Klinewski Tallies Double-Double in Tight Loss to Penn

Dec. 6, 2017

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EASTON, Pa. – Senior co-captain Matt Klinewski led the way with 18 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season, but the Lafayette men’s basketball team couldn’t complete the comeback on Wednesday night at Kirby Sports Center, falling to Penn by a 73-68 score.

It was a late start for the Maroon and White, playing in the second game of a doubleheader in Easton as the women’s team dropped a tough game to Princeton in the early matchup. Lafayette’s loss drops it to 1-7 overall on the year, while Penn improves to 7-4.

Klinewski’s 10 rebounds were a season-high for the Voorhees, N.J. native, who was a Patriot League weekly award honorable mention earlier this week. His 18 points came on 6-of-11 from the field and 5-of-6 from the foul line.

Freshmen Justin Jaworski and Alex Petrie rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Leopards with 16 and 11 points, respectively. Classmate E.J. Stephens ripped down seven boards to go with his nine points, while senior co-captain Eric Stafford notched five assists and junior Paulius Zalys came up with three steals.

Rebounding, which has been an issue for Lafayette this season, was even at 37-37, but Penn was able to secure nine offensive boards, leading to nine second-chance points. The Leopards went 25-of-58 from the floor (43.1%), but made just 6-of-23 from three-point range (26.1%).

The first six minutes were exciting on both ends of the floor as Lafayette countered 10 straight from Penn’s AJ Brodeur with 12 of its own from four different sources to lead by a 12-10 score. A Klinewski bucket in the paint after an up-and-under move pushed Lafayette in front by a 16-15 margin, but Penn’s Sam Jones came right off the bench and knocked down a triple from the corner to put the visitors in front at the 7:42 mark of the opening half, 18-17.

A Darnell Foreman layup, followed by another Jones three put the Quakers up six with just over seven minutes left, but Jaworski answered with a three of his own from the left wing in transition to make it a three-point game headed into the final five minutes. Penn made its push late in the half with six straight points in the final 1:27, taking a 33-24 advantage into the halftime break.

Following a Max Rothschild bucket to open the second stanza, Klinewski took over, scoring seven straight to pull the Leopards within four at the 17:42 mark, 35-31. But Caleb Wood answered out of that break, knocking down back-to-back triples to push the advantage back to 10 at 41-31, with 16:33 to play.

A tip-in from Stephens at the 15:40 mark sparked an 8-3 run to pull Lafayette back within six, but Penn answered with consecutive three-pointers once again, extending its advantage to 12 into the under-12 media timeout, 51-39. The visitors kept that advantage through the next four minutes as Foreman finished through contact at the 7:11 mark to make it 62-52.

Penn held that cushion to the final media timeout before a three from Jaworski and a layup in transition from Petrie cut it back to six with 1:59 remaining, 70-64. Klinewski’s free-throws with 32.5 seconds on the clock made it a four-point game and, after another stop, Jaworski finished at the rim with 21.9 seconds left to make it a 70-68 game.

Unfortunately, that was all the Leopards could get on the final few possessions as Penn missed some free-throws to open the door, but shots wouldn’t fall as the buzzer sounded on a 73-68 final.

The Leopards are back in action this weekend, traveling to Fairfield, Conn. for a meeting with Sacred Heart on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.