Lehigh edges men’s basketball, 63-57
After starting off the New Year with a 2-1 record and a win to open up conference play, the AU men’s basketball team fell to defending Patriot League champion Lehigh, 63-57, Jan. 16 at Bender Arena.
The Eagles (6-11, 1-1 PL) led for nearly the entire first half, but they gave up the lead to the Mountain Hawks (12-4, 2-0) in the half’s closing minutes. After making four out of its first six 3-point attempts, AU struggled shooting the ball for the rest of the game, finishing 6-22 from beyond the arc.
“We came out strong in the game, but we were not active enough defensively late in the first half,” AU head coach Jeff Jones said. “We did a good job of defending after the break, correcting some miscues, and continued to rebound, but we did not get enough shots down the stretch.”
Senior forward Stephen Lumpkins led the Eagles with his seventh double-double of the season, posting 10 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. Lumpkins, who is among the Patriot League leaders in scoring, rebounding and blocks, anchored AU inside the paint as he helped the Eagles to a 40-26 rebounding edge.
Lumpkins also helped AU to a 15-4 advantage in second-chance points and constantly drew double teams, which opened up scoring opportunities, although the Eagles couldn’t convert on the open shot attempts.
AU was also unable to come out on top in the turnover margin and points off of turnovers statistic.
“You can sum up the difference in the game pretty easily,” Jones said. “[We had] 15 turnovers, 13 of them were steals by Lehigh, and they got 14 points off of turnovers; that’s the game right there. Lehigh is a very good defensive team, but I thought a majority of our turnovers were us not being strong with the ball and us making some poor decisions.”
Junior center Tony Wroblicky led AU with 14 points on 6-8 shooting, chipping in four rebounds in just 21 minutes of play. Senior point guard Daniel Munoz, who ranks fourth in the conference in assists, added 13 points and a game-high seven assists.