The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Men’s basketball ends losing streak with wins against Army, Holy Cross

Junior forward Chris Rubayo locks down an Army defender during the Leopards’ close win over the Black Knights. (Photo courtesy of Army Athletics)

The men’s basketball team (10-14 overall, 9-2 Patriot League) snapped its two-game skid with victories against Army (6-18 overall, 2-9 Patriot League) on Saturday and Holy Cross (7-17 overall, 4-7 Patriot League) on Wednesday night.

The Leopards regained their sharpshooting en route to their first season sweep of the Black Knights in over ten years. 

Army headed into the match 2-7 in conference play but held the Leopards to a tight two-point lead, ending the first half with a score of 26-24.

The game was competitive and volatile with 15 lead changes throughout. Lafayette shot 42.6 percent from the field, while Army struggled to make shots, shooting only 35.7 percent.

Junior guard Devin Hines shot especially well from the three-point line, hitting three out of four of his long-range attempts.

“We really just wanted to get back on track after losing the previous two games,” Hines said. “The team and I went out there and played with confidence and it ultimately led to a win on the road.”

The Maroon and White were able to stretch the lead to three with 20 seconds remaining. However, Army was able to tie the score and send the game into overtime, sinking a three-point shot with less than two seconds left on the clock.

The Leopards stayed calm and clinical in overtime, converting nine-of-10 from the free-throw line as Army desperately fouled.

Standout freshman guard Mark Butler sank all four of his free throws during the overtime period en route to tallying his ninth double-digit scoring game of the season. Butler noted that he shoots free throws “every single day.”

“The only thing I focus on at the line is making the shot, [following the] same routine every time,” Butler said. 

The Leopards outscored Army 11-3 in overtime, marking a comfortable end to an uneasy game.

Four Lafayette players scored double-digit points, led by sophomore guard Ryan Pettit who had a career-high 15 points. Butler and Hines followed with 13 apiece, while junior forward Chris Rubayo put up a solid 10 for a career high. 

Lafayette followed up with a home victory against Holy Cross on Wednesday night, defeating the Crusaders by a score of 75-59.

Senior guard Eric Sondberg had a notable showing, scoring 16 points on 66.7 percent field goal and three-point shooting. Senior forward Kyle Jenkins added 11 points, while junior center Justin Vander Baan matched his total.

It was a dominating outing from the Leopards, as they reached a 20-point lead during the match and only trailed for 1:23. Holy Cross’ two-point lead was its largest of the game.

Reigning conference champion Colgate (16-8 overall, 10-1 Patriot League) maintained its first-place spot in the Patriot League standings with Lafayette just one win behind. 

“I feel that we will definitely build on the wins and continue to win more games in the future,” Hines said. 

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