Men’s basketball snaps losing streak with win over Boston University

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Sophomore guard Alex Petrie tallied 36 combined points in the two games. (Photo by Jess Furtado ’19)

Matthew Post

The Lafayette men’s basketball team halted a four-game losing streak with a 79-72 win over Boston University this past Wednesday in Boston, Mass. Last weekend, the team dropped a lopsided contest to Patriot League leading Bucknell, 94-66. In the BU game, the offense found its form as the team shot 54 percent from the field and were red hot from downtown, connecting on 43.5 percent of their long range attempts.

Sophomore guard Alex Petrie paced the offense with 20 points, shooting 8-14 from the floor. Junior forward Lukas Jarrett recorded 13 points, nine rebounds and a pair of blocks and assists. Sophomore guard Justin Jaworski added 12 points and six assists and junior guard Kyle Stout, in his first start of the season, shot three of four from three point range and contributed 11 points.

In the Bucknell game, the offense struggled immensely against the Bison, shooting poorly from all areas of the floor. The team shot 24-70 (34.4 percent) from the field and just 7-28 (25 percent) from three-point range. Petrie and Jaworski led the way with 16 and 12 points apiece, while senior forward Paulius Zalys chipped in 11 points and four rebounds.

“We have our runs the other team has their runs, it’s a matter of adapting as the game progresses,” Zalys said. “[We try to] do everything we can to find a weak spot in the other team [that we can] take advantage of and have more runs than they do, which usually means winning the game. If shots aren’t falling we’ll try to go to the post or mid range area and let our bigger guys do some damage or we put our best ball handlers/shot creators in pick and roll situations to facilitate.”

Despite a challenging schedule in the Patriot League, the Leopards’ young talent has continued to improve. Jaworski’s scoring average has improved from 10.8 points per game to 14 points per game this season, and freshman forward Sean Good has made major strides and has started the previous six games. In 10 minutes of play against Bucknell, Good recorded a season-high four blocks.

“My role on this team is blocking shots so anytime that I am able to do my job it feels great,” said Good. “As time goes on and I play in more and more games, I can definitely say my feel for the game has improved.”

With junior forward Myles Cherry out with a minor foot injury, younger players on the team, especially the freshman, have gotten opportunities to make an impact in games. When given these chances, the young guys have made the most of their time on the floor.

“I have learned by doing. I was put into games and different situations and expected to succeed,” Good said. “I always gathered something from it regardless of the outcome and made an effort to improve on what I had learned.”

The adjustment from high school level basketball to division 1 college hoops is rarely easy. But through experience, first-year players have been able to become solid contributors for the Leopards.

“[At the beginning of the season], there was a rather apparent difference in the level of play from high school to college, the speed of the game is probably the biggest adjustment [I’ve had], to make,” Good said. “So far I am proud of my upward trend of improvement from week to week.”

Up next for the Leopards is a home matchup with Holy Cross on Sunday, Feb. 10, with tipoff scheduled for noon.