BALTIMORE - Lehigh's post players combined for 42 points as the Mountain Hawks escaped Reitz Arena with a 69-63 win over the Loyola University Maryland men's basketball team Saturday night.
Eric Laster led the Greyhounds (9-14, 5-7 Patriot League) with 16 points, while Chancellor Barnard tacked on a career-high 14. Andre Walker also contributed double-digits in scoring with 10 points and five assists.
Despite trading leads early on, Lehigh (13-10, 7-5) used a 12-4 run to turn a one-point deficit into a 22-15 advantage at the 9:52 mark of the first half.
Franz Rassman hit three-straight baskets to keep the Greyhounds within striking distance, 24-21, and Denzel Brito knocked down a 3-pointer following a pair of Mountain Hawk free throws to cut Loyola's deficit to two, 26-24, with 5:23 to play in the half.
From there, Lehigh worked its advantage to nine, 36-27, on a layup by Tim Kempton at 1:28 and, although the Greyhounds scored four-straight points, the Mountain Hawks held on for a 36-31 halftime advantage.
Out of the break, back-to-back baskets from Lehigh pushed the visitors back ahead by nine, 40-31, at 18:08, but the Greyhounds chipped into the Mountain Hawks' advantage, coming within two, 49-47, on a Barnard free throw at 9:50.
That would be as close as Loyola would get for the remainder of the game, though, as Lehigh worked its lead back to 12, 62-50, at 5:07. The Greyhounds were able to pull within four twice - once when Barnard hit a layup with 1:26 left to play and again when Eric Laster knocked down a 3-pointer with 12 seconds remaining - but free throws from Kahron Ross and and Kempton closed out the game and secured the 69-63 win for the Mountain Hawks.
Kempton led Lehigh with a game-high 17 points and eight rebounds, while Justin Goldsborou added 13 points.
The Greyhounds will return to the court on Wednesday when they host Lafayette at 7:30 p.m.