Lafayette Downs Tigers 70-63
Courtesy: TBD  
Release: 12/28/2008
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Jarrel Smith Registers First Career Double-Double
Courtesy:Scott Thornton


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EASTON, Pa. Lafayette brushed aside an early Towson lead and went on to 70-63 win over the Tigers in Kirby Sports Arena in the 21st meeting between the two teams Sunday afternoon.

The loss dropped the Tigers to 5-7 on the year while the Leopards ended an 8-game losing streak and improved to 3-8. The win added to the Leopards’ 15-6 lead in the series with the Tigers.

            The Tigers got off to a fast start, giving Lafayette a dose of its own medicine by hitting three treys in building an 11-point lead (15-4) just five minutes into the game. But then the Leopards, one of the best three-point shooting teams in the nation, began sinking shots from beyond the arc. A 10-0 run erased Towson’s big lead. Michael Gruner’s three-point basket at the 8:10 mark put Lafayette in command for the first time, 22-21.

After a lead change and one tie the Leopards grabbed the lead for good on Jeff Kari’s short jumper with 5:37 left in the opening session. Lafayette was thinking a seven-point lead at the break but Jarrel Smith canned a trey and was fouled as time expired. He hit the free throw for a four-point play, trimming Lafayette’s lead to 34-31 at the break.

The second half, however, was ugly, littered with turnovers and fouls. There were 31 fouls called by the officials in the second half, 18 on the Tigers. Troy Franklin, Brian Morris and Smith were disqualified on fouls. With so many whistles against the Tigers it was tough to get any momentum going.

The Tigers went cold to start the second half and didn’t make a field goal until Josh Thornton buried a three-pointer at the 16:22 mark. Lafayette, meanwhile, took advantage of the Tigers’ tough times and built its lead to 54-44 with 7:26 left. The Tigers would get as close as six points (57-51) the rest of the way but Lafayette’s constant trips to charity stripe didn’t help.

Lafayette scored 15 of its final 18 points from the foul line.

Junior Hairston registered his second straight double-double with a game high 22 points and 11 rebounds. Smith also had the double-double with 15 points and 11 boards. Thornton added 17 and Smith finished with 15.

            The Tigers are back in action this Wednesday afternoon when they travel to Raleigh, N.C. for a 2:00 p.m. New Year’s Eve game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack. The game will be carried back to the metropolitan Baltimore area on WTMD Radio, 89.7 on the FM dial.


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