Holy Cross Escapes Men's Basketball's Comeback Bid
Jan. 22, 2014
Jan. 22, 2014
EASTON, Pa. - Nick Lindner's driving layup with two seconds left fell off the front rim and Holy Cross held on to defeat Lafayette 59-58 on Wednesday night at Kirby Sports Center. The final play was set up when Anthony Thompson missed the front end of a one-and-one with ten seconds remaining.
Lindner led Lafayette (4-14, 0-7) with 13 points, while Dan Trist and Joey Ptasinski each chipped in 10 points. Holy Cross won the rebounding battle with a 33-25 difference on the glass, and pulled in 14 offensive boards that led to 19 second-chance points. Justin Burrell led all scorers with 15 points, and his three treys, for the Crusaders (10-9, 4-3).
The opening half got off to a slow start on the offensive end for both sides and Holy Cross grabbed a 14-9 lead on Malachi Alexander's basket at the 11:41 mark. Three straight Lafayette baskets, beginning with Trist's left-handed finish in the paint prior to Nathaniel Musters' turnaround off the glass (15-14) put the teams on the seesaw momentarily. There were six ties and seven lead changes overall.
Following a long two-pointer by Burrell, Lafayette completed its 12-3 run with a layup by Bryce Scott (eight points), two Lindner free throws and a transition layup by the rookie PG. Lafayette led 21-17 at that point and went into halftime with a 26-24 edge. The Leopards held Holy Cross to 34.6 percent shooting (9-of-26), including a 2-for-12 effort from beyond the arc. The Crusaders benefitted from an 18-12 rebounding margin in the first half, and pulled in eight on the offensive end.
Lafayette kept the lead at the first media stoppage of the second half after going to Trist for its first three baskets of the half. Trailing 32-31, Holy Cross used back-to-back threes by Burrell and a tip in by Taylor Abt to go ahead 39-34 at the 12-minute mark. Alexander's free throw capped the run at 9-2 before Trist's baseline spin and layup made it a four-point game.
A trey with the shot clock expiring and a baseline floater by Malcolm Miller (10 points) pushed Holy Cross' cushion to nine (45-36), but Ptasinski answered with a triple for the Leopards. After a follow by Michael Hoffman (seven points), Miller hit another three-pointer and Dave Dudzinski (nine points) scored easily surround Lindner's pullup jumper. The Leopards called timeout at 5:50 when Miller scored with his right hand as the visitors regained a nine-point lead (52-43).
Four Alan Flannigan free throws, the first of two in a one-and-one situation, and Lindner's three trimmed the deficit to 54-50. Flannigan's secured an important defensive rebound in traffic and knocked down a pair on the ensuing possession as Lafayette cut it to 54-52.
Burrell came back with a floater to stop Lafayette's 9-2 run, but Scott converted a layup (56-54) to quickly pull back within two. Needing a stop, Flannigan stepped in to take a charge and Lafayette got the ball back with 1:29 to play. On the Leopards' next trip Ptasinski drained a foul line jumper to tie the score at 56-56.
Eric Green made 1-of-2 at the line to give Holy Cross a one-point advantage and Burrell made both in a one-and-one following a Leopards' miss. Scott got to the line with 11.4 seconds left and made a pair, before Thompson missed the front end with 10 seconds to play, setting up the final possession.
The Leopards return to action on Saturday night when they travel to Bethlehem, Pa. for a meeting with Lehigh. Opening tip from Stabler Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game can be seen on the Patriot League Network.
Seth Hinrichs missed his ninth straight game with a left knee injury. Zach Rufer missed his second consecutive game with a concussion.
Lafayette was perfect from the free throw line (14-of-14), the best effort since the team went 19-of-19 against Colgate (2/10/2010).
The Leopards were held to season-lows in points (58) and threes (4), but limited Holy Cross to 59 points, which was the least for a DI opponent this year.