Men’s Basketball falls just short in overtime battle

Brooke Tracey, Contributing Writer

The Bison men’s basketball team faced a tough defeat following an overtime battle against Lafayette on the road this past weekend. It was a last-second layup that gave the Leopards a 74-72 edge over the Bison. The Orange and Blue now fall to 5-19 on the season and 2-10 in Patriot League play. 

The game remained even throughout its entirety, with neither team leading by more than one possession in the first half, until the Leopards strengthened their lead to 31-24 after a 13-4 run. Senior guard, Andrew Funk ’22, finished the half with a three-point shot to narrow the Leopard’s lead to 35-32. 

The Orange and Blue came out of halftime fired up. A 12-2 run courtesy of Andre Screen ’24, Elvin Edmonds IV ’25 and Jake van der Heijden ’23 allowed the Bison to lead 44-37. The Bison’s largest lead of the night was 51-42 with 10:36 to go in the game. It was a series of missed free throws that hurt the Bison throughout the second half, however, as they missed the first nine of 10 free-throw shots. After conceding the lead, the Bison fought to stay in the game. With 9.5 seconds left in regulation, Xander Rice ’23 made all three of his free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt. This, along with a strong defensive stop, forced the game into overtime in a 67-67 tie. 

Heading into overtime, the Bison could not quite keep the momentum. Both teams combined to miss the first seven shots of the period until Lafayette got on the board first. A series of Leopard layups along with missed Bison attempts ultimately resulted in the Leopard victory. 

In spite of the loss, Funk recorded the first double-double of his career with 20 points and 11 rebounds. He remains the Patriot League’s second-leading scorer. Screen also tallied 18 points and Malachi Rhodes ’23 scored a career-high 12 points. The Bison as a whole out-shot the Leopards, 45.2 percent to their 38.6 percent. 

“This was definitely a tough, gritty game which [they] knew was going to be down to the wire and require a lot of focus.” He added that the team “needs to continue improving and focusing on putting full games together as [they] move closer to playoffs,” Rice said.

The Bison will return home this coming week with two games slated in Sojka Pavilion, the first of which is against American on Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., followed by a 6 p.m. tipoff against Holy Cross on Saturday, Feb. 12.

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