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Lafayette Leads Lehigh, Charging Bison
Tuesday, February 10
Navy (3-19, 0-9 PL) at American (12-11, 6-3 PL)
American was led by another strong game from senior PG Andres
Rodriguez, who extended his Patriot League assist lead by dishing out
11 dimes against Navy in a 71-49 win. The Eagles took the early lead
thanks to an 18-3 run in the first half, and didn’t look back, leading
by 11 at the break and cruising to an easy victory.
American shot a sizzling 58 percent from the floor as the Eagles took
advantage of Navy in the paint all night long, posting a 36-16 scoring
advantage inside. The game’s leading scorer, AU’s Andre Ingram, put
the game away with two straight jumpers as part of an 8-0 run after
Navy had cut the once sizable American lead to 7 with 8:49 left.
Ingram tallied 15 for the game.
Lehigh (14-8, 7-2 PL) at Bucknell (10-12, 6-3)
At Sojka Pavilion in Lewisburg, Pa., Bucknell narrowly pulled out
their seventh win in their last eight games, 64-63 against visiting
Lehigh. In a back and forth game, reigning PL Player of the Week
Charles Lee came up big again for the hosts, leading all scorers with
In the first half, the Bison took advantage of a 20-5 run to lead
34-25 at halftime. It was a game of runs in the second half, as Lehigh
used spurts of 7-0 and 11-2 to tie the game with under seven minutes
Jason Mgebroff led the way for Lehigh with 15 points, all of them
coming in the second half. The game was tense down the stretch, with
the lead continuing to see-saw between the two clubs. The Mountain
Hawks led 63-61 with 15 seconds left as Bucknell moved the ball into
the Lehigh frontcourt.
Kevin Bettencourt missed a long three-pointer, but Lee was Johnny on
the spot for Bucknell, grabbing the rebound underneath. Rather than
allow an easy lay-up to tie the game, Lehigh’s Nick Monserez fouled
Lee. However, the officials whistled Monserez for an intentional foul,
giving Bucknell two shots and the ball.
Lee calmly netted both free throws, and right off the inbounds pass
Bettencourt was fouled on a drive to the hoop. With 7.6 seconds left
on the clock, Bettencourt hit one of his two attempts. Lehigh’s Ra
Tiah threw up a desperate runner in the lane as the clock expired, but
it caromed off the rim, taking with it Lehigh’s share of first place
in the league.
Wednesday, February 11
Lafayette (17-5, 8-1 PL) at Army (5-16, 2-7 PL)
Lafayette regained sole possession of first place in the league thanks
to its 78-70 win over Army at West Point, N.Y. Mike Farrell paced a
balanced Lafayette scoresheet with 16 points, tying his season-high.
Four Leopards were in double-digits, led by Farrell and Jamaal
Douglas. Winston Davis continued his dependable season by pouring in
The game was back and forth for much of the first half, with Lafayette
using a 13-2 run to take a six point advantage into the first half’s
under 8:00 media timeout. The Leopards led by 5 at intermission,
In half number two both teams struggled to regain their offensive
rhythm. Between the 17:34 and 8:19 marks of the stanza, the teams
combined to hit only three field goals. At the end of that stretch
Lafayette led by 7, and after the Leopards netted a 7-0 spree to
double the lead, it was all but over.
Colgate (11-11, 3-6 PL) at Holy Cross (10-12, 4-5 PL)
Holy Cross took advantage of a second-half drought by Colgate to
improve its PL record to 4-5 and break a fifth place tie with the
visiting Raiders. John Hurley scored 16 points, leading the way for
Holy Cross. Colgate managed only nine points during a thirteen minute
stretch midway through the second half, all of them by freshman
Kendall Chones, who played well for the sixth straight game in relief
of the injured Howard Blue. Chones finished with 19 points, tying his
season high. Blue remains out indefinitely with a knee injury, but
hopes to play in Colgate’s next game, a Saturday afternoon tilt
Friday, February 13
American (12-12, 6-4 PL) at Lehigh (15-8, 8-2 PL)
Lehigh used red-hot shooting to defeat American in a critical league
match-up on Friday night at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pa., 86-65.
Both teams shot over 50 percent in the first-half, with Lehigh holding
a narrow 43-39 advantage.
A 15-3 Mountain Hawks run to open the second half iced this one, as
Lehigh’s three guard tandem of Austen Rowland, Jose Olivero, and Ra
Tiah swished and dished to the tune of a combined 65 points. Lehigh
shot a mind-boggling 13-19 from beyond the arc, while American went
ice cold from the floor in the second half, shooting 35 percent
compared to 56 percent in the first half.
Rowland led all scorers with 29 (along with 9 assists), and was joined
in double digits for Lehigh by Olivero with 18. The Mountain Hawks
still have regular season title hopes, with a February 22 home game
against Lafayette looming large on the schedule. American dropped to
fourth place in the league with the loss, and will look to rebound
against Holy Cross and Colgate next weekend.
Saturday, February 14
Holy Cross (10-13, 4-6 PL) at Lafayette (18-5, 9-1 PL)
Lafayette continued to live up to expectations as the pre-season pick
to win the league as it posted a difficult 78-72 win over a surging
Holy Cross club. The Crusaders – three-time defending league
tournament champions – came into the game winners of two straight, and
led 35-32 at the half.
Lafayette took advantage of 26-31 free throw shooting to win the
physical battle. Lafayette’s pre-season All-League guard Justin
DeBerry came alive in the second half, scoring 12 of his 16 in the
decisive frame, including eight in a row during a 12-2 Lafayette
stretch that gave them the lead with 10:48 remaining.
John Hurley led the Crusaders for the second straight game, scoring 13
in the loss. Holy Cross battled hard against the host Leopards, who
improved their home record on the campaign to 11-0. The game was tied
with as little as 5:31 left, but clutch Lafayette shooting down the
stretch both from the floor and from the charity stripe was too much
for Holy Cross to overcome.
Bucknell (11-12, 7-3 PL) at Navy (3-20, 0-10 PL)
Bucknell, winners of eight of its past nine and five in a row, was
severely tested in Annapolis, Md. on Saturday afternoon before downing
the host Midshipmen 54-52. Kevin Bettencourt continues to show that he
is not the victim of a sophomore slump, as the defending league Rookie
of the Year led all scorers with 17.
Remarkably, the Midshipmen led Bucknell by six, 44-38, with just 6:45
to go in this defensive struggle. However this proved to be the
turning point as Bucknell ripped off 10 straight points, asserting
themselves firmly in third place thanks to American’s loss at Lehigh a
After a Charles Lee bucket and two free throws by Chris McNaughton,
Bucknell’s defense forced three straight turnovers, all of which
resulted in transition lay-ups, making the score 48-44 Bison with 3:00
The win was Bucknell’s first ever at Navy in the conference’s 14 year
Army (6-16, 3-7 PL) at Colgate (11-12, 3-7 PL)
With a 68-63 win at Cotterell Court in Hamilton, N.Y., Army completed
its first two-game sweep over Colgate since league play began in
1990-91. The win marked Army’s first triumph at Colgate since 1977.
The Black Knights were led by Sean O’Keefe’s 15 points, and confounded
Colgate all afternoon long with their stifling defense. On offense,
Army slowed the game down, hitting numerous difficult shots as the
shot clock expired. The Black Knights shot 56 percent from the floor
compared to 43 percent for Colgate.
Mark Linebaugh tried to lead a heroic Colgate comeback in the final 50
seconds, as he knocked down back-to-back shots to draw Colgate back
within seven. After Kyle Chones stole an Army pass and Jon Simon
nailed another three, Colgate was within four with 17 seconds left.
Army’s Travis Owsley missed a pair at the free throw line, and Colgate
raced the other way. Linebaugh’s three-point attempt caromed away,
however, and the Black Knights held on, capturing the season series
and sixth-place tiebreaker from Colgate.
A Look Ahead
This Friday and Sunday marks the second to last weekend in the Patriot
League’s regular season. Sunday afternoon four teams – American,
Bucknell, Lehigh, and Navy – will hold Senior Day festivities.
With four games remaining for each club before the league tournament
(March 6-7 in Upper Marlboro, Md., the championship March 13 at the
highest remaining seed’s home court), Lafayette and Lehigh seem to be
in a two horse race for the regular season title. Lafayette has the
league’s most difficult weekend schedule, playing at third-place
Bucknell on Friday night and second-place Lehigh on Sunday afternoon.
With two wins the Leopards can all but claim the regular season
trophy, but with a pair of losses, the door could be left wide open
for either the Bison or Mountain Hawks to come scrambling in.
Lehigh and Bucknell, besides squaring off against front-runner
Lafayette, each host Army in a game both must win in order to preserve
their regular season title hopes.
Holy Cross has its sights set on the #4 seed in the league tournament,
and no game is more important in that quest than Friday night’s 8 p.m.
tilt at American (DirecTV Channel 615, the Patriot League “Game of the
Week”). The Eagles won at Holy Cross earlier this season, 62-59, and
the Crusaders must rebound if they wish to move up from the league’s
bottom half. This game is also very possibly a Patriot League
On Sunday afternoon Holy Cross visits Navy for Senior Day in
Annapolis, while American hosts Colgate, a team it hung on to beat
74-71 on the road on January 23.
The reeling Raiders visit Navy and the aforementioned Eagles, looking
to get back on track in a season that is quickly careening off the
tracks. Colgate had not lost back-to-back games all season until
February 1, but the team has struggled of late, losing 4 of its last
As for the Midshipmen, they look for their first conference win of the
season as they host Colgate and Holy Cross. Navy was ripped at the
Hart Center 88-54, but played Colgate to a tight 91-84 decision in
Hamilton. Sunday afternoon marks not only the last home game for
Navy’s three seniors but also for Coach Don DeVoe who is retiring
after 12 seasons at the Academy, having compiled a 182-158 mark and
three NCAA Tournament appearances while at the school. Overall, DeVoe
has coached 31 seasons with an overall mark of 510-386. He has led
three different schools to the NCAA Tournament.
Patriot League Men’s Basketball Standings
Lafayette 9-1 18-5
Lehigh 8-2 15-8
Bucknell 7-3 11-12
American 6-4 12-12
Holy Cross 4-6 10-13
Army 3-7 6-16
Colgate 3-7 11-12
Navy 0-10 3-20
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