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Lafayette Sweeps Season Series With Navy

Feb. 13, 2010

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EASTON, Pa. -- Jared Mintz led the Leopards with 23 points and nine rebounds in a 83-77 win over Navy on Saturday at Kirby Sports Center. In a crucial stretch in the second half, Mintz scored nine straight points. He finished the game 9-for-9 from the line for the fourth time this season.

The win places the Leopards (15-10 overall, 6-4 league) into a second-place tie with Navy (12-13, 6-4) in the Patriot League standings. First-place Lehigh (16-9, 7-3) leads by one game after beating Army on Saturday night.

Co-captain, Jeff Kari, scored a season-high 19 points, netting 3-of-4 from the three-point range while Jim Mower added 16 points on 4-of-6 from downtown. The Leopards had 30 points off the bench in a game that featured 16 lead changes.

In the first half, the two teams traded buckets and lead changes (eight). The Leopards came out shooting the ball well. The game was tied at 10 at 15:34 before Lafayette hit three straight three's. Over the minute span, Ben Wheeler, Mower and Kari all hit long three's to give Lafayette a 16-12 advantage at 14:37.

Lafayette hit seven three's in the first half and went into the locker room tied at 45.

Six minutes into the second half, Navy's leading scorer, Chris Harris, drew his fourth foul of the game and did not return to the floor until the 7:20 point. Harris, finished with a game-high 25 points, coming off a 40-point night vs. Lehigh. He fouled out with 39 seconds left in the game.

With 2:35 left in the game, Kari hit a crucial three off a Mower assist to put Lafayette up by five, 77-72.

Navy cut the lead to two points on two separate occasions. O.J. Avworo converted a layup with 54 seconds remaining and later made 1-of-2 free throws with 30 seconds left to bring the Mids within 79-77. Avworo finished with 17 points, one of three Navy players in double figures (Jordan Sugars, 21 pts., 8 reb.).

Navy sent Kari and Darion Benbow to the line, and they converted all four free throws to put the final at 83-77.

For the game, Lafayette shot 49 percent from the field. At the line, Lafayette shot just 70 percent (23-of-33) after a 19-of-19 night vs. Colgate on Wednesday. Navy hit for 45 percent from the field and 73 percent from the line, but was just 6-of-25 (24%) from three-point land.

The Leopards take to the road on Wednesday, traveling to Lewisburg, Pa. to face Bucknell.

Freshman Levi Giese made the most of his time on the court hitting his first three of his young career. Giese added a rebound and a steal as well.

The Leopards held their own on the boards, outrebounding by Navy 36-33.