The Lehigh men's basketball team beat Misericordia 97-58 at Grace Hall on Nov. 13. This was the team's first game in Grace Hall in 44 years. This was the team's first game in Grace Hall in 44 years. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Lehigh men’s basketball wins big in home opener


The Lehigh men’s basketball team looked to bounce back after two losses against ACC opponents and won big against Misericordia 97-58 at Grace Hall on Nov. 14, securing their first win of the season.  

Grace Hall welcomed back the Mountain Hawks men’s basketball team after 44 years, holding the first game there since the establishment of Stabler Arena in 1979. 

Coach Brett Reed said this game not only gave a chance for Lehigh students to get excited about the basketball season, but also created an opportunity for Lehigh basketball alumni to come back and support the team in an arena they had previously played in.

“That was a great experience for those who were with us, those people on our team as well as our surrounding community,” Reed said.

The Lehigh offense ran smoothly against its Division III opponent. The Mountain Hawks controlled the game from the jump, as junior center Jt Tan made a layup for the first points of the game. 

The team built up a 10-0 lead within the first four minutes, until Misericordia guard Nate Kreitzer pulled up for three points to open the scoring for the Cougars. 

Sophomore guard Keith Higgins Jr. excited the crowd with a dunk after a steal, as Lehigh extended their lead by shutting down the Misericordia offense. 

Senior guard and co-captain Reed Fenton came off the bench with a hot hand, and together with his other co-captain, senior guard Evan Taylor, their jumpers proved too tough for Misericordia defense to handle.

Lehigh led 47-20 at halftime, finishing the first 20 minutes of the game with 42.2% on field goals and was 6-6 at the free throw line.  

Reed said he was satisfied with his team’s performance.

“We played great offensive basketball and we really made shots,” Reed said. “Our turnovers were low, our shot selection and decisions that we made were solid. And we’ve got a number of guys who can really shoot the basketball and really score the basketball.”

Higgins Jr. said the team also shared the ball and created good shots off of passes. 

“I think the reason why it was easy for us to score is because we were sharing the ball really well,” Higgins Jr. said. “Guys weren’t being selfish; we were moving it around. Very little iso play in the first half, and that’s why we got so many good looks.” 

Coming out in the second half, sophomore guard Tyler Whitney-Sidney scored after a steal on the first possession. 

“Tyler Whitney-Sidney brought us some strong defensive energy,” Reed said. “I thought some of our guys who entered the game again gave us some strong defensive energy. All those things were great positive marks for us.”

Lehigh’s top scorers and starters’ success on the court led to Reed emptying his bench. 

The Mountain Hawks reached 90 points when freshman center Tommy Conniff ignited the crowd in Taylor Gym with a dunk after an offensive rebound.

Four Lehigh players scored in double digits and the team shot 50% from the field in the second half. 

The Mountain Hawks scored 48 points inside the paint and bench players contributed 42 points. 

“You know, when you go to big lead like that in college basketball, it’s all about just staying mentally locked in the game,” Higgins Jr. said. “You don’t want to slip, and I think we did a good job of that today, just focusing on our on our defense principles more than our offense. That’s how we’re able to maintain the lead.”

Reed said it was nice to see his players have a game like this after two tough battles against Syracuse and Virginia Tech. 

Reed said this was a great chance to have all players involved and engaged in the game, and they shared the basketball and played unselfishly.

The Mountain Hawks will face Marist back at Stabler Arena on Nov. 16.

Comment policy

Comments posted to The Brown and White website are reviewed by a moderator before being approved. Incendiary speech or harassing language, including comments targeted at individuals, may be deemed unacceptable and not published. Spam and other soliciting will also be declined.

The Brown and White also reserves the right to not publish entirely anonymous comments.

Leave A Reply