EASTON, Pa. –
The Lafayette men's basketball team took care of business on Wednesday evening, pulling away late for a 95-54 victory over Rosemont at Kirby Sports Center
Senior co-captain Paulius Zalys
put together his best performance of his final season, registering a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Maroon and White. The effort was his first of the year and the first for the Lithuanian native since he recorded a pair during his freshman season in 2016.
Zalys was one of four Leopards to finish in double-figure scoring as sophomore Alex Petrie
led all scorers with 17 points on the night. Junior Kyle Stout
and freshman Isaac Suffren
rounded out the offensive performances with 13 and 10 points apiece.
Lafayette recorded 24 assists on the night, a first of more than 20 on the year, and the 95-point output is the most for the Leopards since a 104-67 win over Moravian on Dec. 19, 2016. The Leopards went 36-of-72 from the field (50.0%) and 11-of-34 from three (32.4%) to move to 3-7 on the season overall.
It was a clean game from the opening whistle as the first timeout came more than seven minutes into the contest with two Zalys dunks in transition the difference in a 16-12 advantage for the Maroon and White. Rosemont pulled within one at the 9:04 mark on a Jacob Simonson three, but the Leopards answered with eight straight to push the edge back out to nine, 28-19, with eight minutes to play.
The lead continued to grow through the latter stages of the half as free throws and a three from Stout made it a 15-point advantage, 38-23, with 4:40 left. Rosemont made a mini run with six straight during the final two minutes, but a free throw and layup at the buzzer from Suffren took the game into intermission at 46-33.
Rosemont came out in the second half on the front foot with six straight points forcing a Lafayette timeout just over two minutes in with the lead down to eight, 47-39. The Leopards stopped the run, but a string of turnovers prevented the lead from growing above more than 10, leading 53-43 with 14:11 remaining.
The defense turned it up out of the 16-minute break, holding Rosemont seven minutes without a field goal and extending the lead to 18, 65-47, with less than 10 minutes to play. From there, Lafayette took control as back-to-back buckets from junior Cal Reichwein
around the four-minute mark made it 80-52, and the Leopards finished it off with a final of 95-54.
Lafayette has a quick turnaround for its next contest, hosting Princeton on Friday at Kirby Sports Center
at 7 p.m. The Leopards then head into the holiday break before Patriot League play begins on Jan. 2 at Lehigh at 7 p.m.