BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Levi Giese's career-high five blocks and season-high 17 points led Lafayette's dismantling of Lehigh, as the Leopards went on to a 78-57 win on Sunday afternoon at Stabler Arena. Giese was one of five Leopards in double figures, as the team shot 55 percent from the field.
Joining Giese in double-digits was Dan Trist, who put in 14, Seth Hinrichs (13), Tony Johnson (13) and Joey Ptasinski (13). Hinrichs, who also had a career-high 11 rebounds, secured his first-ever double-double and Lafayette's first of the year. It was only the second time all season Lafayette had five players score at least 10 points.
In addition to its balanced scoring, Lafayette (10-12, 3-2 Patriot) turned the ball over six times to equal its season-low, doing so for the third consecutive game. Paced by Bryce Scott's career-best six assists, Lafayette distributed a season-high 25 dimes on its 33 made field goals. Ptasinski had five helpers, matching his career high.
Tied at 11-11 nine minutes into the game, the Leopards drained threes on three straight possessions to take a 20-13 lead. Johnson hit the first with a wide-open look from the wing, and then Ptasinski connected on a pull-up going to his left, before he found Giese open for Lafayette's third trifecta. Layups by Hinrichs and Scott pushed the run to 13-2, and the score to 24-13, before Lehigh's Justin Goldsborough cleaned up a rebound on the other end to stop the stretch.
From that point Lafayette never trailed and held a 30-22 halftime lead after limiting Lehigh (14-5, 4-1 Patriot) to 25 percent (8-of-32) shooting. The Leopards also forced seven turnovers, while only giving it away twice, but did struggle from the free throw line, going 2-for-8 in the period. Overall, Lehigh finished the day 21-of-62 from the floor (33.9 percent), a season-low for a Lafayette opponent.
Early in the second half, Lafayette scored field goals on five consecutive trips to take its largest to that point, 43-29, following a steal and layup by Johnson. Lehigh answered the 13-5 run with five straight points on a basket from B.J. Bailey (12 points) and a three by Holden Greiner, cutting the deficit to nine (43-34), with 14:43 to play.
Up 10, a basket inside by Trist preceded a Hinrichs three to push Lafayette's lead back to 15 points with 10:23 to go. Bailey then hit a three to interrupt Lafayette's spurt, but Ptasinski responded to send Lafayette into a 15-3 run to put the game out of reach as the Leopards held a commanding 67-43 lead with 6:41 remaining. Giese drilled two of his career-high five threes during the run, while Trist added four points inside.
From there, Lafayette led by as many as 25 and ultimately came away with the 21-point victory.
The Leopards return to the hardwood on Wednesday when they host Colgate. Opening tip from Kirby Sports Center is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on the Lafayette Sports Network.
With the victory, Lafayette improved to 137-78 all-time against Lehigh and ended a five-game drought against the Mountain Hawks.
Lafayette is 9-2 on the season when leading at halftime.
The Leopards matched a season-high with 39 rebounds.
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