BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum totaled 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five steals, to lead the Mountain Hawks to a 75-51 victory over the Holy Cross men's basketball team at Stabler Arena. Senior guard Mike Cavataio (Forest Hills, N.Y.) led the Crusaders with a season-high 12 points, four rebounds and two assists. Holy Cross falls to 9-13 overall and 3-5 in the Patriot League with the loss, while Lehigh improves to 18-6 on the season and 6-2 in the conference.
The Moutain Hawks shot 46.3 percent from the field (25 of 54) and 81.8 percent at the free throw line (18 of 22), while holding the Crusaders to just 36.0 percent shooting from the floor (18 of 50). Lehigh also held a 37-32 advantage on the glass, and forced Holy Cross to commit 17 turnovers.
The Crusaders played well to start the game, jumping out to an 11-7 lead with 14:33 remaining in the first half. The Mountain Hawks scored the next four points to tie the score, and would eventually hold a three-point lead (23-20) with five minutes left before the break. Lehigh then went on an 11-1 run to extend its lead to double figures, and would eventually hold a 40-25 advantage heading into the locker room.
The Mountain Hawks' lead stayed in double figures early in the second half, and Holy Cross trimmed the margin to 13 points (55-42) with 11 minutes to go. But a 15-1 spurt over the next six minutes would give Lehigh a 27-point lead and put the game away. The Crusaders would get no closer than 22 points in the closing minutes, before the Mountain Hawks finally posted a 24-point victory
Senior guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) scored 10 points for Holy Cross, while junior guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) and freshman forward Taylor Abt (Darnestown, Md.) both added seven points. Holden Greiner scored 15 points for Lehigh, and Gabe Knutson had 12 points and six rebounds.
Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 8, when it travels to Navy for a 7:00 p.m. game.