EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette built up a 20-point lead at the beginning of the second half, and forced 18 turnovers with its zone defense, on the way to a 63-60 victory over Delaware on Wednesday night at Kirby Sports Center.
Dan Trist led four Leopards in double figures with 16 points and Tony Johnson, Joey Ptasinski and Seth Hinrichs each scored 13. The Leopards overcame a 41-26 rebounding disparity, including 23 by Jamelle Hagins, who led all scorers with 18 points for Delaware.
Lafayette (2-6) leaned on Trist early in the game as the sophomore gave Lafayette a 16-11 advantage 11 minutes into the game, with his 10th point of the half on a lay-up from the right side. Back-to-back threes by Ptasinski and Giese extended the Leopards' lead to 22-11 as the Maroon and White dropped into a 1-3-1 zone to spark a 14-0 run that spanned 7:28 of the opening period. Hagins ended the stretch with a pair of free throws with 6:32 remaining.
Another Ptasinski trey, followed by a Hinrichs triple, gave Lafayette a 30-17 lead with 4:11 left before halftime. The Leopards then scored seven of the final 11 and went into the break with their largest lead of the season at 37-21. Hinrichs and Trist each poured in 10 points in the first half, while Ptasinksi added eight.
Trailing 45-25 at 16:36, Delaware (2-5) ripped off seven straight to cut the deficit to 45-32. Devon Saddler's three from the right wing brought it down to single digits with 12:46 to play, capping a 12-1 stretch for the Blue Hens.
The teams traded buckets over the next two minutes before Ptasinski regained the Leopards' 12 point lead by pulling up knocking down a straightaway three. After a UD basket, Saddler's penetration led to a two-handed slam underneath for Hagins, before Terrell Rogers (8 points) drained a three. The 7-0 run for the Blue Hens put them within five (52-46) with a little more than seven minutes remaining.
Following a Ptasinski miss, Johnson drew a charge on Saddler and then scored after a backdoor cut and feed from Trist on the other end. Ptasinski found Trist on a long outlet pass to extend the cushion to 10, prior to Saddler answering with a three (56-49) at 4:42.
The margin held at seven for Lafayette over the next three minutes before Kyle Anderson hit from deep after an offensive rebound with 1:44 left. Delaware then closed it to three points with 20.9 seconds remaining on Rogers' runner, but Ptasinksi sank two free throws with 14.1 to go to put it back to five. Delaware added a basket with 4.8 remaining and then forced a turnover on the inbounds pass, but Anderson's three at the buzzer missed and Lafayette held on for the 63-60 win.
Lafayette returns to action on Saturday when it travels to New York, N.Y. to challenge LIU-Brooklyn. Opening tip from the Wellness Center is slated for 4:30 p.m.
Lafayette snapped a six-game skid against Delaware and Fran O'Hanlon earned his first win against the Blue Hens
Lafayette leads the all-time series 54-23
Johnson has scored at least 10 points in four straight games and seven of the Leopards' eight contests
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