EASTON, Pa. Lafayette’s Andrew Brown scored 34 points, including nine three-pointers as the first-place Leopards topped Army, 83-58, in Patriot League men’s basketball action a the Kirby Sports Center on Wednesday evening. Junior F Doug Williams scored a career-high 19 points to lead the Black Knights.
Army dipped to 9-11 overall and 2-4 in the league, while the Leopards maintained their hold on first place, improving to 14-7 overall and 5-1 in conference play.
The Leopards made 16 of 29 three-point attempts in the game and shot 58.1 percent from the field overall (25-43). Five different Lafayette players made at least one shot from long range. Army shot 39.2 percent for the game and made just one of its 11 three-point attempts. The Black Knights did most of their damage inside, outscoring Lafayette, 30-14 in the paint.
In addition to his career-high scoring total, Williams paced the Black Knights with six rebounds. Sophomore Tyrell Thompson added nine points, while sophomore Chris Walker tallied eight markers. Sophomore Jon Sizemore had six points, five rebounds and three assists, all career highs.
In addition to Brown, Bilal Abdullah and Matt Betley reached double figures with 10 points each. Betley was the Leopards’ top rebounder with six boards.
The Leopards came out firing to open the game, scoring the first 12 points, including two three-pointers by Brown. Williams scored the Black Knights’ first basket with 13:03 left, and Jarell Brown followed with a pair of free throws to make it 12-4, but Andrew Brown’s third triple of the half pushed the lead back to double figures at 15-4. Army responded with an 11-4 run, including seven points by Williams, to cut the lead to four points at 19-15. Back-to-back three-pointers by Lafayette bumped the lead back to 10 points. Army was able to get within eight on three other occasions, but the Leopards scored the final four points of the half, including Brown’s fifth three-pointer, to go into the locker room up 33-21.
Army outscored Lafayette in the paint, 14-8, but the Leopards connected on 7 of 15 three-pointers in the opening stanza. The Black Knights missed their first five shots of the game and ended the half 8 of 26 from the floor (30.8 percent). Andrew Brown led all scorers with 17 points, while Williams paced the Black Knights with nine tallies before halftime.
Brown picked up where he left off, hitting two three-pointers in the first 48 seconds to extend the Leopards’ lead to 18 points at 39-21. Army scored the next four to get back within 15 points and was able to close to 14, but Brown hit back-to-back triples to extend the lead to 60-39 with 9:51 left. Army cut its deficit to 19 points on a pair of free throws by Williams, but another Lafayette three-pointer pushed the margin back to 22. The Leopards would lead by as many as 27 points before freshman Rickey Royal hit a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left for his first career points to set the final margin.
Lafayette’s 83 points represented the third-highest point total versus the Black Knights this season and the most since a 93-78 loss at Cornell on Nov. 20.
Army wraps up its three-game road stretch on Sunday, Feb. 3 at Bucknell, which entered Wednesday’s action tied with Lafayette atop the Patriot League standings. The game will be televised live on ESPNU starting at 12 p.m.
Game Notes: Army has now lost 11 straight games following victories over Navy (not including Army-Navy meetings that ended the season) ... The loss was the Black Knights’ sixth straight at Lafayette ... Nathan Hedgecock’s three-pointer with 6:48 left was Army’s lone triple of the game, ending a string of 24 straight games with at least two threes ... The Black Knights have made at least one three-pointer in 191 straight games ... Brown’s nine three-pointers tied his own Lafayette record set earlier this season and equaled the highest total by a Patriot League player this season ... Army’s Jarell Brown also made nine three-pointers versus VMI on Dec. 1 ... Eric Zastoupil made his first appearance since Army’s opener at Minnesota.