Leopards Improve to 4-1
Nov. 24, 2009
EASTON, Pa. - Six Leopards scored in double digits in an 86-82 win over Hartford on Tuesday night at Kirby Sports Center. Forward Jared Mintz, who had his fourth career double-double, led the way with 18 points and 10 rebounds followed by Darion Benbow who scored a career high of 15.
Michael Gruner and Jim Mower both chipped in 13 and Ryan Willen and Jeff Kari each added 10. Hartford had five players reach double digits with Andres Torres leading the way with 18 followed by Joe Zeglinski with 15.
The Leopards (4-1) took the lead 42 seconds into the game on Kari's three and held it through the intermission until the eight-minute mark of the second half. Five Leopards hit at least one shot from behind the arc in the first half. Kari started the shooting frenzy and Willen, Gruner, Mower and Levi Giese all added three's within the first 10 minutes of the game.
The Leopards led by as many as 22 points just before the half when Benbow knocked down one of his four first-half jump shots. The Leopards shot a scorching 63 percent from the floor and 56 percent from three-point land to lead 50-31.
The roles changed once the second half began. The Hawks went on an 11-3 run that began with a layup by Milton Burton (14 pts.) 15 seconds into the half and ended with another layup by Torres at 15:15. Lafayette led 53-42.
Hartford (2-3) continued to cut into the Leopard lead and tied the game for the first time since the first half with eight minutes left in the game on a layup by power forward Joel Barkers. The game was tied five times in the final eight minutes.
Lafayette led by five with 37 seconds to go in the game, but Barkers drilled his first career three from the top of the key to bring Hartford within two, 82-80, with 26 seconds left.
A foul by Torres with 12 seconds left on the clock sent Benbow to the line for two more free throws making it a five-point game. Kari added another from the stripe to close out the 86-82 final.
The Leopards finished the night shooting 61.4 percent from the field and outrebounded Hartford 35-25. Lafayette also had 15 assists on 27 buckets.
Lafayette will take a brief Thanksgiving break and then head to Washington, D.C. to take on No. 18/19 Georgetown in the Verizon Center in a noon tip off.
The last time Lafayette had six players score in double figures, including all five starters, was Nov. 28, 2007 vs. Penn.
The Leopards finished the half with 50 points, the most they have scored before halftime this season and held the Hawks to only 31 points, the lowest allowed all season.