BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lafayette made the short trip to rival Lehigh and dealt the Mountain Hawks their first Patriot League loss in a 78-57 rout on Sunday at Stabler Arena in a game shown on CBS Sports Network.
The Leopards improved to 10-12 overall and 3-2 in the Patriot League, sitting alone in third place. The Mountain Hawks fell to 14-5 on the season and 4-1 in the Patriot League and into a first-place tie with Bucknell in the standings.
Lehigh saw a list of winning streaks come to an end in the defeat. The Mountain Hawks had won five games in a row overall and also five straight against the Leopards. Lehigh saw its nine-game Patriot League winning streak snapped, and had won 12 straight against League opponents including last year's tournament.
The Leopards led nearly from start to finish, using a 13-2 run to take a 24-13 advantage with 6:29 left in the first half. Lehigh cut it to 30-22 by halftime, but Lafayette pulled away throughout the second half. It was a 47-37 lead before the Leopards went on a 20-6 surge that blew the game open and put them up 24 points at 67-43 with 6:41 to go. Lafayette's lead hit 25 points before it settled on the 78-57 final.
Lafayette won its second straight game behind a team effort that included five players in double figures. Levi Giese led the way with 17 points and also recorded five blocks. Dan Trist added 14 points, while Tony Johnson, Joey Ptasinski and Seth Hinrichs each scored 13 points. Bryce Scott added eight points and had six of the team's 25 assists. The Leopards committed just six turnovers to post an assist/turnover ratio of better than 4:1. Lafayette made 55 percent from the field at 33-of-60 for the game with a blistering 21-of-30 effort in the second half. The Leopards also held a 39-34 edge on the boards with Hinrichs pulling down 11 to record a double-double. Lafayette beat Lehigh for the first time since 2010, and won at Stabler Arena for the first time since 2009.
The Mountain Hawks came into the game as one of the top shooting teams in the country, but could not get going from any area on Sundsy. Lehigh was 21-of-62 from the field and 8-of-22 from three-point range to finish well below its averages. The Mountain Hawks had 14 assists with nine turnovers. Gabe Knutson, B.J. Bailey and Mackey McKnight each scored 12 points to lead the Mountain Hawks in scoring, with McKnight also dishing out six assists without a turnover.
Patriot League action picks back up on Wednesday with four games, as Lehigh is at Navy, Colgate goes to Lafayette and Army visits Holy Cross at 7 p.m. while Bucknell is at American at 7:30 p.m.
The school recaps and box score from Sunday's game are included below, along with a post-game video from Lafayette.