Nov. 14, 2011
LORETTO, Pa. -
Lafayette hit 14 three-pointers, but it was free throw shooting in the final three minutes that sealed the Leopards first win over the season, 84-81 over St. Francis (Pa.) on Monday night at DeGol Arena.
Lafayette made 22-of-26 at the line, including 13-of-16 in the final five minutes. Seniors Ryan Willen and Jim Mower scored 22 points apiece and Rob Delaney added 13 in the win.
Lafayette (1-1) hit nine three-pointers in the first half, including the first five baskets of the game. The Leopards put together a 9-0 run that pushed the margin to 21-12 with nine minutes left in the half. Lafayette managed a second 9-0 spurt, grabbing a 36-25 advantage after a Willen three with 2:32 to play in the half. Lafayette led 40-32 at the break.
The Leopards’ eight-point halftime lead was erased six minutes into the second half when Scott Eatherton’s layup put the Red Flash ahead 47-46. The bucket gave St. Francis its first lead since the 16:05 mark of the first half. Lafayette quickly answered the 8-0 run, with back-to-back baskets, capped by a Willen triple off a feed from Dan Trist at the 12:53 mark.
St. Francis regained the lead less than a minute and a half later and stretched the advantage to four with 10:54 to play. Lafayette cut the deficit to one four different times over the next seven minutes of action, and trailed by as many as five, but the Red Flash never relinquished their lead until Mower converted a fadeaway 12-footer off an inbounds play, putting Lafayette up 70-69 with 3:07 showing on the clock.
Each team knocked down a pair of free throws, and Lafayette had possession with close to two minutes to play. Delaney drove down the lane and kicked a pass to Willen in the corner, for one of his four three pointers in the game, giving LC a 75-71 lead. Delaney added two more free throws and Les Smith made one of two, increasing the margin to seven with 65 seconds left.
The home side would not go away. Eatherton cut the deficit to four with a three-point play on the next trip down the floor. Smith then hit two free throws with the Leopards in the double bonus, putting Lafayette up 80-74 with 43.8 seconds remaining. Dominique Major, who netted 16 points, replied with a jumper to pull SFU within four, Delaney hit one of two from the line and Stephon Whyatt drilled a three with 25 ticks left, making it a two-point game.
Willen made one of two from the line after being fouled and Eatherton scored a quick two, of his team-high 20, with 13 seconds to play. With a one-point lead, Smith went to the stripe and drained both attempts, putting Lafayette ahead three. Trying to tie, Whyatt’s off balance trey with two seconds to play hit off the front iron, Mower corralled the board and dribbled out the remaining time, wrapping up the victory for Lafayette.
Lafayette opens the home portion of its schedule at 7 p.m. on Wednesday versus St. Francis (N.Y.)
Lafayette improves to 3-0 all-time against St. Francis Pa.
The Leopards’ 14 three’s surpassed their 2010-11 season high of 13 at Fairleigh Dickinson and Colgate.
The last time Lafayette made more three-point field goals than two-point field goals was at Gonzaga (12/29/10).