The Patriot League is wide open this year, and a young Lehigh men’s basketball team is doing everything it can to get to the top.
It made another stride forward Saturday, defeating rival Lafayette College 75-71 in Easton. It was Lehigh’s first win in the Kirby Sports Arena since 2012.
Sophomore guard Austin Price hit two free throws with 17 seconds left in the second half to give Lehigh a four point lead, and Lafayette couldn’t respond before the clock ran out.
The game was tight from beginning to end, but Lehigh never relinquished the lead in the second half, playing a full 40 minutes on its way to a win.
Sophomore forward Tim Kempton picked up his 10th double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds on the day. He also hit a 3-pointer in the second half. It was the first 3-point attempt of his college career.
Price ended up leading the team in points in the game with 16, shooting five out of six from the field and five for five from the foul line. He also added two rebounds, three assists and two blocks. It was his highest point total since scoring 18 in a victory against Arizona State University on Dec. 20.
Junior forward Justin Goldsborough was also a big part of Lehigh’s offense, scoring 12 points and adding six rebounds. Meanwhile, freshman guards Kahron Ross and Brandon Alston contributed 10 points each.
The game was one of Lehigh’s most efficient scoring games of the season, shooting 52 percent from the field and 57 percent from the 3-point line. The Mountain Hawks also hit all 15 of their free throws, which is only the second time they’ve done that all season.
Eight different players hit a 3-pointer for Lehigh in the game, just one away from tying the most 3-pointers in a game for them this season. It was Lehigh’s highest 3-point percentage in a game this season.
The game was very physical throughout and Lehigh picked up a lot of fouls in the process. They had 21 team fouls in the game, but were able to go without a single player fouling out.
The physicality led to strong defense from both teams though. Lehigh won the rebound battle 32-25.
Despite committing 14 turnovers to Lafayette’s seven, Lehigh was able to overcome this and still get the win thanks to a great overall shooting day from the team.
It’s Lehigh’s third straight win on the season, all of which are in the Patriot League. They move to 10-9 overall and 4-4 in the league.
The Mountain Hawks will stay on the road for their next game as they travel to take on Bucknell University on Jan. 29 at 8 p.m.