BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Sophomore guard Justin Burrell scored a team-high 16 points, but the Holy Cross men's basketball team was defeated by Lehigh 79-47 at Stabler Arena. The Crusaders fall to 8-8 on the season and 0-1 in the Patriot League with the loss, while the Mountain Hawks improve to 11-4 overall and 1-0 in the conference.
The Crusaders had one of their worst shooting performances of the season, hitting just 29.5 percent of their field goal attempts (13 of 44) and 31.8 percent of their three-pointers (seven of 22). Holy Cross was not any better on the defensive end, allowing the Mountain Hawks to make 51.9 percent of their shots from the floor (28 of 54) and 47.6 percent of their attempts from behind the arc (10 of 21). The Crusaders also committed 15 turnovers to only nine for Lehigh, while being outrebounded 39-26.
The game was close early on, and the Crusaders held a 17-16 lead with 9:06 left to play in the first half. Lehigh then went on a 14-0 run over the next six minutes to claim a 30-17 advantage. Holy Cross committed three turnovers during that time, while missing all five of its field goal attempts and all three of its free throws. The Mountain Hawks would eventually take a 34-23 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Crusaders trimmed the margin down to eight points early in the second half, and were down by 12 (43-31) with 15:35 remaining in regulation. But Holy Cross would once again go cold from the field, allowing Lehigh to go on a 16-2 run and put the game away. At one point during that spurt, the Crusaders went over five minutes without scoring a point. The Mountain Hawks would eventually extend their lead to 32 points in the final minute of play.
Senior center Phil Beans (Toledo, Ohio) totaled 10 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots for Holy Cross. Lehigh was led by Mackey McKnight with 16 points, four assists and four steals.
Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 16, when it travels to Navy for a 7:00 p.m. game.