FAIRFIELD, Conn – Despite 15 points from both Chris Evans (Stamford, CT) and Evan Kelley (Norwalk, CT), the Sacred Heart men's basketball team could not hold off Lafayette, falling to the Leopards 86-79 Saturday afternoon at the Pitt Center. Sacred Heart falls to 2-7 on the season, while Lafayette improves to 3-5.
Freshman Nick Lindner led the way for Lafayette with 24 points, five assists, and two steals, while leading scorer Seth Hinrichs added 17 points and 8 rebounds.
A fast and furious start of the game saw both teams getting up and down the court and exchanging baskets. Freshman De'Von Barnett (Wadorf, MD) snagged his own rebound and put it back in to give SHU an early 18-15 lead. Barnett poured in eight points as he did in his SHU debut on Wednesday night.
Nick Lindner provided the first spark for Lafayette, knocking down a three ball with 12:10 remaining in the first half to spark a 15-6 Leopards run to take a 34-24 lead. Junior Phil Gaetano (Wallingford, CT) responded for Sacred Heart, drilling back-to-back three-pointers to halt the Lafayette surge. Chris Evans also put in back-to-back buckets, first crossing over and hitting an 18-footer and then knocking down a three ball of his own to cut the Lafayette lead to 41-35 with 2:27 remaining in the second half.
Sacred Heart finished the first half on a 15-8 run to cut the Lafayette lead to 45-42 at the break.
Sacred Heart jumped out the gate in the second half, surging out of the gate with a 7-0 run to take a 50-45 with 18:14 remaining in the second half. Sacred Heart and Lafayette exchanged buckets for most of the second half with SHU taking its second five-point lead of the game at 67-62 with 9:28 remaining in the second half. Tied at 69, Lafayette slowly regained control of the game, finishing the final 7:01 on a 17-10 run. Michael Hoffman finished a lay-up and the foul to to put Lafayette up 78-72 with 3:41 left in the game. The Pioneers finished the final 7:01 of the game just 2-9 from the field.
Sacred Heart is back at home on Sunday, December 15th when they host the Hartford Hawks.
Notes: Before this meeting, Sacred Heart had beaten Lafayette both times at home. SHU has lost seven of its last eight to members of the Patriot League.