LHU Men's Basketball Upsets #3 ESU

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LOCK HAVEN, Pa. – Wali Hepburn (Philadelphia/Neumann-Goretti) scored a game-high 27 points to lead the Lock Haven University men's basketball team (14-7, 7-4 PSAC East) past No. 3 and previously unbeaten East Stroudsburg University (20-1, 10-1 PSAC East), 82-80 tonight.

The statement win for the Bald Eagle program came in front of a standing-room only crowd that packed Thomas Fieldhouse.

Coming into the game, East Stroudsburg was the last remaining undefeated team in Division II and one of four remaining undefeated teams in all of college basketball. Division I Wichita State (24-0) and Syracuse (22-0), along with DIII Cabrini (18-0) were the other three. The Warriors held the longest active win streak in DII.

The win is Lock Haven's first over a ranked team since the Bald Eagles beat No. 23 Bloomsburg on December 20, 2006 and it's also believed to be the highest ranked (No. 3) opponent LHU has ever beat.

Tonight's win was Lock Haven's 14th of the year, the most since The Haven went 14-12 in 1992-93.

With the win, Lock Haven also secures its first winning season in 21 years (1992-93). 

Hepburn was 8-for-18 from the field and a perfect 10-for-10 from the three-throw stripe on the way to his game-high 27 points. His second made field goal of the second half pushed him over 1,000 points for his career as it was a milestone kind of night in "The House of Noise."

Hepburn now has 1,011 career points and is the 16th Bald Eagle in history to reach the 1,000 point plateau.Wali Hepburn scored a game-high 27 points, netted the game-winner and reached the 1,000 career-point mark tonight.

Lock Haven's Big Three were at it again as Bootsie Walker (Chester, Pa./Chester) and Kasheef Festus (Philadelphia/Archbishop Carroll) joined Hepburn in the big outing. Walker netted 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Festus had 10 points and four boards.

Hepburn also added seven rebounds.

Brahieme Jackson (Philadelphia/Bishop McDevitt) had a monster night off the bench. He finished with a career-high 12 points.

The Bald Eagles led by two, 40-38 at the half. LHU opened the second half on a, 5-0 run and held the lead for the first 8:02 of the second half.

The Warriors battled back and would lead by as many as seven, 73-66 with 6:44 remaining. The Haven was resilient on this night, however, as the Bald Eagles answered with an, 8-0 run capped off with Walker offensive rebound and put-back that put LHU back on top, 74-73 with 4:13 remaining.

The two teams battled down the closing minutes with neither willing to give an inch.  Whis Grant put East Stroudsburg on top, 80-78 with 1:30 to go.  The Haven evened the score right back up at, 80-80 when Walker collected an offensive board and nailed the put-back.

LHU held strong defensively, and with the game on the line, the Bald Eagles put the ball in the hands of Hepburn, who didn't disappoint.  Hepburn drove down the lane and with the shot clock winding down, connected on an off-balanced jumper to put The Haven up, 82-80 with 10 seconds to play.

With the capacity Thomas Fieldhouse crowd at its back, the Bald Eagles stood strong defensively in the final seconds to pull off the upset.

Lock Haven is now 7- 4 in PSAC East action and the Bald Eagles sit alone in third place, one game behind West Chester and Bloomsburg, who are tied for second at 8-3.

Lock Haven returns to action next Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. when the Bald Eagles host West Chester.

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