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Lehigh Weekend: Huge Tests for Men's and Women's Hoops

"Unselfish" greets you when you visit Lehighsports.com to preview this weekend's basketball games, starting with a No. 1 versus No. 2 showdown up at the Hart Center in Worcester, MA.

The 16-5 Lady Hawks (Real Time RPI: 111) travel to a place where they haven't won since 2004 and have only won twice in twenty tries - and also playing against the team who beat in the semifinals of the Patriot League tournament last year.

Lehigh enters this game red-hot, winners of six of their last seven games - including their latest victory, a 66-53 win over Bucknell. Sophomore G Erica Prosser "only" had 13 points on the evening, but it's the other two of the guard trio - junior G Alex Ross and senior G Tricia Smith - who would score 10 and 17 points, respectively, to blow past the Lady Bison.

But 7-12 Holy Cross (Real Time RPI: 230) have always given Lehigh problems, and their record is misleading with losses to No. 1 UConn (96-37), Boston College (82-69) and other power teams. A win would put the Crusaders, the preseason favorite to win the Patriot League, back into a first-place tie with Lehigh. Junior G Brianna McFadden (15.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg) will give Prosser a big test from the perimiter, and if junior G Bethany O'Dell is also on the court (11.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg) it will be a challenge for the Lady Hawks in this one. Crucial will be another big game from Smith and Ross - it will be a whale of a game at 1:00 P.M., broadcast on Lehighsports.com.

At the same time, the inconsistent men's basketball team won't be able to nap against the first-placed Crusaders at Stabler Arena at 1:00 P.M. on Saturday. While junior G Marquis Hall provided the three-point buzzer-beater in a 61-59 come-from-behind win over 5-15 Bucknell on Wednesday, the 13-7 Mountain Hawks (Real Time RPI: 221) will have to play better than they did on Wednesday to knock off 10-11 Holy Cross (Real Time RPI: 188). (In their defense, according to the Easton Express-Times Lehigh was not at 100% due to an illness making its way through the team).

In the first half against the Bison, Lehigh only shot 31% from the field to fall behind 30-21, but pull things together in time to get the victory. Junior F Zahir Carrington continued his MVP-type season with 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Mountain Hawks, while sophomore G Rob Keefer scored 10 key points and dished three assists.

Holy Cross looks exactly like the type of team that might give Lehigh problems: deep (as a team, they've outrebounded opponents 36-28, with no player averaging more than 5 rebounds a game, including senior F Colin Cunningham) with balaced scoring (freshman G R.J. Evans leads the team with 13.3 ppg, with a host of players averaging 7-10 ppg). They'll need to play their most complete Patriot League game this year in order to come away with the "W".

The action will be at Stabler at 1:00 P.M., and it should be a great game.

Comments

Softmod Wii said…
Lehigh enters this game red-hot, winners of six of their last seven games - including their latest victory, a 66-53 win over Bucknell. Sophomore G Erica Prosser "only" had 13 points on the evening, but it's the other two of the guard trio - junior G Alex Ross and senior G Tricia Smith - who would score 10 and 17 points, respectively, to blow past the Lady Bison.

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