Pair of 2-0 Teams Set to Square off Friday in West Point

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BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania – The Lehigh men’s basketball team travels to West Point, NY on Friday to face the Army in a grand duel with 2-0 Patriot League teams. The opening tip is set for 5:00 p.m. on ESPN +. The Mountain Hawks have won a total of three times in a row, most recently they defeated the defending champion Colgate with 85:81. Lehigh jumped 22-7 in the lead, then used a late 10-0 run to regain his five-point lead on the way to his first win over the Raiders since 2018.

The Mountain Hawks presented two 20-point scorers for the first time this season (and for the first time since last February 27 in Lafayette when Marques Wilson scored 22 and Nic Lynch scored 22). On Tuesday Keith Higgins Jr. had a career high of 23 points in the first year (16 after halftime) while Senior Jeameril Wilson hit a career high at 20 (14 in the first 7:23 of the game), Higgins has 27 points in the second Scored half-time, which turned out to be crucial in both wins. Wilson’s 20 points came in just 20 minutes due to foul play, while he also made five career-worthy assists. minus +16, and he shot 9-out-9 off the ground – the highest number of hits a Mountain Hawk has taken without a miss since Tim Kempton was 9-out-9 against the American on March 5, 2015. Lehigh scored 80 points for the first time since an 82-74 win on January 24 at Holy Cross.

In an all-round successful team performance, Senior Nic Lynch scored his fifth double-double in his career and scored double-digit points for the fourth time in the last five games. Junior Reed Fenton scored 12 points, nine of them at half time, including two large free throws with seven seconds to go to give Lehigh the lead with two possession games. In the first year, Tyler Whitney-Sidney made his first career start, scoring eight points from the end with two rebounds and two steals. Junior Evan Taylor scored four career-high assists. As a team, the Mountain Hawks had a season low of six ball losses, none from the starting backfield of Higgins and Whitney-Sidney.

On Tuesday head coach Brett Reed celebrated the 200th game of his career at the Stabler Arena and his 137th home win. He moved into the sole possession of the second place in the history of the Patriot League for career league victories with 127.

Lehigh and Army West Point will compete against each other for the first time since the 2019-20 season.

Army stands 8-6 in the season, including 2-0 in the Patriot League with wins over Loyola (in overtime) and Bucknell. With Jalen Rucker (5th place, 15.6 points per game) and Josh Caldwell (10, 13.2), the Black Knights have two of the top 10 goalscorers in the league. Charlie Peterson leads Army in rebounding (6.4) while Aaron Duhart is No. 1 in assists (50). Army is second in the Patriot League on the offensive (73.1) and fourth on the defensive (70.9). The Black Knights lost four of their last six games when they entered the Patriot League – with wins over Purchase College and the NJIT.

Lehigh and Army didn’t play last season due to the shortened season affected by COVID-19. The Black Knights won both meetings in 2019-20-80-79 at Lehigh and 79-66 at Army. Before that, the Mountain Hawks had won the last four meetings. Overall, Army leads the all-time series 66-46. During the 2018/19 season, Lehigh made up three double-digit deficits in the second half (18, 11 and 15) to win them all. The Mountain Hawks have won four of the last six in the Army. The very first meeting between the two sides took place in 1906-07, a 26-24 victory for Lehigh. Army won the next matchup in 1914–15 through a 19–6 final.

After Friday’s game, the Mountain Hawks will return home on Monday at 7:00 p.m. to host Holy Cross

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Date: January 7, 2022
Opponent: Army West Point Raiders
Tip: 17 o’clock
Arena (capacity): Christl Arena (5,043)
Location: West Point, NY
Lehigh’s record: 4-10, 2-0 Patriot League
Army record: 8-6, 2-0 Patriot League
Series: Army leads, 66-46
Radio: Fox Sports Radio 94.7 FM & 1230 AM

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