December 20, 2014
LAWRENCE, Kan . – The Lafayette men’s basketball team cut the lead to as little as seven with 11:40 to play, but No. 10 Kansas scored 37 of the final 54 points to upend the Leopards on Saturday afternoon, 96-69.
“I thought we got off to a good start,” head coach Fran O’Hanlon said. “There was a period in the second half where we cut it to seven, but there were a couple key turnovers that broke open the game.”
Lafayette came out in the second half with renewed energy as three straight jumpers from senior Dan Trist at the top of the key and a Seth Hinrichs three cut the lead to 10 at 54-44 with 14:34 left. Lafayette continued to find success on both ends of the floor as the Maroon and White went into the under-12 media timeout down 10, 59-49.
A triple from sophomore Monty Boykins in the right corner got the lead to seven, but Kansas responded with eight straight points to push the edge back up to 15 at 67-52 with less than 10 minutes remaining. The Jayhawks consistently grew that lead over the next few minutes, using eight straight at the eight-minute mark to go up 23, 80-57, and pulling away for the 96-69 victory.
Hinrichs led the way for the Leopards all over the stat sheet with team-highs in points (15), rebounds (7) and assists (5). Trist added 12 points, while senior Joey Ptasinski and Boykins rounded out the double-figure scorers with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
“We have to shoot well to be in games,” O’Hanlon added. “It was important for us to get back in the game by the first timeout of the second half. I thought we came out and really competed. We got some momentum, got it down to seven points, but I think in the end, they kind of wore us down.”
Lafayette shot 26-for-55 from the field (47.3%) compared to 38-of-76 shooting from Kansas (50.0%). The Jayhawks won the battle on the glass, 44-26, and Kansas’ Kelly Oubre recorded a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
The game began as an up-and-down affair with both teams looking to get out and run in transition. A finish at the rim by Hinrichs off a feed from Lindner put the Maroon and White up, 7-6, going into the opening media timeout.
Coming out of the first break, the pace slowed as both defenses began to settle in before the Jayhawks rattled off 11 straight to take a 17-7 advantage with 11 minutes left in the half. A Ptasinski triple from the right wing ended the drought and the Leopards trailed 17-10.
Another Kansas surge over the next couple of minutes opened up a 15-point lead for the home team at 26-11, but a three from Hinrichs cut it to 12 with eight minutes left in the half. Kansas responded with a Mason triple on the ensuing possession, but back-to-back treys at the six-minute mark pulled the Leopards within 10 at 30-20.
A strong drive to the basket at the four-minute mark by junior Bryce Scott helped stall another potential Jayhawk run and a Boykins shot from beyond the arc got the lead under 10 at 34-25. However, the Jayhawks got hot late in the half as a pair of triples on consecutive possessions helped Kansas push out to a 45-28 advantage into the halftime break.
The Leopards could not rally another comeback over the final minutes and eventually fell by a final score of 96-69. The game was Lafayette’s first against a ranked-opponent since Dec. 22, 2012, a 75-50 loss to No. 13/16 Minnesota.
Next up for Lafayette is a return home to Kirby Sports Center after the holiday, hosting NJIT on Dec. 28 at 2 p.m.