The #15 seed Lehigh Mountain Hawks upset the #2 seed Duke Blue Devils and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament in South Region play on Friday, 75-70.
Duke and Lehigh traded points in the first half, with the largest lead a three point margin for the Mountain Hawks. Following halftime, Duke went on a run and obtained a five point lead, the Blue Devils’ largest lead of the game.
At the 8:23 mark in the second half, Lehigh reclaimed the lead and did not allow Duke to come back.
Duke scored at will when the Blue Devils got it in the paint, with Mason Plumlee 10-10 from the floor. However, Duke was unable to consistently work the ball inside. Duke took 26 of its 58 shots from behind the 3-point line and only made six 3-pointers in the game.
Duke had to play without junior forward Ryan Kelly, who averaged 11.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Blue Devils. He has been out for Duke’s last three games.
C.J. McCollum came up huge for the Mountain Hawks, with 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Forward Gabe Knutson added 17 points and eight boards. He was 6-7 from the free throw line including two free throws in the final minute of the game.
Mason Plumlee led Duke with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Austin Rivers added 19 points, four rebounds and four assists. No other player was in double figures.
Both teams struggled from the line. Lehigh hit 25-37 free throws and Duke sunk 16-23 free throws.
Lehigh’s upset victory was the second win by a #15 seed over a #2 seed of the afternoon. Norfolk State’s defeat of Missouri was the first win by a #15 seed in 11 years.
Lehigh’s win is the first NCAA Tournament win in school history.
The Mountain Hawks’ next game will be Sunday against the winner of the #7 seed Notre Dame vs. the #10 seed Xavier.
For more information about the NCAA tournament visit http://www.ncaa.com/march-madness or nextooze.com/college-basketball-in-national/the-2012-ncaa-college-basketball-tournament-bracket-seeds.