Lehigh men's basketball junior guard Tyler Whitney-Sidney drives past a defender during Lehigh's home win over Loyola (Md.) on Saturday, Feb. 10, at Stabler Arena. Lehigh won 75-70 (Eddie Fuhrer/B&W Staff)

Lehigh men’s basketball defeats Loyola (Md.) to grab third straight win


Senior forwards Burke Chebuhar and Dominic Parolin had two different paths to the starting lineup for Lehigh’s men’s basketball team but converged in the frontcourt for 29 combined points in a 75-70 win over Loyola (Md.) at Stabler Arena on Saturday.

Chebuhar, a walk-on from Division III Bowdoin College who appeared infrequently throughout his collegiate career and did not start a game for Lehigh (10-15, 7-7 PL) until Dec. 30, 2023 against Marist, had a game-high five offensive rebounds and contributed two triples as he finished with 14 points, his fourth consecutive game in double figures.

Parolin, who opened the season in the starting lineup as Lehigh’s highest scoring forward from a season ago, shot an efficient 5 for 7 and added two blocks on top of his 15 points.

Lehigh coach Brett Reed praised the offensive performance and rebounding abilities of the two.

“In the second half, those guys were both getting very meaningful touches and possessions because we were funneling the ball through them,” Reed said. “They delivered, and delivered in big ways.”

The Mountain Hawks defeated a Loyola (Md.) (6-21, 4-10 Patriot) lineup facing the injuries of two of their top-five leading scorers, junior forward Milos Ilic and junior guard D’Angelo Stines.

Loyola (Md.)’s leading scorer and sophomore guard Deon Perry played all 40 minutes and led all scorers with a career-high 33 points. With only six players seeing the court for the Greyhounds, Perry was used heavily and took 26 of the Greyhounds’ 56 shots from the field, making 11.

The teams stayed within two possessions for the entire first half. The Mountain Hawks led for over 80% of the game, but Loyola kept pushing themselves back in front by one possession, including when Perry scored seven points in the span of two minutes just past the halfway point of the first half.

One area where Lehigh shined in the first half was at the foul line, where the Mountain Hawks made all seven attempts. By the time the game ended, Lehigh had shot 17 for 22, pushing their season-long percentage to a Patriot League-leading 73.1%.

Reed said that the performance from the foul line was “very valuable,” pointing to how many Patriot League games are decided by close margins.

“With (Loyola)’s shot-making ability by Perry, anything could have happened,” Reed said. “But the fact that we stepped up there with confidence and we were locked in says a great deal about our team.”

Eight of the makes, including five in the closing minutes Lehigh had were from junior guard Tyler Whitney-Sidney, who led all Lehigh scorers with 16. Chebuhar and Parolin also combined to have seven of their own, including a perfect 5-for-5 for Parolin. 

After Loyola (Md.) closed the gap to one point with 8:48 left in the second half, Chebuhar and Parolin checked into the game and immediately got to work to build a gap.

Chebuhar would find wide-open first-year guard Nasir Whitlock for a 3-pointer. After a response by Perry, Parolin scored layups on the next two possessions to bring the Lehigh lead out to 63-57 with just under seven minutes remaining.

Parolin said the effectiveness of him and Chebuhar come from the issues they pose to other team’s defenses.

“It really makes it hard to guard,” Parolin said. “Not a lot of teams have two big guys that can cover post-ups for both of us.”

After that stretch, Lehigh held the lead for good and were able to finish out the game.

The win is Lehigh’s third straight and pushes them in a tie with Bucknell for the last home playoff spot in the Patriot League. Lehigh currently holds the tiebreaker against the Bison due to Lehigh’s win against second-place Lafayette with four games left for both teams.

Chebuhar said that Lehigh playing their best basketball at this point of the season “means everything.”

“(We’re) trying to get that home game in the playoffs,” Chebuhar said. “See how we can do and be in our best shape all-around for when the tournament comes around.”

The Lehigh men’s basketball team will play next against Army on the road on Feb. 21.

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