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Snap Judgments: Bucknell at Lehigh (02.05.18)

Petra Somers/ALOST/Pnut Studio Photography

 

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

 

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Befitting of the dominance of both Bucknell and Lehigh in Patriot League men’s basketball in the past decade, the two squads, when facing off on Monday night, put on a performance that felt more like a conference championship game than a regular-season game in the middle of league play.

In a rematch of the two teams that indeed met each other in the Patriot League title game just a year ago, the Mountain Hawks gained some level of revenge with a 92-89 victory over the league-leading Bison in overtime at Stabler Arena in the Lehigh Valley on Monday night.

Mountain Hawks head coach Dr. Brett Reed has led Lehigh (11-13, 6-7 Patriot) to the Patriot League championship game in four of the last eight seasons, including NCAA Tournament bids in 2010 and a win over Duke in the Big Dance in 2012, but his 2017-18 edition has been inconsistent in league play this season as the team suffered mass graduation losses from last season. On Monday, however, the youth came through in a big way, as Lehigh was led by sophomores Pat Andree and Jordan Cohen. The pair combined for 45 points as Andree hit four of his five three-pointers in the first half on his way to 24 points while Cohen’s 21 points from the backcourt was a career-high. Inside, freshman center James Karnik had his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Bucknell (17-9, 11-2 Patriot), which has made the Patriot League championship game in four of the past seven seasons and has won three titles (2011, 2013, 2017) had its 10-game winning streak snapped while losing only its second conference game of the year. (Boston University defeated the Bison on Jan. 2.) In a losing effort, forward Zach Thomas led all scorers with 36 points, including 18 in the second half and eight more in the overtime session. Thomas, who leads all D-1 players in free throws made, hit 14-of-15 free throws in the contest.

Bucknell’s lead in the Patriot League is now reduced to two games in the loss column, with Colgate and Boston University sitting with 8-4 records in league play.

It was our pleasure to have covered this well-played, high-level game in person, as above the byline and story is a photo gallery from Monday’s contest. Our sincere thanks go out to Pnut Studio Photography founder and photographer Petra Somers, who was courtside at Stabler Arena and provided us these amazing shots. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow butting to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 27 pictures in total.

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