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Username Post: Rutgers.......Impossible...maybe!        (Topic#8211)
Posts: 133

Reg: 07-30-06
11-26-08 06:27 PM - Post#54342    

Is tonight's game the mismatch it appears to be? Yeah, probably, but that's why they play the game. The only thing Rutgers and Lehigh have in common are their 3-1 records. That's where it ends.

Lehigh has nothing to lose; Rutgers, a lot beginning with it's pride and reputation - especially after starting out 3-0 and dropping their last contest to the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure.

Lehigh's RPI is 243; Rutger's 121 (there are 340 teams competing in DI this year).

Lehigh's strength of schedule is 266; Rutger's is 162.

Lehigh competes in the Patriot League (Conference Ranking: 25); Rutgers in the Big East (Conference Ranking: 2). There are 32 DI conferences.

Lehigh prides itself on ball control (60 assists/51 turnovers); Rutgers (42 assists/61 turnovers).

Lehigh's top rebounders (6'9" Carrington and 6'10" Anderson) combine for 10.5rp; Rutgers big boys (6'11" Ndlaye and 6'9" Echenique) combine for 19.5rpg. They pulled down 25 in their win over St. Bonaventure.

Lehigh boasts 6 three point threats (Hall, Anderson, Keefer, Buchberger, Small, and Ojo) ; Rutgers 2 (Rosario and Chandler).

Lehigh has 7 blocked shots on the year; Rutgers 43. Jr. Center, Ndlaye has 23 alone.

Is it possible to beat Rutgers with the deck stacked against us? Sure, but a lot of things must happen. To start with, how about another night of TOs (15+) for the Scarlet Knight and toss in some cold shooting while you're at it, ala the St. Bonaventure game.......40%FG, 26.5%3FG, and 52.4%FT. Secondly, it would seem that Lehigh must hit often and with great accuracy (45%+) from beyond the arc. As much as I like Carrington, Anderson, and Adams, they'll have their hands full getting off shots with Ndlaye and Enhenique draped all over them. Offensive rebounds will be hard to come by with their twin towers in the game. Therefore, the question may become: can Hall, Buchberger, Small, Ojo, Anderson and Keefer keep them guessing and get hot from deep? Will two or more begin to dominate and, as a group, hit 14 plus bombs? Then and maybe then, we can stay even in point totals and have it come down to FTs and intangibles.

It'll be fun to watch.

Posts: 133

Reg: 07-30-06
11-27-08 10:57 AM - Post#54361    
    In response to LU65

"We belong:" words that came to mind as the first half ended. It wasn't a fluke, we were actually going toe to toe with a Big East foe for twenty minutes - never once out of the lead. Other words - these from the old heads sitting around me in the cheap seats and from those down low 10 rows off the court where I managed to sit for the second half: "This kid is good," "He can play on my team," "Sweet," "The guy can't be stopped," "Did you see that!" "Good as I've seen" and more. In case you didn't catch on, they were talking about our #1, Marquis Hall. The guy was unstoppable at both ends of the floor last night, hitting his full complement of shots, muscling in for rebounds where he didn't belong, diving (and recovering) loose balls, and carrying his team on his back each and every possession. A line score to die for: 9-21 FGs, 8-13 FTs, 15 Rebounds, 5 Assists, and 0 Turnovers in 36 minutes of play. Other numbers that jump off the box score, considering the Lehigh's height disadvantage last night were: Rebounds - equal at 44 apiece, and Blocks - equal at 6 apiece.

So, what happened? How did we pull off the win?

One, we got the cold shooting we had hoped for from Rutgers (see prior post) with the Knights going: 37.5%FG, 28.6%3FG, and 65.4%FTs.

Two, ball control and tempo. We were able to play up-tempo (fun new style the team and fans seem to enjoy) tossing up 68 shots yet only turn the ball over 8 times.

Three, we challenged their three - point shooters, especially Mike Rosario (2 for 13), and they came up short.

Four, we packed-it-in down low and were able to limit their big guns (Echenique and Ndiaye) to a combined 15 points. I've never seen Carrington work harder down low, employing that big wingspan of his - fronting his foe at all times. Meanwhile, he and Anderson hit for 25 on the opposite end of the court.

Five, the emerging two-way play of David Buchberger. For the second game in a row, Dave hit for double figures and when the game seemed to be slipping away came through for the team, calmly sinking 10-11 (two game total) FTs. All this, while shouting down the other team's most prolific three point scorer, Rosario from last night.

Six, Marquis Hall and more Marquis Hall.

A great win for the program - a first over a Big East team. Now, can we NOT let down against Dartmouth on Saturday? Can you imagine a 5-1 Lehigh team hosting St. Joe's at Stabler next Tuesday? Wouldn't that be something! We might even draw a 1,000 fans.

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