Loyola Slips Past Leopards in Baltimore
BALTIMORE, Md. – Loyola’s Andre Walker proved too much to handle for the Lafayette men’s basketball team on Sunday afternoon, finishing one point shy of the school record with 43 as the Leopards fell on the road in Baltimore, 83-77.
Walker went 16-for-26 from the field on the day and 6-of-12 from three-point range. The senior accompanied his scoring performance with six rebounds, four steals and a pair of assists with no turnovers on the day.
Lafayette senior co-captain Matt Klinewski led the way for the Leopards offensively with 25 points. Freshmen guards Alex Petrie and Justin Jaworski netted 14 apiece, while junior Paulius Zalys chipped in with 12 to go along with eight rebounds and two blocks. Klinewski moved his double-figure scoring streak to 20 games dating back to last season.
The loss drops the Leopards to 4-13 on the year overall and 2-4 in Patriot League play, while Loyola improves to 5-12 overall and 3-3 in conference action.
Turnovers were a storyline once again for the Maroon and White, committing 15 and forcing just seven. The Greyhounds turned that into an 18-6 advantage in points off those miscues and also led the way in fast-break buckets, 15-3.
When the offense was run effectively, Lafayette had one of its better shooting days, knocking down 26-of-53 from the field (49.1%), 8-of-20 from beyond the three-point arc (40.0%) and 17-of-19 from the charity stripe (89.5%).
The game was evenly played over the first five minutes as Klinewski’s deep baseline jumper answered a Cam Gregory put-back to put the Leopards ahead by one, 7-6. Five more on buckets from Petrie and Jaworski opened up a six-point advantage, and the Leopards took a five-point edge to the midway point of the opening half, 19-14.
Gregory’s put-back and foul shot brought the home side within two out of the break, but the Leopards made another run into the half’s home stretch as a 6-2 spurt pushed the advantage back to six at 27-21 with 6:44 to play. Loyola responded once again, though, as an 8-3 spurt over the next three minutes forced a Leopard timeout with 3:38 to play and the lead at one, 30-29.
Yet another bucket from Gregory put the lead on the Loyola sideline, but it didn’t last long as the Leopards answered with triples from freshman E.J. Stephens and sophomore Kyle Stout to reclaim the advantage at 36-31 with 1:44 left. The Greyhounds closed the half on a 6-2 run to pull within one at the break, 38-37.
Both teams started the second half executing offensively, trading buckets through the first five minutes with Loyola up one, 50-49, into the first media timeout with 15:21 to play. Gregory started to pose problems for the Leopards near the midway point of the second stanza as his post bucket put it at 55-53 in favor of the home side into the 12-minute media timeout.
That bucket sparked a 9-1 run for the home side that moved the lead out to 62-54 with 9:31 left. Lafayette answered with a Klinewski jumper and Petrie free-throws, but five straight from Walker out of the under-eight timeout pushed the advantage to nine at 6:49, 67-58.
Five more from the senior guard pushed the lead out to its largest at 14 with 5:55 to play, but Lafayette came back with a 10-2 run of its own to close the gap to six at 74-68 with 3:13 on the clock. From there, the Leopards could only get as close as five over the final stretch as Walker hit five free throws in the final minute to ice it with a final of 83-77.
Next up for the Maroon and White is a return home to Kirby Sports Center on Wednesday, hosting Navy at 7 p.m.