Freshman forward Tim Kempton scored 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds and hit four free throws in the final 42 seconds as Lehigh held on for a 70-68 victory over Maryland-Baltimore County on Saturday in Bethlehem, Pa.
Kempton led a balanced attack for Lehigh (5-5), which got 11 points each from senior guard Mackey McKnight, freshman forward Shane Whitfield and freshman guard Austin Price. Sophomore forward Jesse Chuku added eight points and a game-high nine rebounds for the Mountain Hawks.
UMBC (3-7) got a game-high 21 points from senior forward Chase Plummer and 17 points and five assists from freshman point guard Rodney Elliott, who hit 7 of 9 shots from the floor.
UMBC led 33-28 when freshman center David Kadiri hit a jumper with 17 minutes left. But Lehigh answered with the next 11 points to take a lead that it would not relinquish. Kempton ignited the surge with a 3-point-play and Chuku and McKnight added 3-pointers. When McKnight passed to Whitfield for a layup, Lehigh had a 39-33 lead.
The Mountain Hawks got the advantage to seven before UMBC rallied. A 3-pointer by Plummer with 39 seconds left, made it 64-61. Layups by Elliott, sandwiched around a free throw by McKnight, made it 69-68 with 13 seconds left.
After junior guard Corey Schaefer made a free throw with 10 seconds left, UMBC had a chance to tie, but Elliott missed a contested layup with two seconds left.