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Willen and Leopards Take W From Worcester

March 2, 2011

Box Score

WORCESTER, Mass. - Five players scored in double figures for Lafayette which never trailed in a 77-70 win over Holy Cross on Wednesday night in the Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinals.

Lafayette now will take on No. 2 seed American in the Patriot League Tournament Semifinals at 5 p.m. on Sunday at Bender Arena in Washington, D.C. Tickets for Sunday's semifinal at American will go on sale on Thursday at noon at the Lafayette ticket office (610-330-5471). The game can also be seen on CBS College Sports.

Junior Ryan Willen led all scorers with 19 points with 15 of those points coming in the second half. Jim Mower netted 13 points while Jared Mintz and Levi Giese chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively. Tony Johnson also scored 10 points, while dishing out four assists to go along with a career-high four steals.

Lafayette (12-18) maintained a five to eight-point lead for most of the game, including 33-28 at halftime. Late in the game, Holy Cross started to make its move, pulling within 61-60 on a Devin Brown three in corner at 4:42. It was just the second three-pointer of the night for Holy Cross which shot 2-of-16 from beyond the arc.

A Willen three-point play placed Lafayette ahead 64-60 with 4:12 left. After a Holy Cross layup, Rob Delaney hit a crucial three-pointer at 3:22. Johnson drove and kicked to the corner where Delaney stroked a shot to lead 67-62.

Andrew Beinert's layup and a pair of free throws by Mike Cavataio cut the Lafayette advantage back to one, 67-66, with 2:28 in the game. Cavataio was one of three in double digits for Holy Cross with 12 points.



Willen hit his biggest basket of the game on the next possession, draining a three-pointer from the wing off another Johnson feed as Lafayette led 70-66.

The Leopards got the ball back with 36 seconds left when Delaney slapped it away from Beinert and out of bounds. Lafayette passed it to Delaney who hit both free throws. Lafayette led 73-68 with 36.7 left.

Beinert answered with a layup and the Crusaders (8-21) fouled Willen who made two more free throws. Delaney added a layup to put the game away after the Leopards broke through full-court pressure. Three Leopards scored in the final 2:15 of the game with Willen tallying five of the 10 points in the closing minutes.

Lafayette scored 21 points off Holy Cross's 14 turnovers. Johnson finished with four steals and Ben Wheeler added three, all of his in the first half when Lafayette turned over Holy Cross 10 times. Andrew Keister scored 18 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, but was a non-factor in the final four minutes with just one defensive rebound.

Tickets for Sunday's semifinal at American will go on sale on Thursday at noon at the Lafayette ticket office (610-330-5471). The game can also be seen on CBS College Sports.

Willen, an Academic All-Patriot League selection, needs 15 points to reach 1,000 for his career.

Mintz pulled down seven rebounds to eclipse the 500-rebound mark (504). The two-time All-Patriot League First-Team selection is the 12th place in Lafayette history to score 1,000 points and grab 500 or more rebounds.

Former assistant coach Matt Blue, now at assistant coach at Hartford, was in attendance on Wednesday..