Men’s Basketball Edges Lehigh in 77-75 Thriller
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Senior guard Shawn Anderson scored two critical late baskets to erase a three-point deficit in the final 45 seconds as Navy (14-9, 5-5 PL) rallied for a 77-75 win over Lehigh (8-13, 3-7 PL) on Saturday evening at Stabler Arena. Anderson went 7-of-10 from the field and led Navy in scoring (16), rebounding (7), assists (5) and steals (3).
Navy led Lehigh by nine points (72-63) with under five minutes to play, but the Mountain Hawks rallied back with a 12-0 run that included nine free throws and a 3-pointer by Pat Andree to take a 75-72 lead.
Anderson first scored a layup after his own offensive rebound to cut the deficit to one with 45 seconds left. He then pulled down the defensive rebound on the other end after a Navy stop and took the ball coast-to-coast for a layup and a 76-75 Navy lead with 12 seconds left.
Lehigh called a timeout and then Andree missed a 3-pointer with two seconds left. Navy senior forward Tom Lacey controlled the defensive rebound and was fouled. Lacey made the first free throw and missed the second. Andree grabbed the defensive rebound and his three-quarter court desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer was off target.
“It was a great win for us,” said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. “We had a nice lead but we made some mistakes and Lehigh came back on us. But we kept fighting to get the lead back and made some plays down the stretch to win the game. I’m really proud of our kids.”
Anderson’s 16 points led five Navy players in double figures.
Lacey scored 12 points with five rebounds, three assists and two dunks.
Senior guard Bryce Dulin tallied 12 points with four rebounds, four assists, three steals and three drawn charges.
Lehigh took an early 5-2 lead in the game, but the Mids quickly responded with a 7-0 run to go ahead at 9-5. Dulin found Wieck for a layup and then Dulin followed with a layup of his own and a 3-pointer.
The Mids went ahead 18-12 after two free throws by Lacey, but the Mountain Hawks got two 3-pointers from Marques Wilson and Kyle Leufroy to even the game at 18-18. Lehigh went ahead at 23-21 after a Kahron Ross jumper, but Navy put together a 17-6 run to take a nine-point lead at 38-29 late in the first half.
Navy ramped up its defensive pressure during the run and got three steals. Davis and George Kiernan knocked down 3-pointers during the spurt, while Lacey had an alley-oop layup from Fox before Wieck made a nice pass to get Lacey a dunk coming down the middle of the lane.
Lehigh answered back late in the half and a 3-pointer by Jordan Cohen cut Navy’s halftime lead to five points at 39-34.
Navy had assists on 12 of its 15 made baskets in the first half, including six assists on its first seven baskets.
Navy opened the second half on a 7-3 run, during which Anderson converted one of his two three-point plays in the contest. Lehigh got a jumper from Wilson before another Navy spurt. Dulin grabbed a defensive rebound and pushed ahead. Dulin passed forward to Anderson who drove to the hoop on the fastbreak layup with a defender draped on him. He then deftly laid the ball off behind him to Lacey, who was running the floor, for an easy lay-in.
Lacey would then get a dunk on the baseline, followed by 3-pointers from Ryan Pearson and Kiernan to give Navy a 12-point lead at 58-46.
The Mountain Hawks would need just five possessions to erase that margin with a 14-0 run to take a 60-58 lead. The run started with Lance Tejada converting a four-point play after a made 3-pointer. Cohen then hit a jumper, followed by a Tejada three-point play. Leufroy’s 3-pointer tied the game at 58-58 and then Lehigh went ahead on a fastbreak layup by Leufroy.
Anderson finally stopped the run with a jumper and then Dulin partnered with his classmate as the senior wings swung momentum right back to the visitors. Dulin dished to Wieck for a layup and then Dulin made two free throws to give Navy a 64-63 lead with seven minutes remaining. A steal by Anderson led to a 3-pointer by Dulin and then Anderson finished off an and-1 play. Dulin then drew an offensive charge and then Anderson’s fastbreak layup gave Navy its nine-point lead at 72-63 with under five minutes to play. That’s when Lehigh made yet another big run, but Anderson countered with his play in the final minute.
Navy outrebounded Lehigh, 28-25, while the Mountain Hawks outshot the Mids 51 percent to 49 percent. Navy shot 81 percent at the free throw line (13-of-16).
Navy had 20 assists and just 11 turnovers in the game. Navy had just two turnovers in the first half.
Tejada led Lehigh with 20 points, while Leufroy added 15. Wilson scored 13 points and Andree tallied 12 as four Mountain Hawks scored in double figure.
With the win, Navy is now tied for fourth place in the Patriot League standings with Loyola and Army West Point.
Navy completed its first season sweep of Lehigh since the 2009-10 season.
The Mids also improved to 12-0 this season when scoring at least 70 points
Navy will next play at American (5-16, 2-8 PL) on Wednesday.