Greyhounds Storm Back to Beat Mountain Hawks, 69-57

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s basketball team led by 10 at halftime and 11 with less than 14 minutes left, but the Loyola Maryland visit outscored the Mountain Hawks 37-14 in the final 13:01 to take down Stabler Arena with a 69- to leave. 57 win on Sunday night. In a matchup of two (of the four) teams that finished first, the Greyhounds were led by league-leading scorer Cam Spencer, who finished with 26 points on 10-of-20 shooting. Junior Evan Taylor led the Mountain Hawks with 20 points and nine rebounds.

“I thought we had a very strong part in the first half,” said Lehigh head coach Brett Reed. “Our defensive intensity was great, execution of our defensive game plan was very good and we really moved the ball and made some quick decisions. I thought Nic Lynch gave us an inner presence, put down a few shots and we were very comfortable with that.”

With the win, Loyola improves to 5-1 in the Patriot League game while Lehigh falls to 4-2.

Great start, tough end. 📹 Sunday night highlights at Stabler pic.twitter.com/6JmTKPUUVs

— Lehigh M. Basketball (@LehighMBB) January 17, 2022 “At the start of the second half, I thought we were being a little tentative,” Reed continued. “We were on our heels, flipping the basketball and starting to scale back the amount of movement and quick decisions we were making. That weakened us on offense. Believe Loyola, they made a lot of very good games.”

Taylor accelerated Lehigh’s offense in the second half and scored 14 of the Mountain Hawks’ 24 second-half points.

“Evan had a tough defensive duel with Cam Spencer and I thought in some individual situations he challenged some shots at the end and made it very difficult for him,” Reed said. “He gave us a little offensive spark on a night where we had other guys who were a bit off at times, especially in the second half.”

The older duo of Jeameril Wilson and Nic Lynch advanced Lehigh in the first step. Wilson scored all 11 of his first-half points while Lynch scored 10 of his 14 before halftime. For the game, the two combined to shoot 11 from 15 from the field.

The Mountain Hawk took an early lead 10-2, 12-4 as Wilson started with four straight points, followed by four straight from Taylor and four straight from Lynch.

Loyola went for four at 15-11 and 17-13 before a 5-0 push from Lehigh – behind a 3-pointer from Keith Higgins Jr. and Wilson, who immediately dunk again after a missed three – gave Lehigh a 22nd -13 advantage gave 6:15 left in the first half.

The Mountain Hawks led 23-17 and scored eight of the next 10 points, highlighted by consecutive 3 points from Lynch in the 1:19 span. The second gave Lehigh his biggest lead, 31-19, with 3:03 remaining in the stanza. The Mountain Hawks went into the half lead at 33:23.

[email protected]’s second 3-pointer at 1:19 puts the Mountain Hawks 31-19 late in the first half.

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Listen to https://t.co/Px9lklqMP2: https://t.co/JkOTldBhyX pic.twitter.com/2Bu1vc3erx

— Lehigh M. Basketball (@LehighMBB) January 16, 2022 Loyola scored nine of the first 13 points in the second half to come within 37-32, but the Mountain Hawks responded with six in a row — four of the points Taylor scored – at 14:26 on the clock, leading by 43:32.

The Greyhounds had a great response, staging a 19-2 run when a layup by Golden Dike gave Loyola a 51-45 lead with a 6-11 lead.

Loyola’s lead continued to widen from there as the Greyhounds finished the finals 69-57.

For the game, the Mountain Hawks shot 48.9 percent from field (22 of 45), including 28.6 percent from 3-point range (4 of 14). Loyola finished with 44.3 percent (27 out of 61) and 20.0 percent short of the arc (3 out of 15). Lehigh had a 32-31 advantage in rebounds. Turnover hurt the Mountain Hawks as they finished at 16. Loyola only had five.

The Mountain Hawks now head to a 7 p.m. matchup at Navy on Wednesday.

“One of the most important things for us is to make sure that we don’t stay on our heels, that we continue to be confident and believe in ourselves,” Reed said. “It’s really an important part of this team. I see it where they play with great energy, they play hard but doubts can creep in. And I want them to understand that we really believe in them.”

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