Men’s basketball takes over top spot in Lehigh sports rankings


1. Men’s basketball (20-12, 12-6 Patriot)

After getting off to a slow start in the Patriot League, the men’s basketball team regrouped and reeled off six straight victories before falling in the Patriot League Championship to Bucknell University, 81-65, Wednesday night. Despite the loss, the team still finished with a successful season, capped off by 22 points and 17 rebounds by senior big man Tim Kempton in the championship game.

2. Wrestling (10-4, 7-1 EIWA)

The wrestling team drops a spot despite maintaining its success throughout the year. The Mountain Hawks finished second once again in the EIWA Championships behind Cornell University, who won the event for the 11th straight year. Lehigh will be sending seven wrestlers to the NCAAs after sending nine last year. The drop in the rankings is mostly attributed to the recent success of the men’s basketball team.

3. Softball (4-6)

The softball team was tabbed as the preseason favorite in the Patriot League. The Mountain Hawks haven’t done much to invalidate their preseason honor but also haven’t done much to validate it either. Lehigh has challenged itself early, playing big schools like North Carolina State, No. 3 University of Florida and Syracuse University. The Mountain Hawks are ranked first in the Patriot League in RPI, which measures strength of schedule, so their record could be a bit deceiving.

4. Women’s lacrosse (2-2)

Like the softball team, the women’s lacrosse team has challenged itself in its first few games of the season. After dropping their season opener to No. 7 Penn State, the Mountain Hawks picked up two straight victories over Iona College and Wagner College. Lehigh suffered its second loss of the season to No. 12 UPenn on Tuesday afternoon. The team’s only two losses came against opponents ranked within the top 15 in the country, so a .500 mark is nothing to be ashamed of.

5. Men’s lacrosse (3-2, 1-0 Patriot)

The men’s lacrosse team got its 2017 campaign off to a solid start with two wins to start the season. Although the team sneaked by Jacksonville University by only one goal, the Mountain Hawks followed up that performance by playing well against national defending champion No. 2/3 University of North Carolina. All was going well for Lehigh until it ran into Holy Cross. The Crusaders, picked to finish eighth in the conference, trounced the Mountain Hawks 14-8 in the Patriot League opener. The Mountain Hawks did respond with an 11-5 win over Colgate University, but the early blemish could come back to bite a young team like Lehigh.

6. Women’s tennis (3-3)

The women’s tennis team has split its first six non-conference matches. The Mountain Hawks’ best win so far has come against Stony Brook University in a convincing 6-1 victory. But Lehigh was also demolished 7-0 in its most recent match against University of Delaware. It’s hard to gauge the type of season this team will have after an average start.

7. Baseball (2-5)

The baseball team lost five of its last six games after starting the season with a win. The Mountain Hawks do have a chance to pick up some resume-building victories with two Big Ten opponents, University of Iowa and Ohio State University, coming up, but their non-conference record could also take another hit. Lehigh was picked to finish third in the Patriot League.

8. Men’s tennis (2-6)

The men’s tennis team also has a big matchup coming up against No. 10 University of Southern California. The Mountain Hawks have struggled this season with their only wins coming against Delaware and Mount St. Mary’s University. Their first three losses of the season were all shutouts. It’s worth noting that the team lost a few key players to injury to start the year.

9. Women’s golf

The women’s golf team has only had one event so far this season. The Mountain Hawks finished third out of three teams in the FAU Winter Warmup.

10. Women’s basketball (10-20, 5-13 Patriot)

It was not a good season for the women’s basketball team. After an 18-13 season last year, the Mountain Hawks ended the season with a 10-20 overall mark and 5-13 in the Patriot League. As the nine seed in the Patriot League Tournament, Lehigh was ousted in the first round with a 28-point loss to Loyola University.

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