December 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm #1356
http://www.lehighsports.com/assets/spor … 121709.pdf
There can never be a "must win" game in OOC play, right? Well, this one comes close. Lehigh has dropped its last three (one excusably to Dayton, one we could have had against Columbia in well played game and the other a truly awful effort in a 19 point loss to Stony Brook) after winning three in a row and beginning the year with two other losses to solid programs in Richmond and Rider. Now, it’s time we got back on track and formed an identity – especially on defense – against a team who was picked to finish at the bottom of the Ivy League and is off to a 1-6 start (2-6 if you include their win five nights ago to D-II Lyndon State). The Big Green can’t score; we can, out-pointing the them 69.8 to 57.2 ppg. Dartmouth has broken through the .400 FG% barrier but once this season – that against Hartford. No one on the team averages in double digits. Their starting forwards, Rufful and Riddle, are sophomores and hit just 39% of their shots. Their starting center, 6’9" junior forward Chris Weeden, connects on only 41% of his attempts. He bears watching, however, especially on the offensive glass where he has recorded nearly as many boards as on defense – fully 45% of his team-leading rebound total come while on offense. They seem to have but one three-point threat on their team and that’s their 6’1" sophomore guard, Jabari Trotter, who strokes it at .423 from long-range. He has hit double-digits four times this year – including a 16 point performance against D-II Lyndon State – and certainly bears watching. Buchberger will have his hands full again. Also, let’s be sure not to send guard Ronnie Dixson to the line. He’s automatic @ .938.
With Army off to a flying start it might be instructive to see how we do tonight against Dartmouth tonight knowing the Black Knights ran over the Big Green 59-46 in a game played up in Hanover a few days ago. In that contest, Army held Dartmouth to 30% FG shooting and 26.3% from beyond the arc. Trotter played 36 minutes and led the home team with 14 points. It’s interesting to note that Army went 0-7 from long range and still put away Dartmouth with ease.
With or without Carrington (does anyone have an update?), this game should be ours – on paper, anyway. We should be well-rested and eager to get a win at home. Ask anyone wearing the green, it sure beats a 6 1/2 hour – 345 mile bus ride.
Sagarin Line: LU-11December 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm #1358
Hopefully the guys have all successfully finished their exams and are ready to make a nice push through the 2nd part of OOC play and to build some momentum for the league season. There is still time to make a nice statement and gain some confidence before we face off against our PL foes. Our terrific OOC start last year didn’t make for much once league play started, so there is no reason for anyone to get down on this squad or its potential.December 18, 2009 at 8:40 pm #1368
A good win – not a great win.
As expected following the 12 day exam break there was a little rust to deal with. Sluggish doesn’t begin to tell the story. Zahir, back after missing 3 1/2 games, missed a couple of easy looks early on and Lehigh went on to miss-fire on their first 7 field goal attempts. Dave Buchberger finally got us going with a layup at the 15:49 mark and a jumper moments later to put us in the lead and the team never looked back – leading by as much as 20 in the second half.
Dartmouth struggled to hit their shots (25% from three and 38.3% overall) – not that we did much better. After missing those first 7 from the field, we did approach 40% overall, but nothing to get too excited about. What was good to see was:
a. The return of "Z" who tallied 8 points, 5 boards, 6 resounding blocks and 2 steals. It was if he was never away. He played at full-throttle despite what had to be two full rolls of tape wrapped around his left knee.
b. Marquis Hal’s 5 for 10 shooting, 17 points, 5-5 from the line and customary fine management of the game. It was if he shot the ball only when needed, looking for better options throughout the game. In fact, he had 0 first half points. But, when it appeared that Dartmouth was intent on making a run at us, he stepped up to put an end to that idea with four consecutive baskets (two 2’s and two 3’s) in a three minute span of the second half to stymie their efforts.
c. Michael Ojo stroking 3’s, positioning himself well for rebounds and nailing his foul shots (6-6) with two in the final 60 seconds to salt away the victory. Ojo is a fun character who can get his bench and fans cheering. Yeah, too bad there were on 600 or so (29 students – actual head count….the others were no doubt headed home for the holidays) on hand last night to enjoy the holidays.
d. Freshmen producing 18 pts., 19 rebounds, in a combined 73 minutes of play.
e. McCollum and Keefer taking it to the basket looking to get to the line where they are they are converting at a rate of .844 and .769, respectively. The team itself is averaging .754 from the foul line.
f. Knutson’s aggressive play under the boards in a 10 rebound game (season high).
g. Up-tempo/push the ball style of offense yielding 16 fast break points.
h. Bench spirit. Maybe it’s just that the players were glad to be back home on the court after finishing a round of exams, but it was a pretty lively scene last night watching Adams, Mineri and Hamilton ride – in a good nature way – the guys, especially freshman Greiner, the guys on the court .
i. Turnovers – 7
j. Steals – 8
It wasn’t all pretty, however. We got out-rebounded again (this time 43 to 35), lost our focus once the lead got up to 20, and missed too many open opportunities. Play that way again on Sunday and we’ll be no threat to St. Joseph’s.
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