BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Led by senior guard James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) with 25 points, four Bobcats matched or set season-high point totals on Monday night, but the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team was outlasted, 86-75, by Lehigh University at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pa.
With the loss, the Bobcats fell to 2-3 on the year, but still contain a 3-2 edge in the all-time series against the Mountain Hawks. In its home-opener, Lehigh improved to 5-2 with the win.
Johnson finished 8-of-18 from the field, grabbed three rebounds and dished out three assists for the Bobcats. Fellow guards Dave Johnson (Jackson, N.J.) and Garvey Young (Washington, D.C.) put together their best performances of the campaign. Dave Johnson finished with 14 points and three assists and Young added 11 points and five boards. Freshman Ousmane Drame (Boston, Mass.) finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.
In back-to-back games now, foul trouble once again plagued the Bobcats on both ends of the floor. Sophomore Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.), junior Jamee Jackson (Newark, N.J.) and Drame were each tagged with three fouls in the first half of play. QU picked up a total of 14 fouls in the stanza en route to 13 points on offense for the hosting Mountain Hawks.
Lehigh boasted a 10 point lead for much of the opening 20 minutes. However, with just over seven minutes showing on the clock, Nate Gause (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) sparked a 16-5 run for the visiting Bobcats. Drame capped off the surge with a bucket underneath, which granted QU a one-point lead with 3:23 left in the half.
The Mountain Hawks regained their composure and rallied off an 11-4 run to close out the half. Stefan Cvrkalj's leaner in the lane in the waning seconds gave Lehigh a 39-33 advantage at the break.
After the intermission, Quinnipiac quickly cut its deficit to three points, as Jackson, Drame and Johnson combined for seven of the second-half's first 11 points. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, that three-point margin was short-lived, as Lehigh outscored QU 38-24 over the next 14 minutes. Quinnipiac chipped away down the stretch, but the Mountain Hawks made too many free-throws to solidify their fifth straight win.
For the first time all season, QU was outrebounded in a contest, as the Mountain Hawks controlled a 36-34 edge. Lehigh made 28-of-37 free-throw attempts, 8-of-17 from behind the arc and shot 48 percent from the floor overall. The Bobcats went 25-of-46 (44.6 percent) from the field, 20-of-31 from the charity stripe and 5-of-15 from downtown.
C.J. McCollum posted a team-high 23 points for the Mountain Hawks. Gabe Knutson added 19 and Holden Greiner finished with 10.
Up next for the Bobcats, the squad will open NEC play on Thursday, December 1 at the TD Bank Sports Center. Game time is set for 7 p.m. with live video, audio and statistics available at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.
Contact: Tony Distasio; Ardistasio@Quinnipiac.edu