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Lehigh Weekend: Grace and Stabler Rock With Patriot League Foes

Normally I'd do a much more thorough job of this, but considering I've been busy with football recruiting news all week (and not to mention the day job), I'm only going to do a quick preview of this weekend's action - though it's going to be quite a weekend.

Start tonight at Turner Arena at Grace Hall, where 19-1 Lehigh will take on Bucknell in a key EIWA battle. While Lehigh is 5-0 lifetime against Bucknell in duals, that hardly means the Mountain Hawks should rest easy: with two nationally-ranked wrestlers, this won't be a cakewalk. Two bouts stand out: No. 15-ranked junior 149 lb Matt Fisk takes on No. 20 ranked David Marble, and No. 12-ranked junior 165 lb Mike Galante takes on No. 14 Andy Rendos, while junior 184 lb David Craig attempts to add to his No. 9 overall ranking by knocking out unranked David Thompson.

Next up, the 17-5 Lady Hawks (Real Time RPI: 91) will be competing at American at 4:00 p.m. in what could be their toughest test of the year. The 15-7 Eagles (Real Time RPI: 113) are sitting in second place in the Patriot League standings behind the Lady Hawks, and a win here by Lehigh, their third straight road game, could send a message to the rest of the league who the top team is. While sophomore G Erica Prosser has continued to be extremely impressive (14.9 ppg), senior G Erica Ross' emergence the past few weeks (with 20 points against Holy Cross last weekend) gives teams second thoughts about triple-teaming Prosser. This one, without a doubt, will be a great game - and for those of you who have ESPNU, there's an extra treat, as the Lady Hawks will be on national TV on "El Ocho".

Finally at 7:00 p.m. at Stabler Arena, the Lehigh men play against American, which in this reporter's opinion is a game they must have in order to be a factor in the Patriot League tournament. Junior G Marquis Hall, who recently got academic all-District honors, and junior F Zahir Carrington have gotten their points and their rebounds, but it's the bench that has needed to step up for the Mountain Hawks, especially late in the game - against Holy Cross, they only scored seven points in the last six minutes en route to a double-digit loss.

While 13-8 Lehigh (Real Time RPI: 228) has a good record, looking objectively at their record, they've only beaten one team with an RPI below 150 - that's their shocking victory over Rutgers in November. A win over 14-7 American (Real Time RPI: 89) would be not only a win over a quality RPI team - it could be the confidence booster that makes Lehigh a contender.

Lehighsports.com has all the action online. If you get MASN, the Lehigh/American game is also available on that channel as well.

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