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Hot-Shooting Lafayette Knocks Off Navy

Zach Fong

Feb. 1, 2014

Box Score

EASTON, Pa. - Joey Ptasinski and Dan Trist combined for 39 points to lead Lafayette to a 72-54 win over Navy on Saturday afternoon at the Kirby Sports Center. Lafayette (5-16, 1-9 PL) shot 58 percent for the game and 65 percent in the second half to earn a season series split with the Mids (7-14, 2-8 PL).

Ptasinski didn't miss a shot on his way to a game-high 22 points. He was 6-of-6 on three pointers and was 4-of-4 at the free throw line. Trist was 7-of-11 for 17 points and he also had a game-high six rebounds.

"[Ptasinski] had a great night," said head coach Ed DeChellis. "We lost him several times. He's a tremendous shooter and we gave him open shots and he didn't miss a shot tonight so hats off to him."

As a team, Lafayette was also a perfect 18-of-18 at the free throw line.

Three players scored in double figures for the Mids, who lost their fifth straight game. Junior forward Worth Smith had 15 points, four rebounds and two steals. Junior guard Brandon Venturini scored 13 points and had three assists and freshman guard Zach Fong hit four three pointers for 12 points.

Outside of Smith, Venturini and Fong, no other Mids scored more than three points.

Ptasinski struck early in the game with back-to-back three pointers for an 8-0 Lafayette run, but the Mids answered right back with a 7-0 run. Smith scored the first four points and then Venturini hit a three pointer in transition as Navy took a 9-8 lead.

Lafayette surged again to take a seven-point lead at 23-16, but the Mids fought back once again in the late stages of the first half.

Fong drained a three pointer, Smith scored on a layup and then junior guard Earl McLaurin made a pair of free throws. Then Smith, Fong and Venturini all hit three pointers in a span of 1:45 to give Navy a 32-27 lead after a 16-4 run.



However, Lafayette closed the half on a 10-2 run over the final three minutes to take a three-point lead into halftime at 37-34. Lafayette scored on six free throws and two short jumpers.

Five early second-half points from Venturini and baskets by senior Thurgood Wynn and Smith pulled Navy within one at 45-44, but Ptasinski hit back-to-back three pointers to key a big 25-2 run to put the game out of reach at 70-46.

During the run, Navy had a scoring drought of 5:42 before sophomore Will Kelly made a layup and then a second drought of 6:37 before freshman Edward Alade made two free throw with 2:13 left in the game. Freshman Tim Abruzzo and Fong both hit three pointers in the final 70 seconds to cut the final deficit to 18 at 72-54.

"We just had a hard time scoring the ball," said DeChellis. "We were stuck on only 12 points scored in the second half for a while and we just couldn't make a basket. Our woes continued in terms of offensive production. And then when we don't score our defense starts to slide, slide, slide."

While Lafayette had its second-best shooting night of the season, Navy shot just 34 percent from the floor and 27 percent on three pointers (9-of-34). The 34 three-point attempts were a season-high.

Fong has made at least two three pointers in six straight games and he scored in double figures for the fifth time in the past six games. Fong moved into fifth place on the Navy freshman season three pointers list with his 38 triples this season.

Smith, a junior, moved into 40th place on Navy's all-timer scoring chart with his 746 career points.

Navy had defeated Lafayette, 79-71, in the first meeting on January 5 in Annapolis.

The Mids will next host Boston University (15-8, 8-2 PL) on Wednesday at Alumni Hall at 7:00 PM.

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