March 6, 2011

What a Win! Men’s Basketball Team Advances to Patriot League Final

The men’s basketball team defeated American, 73-71, in a double-overtime thriller Sunday evening at Bender Arena in Washington, D.C., to advance to the Patriot League Tournament Championship.

Lafayette ended the second overtime on an 8-1 run, including a game-winning three-pointer by Jim Mower ’12 (Harleysville, Pa.) with a half-second left.

CBS College Sports Network is showing replays of the game 11:30 p.m. tonight (Sunday), 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday, and 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The Leopards and their fans celebrate after Jim Mower '12 hit a three-pointer with less than a second left to give Lafayette the lead over American in double overtime.

The Leopards will play at Bucknell in the final 4:45 p.m. Friday. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2, and the winner will earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Tony Johnson ’13 (Folsom, Calif.) scored four points in the second overtime, helping Lafayette back from a 70-64 deficit. He found Mower for the game-winning basket after taking the inbounds pass with less than 7 seconds to play.

The Leopards, who lost to Lehigh in last year’s final, had to force both overtimes.

Ryan Willen ’12 (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) hit a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 53, and Mower hit one of two free throws with 12 seconds left in the first OT to tie it at 62.

Vlad Moldoveanu scored six of his 25 points for the Eagles in the second OT, including a jumper that made it 70-64.

But Jared Mintz ’11 (Toronto, Canada), who finished with 18 points, hit a jumper and a pair of foul shots to key a 6-0 run that tied it at 70.

Willen finished with 14 points, one shy of his 1000th career point. He joined Mintz and Johnson (10) in double figures.

For the game, Lafayette shot 12-of-14 (86 percent) from the free throw line despite not shooting any free throws in the first half. American shot 18-of-27 (67 percent) from the line for the game. The rebounding battle was a wash with 38 for AU and 37 for the Leopards. Stephen Lumpkins finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Eagles while Troy Brewer added 14.

The Leopards are the lowest seed (No. 6) to advance to the Patriot League Tournament final in the history of the event.

Fun fact: After the win, the Leopards were trending in the top 10 on Twitter.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

posted in News and Features, Parents & Families, Students