Friday, February 13, 2009

Lehigh Weekend: Grapplers and Hoopsters Look To Build More Momentum

For the Lehigh wrestling team, momentum is something everyone knew about with five straight dual wins and a 20-1 overall record. But after last weekend's double hoops defeat to American last weekend, few dared to hope that both the men's and women's basketball teams would be riding a one-game winning streak going into the weekend.

The Lady Hawks, after their 66-48 win over Navy on Wednesday, sport a 7-2 record at sit tied with American at 7-2 atop the Patriot League standings. Leading only by 3 at the break, Lehigh's depth proved to be too much as the Lady Hawks surged to a 30-15 run the rest of the way to put away Navy. Senior G Claire Sullivan contributed 8 assists, while the bench also contributed 12 of Lehigh's 39 rebounds on the game. Junior G Alex Ross (13 points, 4 rebounds) and sophomore G Erica Prosser (15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals) had their typical great games as well. (Prosser (pictured) was just featured in a nice article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which was reprinted on Lehighsports.com.)

The 18-6 Lady Hawks (Real Time RPI: 86) host 15-9 Army (Real Time RPI: 189) at 7:00 p.m. at Stabler Arena this Saturday. Lehigh will be doing more than defending their 11-game home court win streak, they'll try to avenge their 54-52 defeat at the hands of the Black Knights last month at West Point. Senior G Alex McGuire killed us in New York in that game with 24 of Army's 54 points, and with McGuire celebrating her 100th career start this weekend, she'll be trying to outdo her performance last time.

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But before the Lady Hawks take the court, there are a pair of wrestling duals at Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall where the Lehigh grapplers will be looking to extend their amazing dual record this Saturday - starting with a dual against Army where Lehigh will be looking to avenge a loss from last year. The Black Knights have a 10-4-1 dual record, and should they win this weekend they would displace Lehigh atop the EIWA rankings - so it should be a good one.

Two matches stand out: at 149, No. 14-ranked senior Trevor Chinn will be taking on No. 10-ranked Matt Kyler (who got a major decision against Lehigh in last year's dual), and the phenom at 197, freshman Joe Kennedy, will be taking on No. 20-ranked Richard Starks. Win one of these matches, and Lehigh will likely prevail; but Lehigh more likely will need big wins at 133 (No. 15-ranked junior Matt Fisk) and at 165 (No 14-ranked junior Mike Galante) in order to come away with the win tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.

Immediately following the Army dual is 4-10 Franklin & Marshall, which would frankly be an upset. Watch for some of our better wrestlers, like No. 17-ranked sophomore 174 lb Alex Caruso, No. 9-ranked junior 184 lb David Craig, and No. 17-ranked sophomore heavyweight Zach Rey to get some big wins en route to a dual victory immediately following the Army dual.

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This Wednesday, the men's basketball team got its biggest win of the year: a 70-59 win over Navy where the Mountain Hawks held one of the top scorers in the Patriot League, guard Kaleo Kina, to 5 points on the evening. Four Lehigh players scored in double figures, including the three you'd expect: junior G Marquis Hall (18 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists), junior F Zahir Carrington (12 points, 9 rebounds) and sophomore G Rob Keefer (10 points, 4 rebounds). But it was the resurgence of junior G David Buchburger (14 points) that may have been the difference: his defense on Kina, as well as timely scoring, were huge factors in the game.

The 14-9 Mountain Hawks (Real Time RPI: 202) shouldn't be deceived by 7-16 Army (Real Time RPI: 314) at 4:00 p.m. up at West Point this weekend: they've won their last three at home and took Holy Cross to the wire in Worcester this past Wednesday in a 62-59 defeat where the game-tying 3 pointer rimmed out. Senior F Kenny Brewer excelled in that game with 12 points and 9 rebounds, while the Black Knight's leading scorer, junior F Cleveland Richard, had 10 points.

All the excitement will be broadcast on Lehighsports.com.

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