opening stanza.
Lehigh outscored Army 11-0 to begin the game, as the Black Knights missed their first eight field goal attempts. Hall scored six points during the Mountain Hawks’ surge, which gave them an 11-0 advantage at the 14:03 mark.
Army rallied behind its three-point shooting, as Brown, Matt Bell and Marshall Jackson each canned a trey to ignite a 9-3 spurt that pulled the Black Knights to within five points at 14-9 at the 10:24 mark.
Following a pair of Zahir Carrington free throws, Brown connected on another triple and Miller converted a lay-up to trim Lehigh’s lead to 16-14 with 8:57 to play in the opening stanza.
A jumper by Hall kick started a 7-0 Lehigh burst that gave the Mountain Hawks a 23-14 cushion with 6:52 remaining.
Army responded with a 9-4 run, trimming Lehigh’s lead to four points (27-23) at the 3:44 mark. Brewer capped the spurt with a three-point play.
The Mountain Hawks ended the half on a 7-3 spurt to take a 34-26 advantage into the locker room.
Hall led all scorers in the first half with 12 points, while Olivero chipped in 10 for Lehigh. Brown paced Army with eight points, while Bell added seven markers.
The Mountain Hawks connected on 45.5 percent (10-of-22) of their first half field goal attempts, while the Black Knights converted 37.5 percent (10-of-27) of their shots from the floor in the opening stanza. Lehigh hit 52.4 percent of its shots in the second half, while Army hit 41.9 percent of its field goals in the second 20 minutes.
Bell finished with 11 points, while Miller and Brewer each scored nine points apiece.
Lehigh outrebounded Army, 35-30. Free throws played a large role in the outcome of the game as Lehigh hit 26-of-37 from the charity stripe, while Army converted 10-of-16 free throws.
Army resumes its three-game road trip on Wednesday, Feb. 14, when the Black Knights travel to Washington, D.C., for a 7:30 p.m. contest versus American at Bender Arena.