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Snow Can't Stop Lehigh Basketball (And Wresting)

When I heard that the temperate Pacific Northwest was getting hit by snow from my grandmother, I knew that the Lehigh men's basketball game versus Washington may have been in trouble. And while this picture of a snowman next to Seattle's space needle isn't necessarily a sign of the Apocalypse (though I'm still debating if the course of events that put the Eagles are in the NFL playoffs - a historic blowout of the Cowboys, alongside wins by the Texans and Raiders - the Raiders, fer Crissakes! - may very well be), it was enough to show that the Washington game would be postponed officially - and most likely cancelled.

It's worth mentioning, from the official release, what the men's basketball team went through:

8:00 AM – Team departs Taylor Gym for New Jersey to play Monmouth
3:03 PM – Lehigh defeats Monmouth, 80-71
4:00 PM – Team departs Boylan Gymnasium for Newark/Liberty Int’l Airport
5:00 PM – Team arrives at EWR
6:40 PM – Finish checking in for flight
7:15 PM – Scheduled departure of Continental Airlines Flight 1481 to Seattle/Tacoma
8:45 PM – Team boards 1481 at Gate C75
10:02 PM – Flight 1481 departs Newark/Liberty for Seattle
11:45 PM – Pilot informs passengers that SEA is no longer accepting inbound flights, and that Flight 1481 must return to EWR
1:41 AM – Team deplanes flight 1481 at Gate C74
2:25 AM – With all flights full to the Pacific Northwest, postponement of Tuesday’s game becomes inevitable
4:55 AM – Team begins return to Lehigh Valley

On the plus side, Lehigh didn't show any ill effects of the messed-up flights in a 72-57 drubbing of the Longwood Lancers, boosting their record to 8-3 (and putting their RPI at 173). Coming up are two very winnable games against winless NJIT (who have lost 44 straight games) on Wednesday and 4-6 Columbia (RPI: 262) during First Weekend.

The Eagles making a miracle postseason and ice and snow postponing Lehigh men's basketball weren't the only developments during the holidays.

* Lehigh wrestling has continued to climb through the national rankings and showed no signs of slowing down after an amazing 10-0 record in duals this year. That makes Lehigh 10-0 in wrestling for the first time in 41 years.

Their last two duals were huge, surprising blowouts: 27-6 over Ritgers and 25-9 over Rider, who knocked Lehigh down at the beginning of last year. After dropping the opening bout at 125 lbs, Lehigh junior 133 lb Matt Fisk scored a 11-3 major decision and kicked off eight straight decisions.

Capping this off are two huge duals to ring in 2009: one at West Virginia and the other at Penn State, which will be televised nationwide on Fox College Sports Pacific.

* Adding to the glorious winter, the 8-3 women's basketball team (RPI: 125) scored two straight wins against NJIT and Binghamton going into tonight's game against North Florida in the 12th annual Christmas City Classic in Stabler Arena. North Florida isn't exactly South Florida: the Ospreys are 2-7 (RPI: 317) and look to be Lehigh's opening-round victim - should the Lady Hawks win, they will face off against either 3-5 Valparaiso (RPI: 66) or 7-4 LaSalle (RPI: 149) in the finals to be played tomorrow.

The engine that makes the Lady Hawks go are sophomore G Erica Prosser (13.8 ppg) and junior G Alex Ross (14.4 ppg), while Ross is completely on fire from 3-point range this year with a 49.4% hit rate.

Let's hope the Lady Hawks - already 4-0 at home this year - keeps things up tonight!


Doug H said…
It looks like the Ritgers(sic) football team did better than their wrestling team!!! A pretty entertaining game for the Kinghts... Unlike the FCS, the FBS have many teams like Rutgers that end their seasons on a high note... thing.... That's one reason that despite the problems, a BCS system that still has bowl games is best for big time college football.... Too many bowls give teams a way to end the season on a high note and give the players a chance to enjoy themselves plus give all the cities that host these games a nice shot in the arm with tourism..
ngineer said…
..Adding to what Doug H said, it has also become a big tool in their programs' ability to have additional practices in actually planning for the following season. That was one of the main reasons cited by Notre Dame in going to Hawaii this year despite a putrid 6-6 record. In years past, ND refused to go to a bowl without a winning record. Now it's necessary to keep 'schooling' the players.

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