Offensive explosion propels men’s basketball to victory over Lafayette

Justin Schaumberger, Senior Writer

The Bison men’s basketball team was ready from the opening tip and did not let up during a 118-76 win over Lafayette at Sojka Pavilion on Feb. 24. Despite this burst, the Orange and Blue fell to Navy on Feb. 27 by a score of 64-53, putting them in a three-way tie for first place in the Patriot League. The team’s record now stands at 18-11 overall and 12-5 in the league.

The Bison’s strong offense led the way to a 42-point lead over the Leopards. In the process, the Bison set several new program and Patriot League records. The school records included the most points scored in a first half at 63, most three-point field goals at 21, and most players with a three-pointer at 10 players. The Orange and Blue also set Patriot League records for most field goals in a game at 45 and most three-pointers in a game. Additionally, it was the second-highest scoring game in Bison history, coming only one point short of a 119-point performance in 1968.


Eleven different players scored in the game. Andrew Funk ’22 led the way for the Bison with a career-high 21 points off the bench, including five three-pointers. Kimbal Mackenzie ’19 and Avi Toomer ’20 each hit three three-pointers on their way to 18 and 11 points, respectively.


Jimmy Sotos ’21 stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, nine assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Nate Sestina ’19, with 11 points and seven rebounds, and Bruce Moore ’20, with 16 points and five rebounds, controlled the interior for the Orange and Blue. Nate Jones ’19 and Ben Robertson ’20 provided a spark for the team off the bench, combining for 15 points, nine assists, and nine rebounds.


After Lafayette hit the opening shot of the game, the team only trailed for 18 seconds before seizing control. Collectively, the Bison shot a spectacular 64.3 percent from the field, including 58.3 percent from downtown. The Orange and Blue also shared the ball well throughout the game, with 29 of their 45 made field goals coming off assists. On the glass, the Bison dominated, out-rebounding the Leopards 42-24.


Defensively, the Orange and Blue locked up Lafayette for large portions of the game. In the first half, the solid Bison defense held Lafayette to only 27 points. The Orange and Blue capitalized with 19 points off of nine Lafayette turnovers.


“Right now is the most important time of the year in terms of teams trying to play their best basketball, so today was definitely a step in the right direction,” Funk said.


Attempting to build on the momentum acquired against the Leopards, the Bison battled Navy, falling to the Midshipmen 64-53. Mackenzie scored 15 points while Sotos and Sestina tallied nine and eight, respectively. With this loss, the Orange and the Blue halted an 11 game winning streak, now sharing first place with Lehigh and Colgate.


The Bison close out the regular season with a home match-up against Army on March 2. The Orange and Blue edged the Black Knights in a narrow 64-63 victory last time the two teams met.


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