Bison fall to Lehigh, but look forward to Senior Night in Sojka

Sarah Hazard, Senior Writer

Fresh off of a two-game win streak, the Bison men’s basketball team was unable to keep up the momentum, falling to Lehigh with a final score of 69-60 on Sunday’s game at Lehigh. The Orange and Blue shot 39.3 percent while Lehigh found more success with a 46 percent average overall.

The Mountain Hawks got off to a quick start on the Bison in the opening minutes of the game. The Bison missed several opportunities while the Mountain Hawks made six layups, putting them ahead 14-2. Walter Ellis ’22 and John Meeks ’21 led the team to an 8-0 run shortly after, but Lehigh responded with an 11-0 run, keeping the Bison trailing. Jimmy Sotos ’21 scored the last six points in the first half, bringing the score to 36-27 at halftime.

In the second half, the Mountain Hawks were able to push their lead to double digits. The Bison were able to cut the lead to single digits in the final four minutes of the game, but several offensive struggles kept them from completing the comeback.

Stat leaders for the day were Sotos with 20 points, Ellis with 10, Andrew Funk ’22 with 10 and Meeks with nine. Kahliel Spear ’22 led the team in rebounds with six, followed by Sotos and Meeks with five and Paul Newman ’21 with four.

The loss moved the Bison to a 7-9 record in the League. They will look to improve their record when they return to Sojka on Wednesday to play Colgate on Senior Night Ellis spoke to what the Bison will do moving into Wednesday. “It’s a matter of doing the little things more consistently. Today we weren’t helping ourselves enough in other areas to overcome our poor shooting. Wednesday is a big game for us, but at the end of the day it is just another game. If we play basketball like we know how to and keep it fun, we will be happy with where we are at after the buzzer sounds, ” Ellis said.

The Bison were able to bounce back and knock off first-place Colgate with a score of 71-70 at Soikja Pavilion on Feb. 26. The Bison led by as many as 17 early in the second half, but saw their lead slowly whittled down. With ten seconds left in the half and the scored tied, Sotos hit a cutting Newman who was fouled attempting a dunk. Newman made the first to give the Bison a 71-70 lead. On the missed second free throw, Sotos was able to corral Colgate’s point guard Jordan Burns and force him into a tough midrange jumper which hit the front rim as time expired giving the Orange and Blue the victory.

The Orange and Blue achieved the victory with contributions from everyone who played. Jimmy Sotos scored a team-high 17 points while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out three assists. Walter Ellis hit some timely shots for the Bison on his way to a 12-point, eight-rebound night. Avi Toomer and Andrew Funk also scored double figures for the Orange and Blue scoring 11 and 10 points respectfully. 

The Bison will look to build off this huge win going into the Patriot League Tournament. However, they will first take on Boston University in the regular-season finale on Feb. 29 at noon in Boston.

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