Late Barrage Falls Just Short in Loss to Boston U.
EASTON, Pa. – The Lafayette men’s basketball team surrendered a lead, but fought hard over the final two minutes to get back in it late against Boston U. at Kirby Sports Center on Wednesday evening. Unfortunately, the game-tying try from freshman Alex Petrie at the buzzer hit two parts of the rim, but fell off as the Leopards dropped another heartbreaker at home, 75-72.
The tough loss is the third straight of that variety at home for the Maroon and White, who fall to 5-15 on the year and 3-6 in conference action. The 75-72 loss follows a buzzer-beating Navy win on Jan. 17 and a Bucknell victory in overtime on Jan. 8.
The Leopards were ahead by as many as 16 with 11:12 remaining in the first half, but that advantage evaporated to four at the halftime break and Boston U. took over with 12 minutes remaining by a 48-46 score. The Terriers dominated the majority of the second half, but the final minute belonged to Lafayette as Petrie scored 11 points in the final 41 seconds to put the Leopards in a position to tie with six seconds to go.
The freshman led all scorers with 22 points on 9-of-19 shooting from the field on the night, while senior co-captain Matt Klinewski put together his 23rd straight double-figure game with 20 points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal. Junior Paulius Zalys rounded out the offense for Lafayette with 16 points of his own, his sixth double-digit game in his last seven outings.
All but two Leopards recorded a steal on the night, but the glass is what gave the Terriers the edge. Boston U. corralled 45 rebounds to Lafayette’s 28, and ripped down 15 on the offensive end, leading to 14 second-chance points.
The visitors were led by a career-high 21 points from senior Nick Havener, while Javante McCoy, Tyler Scanlon and Max Mahoney chipped in with 13, 13 and 12 points, respectively. Boston U. went 28-of-59 from the field (47.5%) and 5-of-16 from three-point range (31.3%) compared to 25-of-61 shooting for Lafayette (41.0%), going 10-of-25 from long distance (40.0%).
The Leopards jumped out on the front foot over the first five minutes as four from Klinewski and buckets from fellow co-captain Eric Stafford, Petrie and Zalys put the Leopards on top by seven at the first media timeout, 11-4. Everything kept going as planned for the Maroon and White to the midway point of the opening half as sophomore Myles Cherry found Zalys in the middle of the paint and the junior finished through a foul to make it 22-6 in favor of the home side with 11:13 to play.
The Leopards kept their advantage above 15 points before a couple of missed layups in transition left momentum up for grabs around the eight-minute mark. Nine straight from the Terriers followed that miscue before Zalys’ layup in the lane at 4:05 made it a 28-19 game heading into the home stretch of the half.
Boston U. crept closer into the final minute of play as a Havener layup through a Dylan Hastings foul at the 1:13 mark made it a six-point game. Another lay-in from the senior made it 32-28 with less than 40 seconds left and, following a Petrie jumper, Havener finished off the half with a put-back at the buzzer to pull the Terriers within four at the break, 34-30.
Both teams came out of the halftime intermission executing offensively as they traded buckets through five minutes with Lafayette up six into the 15-minute mark. Then, Boston U. made its move as a 10-2 run over the next three minutes put the Terriers in front for the first time in the game, 48-46.
The visitors kept the run going as another 9-3 spurt put the cushion at a comfortable 12 points at the final media timeout with 3:39 to play. The Terriers looked like they were going to cruise to the easy victory over the final stretch, but three triples from Petrie in the final minute made it interesting late as Lafayette had a chance to tie. Unfortunately, the rookie’s fourth attempt rimmed out at the buzzer as it sounded on a 75-72 defeat.
Next up for Lafayette is a trip to Worcester, Mass. on Saturday, battling Holy Cross with tip-off set for 2 p.m.