Holy Cross Fends Off Lafayette 70-63
Feb. 15, 2012
EASTON, Pa. -
Holy Cross took an early lead and never lost control, holding Lafayette off for a 70-63 victory on Wednesday evening at Kirby Sports Center. Devin Brown's game-high 18 points paced the Crusaders, who outrebounded Lafayette 46-26.
Ryan Willen scored 15 points for Lafayette (11-15, 6-5) which was held to 39 percent from the floor and 27 percent from outside the arc, despite some quality looks.
A poor start shooting the basketball by Lafayette allowed Holy Cross (12-13, 6-5) to take an early 12-2 lead. The Leopards hit one of their first 10 shots from the field as Justin Burrell scored eight for the Crusaders to open the contest. Seth Hinrichs' left-handed drive and finish at the rim resulted in an old fashioned three-point play to end the stretch and cut the deficit to 12-5 at 13:56.
Les Smith's baseline drive and kick to Tony Johnson for three made the score 21-16 with four minutes in the half, but Mike Cavataio answered with a deep triple of his own with the shot clock winding down. A pair of Willen free throws and a steal by Johnson set up a finger roll by Jim Mower to bring Lafayette within three (30-27) at the break.
At 16:30 of the second half, Rob Delaney collected a loose ball near midcourt and went straight to the rack for two. He was fouled in the process, but missed the bonus free throw and Lafayette trailed 36-33.
Delaney's trey from the top of the key cut the lead to four (44-40) at 13:02 prior to Taylor Apt connecting from beyond the arc to give Holy Cross a seven-point advantage.
Trailing 57-51, Delaney stepped in front of Brown's dunk attempt and took a charge to give Lafayette possession. On the other end, Mower fed Willen in the corner for three to trim the deficit to three with 5:34 to play.
Six straight points from Holy Cross capped by an uncontested dunk by Eric Obeysekere put Holy Cross up 63-54 at 3:37. Obeysekere hung on the rim after the dunk and was assessed a technical foul. Mower drained both free throws and Delaney converted a left-handed layup to draw Lafayette within five with 3:12 to go.
Brown's basket for Holy Cross preceded a Mower corner triple that once again made it a four-point lead at the 1:55 mark. On the next trip, another Brown jumper put Holy Cross ahead by six with 1:29 on the clock. After a Lafayette miss, Brown missed the front end of a one-and-one and Delaney's layup cut it to 67-63 with 45 seconds remaining.
Burrell, who finished with 16 points, sank one of two from the line before Nick Petkovich's three went in-and-out from the corner with 22 seconds left.
Lafayette travels to Bethlehem, Pa. on Saturday to take on Lehigh at 4 p.m. The game will nationally televised on CBS Sports Network (DirecTV 613, DISH Network 152) and GoLeopards.com will carry an audio-only broadcast.
Prior to the game, Lafayette's senior class of Willen, Delaney, Mower, Petkovich, J.D. Pelham, Andy Moore and Javauhn Caines was honored.
Recent Lafayette alums Jeff Kari, Ben Wheeler and Michael Gruner were in attendance.