Lehigh Can’t Overcome Tough First Half, Falls to UAlbany 68-52

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12/28/2021 | 8:30 p.m.

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BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania – 36-12 behind in the half, the Lehigh men’s basketball team cut the deficit by 10 points only in the first 8:10 of the second, but couldn’t get any closer than 14 when the Mountain Hawks fell on UAlbany , 68-52 on Tuesday evening in the Stabler Arena. Senior Jeameril Wilson led the Mountain Hawks with 13 points in 6-of-9, with 11 points after halftime. In the first year, Keith Higgins Jr. played all but 40 seconds in the second half, with seven points and four assists (career high seven points, career high five assists, and zero turnover for the game) in the last 20 minutes.

As a team, the Mountain Hawks had only three ball losses in the second half after eleven in the first half.

“It was unfortunate that we dug such a hole,” said Lehigh head coach Brett Reed. “Their athleticism bothered us, their pressure bothered us. That meant that we played a little faster than necessary. It led to the loss of the ball, some open looks, we didn’t convert.

“Fortunately for us, our kids reacted in the second half,” Reed continued. “I thought they were playing a much better kind of basketball. And if we hadn’t been extremely aggressive with our full court press, we would probably have reduced some of their points and conversions, mainly because we fouled.” them with our aggressiveness. ”

In the first half a bit of rust knocked off, in the second half played better in the holidays pic.twitter.com/wDrvjW42nr

– Lehigh M. Basketball (@LehighMBB) December 22, 2021 Tuesday marked Lehigh’s first game in 17 days since final exams were suspended (and Saturday’s game in Syracuse was postponed).

Together with Wilson’s 13 points, classmate Nic Lynch and junior Evan Taylor scored 10 each. De’Vondre Perry led UAlbany with a game high of 18 points.

The Great Danes opened early tours of 9-2 and 15-4. A Fenton 3-pointer pulled Lehigh up at 15-7 within eight, but that’s as close as the Mountain Hawks would get the rest of the way. UAlbany responded with a 16-1 run to open a 31-8 lead after a 3-pointer from Perry with 4:01 in the first half. Luke Fizulich completed the half with a Trey when the time ran out to give the Great Danes a 36-12 lead that went to the locker room.

Lehigh started the second half quickly with five points in a row and nine from the first 11 when a layup by Dominic Parolin after an impressive run of passes drew the Mountain Hawks within 38:21 with 16:44 passes remaining.

Mountain Hawks got off to a strong start in the half, scoring nine of the first 11 points to pull within 38-21 after that nifty series of passes.

Watch it on ESPN + https://t.co/kxthHNLJUI pic.twitter.com/wTbKTNkrsB

– Lehigh M. Basketball (@LehighMBB) Dec. 22, 2021 Just over two minutes later, an emphatic Taylor dunk from a backdoor feed from Higgins Jr. reached Lehigh within 40-25 at 2:35 PM.

Back door for the ET SLAM.

Watch it on ESPN + https://t.co/kxthHNLJUI pic.twitter.com/JpBMFooCgy

– Lehigh M. Basketball (@LehighMBB) Dec. 22, 2021 Not long after that, Higgins Jr. continued his presence, knocking down a 3-pointer to get Lehigh within 42-28 with 11:50 to go.

The Mountain Hawks are REALLY back on this one. Much time after that Keith Higgins Jr. 3-hand.

Watch it on ESPN + https://t.co/kxthHNLJUI pic.twitter.com/Q256r2WYgF

– Lehigh M. Basketball (@LehighMBB) December 22, 2021 “It’s been really impressive for Keith to do that [point guard] Roll and help us like he did, “Reed said.” With what we went through with the loss of Jalin Sinclair [for the season] and then Marques Wilson [currently out], and inconsistency that we got [at the point guard position], we put Keith in a position he hadn’t really played. He’s the son of a coach. He usually takes care of basketball. He’s got a pretty good feel and IQ. And Keith played really, really hard.

“He understands what’s going on out there and he showed it tonight,” Reed continued. “The five assists to no turnovers that played a little out of position were a great sign for us and hopefully something to build on.”

However, after Higgins Jr.’s 3-pointer, the Great Danes reacted immediately and dispelled many doubts by scoring 10 points in a row to take a 52-28 lead.

Lehigh fought further down the distance, pulling the last horn within 16, while junior Jakob Alamudun knocked down a 3-pointer from first year Burke Chebuhar to pull the Mountain Hawks within 68-52 on the last horn.

For the game, the Mountain Hawks shot 38.8 percent out of the field (19 out of 49), of which 25.0 percent out of the 3-point range (5 out of 20). UAlbany shot 43.6 percent (24-of-55) and 45.5 percent behind the bow (5-of-11). The Great Danes had an advantage of 38:28 on the rebounds.

Lehigh will return home next Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. to host Eastern University. The Mountain Hawks then open the Patriot League game at American on New Years Day.

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