The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

February 5, 2014

Men's basketball: Lafayette upsets Bucknell at home

LEWISBURG — With a chance to move above .500 in the Patriot League, Bucknell came up short against a suddenly game Lafayette team Wednesday night.

Three Leopards scored in double figures as they left Lewisburg with a 66-58 victory. It was Lafayette’s first win at Sojka Pavilion in 16 tries.

“A lot of losses,” said long-time Leopards coach Fran O’Hanlon, whose team lost the 2011 and 2013 PL championship games there. “There’s a couple of reasons: It’s not the building, it’s (the fact that) Bucknell has a great program.”

Bucknell (10-12, 5-6 PL) shot 34.5 percent from the floor Wednesday, including a 2-for-16 effort from beyond the arc. Bison senior guard Cameron Ayers led all scorers with 22 points on 20 shots.

“I’m very disappointed with our effort,” said Bucknell coach Dave Paulsen, whose team beat Lafayette 96-86 in Easton last month. “We allowed (missed shots) to impact our resolve.”

Trailing 26-24 at halftime, the Leopards (6-16, 2-9) — who had lost 11 in a row before Saturday’s win against Navy — held the Bison to just six points for nearly a full 10 minutes to start the second half. Lafayette used that slow start by Bucknell to take the lead for good. The Leopards would eventually lead by 11 before settling for an eight-point victory.

“We made some adjustments,” said O’Hanlon, whose team did a better job protecting the rim after halftime. “We did a good job of cutting (Bucknell’s drives to the basket) out.”

Although both teams did a good job getting inside for looks in the first half, it was Lafayette which began to diversify its offense after the break. The Leopards made just four of 13 3-point shots for the night, but three of those triples came in the second half; reserve guard Monty Boykins hit two big treys in the second half.

“He was 3-for-18 or something coming into the game in league play,” Paulsen said of Boykins. “When a guy who’s been struggling hits three threes ... sometimes that how things roll.”

Boykins’ biggest trey was a dagger in the heart of the Bison. His 3-pointer from in front of his own bench with 3:35 left pushed Lafayette’s lead to nine (52-43).

Just a minute before Boykins’ three, the Leopards’ Seth Hinrichs made a big bucket inside. Lafayette had an inbounds play with just five seconds on the shot clock, but Hinrichs got the ball and scored just before the horn.

“That was a big play,” Paulsen said. “(Hinrichs) gives us a tough matchup problem.”

Hinrichs, who had a team-high 18 points to go with a game-high 10 boards, picked up his first double-double of the season. The junior guard from Minnesota missed 10 games this year with an injury; he didn’t play in the teams’ first meeting. In addition to Hinrichs, Dan Trist had 14 and Boykins added 13.

“Obviously, they’re a much-different team with Hinrichs back,” Paulsen said.

For Bucknell, the only player besides Ayers who scored in double figures was Brian Fitzpatrick with 12.

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