Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
Lehigh had one of those nights where everything clicked against Fairleigh-Dickinson on Saturday, running out to a huge lead early and putting away the Knights 102-62 for their fifth consecutive win.
It was visiting Fairleigh-Dickinson (3-4) who scored the first two points of the contest a minute into play, but that would be their only real highlight of the day. By the time the Knights would score again–a free-throw midway through the half–Lehigh (6-2) had scored 20 points; by the time they hit another shot it was a 35-5 Mountain Hawks lead.
That lead would expand to 33 points in the first half before ballooning to as many as 43 late in the game, but it wasn’t just due to one players’ performance.
Preseason All-American and national leading scorer C.J. McCollum scored 23 points in 24 minutes, hitting 9-of-14 from the floor and 3-of-5 from 3-point range in addition to three rebounds, three assists and four steals. Also going for a career-high 20 points was Stefan Cvkalj, who hit 7-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Overall, the Mountain Hawks shot an impressive 63.3 percent (38-of-60) from the floor, including 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from three and had 29 assists against 15 turnovers. The Knights shot just 37.0 percent (20-of-54), including 8-of-19 (42.1 percent) from three with 13 assists against 22 turnovers.
Lehigh also dominated the boards, out-rebounding Fairleigh-Dickinson 35-16 though only Holden Greiner (11 points, seven rebounds) had more than five. Five other players all chipped in with four-or-more rebounds, including Cvrkalj (five) and Gabe Knutson (16 points, four rebounds).