Mountain Hawks, Raiders Set to Square off in Stabler Tuesday Night

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BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania – The Lehigh Men’s basketball team, which has won two straight wins, returns home Tuesday night to meet Colgate. The game time on ESPN + is set to 7:00 p.m. The Mountain Hawks are looking to build their comeback opening patriot league win at American as Tuesday marks the Raiders’ league opener – after their New Years game in Lafayette was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols under the Leopards program.

American used an early 17-0 run on Saturday to take a 30-11 lead, but the Mountain Hawks had a big response from there. Lehigh responded by beating the Eagles 46:19 in the next 18:47 points to take an eight-point 57:49 lead on the way to a 63-61 victory. It was Lehigh’s fifth win in their last six Patriot League opening games (to improve to 20-12 all-time league openings) and the Mountain Hawks’ 11th win in their last 12 attempts against American.

Junior Evan Taylor led the offense against the Eagles, hitting a career high of 25 points, 16 of which came after halftime for an Honorable Mention on the Patriot League’s weekly honor roll. In doing so, Taylor eclipsed 500 career points. He made career highs in minutes played (37), scored field goals (10) and attempted field goals (16) while adding six rebounds, two assists and one steal. Taylor’s total score was the highest on a Mountain Hawk since Marques Wilson scored 26 at Bucknell on January 16, 2021. Keith Higgins Jr. in the first year followed a career high of 18 points with 13 at American, 11 at half time. He shot 6 of 11 off the floor while posting his first steal of his career (with three at the end). Senior Nic Lynch also hit a season high of 12 points, nine of which were in the first half. In the first year, Tyler Whitney-Sidney was a spark off the bench, scoring Lehigh’s first four points in the second half and ending the game with a game high plus or minus plus 16.

Lehigh’s 19-point comeback was the biggest since he also came back from 19 points down at Army West Point on February 2, 2019. Saturday marked the Mountain Hawks’ first road win of the season.

Tuesday marks the 200th career game for head coach Brett in the Stabler Arena; he has a 136-63 record at home. The Mountain Hawks have taken double-digit home wins under Reed in eight seasons.

Colgate stands 4-9 in the season after losing the last four and seven of the last eight. The Raiders had postponed their start in the Patriot League in Lafayette, so they haven’t been in Vermont since December 22nd – a 78-68 defeat. You’ve been without your leading goalscorer and preseason All-Patriot League winner Nelly Cummings as of December 9 due to injury. Cummings is third in the league with an average of 17.6 points per game, followed by Jack Ferguson (12.1) and Tucker Richardson (10.8). Keegan Records leads the Raiders in rebound (6.2) (to go with an average of 8.7). Richardson owns a team-leading 56 assists. Colgate took an impressive 100-85 non-league win at Syracuse, while his other wins came over Northeastern, SUNY Poly and Columbia. The Raiders occupy eighth place in the nation at 3 points per game (11.1) and 11th place at 3 points (39.1).

Lehigh and Colgate last played in the 2020 Patriot League quarter-finals, an 83-70 Raiders win at Hamilton, giving them five straight wins in the series and a 57-41 all-time advantage. The teams were supposed to play last season but not due to schedule adjustments in the league in the late season due to COVID-19. Despite the Raiders’ recent success, Lehigh and Colgate have split the last 12 meetings. Lehigh’s last win over the Raiders came in Colgate on February 14, 2018, a game in which then-rookie Marques Wilson hit a career high of 28 points. Four of the last six meetings took place at Colgate. The very first meeting between Lehigh and Colgate was in 1909-10, a 25-24 Colgate victory. Lehigh’s first win was in 1961-62 through a 72-71 final

After Tuesday’s game, the Mountain Hawks will travel to West Point on Friday to face the Army at 5 p.m.

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Date: January 4, 2022
Opponent: Colgate Raiders
Tip: 19 o’clock
Arena (capacity): Stable arena (5,600)
Location: Bethlehem, Pa.
Lehigh’s record: 3-10, 1-0 Patriot League
Colgate’s record: 4-9, 0-0 Patriot League
Series: Colgate Leads, 57-41
Radio: Fox Sports Radio 94.7 FM & 1230 AM

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