Emmitsburg, Md. (December 8, 2018)--Mount St. Mary's staged a furious second half rally, but came up short in an 85-78 loss to Lehigh on Saturday afternoon at Knott Arena. The Mount cut a 26-point second half deficit to five with two minutes remaining, but was unable to complete the rally. Sophomore Omar Habwe paced the Mountaineers with a career-high 24 points.
Lehigh (6-3) held a 57-31 lead after a pair of Kyle Leufroy free throws with 14:03 remaining in the second half. The Mount responded with a 17-to-5 run over the next five and a half minutes to trim the deficit to 14. Habwe scored eight points during the run that was capped by a pair of Vado Morse free throws with 8:27 on the clock.
Lehigh maintained the 14-point advantage, and led 72-58 with 4:46 on the clock after two more free throws by Leufroy. Mount St. Mary's (0-9) made another run, scoring 10 of the next 11 points to cut the deficit to five with 2:41 left in regulation. Nana Opoku hit a pair of free throws, and Barnes added a three-pointer to make it a nine-point game. After Lehigh's Lance Tejada went 1-of-2 at the line, Damian Chong Qui hit two free throws for the Mount to make it 73-65. The Mount then forced a turnover, and Opoku nailed a three-pointer from the top of the key to bring the Mount within five. From there, Lehigh went 12-of-13 from the charity stripe to close out the win.
Habwe was 5-of-9 from the field, 3-of-7 from three-point range and 11-of-12 at the line for his game-high 24 points. Barnes, coming off a 26-point effort at St. John's on Wednesday, added 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Chong Qui, making his second consecutive start, added 11 points and six assists for the Mountaineers while Jalen Gibbs chipped in eight points and four rebounds.
Leufroy led Lehigh with 21 points, connecting on all 12 of his free throw attempts in the game. James Karnik chipped in 15 points and nine rebounds while Pat Andree added 13 points and seven boards for the Mountain Hawks.
Lehigh shot 46.0 percent in the game, including 6-of-15 (.400) from three-point range. The Mount, which scored 54 points in the second half, shot 39.7 percent overall and 8-of-34 (.235) from beyond the arc.
The Mountain Hawks broke out to an early 23-9 advantage behind 4-of-8 shooting from three-point range. The Mount responded, cutting the Lehigh advantage to 34-23 after a Habwe three-pointer with 5:16 on the clock. Lehigh answered by closing the half on an 8-to-1 run to take a 42-24 lead at the break.
Mount St. Mary's returns to action on Saturday, December 15, against Wilson College. Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m. at Knott Arena.