Jan. 30, 2008
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Zahir Carrington scored 19 points and helped Lehigh become the first Patriot League team in almost four years to defeat Bucknell in Sojka Pavilion, 55-52 on Wednesday night. Bryan White had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Marquis Hall also scored 13 points for the Mountain Hawks (11-9, 4-2), who won their fourth game in a row and moved into a tie for second place with Bucknell in the Patriot League standings.
Rob Thomas scored a season-high 11 points on 5-for-5 shooting and John Griffin added 10 points for the Bison (9-11, 4-2), who had a cold shooting night. Bucknell missed its first eight attempts of the night and shot 36.1 percent overall, falling despite committing only eight turnovers, outrebounding Lehigh 32-31, and holding the Mountain Hawks to 0-for-9 shooting from 3-point range.
Lehigh overcame its lack of outside shooting by going 18-for-31 inside the arc and outscoring the Bison 20-5 from the free-throw line.
Bucknell had won a national-best 38 straight home games against Patriot League foes, dating all the way back to a 60-57 loss to Colgate on Feb. 29, 2004.
After trailing 29-24 at the half, the Bison rallied to tie the game at 42-all on Thomas' baseline jumper with 9:39 to play. After that, however, they went 5:26 without scoring, and Lehigh tallied five in a row to take the lead for good.
A key play came at the 4:37 mark, after neither team had scored in almost three minutes. Darren Mastropaolo grabbed a defensive rebound with Bucknell trailing 45-42, but Lehigh guard Prentice Small poked the ball away a converted a layup to put the Mountain Hawks up five.
White's layup with 3:35 to play would be Lehigh's final field goal, but the Mountain Hawks went 7-for-10 from the foul line in the final minute.
Griffin made a 3-pointer with 39 seconds left to make it a 51-48 game, then Matt Szalachowski made 1 of 2 from the line. Griffin and Hall traded free throws, then Thomas stuck back an offensive rebound with seven seconds left to make it 53-51.
Bucknell fouled Small on the inbounds, but the freshman made both free throws to make it a four-point game. That proved big when Bison rookie Darryl Shazier hit a long 3-pointer at the other end, but only three ticks remained. Small went back to the line and made 1 of 2, but Bucknell's desperation heave at the buzzer fell short.
Lehigh scored the first six points of the game before Griffin got the Bison on the board with a trey. The Bison led once at 11-10 on Justin Castleberry's fastbreak layup, but that would be the only points of the night for Bucknell's leading scorer, who struggled through a 1-for-9 shooting night.
Griffin also had a tough night, finishing 3-for-12 from the field, but his three 3-pointers moved him past Mike Joseph into third place on Bucknell's career list with 184.
Lehigh outscored Bucknell 11-6 over the final 6:32 of the half, with White's layup just before the buzzer giving it a five-point cushion at the break.
Mastropaolo finished with eight points for the Bison, with all four field goals coming in the first seven minutes of the second half. Thomas also had eight second-half points, and Bucknell had 13 field goals to Lehigh's six after halftime. But the Mountain Hawks got to the line 20 times in that span, making 15.
Lehigh also snapped a seven-game losing streak to Bucknell. The Mountain Hawks' last victory in Sojka Pavilion came in the very first game ever played here, on Jan. 15, 2003.
Bucknell wraps up its three-game homestand on Sunday against Army. The game starts at noon and will be televised on ESPNU.