Skip to main content

Lehigh Weekend: "The Rivalry" Part Three, And Key Momentum for Championships

Most of the weekend action will be taking place a day later than usual, but the women's basketball, men's basketball, and wrestling teams all need big wins - and two of them against "that school in Easton", no less. - to go to the Patriot League (or EIWA) tournaments in shape for a shot at the NCAAs.

The women's team - who enjoyed their first 20 win season in 19 years with a 71-42 domination of Colgate on Wednesday - look to extend their Patriot League lead Saturday over American (who lost 60-58 in overtime to Army on Wednesday) at 1:00 p.m. at Kirby Field House where they take on the 8-18 Leopards. While it's tempting to look at the statistics and project an easy Lehigh victory - with the game notes helpfully pointing out that Lafayette's loss to Lehigh triggered a 7 game losing streak for them, and a "tale of the tape" pointing the advantage to Lehigh on *every single statistic* - whenever Lehigh and Lafayette meet in "The Rivalry", it's a time to throw out the records and statistics and expect a close game. Still, look for senior G Tricia Smith (7.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and senior F Haly Crites (5.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg) to try to potentially finish their careers against Lafayette with a bang today.
Speaking of the women's basketball team, it's worth mentioning that the Patriot League women's basketball tournament will be held at Stabler Arena in Bethelhem, PA two weeks from now, announced by the executive director of the Patriot League, the mayors of Bethlehem and Easton, and representatives from St. Luke's hospital in a big press conference this week. Of the highlights, March 7th has been declared "Patriot League Women's Basketball Day" in the Lehigh Valley.
***
Sunday is when Lehigh's men's basketball and wrestling teams take over, in their regular season home finales before the Patriot League/EIWA championships.
At 12:00 p.m., broadcast around the world on ESPNU, the 15-10 men's basketball team will be looking to win to keep their chances of a first round home playoff game alive against 7-19 Lafayette. While Lehigh's 49-40 "defensive struggle" against Colgate wasn't even the lowest scoring men's basketball game in the state on Wednesday (Penn State 38, Illinois 33), the win has kept Lehigh's hope of getting to the Patriot League tournament as the No. 4 (or, in the best case scenario, No. 3) intact. Once again, look to the seniors for big games: senior F Phil Anderson (7.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and senior G Matt Szalachowski (1.3 ppg, 5 points, 2 rebounds vs. Army) to play big games.
*****
As if two games against our archrival wasn't enough, the No. 8-ranked Lehigh wrestlers hold their home dual finale against No. 25 Penn - and while Lehigh has clinched the best EIWA wrestling record already, it would be an amazing achievement to go 9-0 against EIWA wrestling foes going into the EIWA wrestling championships. While it should be exciting to see if Lehigh will be able to do it, certainly all eyes will be on No. 15-ranked senior 149 lb Trevor Chinn, no only wrestling his final home dual as a senior but will be facing one of Penn's better wrestlers: No. 11-ranked Cesar Grajales, also a senior. Chinn lost the only time he faced Grajales in 2007 - and it could be a preview of the EIWA championship at 149 as well.
****
All games will be broadcast on lehighsports.com, and (as already noted) the men's basketball game will also be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.

Comments

allen said…
Ladies, if you were at the lehigh football banquet Saturday night please check your jacket. My wife had a black jacket with dark gloves in one pocket, someone left theirs and took hers. Please check your closet. If it is not yours, yours is still at lehigh and please contact me at arcdmd@erols.com

Popular posts from this blog

Remembering Lehigh's Battles With The Late Tubby Raymond

(Photo Credits: Delaware Online)

When I heard the news Tubby Raymond, legendary Delaware head football coach, died last week at the age of 92, two immediate memories came rushing back to me.

One occurred on October 16th, 1999, when Tubby had made a complaint to the local paper or radio in the run-up to Kevin Higgins' Mountain Hawks beating his Blue Hens on Delaware's homecoming, 42-35.

I have no idea if the quote even actually happened, but my recollection is that Tubby said that Lehigh had "St. Bartholomew's" on their schedule, and hadn't played anybody.  It was a verbal jab that many Delaware fans took with them to the stands to heckle the Mountain Hawk fans that made the short trip to Newark.

Up until that point, I had watched a bunch of Lehigh football games over the years.  I experienced their rise in the 1990s.  I enjoyed wins, and championships, and playoff victories.

But never had I felt a win so viscerally vindicating than the one over Tubby Raymond&…

Lehigh Wrestling Gets Superstar Treatment at PPL Center. Lehigh Football Needs The Same At Murray Goodman.

"We knew it would be nice," Lehigh wrestling head coach Pat Santoro said. "But it was even better than we expected."

Pat was talking about the reception his Lehigh wrestling squad experienced at Allentown's PPL Center this weekend, when a sellout crowd over nearly 10,000 people came to watch No. 1 Penn State grapple with No. 5 Lehigh in a collegiate wrestling event.

It was, by all accounts, something special to behold. 

"I thought it was really cool and an exciting place to wrestle," said Penn State wrestler Nick Nevills. "These fans were really into it, a rowdy bunch. It's a lot more fun as an athlete to wrestle in an environment like this. I'd say it was one of the most exciting times I have had in my career."

The sense of spectacle at the PPL center, though, puts a spotlight on what more can be done at Lehigh itself to make their athletic contests into spectacles.  It requires money to be spent and energy to be expended.  But the…

What To Look For On Sunday For the FCS Playoff Pairings

Lehigh are the Patriot League Football Champs, and will be playing in the 1st round of the FCS playoffs.

The FCS Playoff Bracket is going to be revealed on ESPNU at 11:00AM on Sunday on a selection show.  The team will be watching the selections live at the Goosey Gander to find out who they will play, and where.

The chance that Lehigh will host a home playoff game appears to be very slim.  Though record is technically not in consideration for whether a team will host a first-round game, other considerations (the lack of lights, no Noon playoff starts) make it difficult if not impossible to host a playoff game at Murray Goodman unless temporary lights are brought in.

Being that's the case, it seems very likely that Lehigh will be playing somewhere on the road in the 1st round.  Below the flip, I will give the bracket predictions of the experts and three things I think you should watch for during the selection show.