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Lehigh earns NCAA Tournament bid

The Lehigh men’s basketball team, fresh off a Patriot League Championship title and NCAA Tournament appearance, continues to collect honors well past season’s end. Senior co-captain Austen Rowland, a native of Hyattsville, MD, was recently named an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press. Rowland completed a brilliant senior season in which he was named a first team All-Patriot League selection, as well as the Patriot League Player of the Year and the Patriot League Tournament MVP. He helped lead Lehigh to the second most victories in school history with 20, as well as the school’s first Patriot League regular season championship, first Patriot League Tournament title, and first NCAA Tournament bid since 1988. Lehigh closed out its 20-11 season in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, losing to Florida A&M in a game played at Dayton Arena in Dayton, OH.

Rowland led the Patriot League in scoring at 16.0 points per game (18.7 in league play), was fourth in assists (5.0), fourth in steals (1.85), third in made three-point field goals (57), 11th in free-throw percentage (72), 13th in three-point field goal percentage (.380) and 16th in rebounding (4.0). Rowland became the 24th 1,000 career-point scorer in Lehigh’s history earlier this season and finished his collegiate career with 1,230 points. Rowland is also the first postseason All-American in Lehigh’s history.

Head Coach Billy Taylor was ecstatic for Rowland and for the recognition the guard is receiving. “This is an unbelievable honor, both for Austen and for Lehigh University. This is great recognition for all of the hard work Austen has put in, and to his commitment and dedication.” Taylor continues, “In his time at Lehigh, Austen has set a great standard and has really developed into a tremendous mentor and leader. I’m very excited and proud that Austen’s impact has been recognized on a national level with him being named an All-American.” Taylor, in his second year at Lehigh, has been named the Patriot League’s Coach of the Year in both 2003 and 2004.

Despite the loss of Rowland, co-captain Ra Tiah and senior Steve Callahan, Lehigh returns four starters and looks to defend its league crown next season.

Posted on Monday, April 12, 2004

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