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Beating Rutgers Makes This the Greatest Week Ever?

No, Virginia, Rutgers forward Corey Chandler's blank stare right here isn't from Lehigh's huge upset win today.

But after Lehigh's 76-71 victory the day before Turkey Day, I sure can picture Chandler's face looking like this after this game.

You thought this was a typo? Lehigh men's basketball team beating Rutgers? Big East Rutgers? The Scarlet "We Last Lost to the Engineers.. In 1967" Knights?

It's not a typo. Lehigh did indeed beat a Big East team for the first time since joining the Patriot League. The Mountain Hawks won at Rutgers for the first time since 1962.

John Feinstein, is Lehigh a wrestling school?

How on this Good Green Earth did Lehigh do it? Normally, a "smaller" team wins a game over a power conference team by shooting lights-out - but Lehigh only shot just around 40% from the field. Instead, Lehigh won it by matching the bigger Scarlet Knight team rebound for rebound - with junior G Marquis Hall nabbing 15 of Lehigh's 44 boards on the night. (For those scoring at home, he got more than a third of Lehigh's rebounds in the game. And no, he's still a guard.)

In fact, the more you look at Hall's performance, the more amazing it looks - playing 36 out of 40 minutes, 28 points, 5 assists. Turnovers? Zero.

Against Rutgers. Don't forget - against Rutgers of the Big East.

He wasn't the only ironman, either. Junior F Zahir Carrington added 15 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks in 30 minutes, senior F Phil Anderson notched 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks in 30 minutes, and junior G Dave Buchburger got 12 points and 5 rebouinds in 30 minutes, too. Turnovers? Only eight as a team - and only a grand total of two from the four "thirty-minute men".

What's the world coming to? Lehigh beating "that school in Easton" in football? Lehigh's wrestling team opening the season by upending two nationally-ranked teams? Both Mountain Hawks basketball teams with over .500 records?

No, really. Could this be the greatest week ever?

It will be for me - until my wife, a Rutgers grad, realizes Lehigh beat the Scarlet Knights this night.


Mark R - Class of '88 said…
I was at the game last night - What a win! Marquis Hall had one of the greatest Lehigh basketball games in recent history. It just wasn't in the pure numbers either. It was the shots that he hit in the clutch to completely demoralize the RU players and fans. Every time Rutgers thought they were finally gaining control of the game - BANG! Marquis would hit an unbelievable arching rainbow shot with guys in his face. It got to the point where everyone in the gym knew who was taking the shot, but there wasn't anything that the RU players could do but foul him.

After last night, I think this could be a really special year for this team. Yes, they are THAT GOOD!

A big football win over Lafayette and now this? Wow, what a great week for LU fans! Just glad I could see both in-person.

Happy Thanksgiving!
ngineer said…
Feels like the 'good karma' is returning to South Mountain!
Doug H said…
Not to mention starting the weekend with the wrestling win over Michigan!!!!
Anonymous said…

Rutgers is still Rutgers, God-awful.. yawn.. now Bucknell beating Pitt at Pitt in 2005, that's something to be excited about. Lehigh will be a wrestling school again come January 1.

LU 65 said…
Thanks, Chuck, for the b'ball coverage. Here's my first hand observations taken from a voy posting...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.
ngineer said…
Howabout the wrestling team taking down Oklahoma State for the first time ever?! Talk about winding up a "November to Remember"...With St. Joes, 'just down the road a piece', I would hope a crowd inexcess of 3,000 shows on Tuesday night.

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