Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lehigh Athletics Game Notes for Cornell

Get all the information you need about the Big Red's game on Saturday, December 3, 2011 (7 PM) vs. Lehigh, with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. JOIN OUR MESSAGE BOARD and discuss the game with your fellow fans.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The red-hot Lehigh men’s basketball team looks for its seventh straight win on Saturday when it travels to Ithaca, N.Y. to face Cornell. The Mountain Hawks won their sixth in a row on Thursday night, using a late run to pull away from Fordham, 78-60. Another balanced team effort saw four different Lehigh players finish in double figures for the fifth straight game.

It was a tight contest with the Mountain Hawks leading only 51-47 with 7:37 remaining before outscoring Fordham, 27-13 down the stretch to erase any doubt. The Rams were even leading with 15:38 remaining in the second as a Marvin Dominique jumper put Fordham ahead, 39-36. Lehigh went on to outscore the Rams, 42-21, the rest of the way to win its sixth-straight game by double figures.

The junior class was once again stellar as Gabe Knutson finished with 21 points and nine rebounds (sixth-career 20-point game and first this season), Holden Greiner posted 18 points and nine boards while C.J. McCollum added 15 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. Sophomore Mackey McKnight hit all six of his free throws down the stretch to finish with 10 points for the second game in a row.

Lehigh took care of the basketball, only turning the ball over six times - this against a pesky Fordham team who had been forcing 15 turnovers per game. The Mountain Hawks also capitalized at the free throw line, knocking down 23-of-25 from the charity stripe.

It was a historic evening as Lehigh improved to 6-2, marking its best start since the 1980-81 season, while the Mountain Hawks defeated an Atlantic 10 team for the first time in program history. Lehigh has defeated Fordham in the past, but those came either when the Rams were in the Patriot League, or prior.

The Mountain Hawks are looking for their seventh-straight win, which mark their longest since the 2005-06 season when they also won seven in a row from Jan. 4 through Jan. 21. Overall, Lehigh is looking for its fifth straight against an Ivy League foe. Their last loss came, 75-70, at Columbia on Dec. 3, 2009. Since, the Mountain Hawks have defeated Dartmouth, Cornell and Yale (twice). McCollum just needs four points to move into sole possession of 25th in Patriot League career scoring. He is currently at 1,461 career points, which is also good for 10th in Lehigh history.
Saturday marks Cornell’s final game of the fall semester as the Big Red’s next contest is Saturday, Dec. 17 vs. Albany. The squad enters with a 2-4 record, with wins over Binghamton and Boston University. Its last game was against Patriot League foe American, a 65-63 Eagles’ victory. Drew Ferry leads the way with 11.8 points per game. Two others - Shonn Miller and Eitan Chemerinski - are averaging 10.8 while Miller has also grabbed a team-leading 6.2 rebounds per contest. Cornell’s leading returning scorer Chris Wroblewski is averaging 9.7 points per game as well.
Despite Lehigh’s 60-57 victory over Cornell last season, the Big Red still lead the all-time series, 12-9. The teams first met in 1903-04, a 35-16 Lehigh victory. Lehigh won four in a row before Cornell responded with two straight wins and seven of the next eight. After the Big Red won three straight, the Mountain Hawks have responded with victories in two of their last three.
The Mountain Hawks will return to Stabler Arena next Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. showdown against Saint Francis (Pa.) which marks the back end of a doubleheader with the women (who host NJIT at 5 p.m.). Lehigh then travels to Wagner on Saturday (Dec. 10) before hosting Arcadia (Dec. 12) in the last game before breaking for final exams. Tickets for all home games are now on sale and may be purchased on or by calling the ticket office at (610) 7LU-GAME.

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December 3, 2011
Cornell Big Red
7:00 PM
Newman Arena/4,473
Ithaca, N.Y.
Lehigh’s Record:
6-2 overall, 0-0 Patriot League
Cornell’s Record:
2-4 overall, 0-0 Ivy League
Cornell leads, 12-9
Live on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 AM with Tom Fallon. Coverage will begin following the Lehigh-Towson football game.
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