Arkansas State (70) vs. Lehigh (82) 12/01/18

Game #70 of 353  19% complete

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The 3 1/2 hour ride from Connecticut was made easier with the company of my friend Andy who has completed 12 Operation 351 games with me over the years. I am anticipating one more car ride to Philly this year and a couple more to Pennsylvania and New York next year before turning to plains and trains.  It is a sign of progress for me that I have run out of driveable games to go to. Although technically any game can be driven to but I cut it off at the 4 hour mark.

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The Stabler Athletic and Convention Center was opened up in 1979 and showing her age. The old lady could use a fresh coat of paint on the walls and floors. It is rare that I can take my half time walk around the perimeter halls and encounter nothing but a couple of concession stands. I always look for school memorabilia and achievements but there was absolutely nothing. The stands were void of students except for the cheerleaders and pep band. I assumed it was class break but the last day of classes are December 8th unless I am misunderstanding the academic schedule. Given that Lehigh is one of the stronger teams in the Patriot League, I expected more excitement.

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One of the joys of visiting small arenas is the opportunity to sit in court side seats for a reasonable price. This was the case for this game and the Lafayette game. One does not appreciate the speed and quickness of the games till you are sitting eye level and up close. You also get a better sense of the offensive scheme and patterns a team runs from this perspective.

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This game was a classic case of size (Lehigh) vs. quickness (Arkansas State). The height advantage underneath was too much for the Redwolves (love this name) to overcome. I was very impressed with Arkansas State guard Ty Cockfeld who scored 30 points with an all around solid game. Lehigh answered with Kyle Leufroy who scored 20 points with clutch shooting down the stretch.

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I used some well honed begging techniques to acquire this t shirt from a cheer leader. Although I am like many of  who have too many t shirts, this is one more piece of memory from my Operation 351 journey.

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Perhaps this is the game I should have gone to!

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Next game: Sacred Heart vs. Lafayette 12/02/2018

 

 

 

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Lehigh (61) vs. Columbia (88) 11/22/2015

#18 of 351

I took the Metro North train from New Haven to Grand Central, the 7 line from Grand Central to Times Square and the 7 line uptown to 116th St. I am now in the middle of the Columbia University campus in upper Manhattan. I looked at the laminated campus map on the street searching for the Levien Gym. I see nothing on the map even though I had read that it was no more than a block from the subway stop. So I asked a passing student and learned the SECRET. The gym is labeled as the “Macellus Hartley Dodge Physical Fitness Center” where the Levien gym is one component of the center.

 

So I arrived at the game a couple of minutes after game start due to the delay of getting the subways and my search for the gym.

It was a decent crowd for a Sunday afternoon 4PM start. You had the usual stereotyped guests at an IVY league game: 1) the rich season holders dressed up in their chair-backed seats and 2) the student section always cheering with traditional chants as old as the ages.

I was impressed with two of the players. Keep an eye on Tim Kempton for Lehigh. The 6’10” center/forward has a nice three point shot coupled with tremendous agility on the inside. He made several good passes and was the high scorer for Lehigh as the only bright spot for the Mountain Hawks. (wouldn’t that make a good trivia question on Jeopardy  – the Mountain Hawks is the name for this team from Pennsylvania?).

I was also impressed with Maodo Lo (love that name) from Columbia. He is a 6’3” guard from Germany who in a small way reminded me of Jeremy Lin of Harvard. Very strong with ball and possessing a nice jumper, he stood above the rest of his Colombian teammates this night.

It is very cool to hear a lion growl after every made Columbia foul shot.

Columbia led from the start and in my opinion are the favorites to win the IVY league title. I did see Yale this year but Columbia is a taller and more balanced team.