Colgate (11-20) at Lehigh (20-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 6, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stabler Arena (5,600) -- Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Colgate 7-5, Lehigh 10-3. Away Record: Colgate 3-15, Lehigh 9-5. Neutral Record: Colgate 1-0, Lehigh 1-0. Conference Record: Colgate 5-10, Lehigh 10-4. Series Record: Colgate leads, 48-34.
GAME NOTES: The Lehigh Mountain Hawks begin their quest back to the NCAA Tournament as they host the Colgate Raiders at Stabler Arena for a Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinals matchup.
The winner of the Colgate-Lehigh game will move on to face the Holy Cross- Lafayette winner in the semifinals on Saturday, March 9, with the championship game set for Wednesday, March 13.
These schools split the season series with each side successfully defending their home floor. Colgate won, 64-60, in the most recent encounter on Feb. 16 to improve to 48-34 all-time versus Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks have won four in a row versus the Raiders in the Patriot League Tournament.
Despite the late season win over Lehigh, Colgate stumbled down the stretch with three losses in its last four games. The Raiders were handed a 74-59 setback at Holy Cross on Saturday which dropped them to an 11-20 overall record and a 5-9 standing in league play. Colgate finished the regular season ranked fifth in the conference in scoring offense at 63.5 ppg and is also tied for last in scoring defense with 69.6 points allowed per tilt.
The Raiders have relied on senior forward Murphy Burnatowski heavily on the offensive end and he has not disappointing, posting a team-high 17.2 ppg on 42.5 percent shooting from the field. Burnatowski closed out the regular season with back-to-back 20-plus point outings. Junior guard Pat Moore showed the has the potential to be a scoring threat for Colgate as well by scoring in double- figures in three-straight outings before going 4-of-16 from the floor to average just seven ppg in the team's final two games. The Raiders were outscored by an average of 6.1 ppg during the regular season.
Lehigh lost its superstar guard C.J. McCollum before its Patriot League slate even began, but it showed perseverance by still managing to notch 20 victories for the third time in the last four seasons. McCollum is progressing towards a return although he may not be fully recovered in time for the Patriot League Tournament. The Mountain Hawks are the defending conference tourney champions and went on to defeat Duke in the second round of last season's Big Dance.
The Mountain Hawks concluded their regular season with back-to-back wins over Navy (72-43) and Army (81-75) to arrive at the No. 3 seed. After McCollum's injury, Lehigh became a more balanced team that revolves around the trio of Gabe Knutson (13.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg), Holden Greiner (13.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and Mackey McKnight (12.0 ppg, 4.9 apg). Greiner was unstoppable in the team's recent win over Army as he tallied 24 points (14 in the last 3:24) and a career-high 14 rebounds to go along with five assists and four steals. Lehigh finished second among Patriot League schools in scoring margin with an average 9.0 ppg margin of victory.
Even without their star guard available, the Mountain Hawks still have a decent chance of repeating as conference tournament champions. The Raiders have been limited to under 40 percent shooting from the floor in three of their last four games, something that must improve if they hope to advance.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Lehigh 68, Colgate 62
03/06 10:45:47 ET