Pioneers Beaten on Late Three, 72-70, at Lafayette

Shane Gibson
Shane Gibson

EASTON, PA (December 9, 2012) – Lafayette freshman Bryce Scott drilled a three with two seconds left to lift the Leopards to a 72-70 win over visiting Sacred Heart University Sunday afternoon at the Kirby Sports Center.  SHU's Shane Gibson (Killingly, CT) scored all of his game-high 25 points in the second half but it wouldn't be enough as the Pioneers drop their fourth-straight and fall to 2-6 on the year.

Both teams got off to slow starts, combining to go 0-7 with five turnovers before the game's first points, a pair of Dan Trist free throws, and 2:30 into the game.  The Pioneers went 0-for-six to start the game before senior Justin Swidowski (Cinnaminson, NJ) provided SHU's first points on a put-back at 16:44 to tie the game at 2-2.

From there, Lafayette (4-8) got their offense on track starting with a soaring dunk by Levi Geise from just inside the free throw line.  The Leopards proceeded to rip off a 16-0 run to build an 18-2 lead as SHU's Dave Bike used a time-out at 14:44 and another at 13:24 to try and slow Lafayette down.  Joey Ptasinski broke loose and threw one down on the break to lead 18-2 with 13:24 left in the half.

Senior Femi Akinpetide (Sydney, Australia) ended the run and a 1-11 start with a jump hook in the lane at 12:30.  The Pioneer second unit led by sophomore Steve Glowiak (New Britain, CT) began to pull the Pioneers back in the game.  Glowaik made three-straight shots, pulling SHU within 25-11.  SHU forced a Lafayette timeout at 10:07 thanks to an 11-3 spurt and then closed to 25-15 on a Nick Greenbacker (Coventry, RI) lay-in.

Glowiak's second three of the half got the Pioneers to within 31-27 with 1:55 left in the half and the Pioneers would complete the comeback tying the score at 31-31 when Gibson found a cutting Greenbacker for an easy two with 25 ticks on the clock.  The Leopards stole the momentum back right at the halftime horn as Geise beat the buzzer with a three in the corner for a 34-31 lead.

The Pioneers' top two scorers in Gibson and junior Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) were held scoreless in the first 20 minutes, combining to go 0-for-six.  Glowiak finished the first stanza with 14 points, matching his season-high.  Lafayette opened the second half  hot and pushed their lead to 40-33 before Gibson got untracked.  The senior guard finished the second half 10-14 and five-of-eight from three while scorching the Leopards for 25.

Gibson buried a couple early three's to tie the game twice in the opening minutes of the second half.  SHU would tie the game four times before finally grabbing their first lead with 9:22 lead when sophomore Phil Gaetano (Wallingford, CT) buried a three from the right wing, 56-53.  Gibson followed with his third three and fourth three's minutes later as SHU took its biggest lead at 62-57 with 7:25 left.

Lafayette chipped away, mostly at the charity stripe, and tied the game at 64-64 on a straight-away three by Seth Hinrichs.  Gibson's fifth and final three of the game gave the Pioneers a 67-66 lead but Hinrich once again struck from straight-away to lead 69-68 with 1:30 left.

The Pioneers snatched the lead back with 22 ticks left as Montes corralled a tough offensive rebound of a Gibson miss and flipped in a soft touch hook in the paint for a 70-69 edge.   The Leopards used a time-out with 14 seconds left to set-up their final play and SHU's defense forced the ball around until Tony Johnson found Scott on the right wing.  Scott used a head fake to get his defender in the air then drilled home a triple with two ticks left.  Gibson's half court heave missed the mark and Lafayette escaped with a 72-70 win.

The Leopards finished the game shooting 47.3 percent from the field while making 14-of-16 at the free throw line.  Hinrichs led four players in double figures with 15 points.

SHU hit 53.6 percent (30-56) on the afternoon but where a dismal two-of-10 at the line and had 19 turnovers in the loss.

The Pioneers will be off until Tuesday, December 18th when they return home to host the Stony Brook Seawolves in the William H. Pitt Center.  Tip-off is at 7:00 pm.