Holy cross

Lehigh hosts Holy Cross on Monday night

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — The Lehigh men’s basketball team will be looking to rebound from their first Patriot League loss of the season when they host Holy Cross on Monday night. Gametime is set at 7 p.m. on ESPN+. Last time out, the Mountain Hawks fell behind early at Army West Point, and despite a much better second half in which Lehigh edged the Black Knights by four, it wasn’t enough.

On Friday, Army opened up a 21-4 lead and didn’t want to come back. The Mountain Hawks particularly struggled offensively in the first 20 minutes (39-13 at halftime). But it took less than five minutes for Lehigh in the second half to match their first-half points tally. First year Keith Higgins Jr. continued to impress, scoring double-digit second-half points for a fourth game in a row (which includes all three Patriot League competitions). He scored 10 of his 13 points in the last 20 minutes. In his last four games, Higgins has scored 67 points (including 53 in the second half). Junior Evan Taylor also finished with 13 points, including Lehigh’s first six points of the contest. Higgins and Taylor combined to shoot 10 of 17 (while the rest of the team was 10 of 33). Included was a 3-for-4 projection from 3-point range by Higgins. Second year Dominique Parolin was also strong off the bench, posting his 10 points in the second half on 3-of-4 shooting. He also had two interceptions to tie a career high.

Friday marked the return of the fifth year Wilson Brands for the first time since December 1 at Yale. He played 21 minutes off the bench and scored five points while adding two assists, two rebounds, one steal and a career-high tying two blocks. With the win, Army improved to 3-0 (as one of only two undefeated teams in the league, along with Navy). Lehigh fell to 2-1, as the Mountain Hawks are currently tied for third in the standings early in the Patriot League roster.

Lehigh and Holy Cross will play at Stabler for the first time in two seasons; teams played two games at Holy Cross last year, two Mountain Hawk wins.

Holy Cross is coming off a 79-74 win at home to Lafayette to end an eight-game losing streak and clinch their first Patriot League win of the season. The Crusaders trailed by four at halftime but outscored the Leopards 45-36 in the final 20 minutes. Preseason All-Patriot League winner Gerrale Gates finished with 27 points and 14 rebounds to improve his season averages to 13.3 and 7.6, respectively. Freshman Kyrell Luke is second in scoring for the Crusaders (11.8 ppg) while Judson Martindale is not far behind (11.2). Holy Cross started league play with losses to Navy (70-56) and Loyola (79-70). Victories for the Crusaders came over Regis and Mount St. Vincent.

Lehigh swept a pair of games at Holy Cross last season, as teams played back-to-back days at Worcester. After claiming a 75-72 victory on January 23, the Mountain Hawks won the next day, 82-74. It marked Lehigh’s third straight win over the Crusaders to close 43-27 in the all-time series. Overall, Lehigh has won six of the last seven in the series and is 10-5 in the last 15. Each of the last eight meetings has been decided by seven points or less (Lehigh is 6-2 in that span). Lehigh and Holy Cross first met in 1976, an 84-60 win over Holy Cross, before reuniting to play in the Patriot League in the early 1990s.

After Monday’s game, the Mountain Hawks will travel to Bucknell on Thursday to face the Bison. The opening announcement is scheduled for 7 p.m. on ESPN+.

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Date: January 10, 2022
Opponent: Holy Cross Crusaders
Trick : 7 p.m.
Arena (Ability): Stables Arena (5,600)
Location: Bethlehem, Pa.
Lehigh’s record: 4-11, 2-1 Patriot League
Register of Holy Cross: 3-12, 1-2 Patriot League
Series: St. Croix leads, 43-27
Radio: Fox Sports Radio 94.7 FM and 1230 AM