Lehigh rolls over Army, 78-66

The Army Black Knights were beaten by the first place Lehigh Mountain Hawks Saturday night at Stabler Arena, 78-66. It was billed as a match up of the league's best offensive team, Lehigh, against the league's best defensive team, Army. However, if it were a fight it would have been stopped in the first half.

Just like they did in their first match up, Lehigh dominated the first half leading by as many as 22 points. A rally by the Black Knight bench in second half made game closer but Army never challenged Lehigh's lead.

As it has been the trend the last few weeks the Black Knights found themselves facing an early deficit because of their inability to hit many shots. Unlike other games Army's defense wasn't able to contain Lehigh's balanced attack. Lehigh jumped out to a 7-0 lead. After a media timeout Cleveland Richard was able to get Army on the board with a three point shot. The Mountain Hawks answered back with a three-point shot by their super freshman guard, C.J. McCollum. It started a nine point run over two minutes for Lehigh that pushed the Mountain Hawk lead to 16-3. Julian Simmons looked to help get the Army offense going as he hit two free throws and a fastback layup to cut the Lehigh to ten (18-8). Lehigh responded with another nine-point run as Army's usually stellar defense had no answers to stop the Mountain Hawk attack. As Army head coach Zach Spiker went to his bench in first half looking for some answers, Lehigh's McCollum, a lock for Patriot League Rookie of the Year, took over nailing three long-range bombs. McCollum scored a season high 33 points.

The nature of the game allowed coach Spiker to give more playing time to backups. Jeremy Hence led Army in scoring with a season high 14 points. Freshman Jason Pancoe scored his first nine points of the year in just six minutes. The Army bench contributed a season high of 41 points. They battled the Lehigh lead down to ten points very late but the game was already decided by that time.

With the victory the Lehigh Mountain Hawks (16-9, 7-3 in Patriot League) continue to lead the Patriot League while the Army Black Knights (13-11, 3-7 in Patriot League) fall into last place.

Army, which has lost four consecutive road games, plays its final Patriot League regular season game on the road this year at American Wednesday night at 7:30 pm.

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