Leopards Drop Season-Opener to St. Francis N.Y.
Nov. 9, 2012
EASTON, Pa. – Despite 17 points from Tony Johnson, Lafayette opened its 2012-13 season with a 76-65 loss to St. Francis N.Y. on Friday night at Kirby Sports Center.
Johnson finished 7-of-9 from the field to lead all scorers and was one of three Leopards in double figures. Dan Trist scored a career-high 16 points, 14 in the second half, and Seth Hinrichs added 13. On the other end, St. Francis had four players with at least 13 points, led by Akeem Johnson’s 15. Jalen Cannon had a double-double with 13 points and 13 boards.
St. Francis (1-0) dominated the glass all night, outrebounding Lafayette 41-28, including 17-10 on the offensive boards, leading to 18 second-chance points.
Lafayette (0-1) came out of gate shooting the ball well from beyond the arc and took an early 16-11 lead on a layup by Johnson at the 13:22 mark. Four of the Leopards’ first six field goals came from three-point land as the team was 4-of-5 from three in the opening six minutes.
The Terriers strung together 14 straight points, including two buckets by Travis Nichols in the paint and a Ben Mockford triple to end the spurt, to take a 25-16 lead with five minutes remaining in the half. Lafayette stopped the bleeding on Zach Rufer’s first career points off a backdoor cut and reverse lay-in after a feed by Levi Giese.
Another Mockford three (14 points) with a minute to play made it 32-22 in favor of St. Francis, and the Terriers went into the locker room with an eight point lead (32-24). Coach Fran O’Hanlon went ten players deep in the first half, with Rufer, Ben Freeland and Bryce Scott seeing their first career action. Giese sent back three shots in the first half, matching his career high. After starting 4-for-5 from three, Lafayette missed its final six attempts to end the half.
St. Francis pushed its advantage to 15 points at the 15:10 mark of the second half following a Leopards’ turnover and transition slam by Cannon, forcing Lafayette to call a timeout.
Consecutive baskets by Trist, a deep two and a lay-in, cut the Terriers’ deficit to 49-41 at 11:27, prompting a timeout by St. Francis’ head coach Glenn Bracia. After the timeout, St. Francis scored 11 of the next 13 points to go up 17, its largest lead of the night.
With eight minutes to play and trailing by 17 (65-48), the Maroon and White scored nine in-a-row to cut it to 65-57 following a Hinrichs three, but Nichols ended the run by drilling a straightaway trey with four minutes to play. St. Francis held on by the 11-point margin, running the final total to 76-65.
Lafayette returns to the court on Monday night when it hosts reigning Northeast Conference Champion LIU-Brooklyn at 7 p.m. The game will be televised by the Lafayette Sports Network and can be seen on RCN-4 & 1004 HD, RCN-8 & 608 HD, WBPH-60 and GoLeopards.com.
Fran O’Hanlon coached his 500th career game, all on the sidelines for Lafayette
Nathaniel Musters made his collegiate debut, coming off the bench late in the second half
The Leopards have dropped three consecutive season-openers