American Takes Seesaw Contest from Men's Hoops
Jan. 18, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Facing a two-point deficit with two minutes to play, American scored the final seven points and capitalized on a pair of Lafayette turnovers to survive the Leopards in a 66-61 decision on Saturday afternoon at Bender Arena.
After a John Schoof free throw tied the score at 59, Nick Lindner's driving layup put the Leopards up 61-59 at the two-minute mark. Darius Gardner drained a straightaway three on American's ensuing possession to put the Eagles ahead 62-61. Then, two Lafayette turnovers led to Garnder making one-of-two at the line and a breakaway layup by Kyle Kager put AU up 65-61 with 23 seconds left.
Schoof and Scott led their teams with 16 and 15 points, respectively, and American managed a 32-24 rebounding advantage in a game that featured 10 ties and 13 lead changes. Joining Scott in double figures for Lafayette (4013, 0-6) was Lindner with 14, Dan Trist (12) and Joey Ptasinski (10). As a team, Lafayette made 24-of-47 field goal attempts (51.1 percent), while American hit 45.1 percent on 23-of-51 shooting.
The Eagles also had four players reach double digits in the scoring column, with Gardner depositing 13 to go along with his seven rebounds and six assists. Jesse Reed and Tony Wroblicky each added 11 points in the win as the Eagles (10-7, 6-0) remained undefeated in Patriot League play.
Early on, an extra pass from Lindner set up Scott's corner three and the Leopards started the game with 7-3 lead. Looking at the early deficit, American used a 12-2 run that included a pair of buckets inside by Wroblicky and three-pointers by Kager and Reed.
Trailing 15-9 at that point, Lafayette netted the next 10 points to go ahead by four midway through the first half. Scott's baseline jumper started the run before Lindner's three-point play and Scott's second trey of the game followed. Alan Flannigan's transition layup capped off the spurt as Lafayette led 23-19.
Lafayette held the lead until Marko Vasic's foul line jumper helped American to a 26-25 advantage. A Lindner free throw tied the score at 26 before Gardner and Ptasinski traded threes on each end. American scored six straight points to end the half prior to Lindner's floater as time expired trimmed AU's lead to 37-33 at intermission.
Lafayette hit 53.8 percent from the field in the first half on 14-of-26 shooting, but American was able to capitalize on a 20-10 rebounding edge to build its four-point lead. Ten of AU's first-period rebounds came on the offensive end.
The Leopards opened the second half with three consecutive buckets, two by Scott and a Michael Hoffman layup off a feed by Scott, en route to a two-point lead. Minutes later with a score knotted at 45-45, Ptasinski drained a wing three and hit the deck as he was fouled on his release. After he made the free throw to complete the four-point play, Trist's foul line jumper increased Lafayette cushion to six points (51-45).
Down by six, American used a 9-2 run to regain the lead and Lafayette called timeout with 8:40 to play. The Eagles went underneath to Wroblicky for their first two baskets, one of them resulting in a three-point play, and Reed got to the rim for the other two scores. Trist's pair at the line was sandwiched between the four American baskets.
American finished the stretch at 13-2 with two Reed free throws and Schoof's easy lay-in after a Leopards' giveaway. Down 58-53, Trist scored in the paint, Lindner drained a pullup on the break and Trist knocked in two at the line to give Lafayette a one-point edge at 59-58 with 5:11 on the clock.
Lafayette is back in action on Wednesday night when it returns home to Kirby Sports Center to play Holy Cross. Opening tip against the Crusaders is set for 7 p.m. and the game can be seen on the Lafayette Sports Network.
Lafayette used its ninth different starting lineup of the season.
Seth Hinrichs missed his eighth straight game with a left knee injury. Zach Rufer did not play due to a concussion.
Bryce Scott had a season-high five assists.
Michael Hoffman matched his career-high with five rebounds.
Ben Freeland set a new career-high with two steals.