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Foul trouble plagues Lehigh in road loss to Canisius

11/16/2015, 11:30pm EST
By Matt Trabold

Matt Trabold (@TrabsMatt)
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The new major rule changes in men’s college basketball this season were expected to bring about two things: more points and more fouls. That’s just what they did Monday night at the Koessler Athletic Center.

Unfortunately for Lehigh, the latter played a crucial role in their side of the result in this one as Canisius pulled out a home victory 98-89. When the final horn sounded, there were 51 overall fouls whistled in the contest with a staggering 29 of them being called on the Mountain Hawks.

The first foul trouble hurdle Lehigh had to deal with was reigning Patriot League Player of the Year Tim Kempton picking up his third foul with just 0.1 seconds left before the halftime break as Central Connecticut State graduate transfer Malcolm McMillan tried for one last piece of first-half offense for the Golden Griffins.

“I think foul difficulty on the whole for us was a challenge,” Lehigh head coach Brett Reed said. “It took the best out of both our offensive and defensive rhythm. It limited us, in many respects, to the type of defense we could play.”

Those types of defensive limitations only got worse around the thirteen-minute mark when Kempton, who was held to just three made field goals for the second-straight game, got called for his fourth foul, with McMillan the one drawing it again. Making matters worse, Kempton’s front line replacement as he sat on the bench with that foul trouble, Justin Goldsborough, picked up his fourth less than two minutes afterwards.

Canisius would soon go on a 14-0 run that not only erased its nine-point deficit at the time, but also gave Jim Baron’s side the momentum to never again trail in a contest where they put up a head-turning 98 points.

“We played a horrible defensive game,” Kempton said. “Letting them have 98 points in a college basketball game is a recipe for disaster.”

To put Lehigh allowing 98 points this evening in perspective, the Mountain Hawks held a down but still fairly promising Syracuse squad to just 57 points at the infamous Carrier Dome in their season opener; the highest point total the team allowed in a game last season was 86 points in a three-point conference win over Boston.

Reed’s group now looks onward to one of the most daunting four-game stretches in the entire country this season. Thursday evening, Lehigh has its home opener against a Yale side that was named the preseason favorite in the Ivy League for the first time in the history of its program. Following that, the Mountain Hawks face another of the Ivy League’s best in Columbia before playing a couple of currently ranked foes in Virginia and Purdue.

Kempton kept it simple when talking about what his squad has to do going forward to not start their record off 0-4 like a year ago.

“We just have to learn from both of these experiences,” Kempton said. “Tonight, we couldn’t finish the freaking game.”

What makes Lehigh’s next outing so critical is that the Yale match-up is one of only four home games they have in the non-conference part of the schedule.

“It’s important for us to be able to protect our home court because we don’t have a lot of home games through the non-conference slate,” Reed said. “I certainly hope that our community will support us and help bring a little bit of a sixth man element to Stabler Arena, so that way we can walk away hopefully with a win against a very good team.”


The new major rule changes in men’s college basketball this season were expected to bring about two things: more points and more fouls. That’s just what they did Monday night at the Koessler Athletic Center.

 

Unfortunately for Lehigh, the latter played a crucial role in their side of the result in this one as Canisius pulled out a home victory 98-89. When the final horn sounded, there were 51 overall fouls whistled in the contest with a staggering 29 of them being called on the Mountain Hawks.

 

The first foul trouble hurdle Lehigh had to deal with was reigning Patriot League Player of the Year Tim Kempton picking up his third foul with just 0.1 seconds left before the halftime break as Central Connecticut State graduate transfer Malcolm McMillan tried for one last piece of first half offense for the Golden Griffins off the dribble.

 

“I think foul difficulty on the whole for us was a challenge,” Lehigh head coach Dr. Brett Reed said. “It took the best out of both our offensive and defensive rhythm. It limited us, in many respects, to the type of defense we could play.”

 

Those types of defensive limitations only got worse around the thirteen-minute mark when Kempton, who was held to just three made field goals for the second-straight game, got called for his fourth foul with McMillan the one drawing it again. Making matters worse, Kempton’s front line replacement as he sat on the bench with that foul trouble in Justin Goldsborough picked up his fourth less than two minutes afterwards.

 

Canisius would soon go on a 14-0 run that not only erased its nine-point deficit at the time, but also gave Jim Baron’s side the momentum to never again trail in a contest where they put up a head-turning 98 points.

 

“We played a horrible defensive game,” Kempton said. “Letting them have 98 points in a college basketball game is a recipe disaster.”

 

To put Lehigh allowing 98 points this evening in perspective, the Mountain Hawks held a down but still fairly promising Syracuse squad to just 57 points at the infamous Carrier Dome in their season opener and the highest point total the team allowed in a game last season was 86 points in a three-point conference win over Boston.

 

Reed’s group now looks onward to one of the most daunting four-game stretches in the entire country this season. This Thursday evening, Lehigh has its home opener against a Yale side that was named the preseason favorite in the Ivy League for the first time in the history of its program. Following that, the Mountain Hawks face another of the Ivy League’s best in Columbia before playing a couple of currently ranked foes in Virginia and Purdue. Kempton kept it simple when talking about what his squad has to do going forward to not start their record off 0-4 like a year ago.

 

“We just have to learn from both of these experiences,” Kempton said. “Tonight, we couldn’t finish the freaking game.”

 

What makes Lehigh’s next outing so critical is that the Yale match-up is one of only four home games they have in the non-conference part of the schedule.

 

“It’s important for us to be able to protect our home court because we don’t have a lot of home games through the non-conference slate,” Reed said. “I certainly hope that our community will support us and help bring a little bit of a sixth man element to Stabler Arena, so that way we can walk away hopefully with a win against a very good team.”

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