C.J. McCollum shoots Lehigh to 2nd automatic bid in 3 years


Know the name C.J. McCollum. He’s primed to be one of March’s shooting stars.

McCollum scored 29 points and helped Lehigh hold off Bucknell 82-77 in the Patriot League championship, clinching its second NCAA tournament bid in the last three years.

The Mountain Hawks (26-7) managed to coax the Bison out of their preferred half-court style, speed up the game and open up some easy baskets. That’s the preferred style when you have a guy like McCollum, one of the nation’s top scorers (21.7 ppg) and the two-time conference player of the year.

Lehigh also got a huge boost from forward Gabe Knutson, who finished with 23 points and seven rebounds and a key block on Bucknell’s Cameron Ayers in the final seven seconds.

That’s an especially sweet finish given the Bison were hosting the tournament on their home floor after winning the regular-season crown.

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