Nivins Leads the Way as Men's Basketball Tops Lehigh, 77-64
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  12/02/2008

Dec. 2, 2008

Box Score

BETHLEHEM, PA.- Ahmad Nivins scored a game-high 20 points and added a career-high 17 rebounds to lead Saint Joseph's to a 77-64 victory over Lehigh on Tuesday night.

The senior made 7-of-10 shots and went 6-for-8 from the foul line to record his fourth double-double in six games this season.

Darrin Govens added 16 points and Idris Hilliard contributed a career-high 15 points in for the Hawks, who improved to 3-3.

Govens opened the game with a pair of 3-pointers to start a 10-2 spurt that gave SJU the lead for good on the way to a 35-24 halftime edge.

Lehigh had a six-point run in the second half to close to within 44-40, but the Hawks answered with a 7-2 run with points from Bryant Irwin and Charoy Bentley to extend the margin to 51-42.

The Hawks took a 66-55 lead on a jumper from Hilliard with 2:15 to play and then made nine of 10 free throws in the final two minutes, while Lehigh missed six 3-point attempts over the same time period.

SJU shot 51.9 percent in the second half and totalled 20 assists on 27 field goals.

"I thought we did some things better. We have to talk about closing and finishing off jobs. I thought offensively, the beginning of the game was important to us. Idris stepped up and made shots. It's important that we get bench play and Charoy and Bryant came up with some key buckets in the second half," said head coach Phil Martelli, who is battling the flu. "And as I've said, every time out, Ahmad has to go and be the best player on the floor. He was the best player tonight with 20 (points) and 17 (rebounds).

The Hawks play their first home game at this year's homecourt, The Palestra, on Saturday, when they host Creighton.