Mintz, Mower, Mike combine for 58
Nov. 19, 2009
LORETTO, Pa. - Jared Mintz's near perfect effort on Thursday night at St. Francis (Pa.) and clutch three-point shooting by Jim Mower secured an 88-77 victory for Lafayette basketball at DeGol Arena. Mintz was 9-of-9 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the line for a career-high 24 points while Mower knocked down three crucial three-pointers in the second half and finished with a career-high 17 points.
The Leopards (2-1) featured a balanced scoring attack led by Mintz and Mower while Michael Gruner added 17 and as did Jeff Kari. St. Francis (1-2) was paced by a 30-point effort from Devin Sweetney who was 10-of -14 from the floor.
The Leopards started out slowly in the initial minutes of the game, trailing 13-5 four minutes into the game following Cedric Lattimer's three-ball. The Leopards ripped off 11 in a row with two buckets by Gruner and a pair of layups from Mintz. A back-and-forth half closed with an 8-0 spurt by the Leopards. Gruner's running bank shot from behind the arc as time expired gave Lafayette its biggest lead of the game to that point, 42-33, at halftime
In the opening minutes of the second half, Lafayette extended its advantage to 55-41, spurred by a Kari three, a pair of layups from Mintz and Tony Johnson's layup at 14:44. St. Francis cut the lead all the way to five by the 11-minute mark with a 9-0 run.
Two Mintz free throws stemmed the tide for Lafayette and started an important series. Darion Benbow picked up a steal that led to a transition bucket by Kari and another steal by Gruner, accompanying layup and and-one put Lafayette up 62-50 with 10 minutes left. Mower's three came less than a minute later and handed Lafayette a 65-52 lead.
St. Francis would not go away, however, again trimming the Lafayette advantage to five with five and a half minutes left to play. Sweetney scored nine points over four minutes. Lafayette led 70-65.
Mower knocked down a big three-pointer with 2:05 left that pushed Lafayette's lead to 79-69. Lafayette proceeded to close out the game with nine free throws in the final 1:17. The Leopards shot 66 percent from the floor for the game and finished with 21 assists to just 13 turnovers. The Leopards were also 18-of-21 from the stripe.
Lafayette's next game is Saturday when the Leopards venture down I-78 to Newark, N.J. to play NJIT.
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