Down in the valley, PL teams split

Someone better send Paul Sokoloski to remedial hoops class real soon. Here's what the Express-Times columnist had to say about Lehigh's 72-61 win last night over Albany (BOX SCORE) in front of 478 fans in Stabler Arena:
"Some real giants have visited Stabler Arena during the past calendar year, all of them threatening to bounce Lehigh University right out of its own gym.

Last season, Harvard tried. So did Holy Cross, the two-time defending Patriot League champion at the time. Of course arch-rival Lafayette took its best shot, and so did American in the Patriot League Tournament championship game.

All of them failed to squash Lehigh's home winning streak."
That would be 4-23 Harvard, 13-15 HC, and Lafayette, which while it did post an 18-10 mark last season, would hardly be considered a giant. Hard to believe he didn't include Delaware Valley and Swarthmore on that list.

Sokoloski continues: Then came Tuesday night, when an intimidating 7-foot-1 hulk of a center named Kirsten Zoellner led the hot-shooting, high-powered Albany Great Danes on a mission to finally crack Lehigh's home mystique.

Oh, so we are talking about big men, not big teams?

For starters, Zoellner is not exactly the second coming of Shaq. He is a seven-footer who managed to see action in all of 15 games in two seasons at Boston College. Maybe that Holy Cross reference meant Neil Fingleton.

Sokoloski was fascinated by Zoellner's height, but the guy who covers the Danes on a regular basis, Mark Singelais of the Albany Times-Union, didn't even mention Zoellner's name in his story.

An interesting tidbit from Singelais story involved an alleged one-finger salute that either was, or was not, given by Albany forward Levi Levine as he left the floor after picking up a second technical and being ejected.
"(The students) must have great vision," (Albany coach Will) Brown said. "Again, it was at the end of our bench, and I think if Levi stood up and gave the crowd (a gesture), everybody in the gym would notice it.

However, a reporter for the Morning Call of Allentown (Pa.) said he saw Levine make the obscene gesture."
Since we could not find any coverage on the Morning Call's Web site, we're wondering if maybe it wasn't Sokoloski sitting next to Singelais.

Years ago, we had the pleasure of sitting next to Sokoloski at a high school football game when he was working for the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader. We've had many Sokoloski encounters since, and want to emphasize that Paul is a genuine nice guy. But remembering his account of that football game, and how dramatically it differed from what we had witnessed with our own two eyes, we're siding with Brown until we see some film.

Meanwhile, The Express-Times had John Bruns covering Lafayette's 78-67 loss to Drexel.

Bruns says the 'Pards hung tough for a while, before Drexel's athleticism wore them down in the second half.

Mel Greenberg, of the Philadelphia Inquirer said Lafayette's youth was part of its problem:
"The Leopards had their own deficiencies to overcome last night. One was a lack of experience.

Four starters have graduated from the squad that beat Drexel in Philadelphia last season."
We'll tell you right now, you can throw out Lafayette's 1-3 start. The young players will get better. When it gets to conference play, history shows any Fran O'Hanlon coached team will be dangerous.

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