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Lehigh beats Army, preserves first place tie

Published On: Feb 03 2013 09:51:59 PM CST
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Five players finished with double figures as the Mountain Hawks took a 22-point first-half lead and held off a second-half Army charge, 85-76 on Sunday afternoon. Junior Mackey McKnight led the way with 21 points while senior Gabe Knutson posted 18 and junior Anthony D’Orazio had 15.

Lehigh has now won eight of its last nine road games, improving to 16-5 overall and 6-1 in Patriot League play.  Lehigh ends the first half of the conference schedule in a first place tie with Bucknell.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to play with a lead,” said Lehigh head coach Brett Reed. “Credit our team for building a lead. Army has been pretty potent on offense, so we knew they’d get opportunities. They got big second halves from [Kyle] Toth and [Ella] Ellis. Those guys stepped up and made shots and made plays.

“We ended up losing some momentum, but regaining it,” Reed continued. “I was pleased with how we were able to close out the game.”

Knutson’s 18 points were his most since Dec. 20 at North Texas (10 games ago) when he had 28. The Urbandale, Iowa native finished 7-of-13 from the floor on Sunday.

Thirteen of D’Orazio’s 15 came in the first half while he also grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds for his first-career double-double. He added five assists. McKnight was stellar all game, finishing 6-of-9 from the field and 8-of-10 from the free throw line while dishing five assists as well. Senior Holden Greiner and junior B.J. Bailey got to double figures with big baskets late in the game, posting 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Lehigh got off to a hot start, hitting 13 of its first 16 shots, including five of its first seven three-pointers.