Feb. 4, 2012
Bucknell 81, Army 68
LEWISBURG, Pa. – After Army (10-13, 3-5 PL) tied the game at 50-50, Bucknell (18-6, 8-0 PL) outscored the Black Knights 31-18 over the final 11:22 en route to an 81-68 win in Patriot League men’s basketball action at Sojka Pavilion Saturday night. Army made just three field goals during the decisive spurt.
The win gave the Bison a season sweep of the Black Knights and marked their 18th straight win against conference opponents. Army was the last Patriot League team to defeat Bucknell, scoring a 90-70 win at Christl Arena on Jan. 29, 2011.
Senior G Julian Simmons led three Army players in double figures with 15 points, including five three-pointers. Simmons moved into 17th place on Army’s all-time scoring list. Sophomore G Josh Herbeck had 14 points, while junior F Ella Ellis registered 13 points. Ellis was limited to only two points in the second stanza. Junior F Jordan Springer led the team with four rebounds, while freshman G Milton Washington dished out four assists without committing a turnover in 13 minutes.
Bryan Cohen led the Bison scorers with 19 points. Mike Muscala added 16 points, including eight from the free throw line, and Bryson Johnson scored 14, 12 of them from behind the three-point line. Cameron Ayers rounded out the top scorers with 12 markers. Brian Fitzpatrick grabbed a game-high five rebounds.
Army shot 44.1 percent for the game, but was just 8-for-20 in the second half. The Black Knights were efficient from three-point range, hitting eight of their 14 tries (.571). Bucknell hit 61.4 percent overall and was 6-for-11 from deep (.545).
The Bison owned a 26-21 edge on the glass and outscored Army in the paint, 28-14.
Army scored first on a three-pointer by Herbeck, but Bucknell rattled off the next six points to take a three-point lead with 17:54 left in the opening half. The Black Knights answered with eight straight points, including triples by freshman G Mo Williams and junior G Jason Pancoe, to take their largest lead at 11-6 with 15:08 on the clock.
The Black Knights led 18-15 after a layup by plebe G Maxwell Lenox, but the Bison used a 10-0 spurt to claim the lead at 25-18 with 10:05 to go. Johnson drilled back-to-back three-pointers to key the run. A basket by Ellis ended Army’s three-minute, 49-second scoring drought and started a 7-1 run that pulled the Black Knights back within a point at 26-25 with 7:41 left. Simmons capped the run with the first of his two first-half three-pointers.
The Bison extended their lead back to seven points at 34-27, but again Army had a response, scoring seven of the next eight points to trim its deficit back to one, but Bucknell ended the first half on a 7-0 run to go into intermission with its largest lead of the half at 42-34.
Ellis led all players with 11 points in the first 20 minutes. Johnson was in double figures for the Bison with 10 markers, including three three-pointers. Army shot a robust 48.0 percent (12-25) in the first half, including a 6-for-9 showing from long range, but turned the ball over 10 times. Bucknell hit 70.8 percent (17-24) in the first half, including four of its six three-point tries.
Herbeck opened the second half the same way as the first, stroking a three-pointer to pull the Black Knights within five. After a Bucknell basket, Army reeled off seven straight points, tying the game at 44-44 on a layup by Washington.
The teams traded baskets until Cohen scored an old-fashioned three-point play with 10:49 left to put Bucknell on top 53-50. Army trimmed the lead back to one, but the Bison never let the lead slip from their grasp. Another Cohen three-point play made it 60-56, and after one free throw for Army, Johnson nailed a three-pointer to push the Bison lead back to six at 63-57 with 8:09 left in the contest. The Black Knights pulled within five points, but the Bison were able to extend their lead to as many as 14 before going on to the 13-point win.
Army starts a two-game homestand on Wednesday, Feb. 8 versus Lafayette. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. The Leopards won the first meeting of the season in Easton, Pa.
Game Notes: Army scrapped their traditional collared shooting shirts during pre-game warm-ups for t-shirts with the motto, “Leave It On The Court” emblazoned on the back … Army has lost 30 of its last 31 games when allowing at least 80 points … Maxwell Lenox scored eight points, grabbed two rebounds and handed out two assists in 23 minutes … Ella Ellis extended his double-digit scoring streak to 25 games, the longest since Kevin Houston (57; 1985-87) … Army has had its two lowest three-point field goal attempt totals versus Bucknell this season … the Black Knights took a total of 21 triples in two games versus the Bison … Army has taken at least 21 three-pointers in 16 of their 23 games … Army fell to 2-10 away from West Point … Army plays four of its last six at home where they own an 8-3 record in 2011-12.