WEST POINT, N.Y. - All five starters scored in double figures as Lehigh led by as many as 22 points in the first half and held on from there for an 85-76 win at Army on Sunday at Christl Arena.
The Mountain Hawks improved to 16-5 overall and 6-1 in the Patriot League, tied for first place in the standings with Bucknell at the midway point of the League slate. It is Lehigh's best midseason League record since 2006. Lehigh also won for the eighth time in nine road games and moved to 8-3 on the road this season. The Black Knights had a two-game win streak come to an end as they fell to 10-12 overall and 3-4 in the League, and in a fourth-place tie with American and Colgate in the standings.
Lehigh led from start to finish, and came out on fire by making 13-of-16 shots to open the game. The stretch concluded with five three-pointers that fueled a 16-5 run and pushed the lead to 32-15 with 8:50 to go in the first half. Lehigh would later use an 11-2 run to go up 47-25 before Army scored the last six points of the first half to trim the deficit to 16 at the break.
Army went on an 11-2 stretch of its own early in the second half to get back within single digits at 53-44 with 14:51 left. The Black Knights whittled the deficit all the way down to five points at 68-63 with 6:57 to play, but missed two field goals and a pair of free throws that would have closed the gap further. Army got back within five on three more ocassions in the final two minutes, but Lehigh hit 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch to go on to the 85-76 win.
Mackey McKnight led the Mountain Hawks with 21 points and five assists, making 6-of-9 field goals and 8-of-10 free throws. Anthony D'Orazio added a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Gabe Knutson scored 18, Holden Greiner had 11 and B.J. Bailey finished with 10. Lehigh was over 50% at 30-of-56 from the field in the game, including a blistering 18-of-29 in the first half. The Mountain Hawks had 15 assists with just eight turnovers in the game. Lehigh beat Army for the fourth straight time overall and fourth in a row at Christl Arena. The Mountain Hawks have won seven of the past eight against the Black Knights.
Army had an all-freshman starting five for the third straight games, with Kyle Toth leading the plebes and all Black Knights with 20 points. Kyle Wilson scored 12 points and Larry Toomey had 11 as the freshmen starters combined for 52 points in the game. Ella Ellis led the way off the bench with 14 points. Army held a 37-28 rebounding advantage, but could not keep up with Lehigh's hot shooting as it went 25-of-60 in the game and 10-of-31 from beyond the arc. The Black Knights have still never been over .500 midway through the League slate.
Patriot League action resumes on Saturday with four games as Bucknell visits Army, Lehigh goes to Holy Cross, Colgate is at American and Lafayette heads to Navy. Also, Colgate hosts NJIT in a non-League clash on Wednesday.
The recaps and box score from Sunday's game are included below.