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The Wire
Username Post: Death, taxes, and a Holy Cross win        (Topic#6979)
Posts: 133

Reg: 07-30-06
02-03-08 10:18 AM - Post#42745 home, when playing at or near full strength, are all certainties in life.

The roller coaster ride continues for the Mountain Hawks as they hit the halfway mark in the 14 game Patriot League season. Two dreadful losses to open the campaign followed by four stirring wins (three of the come from behind verity and two on the road, no less) only to be followed by today’s debacle in Worcester – an 18 point drubbing to the born again (Meister and Doherty return to the lineup) Crusaders.

The Mountain Hawks were never in this one. They missed their first three shots and it was down hill from there. The crew at ESPNU must have been doubting themselves for scheduling such a dud. Lehigh would go on to loss their 12th in a row to the purple and white clad gang from New England. Never once did the Mountain Hawks take the lead. They were man-handled on the boards 40-27 and couldn’t shoot straight, hitting 12 of 50 for 24% and 2 of 10 from beyond the arc, while giving up 19 field goals - 5 from deep to Holy Cross. Going into the game, many thought the teams would battle to a stalemate under the glass with Carrington and White pitting their athleticism and leaping ability against the admittedly taller and stronger team of Clifford and whomever else Coach Willard wanted to run out onto the court. Good thinking, except for the fact that No. 53, Eric Meister, would enter a Patriot League game for the first time this year. Meister, a 6’8”, 230 lb forward would good hands wouldn’t be denied. He hit 5 of 6 from inside the arc, grabbed 9 boards, and blocked 2 shots in 26 minutes of play. Clearly, he was my choice for MVP - a true difference maker today. Sure, Clifford blocked 7 shots and had is customary 16 points, but it was Meister and another injury “no-show” for the past few games, Pat Doherty, who really spelled big trouble for us. Doherty and Meister paired up on a number of textbook feeds and baskets in Doherty brief 12 minute stint on the court. He ended up with 5 points, 3 assists and 2 steals. Holy Cross was back and Lehigh didn’t have a clue what to do. Even when trailing 17 with 7:17 remaining in the game, the Mountain Hawks insisted on trying to feed the ball down low – a scheme that hadn’t worked all day with the Crusaders’ big men poised to swap the ball away and race the other way. Maybe take a few threes. I know we were only 2 for 10 from deep to that point, but why not at this point in the game. Plan B? There was none.

As disappointed as I was to see my team come out flat and be out-played in every facet of the game, I’m not ready – as some appear to be – to write of the season and the tournament that follows. We are, after all, a 4-3 team that sits in the upper half of the league standings (quite possible in a three way tie for second should Army get the best of Bucknell this afternoon), and have - to our credit - road wins against Army and Bucknell. Seven games remain with four at home before the tournament begins on March 3rd. Finishing in the top half of the standings secures home court advantage in Game One of the PL Tournament and should be on everyone’s mind. It’s not too early to look ahead to tie-breakers and realize the significance of the next two games on our schedule: AU (away) and Navy (at home). These are the same two teams that beat us during the first week of the season and to square away our record at 1-1 against each, posting wins against each takes on new significance. A seven-day break in our schedule (next up: AU on Sunday, 2/10) couldn’t have come at a better time. Let’s hope the team can regroup and come out on fire next weekend in the Nation’s Capital.

Posts: 133

Reg: 07-30-06
02-03-08 04:03 PM - Post#42781    
    In response to LU65

Some other certainties in life would be:

Lehigh seeing more 2-3 and match-up zone defenses during the last month of play, after looking so confused yesterday.

The Crusaders are back. Even at 2-5, it's hard to see them not hosting a playoff game in four weeks, with the parity in the league and just three games separating them from 5-2 Lafayette.

What home court advantage? Visitors have already won 15 contests, led by AU's three.

Marquis Hall is the man we want with the ball in his hands as the game winds down. He leads the PL in Assists per game and in third in the league from the foul line, shooting a team-leading .889 (24 of 27). He drained 10 of 10 yesterday in a losing cause.

Defense is still Lehigh's strong suit. Half way home, the Mountain Hawks are #1 in FG defense at .390 and 3rd in Points Allowed at 61.6.

We're not the only fans in shock after this weekend's play. Consider the Bison faithful. They just saw their team get trounced by Army, 68-52, outscoring the home-standing Bison by 19 in the second half. Parity, anyone?

The standing at the half way mark:

LC 5-2
LU 4-3
AU 4-3
BU 4-3
Army 3-4
Navy 3-4
Colgate 3-4
HC 2-5

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