Efficiency the Key in Men’s Hoops Win at Colgate
HAMILTON, N.Y. – The Lafayette men’s basketball team worked its offense efficiently and effectively on Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale in Hamilton, N.Y., taking care of Colgate by a final of 73-69.
The Leopards hit on 26 of their 48 shots from the field (54.2%) on the afternoon and made 9-of-15 from beyond the arc (60.0%). Junior Matt Klinewski tallied 18 points and eight rebounds to pace Lafayette in both categories, while classmate Eric Stafford tied his Patriot League season-high with 15 points and sophomore Paulius Zalys added 13 with six boards.
The win moves the Maroon and White to 9-20 on the year overall and 5-13 in conference action. The Leopards will by the No. 10 seed in the Patriot League Tournament, taking on No. 7 Loyola in the opening round on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Baltimore, Md.
Lafayette needed to be effective on the offensive end on Saturday as Colgate didn’t miss many shots either. The Raiders went 24-for-48 from the field (50.0%) and 9-of-21 from beyond the three-point line (42.9%). Sean O’Brien led the home side with 18 points on 4-of-8 from three, while Tom Rivard added 17 and Jordan Swopshire chipped in with 10.
The game started with solid execution from either side as the Leopards jumped out to a 10-4 lead on a three from Stafford. Colgate responded with back-to-back buckets, but the Leopards entered the under-12 media timeout with a 17-13 advantage.
O’Brien’s triple at the 10:57 mark cut the Lafayette lead to one, but a pretty feed from Stafford to freshman Lukas Jarrett and a post bucket from rookie Myles Cherry moved the edge back out to five, 21-16. The Leopards continued their surge through the final timeout of the half, leading 31-22 at the 3:48 mark, but Colgate cut into the edge by four to make it 35-30 into the intermission.
Colgate opened the second half strong, using a Malcolm Regisford layup and Rivard triple to tie the game at 35 less than two minutes in. However, the Leopards responded well as an 8-2 spurt right back pushed the advantage to 43-37 at 15:22.
The lead remained at that margin before a Colgate spurt on a three from Swopshire and layup by Jordan Robertson made it a one-point game at 50-49 with 10:30 to play. The game stayed at one possession, then, over the next six minutes, but four from Klinewski and a layup from Jarrett with less than four minutes left put the Leopards’ advantage at seven, 65-58, with 3:42 to go.
Colgate made it interesting late as Swopshire free-throws with 18.7 seconds on the clock put the score at 69-67. Then, it looked like Colgate had a steal and a chance to tie, but, after review, it was revealed that O’Brien stepped on the end line and was out of bounds. That turned out to be the final hope for the Raiders as Paulius Zalys free-throws sealed it with a final score of 73-69.