Lafayette Falls in Patriot League Semifinal at Bucknell
March 3, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - A tough-shooting first half and foul trouble dug Lafayette into a hole it couldn't climb out of as the Leopards fell 79-52 to Bucknell on Saturday in the Patriot League Tournament Semifinals at Sojka Pavilion. Lafayette advanced to the semifinals of the Patriot League tournament for the third consecutive season.
Ryan Willen led Lafayette with 11 points, ending his career with 1,453 points, sixth on the all-time scoring list at Lafayette.
Following a three from Mike Muscala in the corner off a pick-and-roll, Willen made a layup on the other end to draw Lafayette within five (20-15) with 8:21 to play in the half. A three from Bryson Johnson then put the Bison ahead 23-15 before Seth Hinrichs' basket underneath made it 23-17 at 7:17.
Hinrichs' bucket was the final field goal of the half for Lafayette as Bucknell (24-8) strung together a 17-3 run to end the half with a 40-20 lead. The spurt included 11 Bison free throws, including eight from Joe Willman, who scored 14 first-half points.
Lafayette was called for 14 fouls in the first 20 minutes, three apiece for Dan Trist and Nick Petkovich. Rob Delaney, Levi Giese and J.D. Pelham each had two at the break.
The Leopards came out of the locker room and cut the deficit to 12 points at the first media timeout. Lafayette used a 12-4 run sparked by a Willen three and capped by a transition trey from Giese off a feed from Delaney at 16:32.
After Johnson and Petkovich traded threes, Bucknell put together an 8-0 run to regain its 20-point advantage. A layin by Willman started the stretch before Muscala scored three baskets inside to make it 55-35 at the 11:55 mark.
Bucknell extended its lead to as many as 32 points (73-41) on Brian Fitzpatrick's layup with 3:17 to play. Willman finished with 18 points and Muscala scored 16 to lead the Bison offensively.
Lafayette completes its 2011-12 campaign at 13-18 overall.