Feb. 23, 2011
Box Score |
EASTON, Pa. -
On a night when Lafayette's leading scorer missed his first six shots, Ryan Willen and Jim Mower were ready to ease the offensive pressure, combining for 34 points in a 67-46 triumph over Army on Wednesday night. The victory pushed Lafayette into a third-place tie in the Patriot League standings with one game remaining.
Mower dropped in 20 points, needing to utilize his mid-range game, as only six points came from three-point distance. Willen contributed all 14 of his points in the first half when the Leopards took a 36-30 lead at halftime. Willen's three-pointer with 7:07 left gave the Maroon and White the lead for good at 20-19.
Early in the second half, Army (11-17, 4-9) slowly cut into the Leopards' advantage, slicing the margin to 41-39 on a three-point play by Jeremy Hence who finished with a team-high 16 points.
The Leopards responded with an 11-0 run. Tony Johnson (nine points) accounted for seven points in the swing, including the three-pointer that handed Lafayette the 52-39 lead with 7:21 left. Steals by Johnson and Rob Delaney aided the Leopards' defensive effort to helped Lafayette put together a 26-7 spurt to close out the game.
Jared Mintz finished with seven points, despite going 1-for-8 from the floor. His first field goal came with 4:49 left in the game when he slipped to the hoop for a left-handed layup and later finished off three-point play to lead 57-44. It marked just the second time this season he has been held to 10 points or fewer. Mintz did add seven rebounds in 34 minutes. Freshman Les Smith turned in 15 quality minutes, scoring seven points while corralling three rebounds.
The team defense stood out in the second half, holding Army to 23 percent (5-of-22) shooting while allowed just 16 points, the lowest second-half output by an opponent in 2010-11. Army's Josh Herbeck joined hence in double figures, adding 14 points.
Lafayette (11-17, 6-7) closes out the regular season on Saturday at 4 p.m. vs. American. Lafayette's four seniors: Mintz, Ben Wheeler, Darion Benbow and Deirunas Visockas will be honored prior to the game. Currently tied for third place in the Patriot League standings with Lehigh and Holy Cross, Lafayette will be playing for the right to host a Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinal game, as only the top four seeds host.