Lehigh went down to Bender Arena in DC and did something that they haven’t done since the 2006-2007 season, which is start Patriot League play 2-0, by beating American 63-57 in a total team win. American got out of the gate extremely well, hitting four early 3-point shots and building an early 14 point lead in the first half of the game. When the American lead balooned and it was gut check time for the Mountain Hawks, senior leader Holden Greiner stepped up and went on an amazing run for the Mountain Hawks. With CJ watching in Bethlehem on crutches, and Holden’s other senior classmate on the bench with 2 fouls in Knutson, Holden used his combination of speed and deep shooting abilities to single handedly keep Lehigh from getting blown out in the 1st half, as he finished the first frame with 16 points. Greiner scored in a variety of different ways, including deep 3-pointers and dribble drive penetration where he continued to spin away from defenders and produce buckets. Lehigh turned that 14 point deficit into a 3 point half time lead, and never relinquished that lead in the 2nd half. Holden finished the game with 22 and clearly was the player of the game, but this win was all about total TEAM contributions. All 9 players who played made an impact on this game on atleast one end of the floor.
Mackey had a really strong game, and finished with an impressive line of 11 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, a blocked shot and importantly zero turnovers. Talk about stat stuffing evening for the junior point guard, Mackey did it all for Lehigh tonight, and sped the ball up court in the fast break game that lead to many transition buckets. Lehigh’s leading scorer in uniform was Gabe Knutson and he was in and out of foul trouble all night and only played 21 minutes for Lehigh, and ended up with just 2 points. I doubt many people would believe that Lehigh went down to American and beat this team with 2 points from Gabe and CJ watching on crutches from Bethlehem, but it is time to wake up folks, because Lehigh is a TEAM.
Look at some of these contributions up and down the line-up:
*Baltimore had a big 5 rebounds for Lehigh, including a nice offensive board that he put back up for a deuce.
*Goldsborough battled hard on defensive end, making Lumpkins earn everyhing he got, and helped hold Lumpkins to 4 for 10 shooting. Justin finished with 4 points and 3 boards.
* Stefan missed a couple early 3 pointers in the first half but didn’t get discouraged and had his own little mini 5 point run(finished with 5 points) with a fast break deuce and a big 3 ball.
*Schaefer hit a big 3 to stop an American run and extend a Lehigh lead, and had a nice steal and some clutch free throws down the stretch. Corey finished with 6 points.
*BJ Bailey, that long athletic guard finally feeling healthy again had some nice drives and a huge steal down the stretch to seal the victory, and he finished with 6 points.
*D’Orazio had 5 points, including a big transition 3 pointer to go along with 3 steals.
This TEAM believes in one another, and to a man trusts that the next guy will step up and help the team win. Everyone is playing with supreme confidence right now, and Lehigh looks to continue its strong play on Saturday night at Stabler Arena, when it hosts Colgate University for a chance to go to 3-0.