Lafayette Basketball Takes First Game of Italy Swing, 83-80
May 21, 2007
SARONNO, Italy - Lafayette won the first of four games it will play on its trip to Italy, beating Robur Saronno Vertical Vision 83-80 on Monday night. Bilal Abdullah, Jeff Robinson, Paul Cummins and Jesper Andersson each reached double figures as part of a balanced scoring effort.
Any signs of rust did not show up in the opening three minutes as the Leopards jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. The game was much closer than that throughout, however, and the teams went to halftime with Saronno leading 44-41.
With time winding down in the third quarter, Robinson penetrated and drew a double team before dishing off to Marek Koltun for the easy lay-in. Koltun finished with six points, three blocks and a host of rebounds. Lafayette led 65-59 at the end of 30 minutes.
With three and a half minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Lafayette took a 74-70 lead, as Abdullah stole a pass at half court and pulled away for a fast-break dunk. Abdullah fouled out 30 seconds later, ending with a team-high 18 points.
Saronno answered when Matteo Formenti banked in a three-pointer from the wing with 2:35 left to hand Saronno a 76-74 advantage.
Cummins made two crucial plays down the stretch for the Leopards, finishing off a lay-up at 1:50 and then hitting a three-pointer 30 seconds later to give Lafayette the 79-78 lead.
Formenti, who easily reached double figures for the game with his accurate perimeter shooting, was able to tie the score by making one of two free throws with a little more than a minute to play.
For the game, Lafayette struggled at the free throw line, but Ted Detmer converted two free throws with 50 seconds left as Lafayette took an 81-79 lead that it eventually extended to 83-80. Saronno's Marco Motleni hoisted a last-second three-pointer that hit the back of the rim to allow Lafayette to hold on for the victory.
Lafayette will visit Verona on Tuesday afternoon and then venture on to Venice where the Leopards will play Marghera at 8 p.m.
Notes: Senior forward Matt Betley did not play in Lafayette's opening game in Italy. The Mount Laurel, N.J. native is coming off foot surgery and participated in team warm-ups. He may be used sparingly in upcoming games.
Lafayette played with several rules that differed from the college game. A 24-second possession clock was used instead of a 35-second clock. Additionally, the teams played 40 minutes, but the game was broken up into quarters instead of halves. The Lafayette players also shot three-pointers from FIBA's international arc instead of the 19'9" line used by the NCAA.
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