Lightening's 19-footer caps 99-97 Towson win over Lehigh

Chuck Lightening fashioned an entirely inappropriate ending to Towson State's 99-97 victory over Lehigh at the Towson Center last night.

Lightening's 19-footer from the right wing with five seconds left provided the Tigers (1-2) with their first win of the season. A dunk or post-up move would have been more fitting on a night when feast-or-famine pressure defense resulted in high shooting percentages and abundant turnovers for both teams.


Lehigh (2-2) made 67.9 percent (38-56) of its field-goal attempts, but the Engineers turned it over 26 times. Coach Terry Truax enjoyed the fact that Towson State avoided its first 0-3 start since 1978, but he wasn't pleased with the layups the Tigers allowed, nor the leads that they blew.

"Defensively, we just gave up too many easy baskets," Truax said. "That's not our way of playing. We also didn't take care of the lead, and I can't be happy with that."


The Tigers led by 11 at 89-78 on Terrance Jacobs' transition basket with 5 minutes, 13 seconds remaining, and the bulge was BTC 97-88 after freshman guard Terrance Alexander made two free throws with 2:34 remaining. Lehigh scored the next nine points, however, as Towson State didn't score again until Lightening's clutch jumper. It was a stretch when the Tigers could have used senior Devin Boyd, relegated to radio commentary until the second week of January because of an elbow fracture.

"Without Devin, it's definitely a change for all of us," said Lightening, who shot his game-winner over 6-foot-5 James Hipps. "That wasn't a designed play. I didn't know how much time was left, and when I heard the crowd getting louder, I knew it was getting close."

Lightening's jumper was the second-longest field goal of the night, as Lehigh's Bob Krizansky had the only three-pointer. That three with 8:40 remaining was the Engineers' first basket outside the paint.

Krizansky, a bullish forward who's one of the premier players in the Patriot League, finished with 30 points on 13-16 shooting and five rebounds. Dozie Mbonu powered his way inside for 29 points, but Towson State's senior combination was nearly as productive, as Lightening finished with 25 and Jacobs 18.

Alexander, the freshman from Dunbar, had 17 points, and sophomores John James and Matt Campbell had career-highs of 12 and 11, respectively.

It was the second straight loss at an East Coast Conference gym for Lehigh, which left the ECC last year. The Engineers are the consensus favorite to win the Patriot League this season.

LEHIGH (97) -- Hipps 6-11 4-4 16, Krizansky 13-16 3-4 30, Mbonu 10-12 9-13 29, Hudock 0-2 0-0 0, Penn 7-11 2-2 16, Berliner 1-1 2-2 4, Falke 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 38-56 20-25 97.

TOWSON STATE (99) -- Lightening 11-20 3-4 25, Brown 1-4 2-2 4, James 5-8 2-3 12, Alexander 6-14 5-6 17, Jacobs 8-16 2-2 18, Caldwell 0-0 2-2 2, Mason 0-0 2-2 2, Valentine 3-3 0-0 6, Campbell 4-6 3-5 11, Griffin 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 39-73 21-26 99.


Halftime--Towson State 43-40. Three-point goals--LU 1-6 (Krizansky 1-1, Hudock 0-2, Penn 0-2, Yaniga 0-1); TS 0-5 (Lightening 0-2, Jacobs 0-3). Rebounds--LU 26 (Mbonu 6); TS 32 (Lightening 6). Assists--LU 21 (Hudock 6); TS 14 (Lightening 5). Total fouls--LU 17; TS 25. Fouled out--Brown. A--1,531.