Wagner Outlasts Lafayette 76-70

Go Leopards! Ryan Willen recorded his first double-double of the season (20 points, 10 rebounds)
Ryan Willen recorded his first double-double of the season (20 points, 10 rebounds)

Nov. 19, 2011

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EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette men’s basketball team trailed from the opening tip, and was unable to overcome Wagner’s eight point halftime lead, ultimately falling 76-70 on Saturday night at Kirby Sports Center. Ryan Willen was one of four Lafayette players in double figures in the game, notching 20 points and grabbing 10 boards for the Leopards.

Jim Mower scored 19, freshman Seth Hinrichs netted a career-high 12 points and Rob Delaney added 10. Turnovers troubled Lafayette, as the Leopards committed 20, while forcing 11.

Wagner (3-1), whose only loss of the season came to No. 4 Connecticut by 12 points, was in control for most of the first half, stretching the margin to as many as 13 at the 3:12 mark on a Jonathon Williams layup.  From there, senior forward Willen took over, scoring nine straight for the Leopards to bring Lafayette within six. Willen finished the half with 16 points as Lafayette trailed 39-31.

Lafayette cut into the Wagner lead in the second half, getting within three points after a Hinrichs triple at 12:44. After a Seahawks turnover and Lafayette miss, Tyler Murray sank a corner three for Wagner, to put the visitors back ahead by six, 53-47. Hinrichs answered again, drilling another three at the 11:40 mark. Mower made two at the line to cut the deficit to 53-52 on the next Lafayette possession with 11:03 left in game.

Twice more Lafayette came within one over the next four minutes. First, Delaney found Nick Petkovich in traffic on a fast break for an open lay-in with 9:25 on the clock. Then, with 7:36 to play, Dan Trist hit a two-point field goal of his own to make the score 57-56.

The Leopards could not get over the hump, as Wagner scored eight of the next 10, capped off by a steal and a breakaway dunk by Josh Thompson, to put the Seahawks up 65-58 with 5:01 left. Two Willen freebies made it a five-point game with 3:23 to play and Lafayette had two more chances to make it a one possession game. Delaney tried to find Joey Ptasinski in the corner, but the pass couldn’t be completed with 2:14 to go.

Wagner made its final nine free throw attempts in the last minute and a half, which sealed the victory. Six of the nine free throws came from Latif Rivers, who scored a team-high 19 points for Wagner.

Lafayette (2-2) concludes its three-game homestand when it hosts Fairleigh Dickinson on Nov. 22. Opening tip from Kirby Sports Center is slated for 7 p.m.

Notes:


Willen’s double-double was the first of the season for Lafayette and the first since Jared Mintz ’11 did it against Lehigh (1/22/11).

Willen made a career-high 11 free throws and was perfect from the line. His effort bested Mintz’s 10-for-12 day vs. American (2/26/11) and his 10-10 night against Navy (1/15/11).

Willen scored 20 points for the third consecutive contest (22, 20, 20).

Jim Mower needs 19 points to become the 38th player in Lafayette history to reach 1,000 for his career.

 

 

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