Feb. 24, 2012
Lafayette Game Notes
THE OPENING TIP
*For the seventh straight year, Lafayette and American will play each other in the final game of the regular season. Saturday's game at Bender Arena will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.
* Lafayette knows it will be the No. 5 seed in the Patriot League Tournament beginning Wednesday but right now the Leopards are waiting to find out if they'll be traveling to Holy Cross or re-loading the bus for the return trip to Washington D.C. A Lafayette win on Saturday and a Holy Cross win at Colgate would put American in the No. 4 slot behind Holy Cross. A Lafayette loss or a Holy Cross loss would slot American as the No. 3 seed and drop Holy Cross to No. 4.
* Lafayette tied a school record with 18 three-pointers in an 84-67 win over Colgate on Wednesday. The 18 trifectas tied Lafayette's performance vs. Howard on Dec. 30, 2001 and vs. Fordham on Dec. 11, 2000. Nick Petkovich hit a career-high seven three's for 21 points and Seth Hinrichs and Jim Mower added four apiece. Levi Giese (2) and Ryan Willen (1) also got into the act along with a grade schooler who drilled a half court shot during a timeout to win free pizza for a year from Papa John's.
* Fran O'Hanlon used his ninth starting lineup of the season vs. Colgate, opening with Tony Johnson, Rob Delaney and Seth Hinrichs at guards and Ryan Willen and Dan Trist at forwards.
* Jim Mower, who has struggled with a back injury the entire season, seems to have fought his way out of a shooting funk. Entering the Colgate game, Mower was 2-of-25 from three in an eight-game span. He knocked down 4-of-7 on Wednesday. Mower ranks third in career three-point field goals.
* Lafayette shot a season-best 56 percent from the floor vs. Colgate on Wednesday, making 28-of-50, including 18-of-33 from long range. The shooting effort matched Lafayette's previous season best from Jan. 25 when the Leopards also shot 56 percent on 28-of-50 at Colgate.
* Against Colgate, Rob Delaney dished out 10 assists, his most ever in a Patriot League game, one short of his career high (Monmouth on Dec. 28). As a team, the Leopards had 18 assists on 28 baskets and turned the ball over six times (the eighth time this season Lafayette has stayed in single digits for TO's).
American (18-10, 9-4) currently occupies third place in the Patriot League standings, a game back of Lehigh, two games behind Bucknell and just one game ahead of Holy Cross. A win over Lafayette or a Holy Cross loss at Colgate puts American in the No. 3 seed, hosting No. 6 Army in the Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinal.
As has been the case in most Patriot League seasons with AU, the Eagles' top scorers are transfers. Senior forward Charles Hinkle (Vanderbilt) leads the team with 18.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He has 74 three-pointers, shooting 42 percent. Senior guard Troy Brewer (Georgia) is adding 11.9 points and 3.1 pg.
Junior guard Daniel Munoz runs the offense from the point, dishing out 4.2 assists per game to go with 7.9 points. He is joined in the backcourt by Brewer and freshman John Schoof (3.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg). Sophomore Tony Wroblicky, a 6-10 center, patrols the paint and is contributing 6.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game to round out the starting five.
The Eagles defend well. Opponents are averaging 61.4 points per game while shooting 31 percent from long range.
American is coached by Jeff Jones (Virginia '82) who is in his 12th season at the school and 20th season overall.