Lehigh 69, Quinnipiac 58


No, I’m not talking about the 2008 Detroit Lions.

That was the final stat line for Quinnipiac’s 3-point attempts in their 69-58 loss to the Lehigh Mountain Hawks Saturday evening at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, PA. Statistically, it was the worst long-range performance for the Bobcats since the program turned Division I in 1998 and the first time they failed to make a 3-point attempt since going 0-11 against Dartmouth on Dec. 19, 2000.

The win marked the 1000th victory in Lehigh’s program history as the Mountain Hawks improved to 6-0 at home this year.

Lehigh used a balanced attack to hold the Bobcats in check throughout the evening. Freshman Tim Kempton led the Mountain Hawks with 12 points and 7 rebounds, but five additional players ended the evening with at least 9 points. In addition, Lehigh had at least 3 assists from four different players, led by freshman Austin Price with 6 off the bench.

“We had a number of players step up,” said Lehigh head coach Brett Reed. “Multiple players were in double figures, other players had nine points, and even the assists we got from secondary ball-handlers demonstrate that our team is willing to share the basketball.”

Jesse Chuku and Corey Schaefer paced the Mountain Hawks’ scoring behind Kempton with 11 and 10 points respectively. Price, Mackey McKnight, and Conroy Baltimore filled out the scoring effort with 9 points apiece.

After starting the game 0-11 from the floor, the Bobcats finally got their first points 6:02 into the game on a Kasim Chandler layup. Although Lehigh similarly struggled from the floor in the first half (37%), the Mountain Hawks never trailed in the game. After taking a 22-15 lead into halftime, Lehigh made three shots from beyond the arc during a 14-6 run to extend their lead to a comfortable margin which they maintained throughout the second half.

“They [Lehigh] did a really good job early in the second half,” said Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore. “I thought they executed well, their shot selection was very good, and we didn’t guard as well in the second half. We got really discouraged and started to play immature, especially for an older team. We’re the older team, but we didn’t play older tonight.”

Quinnipiac’s 33.3% field goal percentage marks their lowest output this season, while their 15 first half points marked their lowest output in a first half since scoring 15 against Seton Hall on Nov. 19, 1999. The Bobcats’ 0.79 points per possession was also by far their lowest mark of the season.

Ike Azotam led the Bobcats with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Ousmane Drame scored 14 points in support, while pulling down 9 rebounds and blocking 2 shots. Kasim Chandler contributed 11 points and 3 assists off the bench.

Quinnipiac next travels to Oregon State December 29th in their first match-up against a Pac-12 opponent. Tip-off is set for 11:00 p.m. EST.

Vincent Simone will be chronicling Quinnipiac’s move to the MAAC and helping cover the conference this season for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow him on Twitter @VTSimone

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