Lafayette Advances With 73-71 Victory Over American
March 6, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Jim Mower hit a three-pointer with less than a second remaining and No. 6 Lafayette defeated No. 2 American 73-71 in double overtime on Sunday in a Patriot League Tournament semifinal.
The Leopards advance to the conference final for the second straight season and will play at Bucknell on Friday with an NCAA Tournament berth on the line.
Tony Johnson, who scored a career-high 29 points when American beat Lafayette on Feb. 26 in double overtime, scored four points in the second overtime, helping Lafayette back from a 70-64 deficit.
With seven seconds left, Johnson took the inbounds pass and found Mower for the game-winning basket after with less than a second to play. He drove the length of the court and stopped near the top of the arc when he found Mower on the wing near the Lafayette bench. The three-pointer was the second of the game for the junior guard.
The Leopards (13-18), had to force both overtime periods. Ryan Willen hit a three-pointer with 13 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 53, and Mower hit 1-of-2 free throws with 12 seconds left in the first OT to tie it at 62.
Vlad Moldoveanu scored six of his 25 points for the Eagles (22-9) in the second OT, including a jumper that made it 70-64. He reached the 1000-point plateau during the game.
But, Jared Mintz, who finished with 18 points, hit a jumper and a pair of foul shots to help key a 6-0 run that tied it at 70.
Willen finished with 14 points, one shy of his 1000th career point. He joined Mintz and Johnson (10) in double figures.
For the game, Lafayette shot 12-of-14 (86 percent) from the free throw line despite not shooting any free throws in the first half. American shot 18-of-27 (67 percent) from the line for the game. The rebounding battle was a wash with 38 for AU and 37 for the Leopards. Stephen Lumpkins finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Eagles while Troy Brewer added 14.
The Leopards are the lowest seed (No. 6) to advance to the Patriot League Tournament final in the history of the event. Friday's game will tip off at 4:45 p.m. on ESPN2.
(The Associated Press contributed to this article)
The win snapped a streak of 14 straight losses for the Leopards against American. The last win was Feb 19, 2005.
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