November 14, 2014
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – The Lafayette men’s basketball team scored the first five points and never looked back, cruising to a 77-50 season-opening win over Robert Morris in Moon Township, Pa. on Friday evening.
Senior Dan Trist led the way from the block scoring 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field. Sophomore point guard Nick Lindner added 18, while senior captain Seth Hinrichs chipped in with 15, all in the first half.
“Everything came together tonight,” head coach Fran O’Hanlon said. “These guys have played together a long time. We have three seniors that started and have played a lot of games together. I expected them to be ready to play in this type of environment against a championship-caliber team. We came out ready to go and it’s good to win the first one, but it’s only the first game.”
After a few sloppy possessions to open up the contest, the first bucket finally came off the hands of Trist on a rebound tap-in. Ptasinski dropped in a trey on the ensuing trip to put the Leopards in front 5-0 after two minutes.
Opening in a zone and switching on and off throughout the beginning minutes, the Leopards’ defense confused the home team into just three points going into the 16-minute timeout, holding a 7-3 advantage. The Maroon and White would keep that streak alive until the 11:41 mark when David Appolon hit a layup in transition to make it 14-5.
Lafayette continued to excel on both ends of the floor, ripping off nine straight before a three from Rodney Pryor cut the lead to 15 at 23-8 with 7:12 to play in the half. Following another nine-point Leopards run, a pair of jumpers from Marcquise Reed got the Colonials back under the 20-point mark, cutting the lead to 17 at 2:30 left. The Maroon and White would finish the opening session strong though, taking a 36-16 edge into the break.
Lafayette came out firing in the second, using the momentum from the first half to score the first 10 points out of the break and open up a 30-point advantage at 46-16. Free throws finally broke the run at 15:50, but it was exactly as O’Hanlon wanted to see the team respond to a large halftime lead.
Lafayette executed throughout the second 20 minutes, never allowing the Colonials to feel like they had a chance at a comeback. A 30-point lead ballooned to as many as40 at the 3:11 mark and the visitors cruised with a season-opening 77-50 victory.
The 27-point win is the largest for the Leopards since a 29-point defeat of Colgate on Jan. 30, 2013 and is the first 20-plus-point victory since a 79-54 win over Immaculata on Dec. 17 of last season.
The Maroon and White continue their opening weekend road trip on Sunday when they travel to Morgantown, W.Va. for a matchup with West Virginia at 3 p.m.