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Lafayette News Stand

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Dill sweet as 'Pards win fourth straight
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- No getting fat on holiday food for Rob Dill, the 6-foot-10, 200-pound Lafayette College center from Isernhagen, Germany. The lean Dill displayed a rare mean streak Monday night against visiting Albany and lit up the Great Danes for 24 points and 15 rebounds, both career highs, in leading the Leopards to an 83-75 victory before 1,232 fans at Kirby Sports Center. The win was Lafayette's fourth in a row and improved its record to 4-5 heading into Thursday's home date against Columbia. "If I were Rob Dill, I'd send tonight's game tape to the German Olympic team," Albany coach Will Brown said. "The way he played against us he could start alongside Dirk Nowitzki in the next Olympics."

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Dill does about-face in Lafayette win
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
The only person walking around Lafayette College's Kirby Sports Center with a mask on was the school's mascot in Monday nights nonleague game against Albany. But it seemed as if the Leopards' 6-10 center Rob Dill was also wearing a different face, one that was downright mean, nasty, and often intimidating to the shorter Albany post players in Lafayette's 83-75 victory. It was a face bent on destruction, a face that the junior from Germany had not shown too often in his previous two seasons. He's far from the project player he was 2 years ago and the numbers bear it out. On Monday, his 24-point, 15-rebound performance helped the Leopards (4-5) extend their winning streak to four games.

Sunday, December 26, 2002

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Leopards finally add missing ingredient
The Express-Times / By Corky Blake
Confidence, said Fran O'Hanlon, is the difference between Lafayette's 0-5 record before final exams break and 3-0 mark since the Leopards' 10-day hiatus. Lafayette completed its 3-0 week by upsetting Massachusetts on Saturday. The Leopards led throughout much of the game, fell behind by four points late and then secured the lead for good on Rob Dill's three-point play with 36 seconds to go. "Any time you have success, you're going to have more confidence," said O'Hanlon after the UMass victory. Although Massachusetts' record was only 2-5, Lafayette's conquest of the Minutemen was the Leopards' first win ever over a card-carrying member of the current Atlantic 10 Conference. UMass rebounded Monday night and hammered Rider 76-54.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Naismith moment -- 'Pards upend UMass
The Express-Times
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Lafayette won its third college basketball game of the week Saturday afternoon, upsetting Massachusetts 54-52 at the Springfield Civic Center. Junior center Rob Dill's three-point play with 36 seconds left put Lafayette up by a point, and guard Andrew Pleick added a free throw with 15 seconds remaining for the final margin. The Leopards (3-5) and Minutemen (2-6) met for the first time ever on the 111th anniversary of the date on which basketball was created by Dr. James Naismith in this city. Fran O'Hanlon's team treated the 1,738 in attendance to a textbook clinic on basketball.

FOOTBALL: Contract extensions make sense
The Express-Times/ By Ed Laubach
One feels compelled to come down on the side of Lafayette and Rutgers after each college last week extended the contract of its head football coach. You can't argue with Lafayette locking up Frank Tavani through 2007 after the transformation that has taken place on College Hill. Rutgers' move to re-up Greg Schiano for two more years, also through 2007, is drawing mixed reviews in the Garden State. The obvious question is why?

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette crashes UMass' party
Boston Herald/ By Joe Pignatiello
SPRINGFIELD - While yesterday's game between UMass and Lafayette marked the 111th birthday of basketball, there was little else for the 1,738 fans in attendance at the Springfield Civic Center to celebrate. The Minutemen, who came back from a pair of 10-point deficits, missed two potential game-tying shots in the final seconds and lost to Lafayette, 54-52. UMass (2-6) took its biggest lead at 52-48 with 2:14 left in the game, but the Leopards (3-5) ended the contest with a 6-0 run.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Last-minute men they aren't
The Boston Globe/ By Joe Burris
PRINGFIELD - Nothing's a given now. No lineup is sure to produce consistent results. No venue guarantees home-court advantage. No opponent should be considered an underdog. Massachusetts' reeling men's basketball campaign took another major step backward yesterday with a 54-52 loss to a seemingly overmatched Lafayette team whose two previous wins had come against Ursinus and St. Peter's. UMass (2-6) hadn't played in a week - its longest stretch between contests thus far this season - and was coming off a hard-fought win over Florida International. Lafayette was the second of five opponents on UMass's home schedule before its Atlantic 10 campaign begins, and the Minutemen wanted to begin a winning streak to create momentum after their poor start. Instead, UMass reverted to poor outside shooting, sloppy ballhandling, and defensive lapses against the Leopards (3-5), who shot 52 percent from the floor in the first half, built double-digit leads in both halves, then made tough shots to prevail after UMass rallied.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Leopards stun Minutemen
Springfield Union-News/ By Ron Chimelis
SPRINGFIELD - As losses in the so-called "modern era" of University of Massachusetts men's basketball go, this one might have been the worst. Worse than the 1999 home loss to Fordham, which had played in the Atlantic 10 for nearly four years without winning an A-10 road game. Worse than a home defeat to Davidson that year, or two losses in two years to Holy Cross, which turned out to be a pretty good team. No, yesterday's 54-52 meltdown to Lafayette at the Springfield Civic Center may take its place next to a 1989 home loss to Lowell - the opener of John Calipari's second season - atop the list of horrible defeats of the past 15 years.

Friday, December 20, 2002

FOOTBALL: Tavani is already building on win over Lehigh
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
''Frank Tavani, your Lafayette football team has just defeated Lehigh to end a seven-year losing streak in college football's most-played rivalry and give you your first winning season as a head coach. So, what are you going to do next?'' Disney World? Dorney Park? The Crayola Factory? Uh, uh. At 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24, Tavani was speaking to some 250 people at a youth football breakfast in Lopatcong Township. At 12:30 p.m., he addressed a crowd of about 480 at a church lunch in Bethlehem. By 3 p.m., he was behind closed doors in his office for about seven hours of highlight films featuring possible recruits. Some celebration. On Monday, Nov. 25, Tavani met with Lafayette athletic director Bruce McCutcheon. The subject: Tavani's future. Tavani's initial three-year contract ended on the highest note of his tenure. A five-year contract extension announced Thursday will give him a chance to go higher.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette extends contract of football coach Tavani
The Morning Call/ By Ted Meixell
After enduring discouraging 2-9 and 2-8 seasons in his first two years as Lafayette's head football coach, Frank Tavani and his staff brought the Leopards back to respectability in 2002. Indeed, following a 7-5 season that included Lafayette's first victory over arch-rival Lehigh in eight years, Lafayette is on the brink of becoming a legitimate and consistent contender for the Patriot League championship. Lafayette's turnaround was the second-best in all of Division I-AA. Tavani's bosses noticed. On Thursday, the college extended Tavani's contract for five years, thus guaranteeing his position through the 2007 season.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette extends Tavani's contract
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Beat Lehigh and the world -- if you are the Lafayette College head football coach -- is at your command. Frank Tavani, coming to the end of a three-year contract as the Leopards' head coach, received a five-year extension through the 2007 season, it was announced Thursday. The Leopards, after consecutive two-win seasons, enjoyed a breakout year by going 7-5 overall and 5-2 in the Patriot League, good for a third-place tie. Tavani's club capped its season with a win over Lehigh, the four-time defending league champion. "This is tremendous because it solidifies support for the program and makes a statement," said Tavani, who was on the road recruiting late Thursday morning. "This recruiting class and the next one know I'll be here during their entire time at Lafayette."

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette's 3s bury Ursinus
The Express-Times/ By Paul Sokoloski
EASTON -- It was only one win, and against a Division III opponent that was supposed to be inferior. To the Lafayette Leopards, it was reason enough for hope. Justin DeBerry and Winston Davis both scored career highs and Rob Dill matched his Tuesday night as the Leopards finally cracked the win column with an 87-70 victory over Ursinus at the Kirby Sports Center. "It's just nice to get a win," said DeBerry, a junior guard who popped for 22 points. "Hopefully, we'll get some confidence here going into the rest of the week."

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette betters Ursinus for 1st win
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
The losing streak is over. Thank the schedule makers for setting up a date for Lafayette with Division III Ursinus Tuesday night at Kirby Sports Center. Lafayette, winless in its previous five games, took advantage of the many weaknesses from the undersized and overmatched Bears to coast to an 87-70 nonleague victory that restored confidence. Junior guards Winston Davis (20 points) and Justin DeBerry (22 points, seven assists) enjoyed career-highs in points as did 6-11 toothpick center Rob Dill with 15 points, seven rebounds and two dunks.

Sunday, December 8, 2002

MEN'S BASKETBALL: New Princeton belts Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Don Bostrom
Lafayette found out this is not your patterned, precision Princeton team anymore in an 89-75 loss Saturday night at the Kirby Sports Center. A couple of sons of some noteworthy fathers have helped morph the Tigers into a more wide-open, free-lancing team that burned the Leopards with a series of fastbreaks and even two reverse gusto dunks. Tiger coach John Thompson III, offspring of the former Georgetown Hall of Famer, has loosened the shackles of the storybook motion offense made famous by Pete Carril and Bill Carmody. Would you believe the Tigers running a set play for a dunk?

Wednesday, December 4, 2002

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Hinds helps spoil Lafayette's home opener
The Morning Call/ By Brett Tomlinson
Lafayette hoped that coming home to the Kirby Sports Center could put an end to its disappointing 0-3 start. Drexel's Danny Hinds hoped his return to the Lehigh Valley hardwood would extend the Dragons' winning streak. After providing an early offensive spark and playing aggressive defense to help force the Leopards into a miserable shooting night, Hinds went home happy. The former Central Catholic star and Morning Call Player of the Year scored six of his eight points in the first five minutes, and the Leopards shot 31.4 percent from the field while falling 65-47 in their home opener.