Bryce Scott (above) led Lafayette with 22 points in a win over Penn on Sunday. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
EASTON, Pa. -- Just four days after getting blown out by Princeton, Lafayette returned to the friendly confines of the Kirby Sports Center and looked much more comfortable against another Ivy League opponent, downing Penn 92-86 in the team’s best offensive output of the season.
Penn struggled early to find a rhythm while the Leopards took advantage, shooting to a 20-9 lead behind seven points from both Bryce Scott and Paulius Zalys. Penn would chip away at the early deficit, pushing Lafayette’s lead down to five points, before the Leopards used another big run to expand their lead to 18 points late in the first half.
Lafayette scored the first two points of the second half, but then a 14-4 stretch by the Quakers brought them within seven points at the 15:49 mark on a bucket by Antonio Woods. That was the closest Penn would get the rest of the way--the Leopards responded with an 11-3 run powered by sophomore forward Matt Klinewski, who had seven points during that stretch, to re-establish a double-digit lead that they would hold until the final minute of play.
Bryce Scott eclipsed his season-high scoring mark with a 22-point performance for the Leopards. The senior shot 8-of-13 percent from the field and 4-of-9 from beyond the arc. Four other Leopards reached the double-digit threshold in Nick Lindner (22), Klinewski (15), Monty Boykins (15) and Zalys (11). Klinewski, the Leopards’ leading scorer entering play Sunday (16.0 ppg), had all but two of his points in the second half.
One game after setting new career highs in both points (31) and rebounds (14), Penn center Darien Nelson-Henry had another strong performance with 20 points and nine rebounds, going 8-of-10 from the floor. The senior from Washington state was one of five Quakers in double figures, along with Woods (17 points) Matt Howard (15), Jamal Lewis (10) and Sam Jones (10). Woods, a sophomore guard, had 11 points in the final 75 seconds of play.
The Quakers tried and tried, but just couldn’t convert from beyond the 3-point line. They were 1-for-12 from beyond the arc in the first half and finished just 7-of-26 (26.9 percent) for the game, continuing a trend that had seen them shoot just 28.8 percent from long distance heading into the game.
Lafayette had its best shooting performance on the year, connecting on 52.2 percent of their shots (36-of-69), despite only making 28 percent (7-of-25) from beyond the arc.. The Leopards were shooting 39.7 percent entering Sunday’s contest.
Lafayette had been out-rebounded by an average of nearly 18 rebounds per game over their opening five, but drew even with Penn in a 38-38 tie on the glass.
Penn (4-2) vs. Navy (3-2) (Dec. 2, 7 PM)
Lafayette (2-4) vs. St. Francis Brooklyn (1-4) (Dec. 2, 7 PM)