Jan. 25, 2014
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lafayette had a couple of chances to take the lead in the final minute, but Lehigh held on for the 71-68 victory on Saturday night at Stabler Arena. Dan Trist led Lafayette with 16 points in the loss.
Trailing 66-65, Trist’s layup with 31 seconds left went in and out before Lehigh’s McKnight grabbed the rebound and made a pair of free throws with 25 seconds left to increase the Lehigh lead to 68-65. Bryce Scott drove to the basket on the next possession, was fouled, and converted both from the charity stripe to pull Lafayette within one, 68-67. The Leopards fouled Austin Price right away and he hit one of two to extend the lead to two with 17.7 on the clock.
On the miss, Monty Boykins was fouled on the rebound and knocked one of two from the line. McKnight continued the free throw contest, going one of two. On the other end, Ptasinski got free on the wing, but his three-pointer with 10 seconds left caught the iron and McKnight controlled the rebound. He knocked down one, before Scott had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer when his three bounced off the rim and the Mountain Hawks escaped.
Joining Trist in double figures were Scott (14 points) and Ptasinski (13 points), but the Leopards struggled to find an answer for Lehigh’s big men on the offensive end. Justin Goldsborough (8-of-9) and Tim Kempton (7-of-10) each scored 19 points and combined to go 15-of-19 from the floor. Goldsborough collected a team-high eight rebounds as the Mountain Hawks held a 33-28 rebounding edge. Corey Schaefer added 10 points, while McKnight handed out nine assists and pulled in seven boards for the Mountain Hawks.
The home team opened the game by scoring eight of the first ten points, including a pair of baskets underneath by Kempton. A few minutes later, Lehigh held its lead at 13-8 after a Schaefer three, but a floater by Ptasinski and a long two by Trist trimmed the deficit to a point (13-12).
From there Goldsborough began to find success inside as he pulled down a pair of offensive rebounds that led to layups on consecutive opportunities. On the other end, Goldsborough blocked a layup attempt by Scott and Lehigh found Stefan Cvrkalj in the corner in transition for three. A right-handed hook shot by Goldsborough after a Boykins free throw completed a 9-1 run for Lehigh and the Mountain Hawks led 22-13.
A layup by Nick Lindner (nine points) and Ptasinski’s three-pointer brought Lafayette within four points. Trailing 26-22, Michael Hoffman drained a trey and Lafayette was within a point with four minutes to play in the half. Lehigh answered with a three-point play by Kempton before two Trist free throws made it 29-27.
Goldsborough and Kempton scored the next two baskets, but Lafayette closed the half on a 7-0 run and took its first lead into the break at 34-33. Trist’s jumper off the window, a three by Scott and a goaltending call on a layup attempt by Lindner put the Leopards ahead.
Lehigh opened the half with a jumper to regain the lead, but Lafayette came back with the next eight points on a left-handed finish by Trist and threes by Scott and Ptasinski. Leading 42-35 at that point, Lehigh battled back to tie the score at 42 with three straight baskets, including a Schaefer trifecta.
Neither side led by more than a point until Goldsborough’s baseline right-hander put Lehigh up 51-48 with 11 minutes left. After a Lindner free throw, Cvrkalj’s triple pushed Lehigh’s cushion to five, but a pair of steals led to Boykins’ baseline drive and finish at the rim and Alan Flannigan’s pullup jumper brought the Leopards within one (54-53) as Lehigh called timeout at 8:34.
After the stoppage, the Mountain Hawks added a pair of baskets by Kemton and Cvrkalj before an old fashioned three-point play by Flannigan made it 58-56.
Lehigh led by five, 63-68, for a two-minute stretch that saw multiple turnovers and missed shots. Lindner’s pair at the stripe (63-60) made it a one-possession game with less than five minutes to go.
Down 66-62 with 1:46 showing, Lafayette called timeout and drew up a play for Ptasinski. Out of the stoppage, Trist fed him and Ptasinski delivered a three that had Lafayette within one at 66-65.
On Lehigh’s next trip, the Mountain Hawks called timeout and McKnight missed a contested three with the shot clock expiring and a minute to play.
Lafayette faces a quick turnaround as it returns to the floor at Kirby Sports Center on Monday night against Colgate. Opening tip against the Raiders is set for 9 p.m. and the game will air on CBS Sports Network.
Seth Hinrichs sat out his 10th straight game with a left knee injury. Zach Rufer missed his third consecutive game with a concussion.
Fran O’Hanlon used his 10th different starting lineup of the season.
Each coaching staff wore sneakers with their suits in support of Coaches vs. Cancer.
Lindner matched his career-high with seven assists.