A complete team effort saw the men’s basketball team complete a 77-54 rout of Holy Cross in the Patriot League quarterfinal Wednesday night at Kirby Sports Center. The victory vaults Lafayette into the semifinal round against No. 3 Lehigh 2 p.m. Saturday.
Kirby Sports Center will host the nationally televised game on CBS Sports Network and tickets are available online at goleopardstickets.com.
Seth Hinrichs ’15 netted 20 points, Tony Johnson ’13 added 19 and Joey Ptasinski ’15 put in 11 for the Leopards, who shot 51.9 percent and improved to 11-0 on the year when hitting better than 50 percent. The Leopards cranked up their defense in the second half, holding Holy Cross to 25 percent shooting; the Crusaders shot 34.6 percent for the game.
Lafayette tied the Patriot League Tournament record with 14 made threes and set a new program mark with eight blocks in league postseason play. Additionally, Lafayette moved to 10-0 when holding its opponents to fewer than 65 points and 13-3 when scoring more than 69. The Leopards notched 20 assists on 28 made field goals.
Lafayette opened the game with a flurry of threes in a fast-paced start for each team. The Leopards knocked down six of their first seven three-point attempts and 11 of 14 overall to take a 28-15 lead and force Holy Cross to call timeout at 11:15 following Lafayette’s 16-0 run.
After a Cullen Hamilton three put Holy Cross ahead 15-12 five minutes in, Johnson answered with a triple of his own, sparking the run that included four consecutive threes and layups by Zach Rufer and Johnson.
A layup by Dave Dudzinski, who finished with 22 points, at 8:24 ended Holy Cross’ drought of nearly seven minutes without a bucket and pulled the Crusaders back within 11 (30-19). The Leopards maintained their double-digit advantage and pushed the lead to 14 on a nifty feed from Levi Giese ’13 to Hinrichs, who converted an old-fashioned three-point play and sent Lafayette into the break with a 45-31 lead.
The Leopards finished the half shooting 61.5 percent from the floor (16 of 26), including 8 of 14 from three-point land and held a 16-11 advantage on the glass. Holy Cross ended the period 12 of 28 overall (42.9%).
Lafayette continued to excel beyond the arc and extended its lead to 17, three minutes into the second half, on a three by Johnson with the shot clock winding down. Two minutes later a baseline drive by Hinrichs set up Johnson in the corner and he buried it, pushing the lead to 20.
A drive and kick by Bryce Scott ’16 to an open Ptasinski in the corner piled on three more before Johnson slipped a pass to Nathaniel Musters ’16 for a right-handed layup to put Lafayette up 63-38 with 12:38 to go. Scott set a new career high with seven assists.
A block by Hinrichs on a fastbreak layup attempt by De’Vaughn Reed came before Hinrichs drained Lafayette’s 14th three of the night, putting the Leopards up 69-42.
Musters scored a career-high four points in the win.
Lafayette improved to 13-3 at Kirby Sports Center.
Hinrichs reached 20 points for the eighth time this season.
Lafayette has eliminated Holy Cross from the Patriot League Tournament each of the last four years.