Army’s Late Basket Snaps Lehigh’s Eight-Game Win Streak

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at Lafayette

2/4/2023 | 1:00 PM

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Feb 04 (Sat) / 1:00 PM

at Lafayette


BETHLEHEM, Pa. – After fighting back from a 10-point deficit early in the second half, the Lehigh men’s basketball team suffered a 71-69 loss against Army West Point off a Jared Cross layup with 5.4 seconds to play inside Stabler Arena on Wednesday night.

The Mountain Hawks (13-9, 8-3 PL) suffer their first loss since January 2 and drop the season series to the Black Knights. Army (13-11, 7-4 PL) wins its second straight game and sweeps Lehigh for the first time since the 2020 season. Lehigh still sits in sole possession of second place in the league standings while the Black Knights are now alone in third.

Lehigh’s largest lead came after its first basket, but the Army would possess a lead for almost the entire first half. The Black Knights were in front by a slim margin, peaking at five points, 25-20, which came after the Mountain Hawks tied the contest at 20-20. Sophomore Keith Higgins Jr. got Lehigh within one point, 31-30 with 1:18 left in the half, but a step-back jumper from Army’s Jalen Rucker as the horn sounded sent Lehigh into the locker room trailing by four points, 36- 32

STUFFED! JT Tan denies Army at the basket. #GoLehigh

Watch on @PatriotLeagueTV and @ESPN –

— Lehigh M. Basketball (@LehighMBB) February 2, 2023

Army started with a six-point run to extend its advantage to 10 points, the Black Knights’ largest of the game, almost two minutes into the second half. The Mountain Hawks scored the next 13 points to take their first lead, 43-42, since the beginning of the game. Over the next four minutes of action, the squads would be tied four times, with sophomore Tyler Whitney-Sidney knotting the contest at 50-50 after a steal and score.

The Black Knights went back in front by two possessions and were holding on to a five-point advantage before Lehigh surged back and took another one-point lead off a pair of Whitney-Sidney free throws, 63-62 closing in on four minutes to play Again, Whitney-Sidney put the Brown and White ahead on a couple of foul shots, with 1:07 remaining. After Army’s Ethan Roberts sank the front end of a one-and-one opportunity to tie the game, Lehigh grabbed a rebound with 45 seconds left. On that possession, Higgins Jr. missed an elbow jump shot which gave the Black Knights the ball with 13.5 seconds remaining. Cross got behind the Mountain Hawks’ defense and made a layup with just 5.4 seconds to play. Sophomore Ben Knostman attempted a driving layup before the buzzer but it was swatted away by Army’s Abe Johnson which sealed the victory for the Black Knights.

Four Mountain Hawks finished in double figures and combined for 50 of Lehigh’s 69 points. Sophomore Keith Higgins Jr. led all scorers with 17 points and a team-high five steals. He also added a rebound and one assist. Junior Dominic Parolin contributed 12 points and six boards to go with two assists, a blocked shot and a steal. Parolin was a clean 6-for-6 at the charity stripe while Whitney-Sidney added 11 points, with five coming at the foul line, and tallied two steals, one rebound and an assist. Rounding out the double-digit scorers was Knostman who scored a career-high 10 points for the Brown and White. Knostman was 5-for-8 from the floor with five rebounds, one assist and a steal.

STEAL AND SCORE!! TWS gets the takeaway and the basket. #GoLehigh

Watch on @PatriotLeagueTV and @ESPN-

— Lehigh M. Basketball (@LehighMBB) February 2, 2023

Senior Evan Taylor recorded eight points and led the squad with seven boards to go with two assists. Classmate Reed Fenton drained two of Lehigh’s three three-pointers for his six points and grabbed one rebound.

Rucker had a game-high 23 points, which led a trio of Black Knights reaching double-digits. Rucker added eight boards, three assists and a steal while Coleton Benson and Charlie Peterson each tossed in 13 points.

Lehigh shot 41.4 percent (24-for-58) from the floor while shooting a season-low 15.8 percent (3-for-19) for three-pointers while Army shot 46.3 percent (25-for-54) and 37.5 percent (6 -for-16) from behind the arc.

Lehigh committed eight turnovers that Army turned into just six points while the Black Knights were forced into 18 miscues that the Mountain Hawks turned into 22 points. The Brown and White were out-rebounded 38-31, but led points in the paint, 36-28.

On Saturday afternoon, the Mountain Hawks look to sweep rival Lafayette inside Kirby Sports Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 pm and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and Fox Sports Radio 94.7 FM and 1230 AM.

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