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Patriot Quarterfinals Recap

March 11, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

Patriot League Quarterfinals Recap

Recap by Steve Sheridan

No. 1 Lehigh 62, No. 8 Navy 60 (OT)
The top-seeded Mountain Hawks should be counting their blessings today, as the team was within a free throw of falling in the first-round of the Patriot League playoffs, but instead Lehigh was able to escape the Midshipmen, winning 62-60 in overtime.

The Mountain Hawks, as they have all season, were led by Jason Mgebroff (19 points) and Patriot League Player of the Year Austen Rowland (17 points). And yet, it was not Lehigh that won this game as much as it was Navy that lost it. The Middies committed 27 turnovers, leading to 26 points for the Mountain Hawks, but with three seconds left Jeff Charles stepped to the line for two shots with his team down just one point. Charles drained the first shot but missed the second, sending the game into overtime. Navy shot atrociously from the charity stripe, hitting only 13-of-28 free throws, which was the major reason why there were not able to pull off the upset.

Laramie Mergerson continued his torrid finish to the year with 20 points and 10 boards to lead his team, yet it wasn’t enough to prolong the career of head coach Don DeVoe, who is leaving the Naval Academy.

No. 2 American 65, No. 7 Army 48
The streaking Eagles continued its excellent play as of late with an easy 65-48 win over Army on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles scored the first basket of the game and never looked back as they quickly dispatched of the Black Knights, as Army’s poor shooting appropriately ended its season.

American jumped out to a 24-5 lead after 10 minutes of play and held the Black Knights to just six first half field goals as its big lead was never threatened. After getting out to the huge early lead, Army never got within 15 as the lead grew to as much as 24 on three occasions. First-team all-Patriot League guard Andres Rodriguez led a balanced Eagle attack with 16 points, while Jason Thomas and Patriot League Freshman of the Year Andre Ingram both added 13 points.

Josh Wilson had 16 points to lead the Black Knights in his final collegiate game, but his team couldn’t overtime its typical 32 percent shooting from the field. The team tried to come back in the second half by launching threes, as all but one of its second half field goals came from beyond the arc, but the lead proved insurmountable by that point.

No. 6 Colgate 67, No. 3 Lafayette 66 (OT)
Apparently whenever these two teams face off in the tournament, the lower seed always wins. Colgate got some measure for two years of frustration against the Leopards in the only upset of the day, taking a wild 67-66 decision in overtime.

This game was back and forth, with the teams knotted up at halftime and at the end of regulation, but Colgate was able to pull out a victory. Winston Davis sent the game into overtime with his only points of the second half, a three-pointer with 25 seconds left. Mark Linebaugh’s last-second attempt for Colgate rimmed out and the teams played five more minutes. Each team shot 5-of-8 in the extra frame, with the one difference being Alvin Reed’s three-pointer that eventually put Colgate over the top. Howard Blue was the deciding factor for Colgate, as the senior chipped in 17 points and 11 rebounds, seven of which came on the offensive end, where Colgate dominated. The Raiders collected 50 rebounds, 24 on the offensive glass, giving them multiple opportunities at the hoop.

All-Patriot League first-teamer Justin DeBerry led his squad with 17 points in his final game for the Leopards, helped by three other Lafayette players with 10 points each.

No. 4 Bucknell 66, No. 5 Holy Cross 60
Charles Lee scored 20 points and Chris McNaughton added 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Bison to a 66-60 victory over the Crusaders as Bucknell reaches the semifinals for the eleventh time in fourteen years.

After a two-game losing streak without their head coach, Pat Flannery returned to the bench and the shooting touch returned to the Bison, as the team shot a scorching 62 percent from the field to help counteract 28 turnovers. The Bison took 23 fewer shots than the Crusaders in the game, but were able to get many of their points from the free throw line, where the team went 22-of-30, while the Crusaders hit only 5-of-15 attempts. The Bison faced a five-point deficit with 3:14 left in the first half, but responded with a 12-3 run and never gave up the lead the rest of the way.

Kevin Hamilton paced the Crusaders with 19 points as The Cross was able to stay close thanks to its full-court press, but in the end it could not overcome the Bison’s hot shooting. The Bison also did a good job of neutralizing first-team all-Patriot Leaguer Jave Meade and Nate Lufkin, who combined for 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting.

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