Lafayette Takes Down Lehigh 78-60 on Senior Day
Feb. 23, 2008
EASTON, Pa. - Senior Bilal Abdullah led Lafayette to a decisive 78-60 victory over Lehigh on Saturday afternoon at Kirby Sports Center. Abdullah finished the afternoon with his second double-double of the season, leading the team with 18 points while grabbing a career-high 13 boards.
The win marked the second consecutive win against the Mountain Hawks on Lafayette's Senior Day. The five members of Lafayette's senior class (Abdullah, Matt Betley, Paul Cummins, Ted Detmer and Everest Schmidt) were honored prior to tip-off in front of a season-best crowd of 3498 in Lafayette's 3,500 seat arena. Leopard fans were given white t-shirts with "Beat Lehigh" emblazoned on the front in maroon.
Lehigh's Bryan White scored eight points in the first nine minutes of the game, helping the Mountain Hawks (12-14, 5-7) to a 16-8 lead at 10:37. The Leopards responded with a layup from Detmer, a three from Abdullah, a layup from Cummins and an Abdullah jumper to capture a 17-16 advantage with 7:49 remaining in the half. White finished the game as the only Mountain Hawk in double digits with 18 points.
Lafayette (15-12, 6-6) took control with a 15-0 run with Brown going 4-of-4 from the foul line and sinking two from behind the arc to take a commanding 23-16 advantage at the half. Brown, who finished with 13 points, needs only five more to reach 1,000.
At 15:23 in the second half, the Leopards led by 20 points (49-29) for the first of nine times in the game after Detmer sank two foul shots. Abdullah's three-pointer from 24 feet out, layups from Jeff Kari, Betley and Abdullah and a pair of Kari free throws had the Leopards in the lead 60-37 just past the midway point of the half.
Cummins missed two free-throw opportunities, but Detmer corralled the rebound. With an assist from Kari, Cummins got immediate redemption by sinking a trey from the wing with 5:35 left on the game clock. Lafayette led 72-50 and won by 18.
The Leopards kept Lehigh at arm's length by shooting 61 percent from the floor in the second half and 50 percent for the game. Lafayette is now 7-0 in games it has shot at or above a 50 percent.
Betley and Detmer recorded double-digit scoring efforts with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Detmer also grabbed seven rebounds, a season-high three blocks and a career-high five steals. Lafayette pulled down 39 boards to Lehigh's 32, out-rebounding an opponent for the seventh time this season. Abdullah pulled down a career-high seven offensive rebounds.
Lafayette, which is now in sole possession of fourth place in the Patriot League standings, travels to West Point, N.Y. to take on Army (11-15, 4-8) on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The top four finishers in the regular season will host a quarterfinal game in the Patriot League Tournament on March 5. The Leopards have won 10 of the last 11 meetings vs. Army, including four of the last five at Christl Arena.
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