Lafayette Men's Basketball Loses to Princeton, 40-38, in Home Opener
Nov. 27, 2004
EASTON, Pa. (www.lafayette.edu) - Lafayette had two attempts at the game-tying basket in the final seconds, but the shots and the Leopards fell short on Saturday afternoon, as Princeton held on for a 40-38 win in non-conference men's basketball action. The game was the Leopards' home-opener at Kirby Sports Center.
It was a defensive game throughout with Lafayette shooting 35 percent from the floor while committing 14 turnovers. On the other end of the floor, Princeton managed just 29 percent shooting and committed 13 turnovers.
Princeton (2-2) opened the game with a 5-0 run on a three-pointer by Noah Savage and a pair of free throws by Judson Wallace. The Leopards answered with a Marcus Harley three-pointer and a jumper from junior Andrei Capusan that tied the game at 5-5 at 16:25. Capusan finished the game with a team-high eight points.
The biggest margin for the rest of the half was a five-point lead (15-10) that Lafayette enjoyed with just less than seven minutes remaining in the half when senior co-captain Sean Knitter buried a jumper.
Lafayette (1-2) held a slight 18-17 advantage at halftime thanks to a 47 percent shooting effort and Knitter's three-pointer with 1:07 remaining in the half.
The second half was more of the same back-and-forth play, as the two teams combined for five ties and seven lead changes. Defense was again the pattern as neither team shot above 28 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes.
Lafayette led through the first four minutes of the half, but Savage hit a pair of free throws to tie the game 21-21 at 16:06. Lafayette built its lead back to four just two minutes later when Jamaal Douglas converted a lay-up and Harley connected on his second three-pointer of the game. Douglas collected a team-high eight points and managed four rebounds on the afternoon.
But again, it was Savage who made two more free throws, this time after the 12-minute media timeout that gave Princeton a 27-26 lead at 11:45. He finished with a game-high 13 points.
The Leopards trailed 36-34 with 3:28 left in the game. Douglas took a pass from freshman Matt Betley for a layup and tied the game for the final time with 3:08 remaining. Will Venable gave Princeton a three-point lead (39-36) on an old-fashioned three-point play, as he was fouled in the act of shooting and made the layup at 2:32.
The Leopards pulled within one (39-38) with 36 seconds remaining when Douglas went to the line and hit both free throws after being fouled under the hoop. When Princeton got the ball back, Lafayette immediately fouled Scott Greenman. He made one of two foul shots to give Princeton a 40-38 lead with 33 seconds remaining.
On the last possession of the game, Lafayette ran the clock down to 12 seconds. Harley took a running 10-footer that rimmed off. He grabbed one of his team-high six rebounds and then put up a six-foot jumper that also missed as time expired. He finished with six points.
Lafayette returns to action on Tuesday when it hosts Drexel at 7 p.m.
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