Leopards Go Hunting For Bison and Look to Stave Off a Raider Invasion
Feb. 2, 2005
Easton, Pa. - Kirby Sports Center (3,500)
Sunday, Feb. 6, 2005 - 1:00 p.m. EST
THE STORY LINE: Lafayette opens the second round of Patriot League action with contests against Bucknell on Friday and Colgate on Sunday. The Leopards lost 71-54 at Bucknell and 80-72 at Colgate two weeks ago. Both squads dropped a pair of road games last weekend to American and Navy.
ON THE TUBE: Sunday's telecast is CSTV's Patriot League Game of the Week, a game that will be called by author John Feinstein and Bob Socci. The Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4, WBPH-60) will also carry the live CSTV broadcast of the game and it will be tape-delayed at 4 p.m. on WFMZ-69.
LAST TIME OUT: The backcourt tandem of Kevin Hamilton (22 points) and Keith Simmons (18 points) controlled the game from start to finish as Holy Cross defeated Lafayette 74-57 on Friday night. Jamaal Douglas led the Leopards with 14 points and six rebounds. Douglas had another 14-and-6 performance against Army, and got help from Sean Knitter (14 points, nine boards) and Matt Betley (12 points, eight rebounds, five assists) in Lafayette's 66-49 win on Sunday afternoon.
COMING UP: Lafayette finishes its Friday-Sunday schedule of league games with a trip to Holy Cross and Army next weekend. The league-leading Crusaders dealt the Leopards a 74-57 loss last weekend, while Lafayette won 66-49 vs. Army last Sunday.
NATIONALLY-RANKED: As of the last NCAA rankings (1/24) Jamaal Hilliard ranks seventh in the nation in free throw percentage. The sophomore guard was 10-for-10 from the line in the season-opener at Duquesne, and in the league opener against Navy. His percentage currently stands at 91.5 (54-59). Hilliard is 16-for-16 from the foul line in Patriot League action, and 7-of-13 from three-point range.
DOUGLAS GOES TO WORK: Sophomore Jamaal Douglas leads the Patriot League in rebounding with 7.5 boards per game and is emerging as a dependable scorer on the block. The Bahamas native is also the leading rebounder in league play with 8.4 per game and paces the Leopards with 12.0 ppg against PL opponents. Douglas had 14 points and six rebounds in both games last weekend. He equaled his career-high with 18 points and grabbed 10 boards at Colgate on Jan. 23 for his fourth double-double of the season. Douglas scored 18 points and pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds against Navy on Jan. 8 in Lafayette's 90-80 win. Of the Leopards' year-by-year rebounding leaders over the last 25 seasons, only Stefan Ciosici, the 1998 PL Player of the Year, had at least 17 boards in a single game.
ON THE SIDELINE: Two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year Fran O'Hanlon (Villanova, '70) is in his tenth season as the Leopards' mentor. He has twice led Lafayette's non-scholarship program to the NCAA Tournament and lays claim to three Patriot League regular-season titles among his credentials. O'Hanlon's career record stands at 147-131, a mark that includes two 20-win seasons.
ABOUT BUCKNELL: Through the first round of Patriot League play, Bucknell rests in second place in the conference standings with a 5-2 Patriot mark and a 14-6 overall record. The Bison opened league play 5-0, but lost their last two conference games on the road at American (78-59) and Navy (66-62) last weekend. The Bison placed three players on the pre-season all-league team. Junior guards Kevin Bettencourt and Charles Lee average 13.4 and 12.4 ppg, respectively. Bettencourt has made 44 three's and leads the Patriot League in free throw shooting at 92 percent. Lee paces Bucknell's rebounding effort with 6.6 rpg. Sophomore center Chris McNaughton completes the preseason all-league trio, with 13.1 ppg and 5.4 rpg. He is shooting 58 percent from the field and leads the league. Sophomore guard Abe Badmus sparks the team with 54 assists and 40 steals. Sophomore forwards John Clark (3.3 ppg) and freshman guard John Griffin (7.2 ppg) have also spent time in the starting lineup. Bucknell has been without head coach Pat Flannery for the last three games due to an undisclosed condition. He missed the second half of Lafayette's game in Lewisburg on Jan. 21. Assistant coach Nathan Davis has filled in in his absence. Flannery is 163-142 in 11 seasons in Lewisburg and 258-185 overall.
ABOUT COLGATE: Colgate comes into the weekend at 3-4 in Patriot League play and 8-12 overall. Colgate will play at Lehigh on Friday before coming to Kirby Sports Center for a 1 p.m. match up on Super Bowl Sunday. The Raiders lost their last two games on the road, coming up short at Navy (82-71) and American (78-59). Prior to that, Colgate had won three straight, beating Lafayette, Lehigh and Dartmouth at home.
Four players are averaging in double figures for the Raiders who lead the league in scoring offense with 68.2 ppg. Colgate has three scorers in the top 10 of the Patriot League. Junior guard Alvin Reed leads the way with 13.6 ppg followed by backcourt mate Jon Simon (13.4 ppg). Kyle Roemer, a three-time recipient of the Patriot League Rookie of the Week honor, leads the circuit in three-point percentage (49.4) and is fourth in three's per game (2.1).
In the frontcourt, Colgate has a mix of youth and experience and it has been working thus far this season. Senior center Andrew Zidar (13.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg) is a threat both inside and outside the three-point arc and leads the team in rebounding. Zidar was good for 13 points and 15 rebounds in the first meeting. Freshman forward Alex Woodhouse (4.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg) rounds out the frontcourt.
Head coach Emmett Davis (St. Lawrence '81) is 94-96 in his seventh season at Colgate.
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