Junior guard Kyle Leufroy attempts to score in the Patriot League Championship game against Bucknell March 8, 2017, at Sojka Pavilion. The Mountain Hawks will face the Bisons at Stabler Arena Monday for a rematch of the championship game. (Sarah Epstein/B&W Staff)

Lehigh men’s basketball prepares to take on top Patriot League team Bucknell

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In a rematch of last year’s Patriot League Championship game, Lehigh men’s basketball will take on the top seed in the league, defending Patriot League champions Bucknell University, at Stabler Arena Monday night.

On March 8, 2017, the Bisons (16-8, 10-1 PL) booted the Mountain Hawks (10-13, 5-7 PL) from the Patriot League Tournament, 81-65, in what was Lehigh’s second championship game loss in the team’s last two seasons.

Lehigh’s first chance at revenge against the No. 1 team in the league came on Jan. 11.

The Mountain Hawks were down by two at half time. Despite their efforts in the second half of the game, they were outscored by the Bisons 50-39.

The road trip concluded similarly to last season’s championship game. Bucknell toppled Lehigh 78-65.

Since the Mountain Hawks’ attempt at a league title last year, the team has fallen from third in the league to seventh, despite a preseason Patriot League ranking of fourth.

Part of Lehigh’s problem lies in its defensive game. The team falls last in the Patriot League in scoring defense, allowing 78.7 points per game. The Mountain Hawks will need to rectify their defense if they want to end their losing streak against the Bisons, a team that leads in scoring, field goals, rebounds and blocks.

While this is Bucknell’s fourth year in a row leading the Patriot League, the Bisons’ away record is 8-7 this season, giving Lehigh an advantage at the upcoming home game.

Coming off of an 80-75 win at home Saturday against the second-ranked team in the Patriot League, Boston University, Lehigh must carry its momentum forward into Monday’s rematch against Bucknell.

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