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This Weekend in Lehigh Sports 2/23/2007

With the Lehigh wrestling team taking the weekend off before the EIWA wrestling championships, the focus turns to two struggling teams hoping to close out their regular seasons with much-needed "W"s on senior day.

Who needs their win over Holy Cross more? Probably the women's team - who possibly can escape the possibility of playing powerhouses Bucknell or Army if they win Saturday at 7:00PM. The Lady Hawks could finish anywhere from 5th to 8th depending on the results from Saturday. Conversely, the men's team has third place locked up and will host a first-round playoff game even if they lose on Sunday at 1:00PM (by virtue of their regular-season sweep over American, the 4th-placed team).

But riding a three-game losing streak is NOT the way to enter Patriot League tournament play, which is what both our basketball teams face going into this weekend. The way both teams played their past two clangers, both teams are going to need to turn things around immediately on Senior Day in order to have a shot.

And with the task at hand, it's the men's team which has the most to prove and the most to put behind them. Sure, a "glass half-full" person might say that the double-OT loss to Lafayette and the Bucknell loss were close games. But look more closely. Shooting 33% against a bad Leopard squad that doesn't have near the amount of talent that this Mountain Hawk team boasts. Getting schooled in the art of screening by Bucknell on Wednesday night - although we cut the lead to two at one point, Marquis Hall disappeared against the Bison exactly the same way he did at Sojka. This way of losing stinks - and no way do we want to stink this bad going into the tournament. Folks will see Lehigh as a beatable team, and with regular-season losses to Army, Navy, and Lafayette, so who could blame folks for believing that?

Add to this that Holy Cross will have everything to play for on Sunday. Tied with Bucknell, a Bucknell win and a Holy Cross loss could lose the Crusaders valuable home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Gs Keith Simmons and Torey Thomas will do their best to wreck Olivero's, Mgebroff's and Neptune's "Senior Day". Here's hoping that our last link to the championship season of three years ago doesn't go out with a clank.

The women's "Senior Day" also boasts two starting players in G Sara Ellis and F Adrienne Blount. They will be difficult to replace on this year's disappointing Lady Hawk squad - though the beauty of the postseason tournament is that a good run there can erase a disappointing season in a hurry. But beating the Crusaders (12-16, 7-6) would not only send the seniors off in the right way, it could right the ship in time for the tournament.

All the games will be at Stabler Arena, on Saturday at 7:00PM for the women and 1:00PM Sunday for the men. In addition, on Sunday it's "Kid's Day" at Stabler where members of the Mountain Hawks' Kid's Club (whose esteemed members include my son) get to lunch and spend some quality time with the Lehigh Mountain Hawk before watching the Lehigh game. I'll be there as well (weather permitting) seeing if Lehigh can possibly turn this thing around.

If you can't make it to Stabler, the games are also broadcast on lehighsports.com.

Go Lehigh!

Comments

Anonymous said…
If Lehigh beats Holy Cross on the men's side, then HC drops to the #2 seed EVEN IF BUCKNELL ALSO LOSES.
Anonymous said…
Unfortunately, the women's team will win, at most, one game in the league tournament. Their team just doesn't have "it" this season.

The men's team lacks the horsepower to seriously contend this year.

Really enjoy your blog

LU'76

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