LaCorte’s three send men’s basketball over king 72-66
HOBOKEN, NJ (February 5, 2022) – Graduate student Matt LaCorte scored 18 of his season-high 22 points from behind the arc to lead the Stevens Institute of Technology men’s basketball team to a 72-66 win over King’s College on Saturday in a MAC Freedom game at Canavan Arena.
junior Conor Coffey and Matt Crowley each had 12 points for the Ducks, who went 9-8 on the year and 8-4 in the conference. The Ducks are tied with Lycoming in conference standings, a half game ahead of Delaware Valley and Arcadia. Stevens holds the head-to-head tiebreaker with Arcadia and Lycoming.
Chris Patton came off the bench to score a game-high 20 points to lead King’s, who fell to 6-12 on the year and 2-10 in the league. If the season ended today, the Monarchs would host FDU-Florham in the play-in game.
LaCorte scored 14 of his 22 points in the second half as the Ducks outscored the Monarchs 42-32 in the final 20 minutes to erase a first-half deficit. The Westfield, New Jersey native shot 4 for 8 (50%) from behind the arc and made his only attempt from inside the arc. LaCorte’s long-range efforts helped the Ducks reach a season-high 14 3s, marking the fourth time in the last two full seasons the team has finished with 14 triples. LaCorte had already sunk eight from long distance to finish with 26 points on Jan. 22, 2020, while with Susquehanna.
King’s scored the first nine points of the game before a graduate student David Dixon tagged a nifty thread from junior Brett Bischopping finally broke through for the home team five minutes into the game.
The Ducks’ long-range play-off coincided with the team’s comeback in the competition. Coffey started things off with his first three of the game to pull Stevens into the six. Second year Mike Goodall stripped Noah Tanner then fed LaCorte for a quick break three to further reduce the deficit. Bischoping had his only basket of the game to fire Stevens in one, but the Ducks were unable to get past the Monarchs and led 34-30 entering intermission.
Graduate student Alec DiPietrantonio opened the scoring in the second half with a layup on a freshman assist Jack Spellman. The Ocean City, New Jersey native filled the stat sheet with four points, 10 rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. Spellman joined DiPietrantonio in hooking 10 boards for his third consecutive double-digit rebounding effort.
After King shot 52.2% from the floor in the first half, the Ducks, who came in with the third-lowest opposing goal percentage in the nation, cracked down in the second half, keeping the Monarchs at 38. % in the second half, including a 2-for-10 performance from behind the arc.
As the Ducks’ strong defense smothered the King’s offense, the Ducks shot nearly 50 percent from the floor to pass the visitors. LaCorte hit three straight shots to give Stevens his first lead at 45-42, the second coming after stripping Peri Basimakopoulos. A Crowley jumper and another LaCorte three pushed Stevens’ advantage to seven and the Ducks went 6-for-7 from the line to seal the victory.
- After King’s took its only second-half lead at 51-50, the Ducks went down to the ground and reclaimed the lead on a three from Crowley.
- DiPietrantonio grabbed an offensive plank on the Ducks’ next possession and mixed it into Crowley, who stepped back into the left corner and calmly dumped his second triple of the contest. The Westfield, New Jersey native scored his 12 points in the second half.
Inside the numbers
- The Ducks won the battle of the boards 40-26, including a 15-4 advantage on the offensive glass. The margin on the offensive boards helped Stevens take a 12-2 lead in second-chance points.
- The Ducks collected 19 assists on their 24 baskets. Goodall and DiPietrantonio each had four to lead the Ducks. Tanner hit a game-high six to lead King’s.
- Spellman blocked three shots and continues to lead the conference in blocks per game (2.4).
- King received a technical foul after two flop warnings.
- Coffey set a career high with four 3s.
- LaCorte had three interceptions.
- Second year Frank Gelfman scored his fourth career field goal on a layup midway through the second half. The native of San Diego, Calif. finished +4 in four and a half minutes.
From the Field – Head Coach Bobby Hurley
- “We weren’t locked in to start the game and King really got comfortable in the first half. We did a much better defensive job in the second half and our defense was able to trigger our attack.”
- Men’s basketball continues the MAC Freedom game Feb. 9 against Delaware Valley at Canavan Arena.
- Delaware Valley received a forfeit victory over the Ducks on January 5, per Middle Atlantic Conference forfeit policy at the time.
- The Ducks swept the streak of the 2019-20 season in what were believed to be the first two meetings between the teams.
- Links for live stats and video are available at StevensDucks.com.
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