The Susquehanna University Men's Basketball team put up a good fight behind a game-high 23 points from senior Ryan Traub but it was not enough as NCAA Division I Lafayette University defeated the River Hawks 82-70 Monday night in Easton, Pa.
Traub led all scorers with 23 points and led Susquehanna (4-6) early as the River Hawks took a 10-5 lead in the first several minutes of the contest and led 18-6 after Jacob Walsh capped an 8-1 run. Lafayette (2-11) recovered and ended up leading at the half by five points at 36-31.
In the second half, Susquehanna hung tough and tied the game at 53-53 near the midpoint of the period on a pair of Zach Knecht free throws and took a lead on a Traub 3-pointer 30 seconds later.
Traub added another layup with 7:24 left to play to give Susquehanna a 60-58 lead and added a pair of free throws 30 seconds later to give the River Hawks their biggest lead of the second half at 62-58 with 7:02 on the clock.
At the 5:13 mark, Knecht converted a three-point play to tie the game at 64-64 but the Leopards scored the next five points to regain control.
Seth Callahan nailed a 3-pointer at the 4:03 mark to trim the lead to two points but Lafayette answered with seven straight points to take a late 76-67 lead. After Knecht made a layup with 1:17 left to cut the lead to six points, the Leopards connected on their final six free throws to seal the victory.
The River Hawks actually had a better shooting percentage (25-for-56, 44.6 percent) from the field including 7-for-19, 36.8%) from 3-point range. Susquehanna also held a slim 38-37 rebounding edge. The big difference in the game came from the free throw line where Lafayette connected on 24-of-32 attempts while the River Hawks were limited to 13-for-23 from the line.
Traub was one of three players to score in double digits for the River Hawks as fellow senior Adam Dizbon and Knecht each scored 10 points. Knecht added a team-leading eight rebounds while Tyler Hoagland chipped in eight points and dished out eight assists.
The River Hawks are off until January 3 when they host Dickinson College with a 7 p.m. game to start the second semester schedule.