Lehigh, Army West Point Rematch in Stabler Wednesday Night

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. — For the first time this season, the Lehigh men’s basketball team will meet a team for the second time when the Mountain Hawks take on Army West Point Wednesday night at Stabler Arena. The opening pick is scheduled for 7 p.m. on ESPN+. The game will be part of the American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers Week.

Lehigh is 5-3 in league play while the Black Knights are a game ahead at 6-2 in a tightly tied top of the Patriot League standings. The Mountain Hawks most recently lost an 80-74 final at Boston University, in a game in which they reduced a 15-point deficit to three in the second half with more than five minutes remaining but failed to complete the comeback .

Senior Jeameril Wilson set the tone against the Terriers, scoring 11 first-half points and finishing with 18, including a 4-on-4 shooting from 3-point range. The four three-pointers made without a miss were the most by a Mountain Hawk since Jordan Cohen played 5-5 against Navy on Jan. 15, 2020. Junior Evan Taylor scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half as a freshman Keith Higgins Jr. had 16 points and eight assists. On Monday, he was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the third straight year.

The Mountain Hawks started the second half by hitting nine of their first 10 3s in an impressive shooting performance (Lehigh was 13 of his first 19 for the game). The Mountain Hawks finished 13 of 23 and marked the third time in their last four games with 50 percent or more behind the arc. Lehigh is now shooting 41.6 percent on his 3-pointers in Patriot League games, good for the No. 1 spot in the league (Navy is second with 38.1 percent). The Mountain Hawks also lead the league in 3-point defense in league games (with opponents shooting just 30.0 percent). In Patriot League games, Taylor sits in fifth place with 17.1 points while Higgins is in eighth place (15.5).

In the end, BU staged a 7-0 run over the final 1:07 of the first half, turning a Terriers 34-31 lead into a 41-31 lead – topped by a 3-pointer from Jonas Harper on the buzzer. The win improved BU’s record to 4-4 with the Mountain Hawks falling to 5-3. Lehigh will now play six of his next nine games at home after playing two in a row, three of four and four of six away.

Army starts Wednesday with a 12-8 record, 6-2 in the Patriot League game. After losing at Lafayette, the Black Knights have won back-to-back games against American and Navy. Against the Mids, Army fell 36-9 late in the first half and 40-18 at halftime. However, the Black Knights beat Navy 47-25 in the second half to force overtime where they finished the 74-73 win. Jalen Rucker leads the team and ranks fifth in the Patriot League points average (15.9), while Josh Caldwell is not far behind with an average of 12.5 points per contest. Charlie Peterson leads the team in rebounding (6.0), while Aaron Duhart’s 70 assists lead the Army and rank in the top five in the league. Army is No. 2 in the league on offense (71.7) and fourth on defense (69.7).

Lehigh and Army did not play last season due to the curtailed season affected by COVID-19. The Black Knights won the first meeting of the season at West Point 77-55. Army jumped out to a huge 39-13 halftime lead before Lehigh turned things around in the second half (scored 42 points), but it wasn’t enough. The Black Knights won both meetings in 2019-20 – 80-79 at Lehigh and 79-66 at Army. Previously, the Mountain Hawks had won the previous four encounters. Overall, Army leads the all-time streak 67-46. In the 2018–19 season, Lehigh erased three double-digit second-half deficits (18, 11, and 15) to win them all, with the latest win sending Lehigh to the Patriot League semifinals. The very first meeting between the two sides came in 1906-07, a 26-24 Lehigh victory. Army won the next matchup in 1914-15 in a 19-6 final.

After Wednesday’s game, the Mountain Hawks travel to Holy Cross on Saturday to take on the Crusaders at 2pm

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Date: January 26, 2022
Opponent: Army West Point Black Knights
Tip: 19 o’clock
Arena (capacity): Staller Arena (5,600)
Location: Bethlehem, Pa.
Lehigh’s record: 7-13, 5-3 Patriot League
Army Records: 12-8, 6-2 Patriot League
Series: Army leads, 67-46
Radio: Fox Sports Radio 94.7 FM & 1230 AM

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