Patriot League Men's Basketball Weekend Preview - 1.4.14

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Kyle Wilson and Army try to start 2-0 in the Patriot League for the first time on Sunday.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG
Kyle Wilson and Army try to start 2-0 in the Patriot League for the first time on Sunday.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG

Jan. 4, 2013

Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 1.4.14 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - It's the first weekend of the NFL playoffs, but Patriot League fans will want to take a reprieve early on Sunday afternoon to watch all five League contests starting within an hour of each other.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*All five Patriot League games will tip off on Sunday afternoon.
*Boston University will play at Lehigh at 1 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
*Holy Cross also hosts American in a 1 p.m. tip-off on Patriot League Network.
*2 p.m. games on PLN include Lafayette at Navy, Colgate at Bucknell and Loyola Maryland at Army.
*Army is trying to get to 2-0 in Patriot League play for the first time.
*BU and Loyola also go for the 2-0 mark in their first Patriot League season.
*American aims to go 2-0 for the first time since 2009, while Lehigh tries to do it for the second year in a row.
*Navy and Lehigh each put undefeated home records on the line Sunday.
*The Mountain Hawks are trying to start 6-0 at home for the first time since 2002-03.
*Bucknell has won eight straight games against Colgate, and 10 in a row at home against the Raiders.
*Lafayette has captured four straight and seven of the last eight matchups with Navy.

Patriot League Notebook
Packed Slate of Patriot League Action on Sunday Afternoon
It's the first weekend of the NFL playoffs, but Patriot League fans will want to take a reprieve early on Sunday afternoon to watch all five League contests starting within an hour of each other. The action begins at 1 p.m. when Boston University visits Lehigh in the first telecast of the season on CBS Sports Network, with American at Holy Cross tipping off at the same time on Patriot League Network. All three 2 p.m. tip-offs will be seen on Patriot League Network as Lafayette visits Navy, Colgate heads to Bucknell and Loyola Maryland goes to Army.

BU, Loyola Notch Wins While Three Others Claim Road Victories in League Openers
Boston University and Loyola Maryland both started their Patriot League era with a win on Thursday while Lehigh, American and Army posted victories on the road in League openers. The Terriers got a balanced effort in a 70-60 victory at home against Holy Cross, while the Greyhounds came back from a double-digit deficit in the last five minutes to top Navy 63-57 in overtime. BU and Loyola were each playing their first Patriot League games since joining the conference prior to the 2013-14 season. Lehigh pulled out an 88-81 double overtime win at Colgate in the most exciting game of the night, while the participants in last year's League title game each fell at home as American shocked defending champion Bucknell 67-57 and Army routed Lafayette 85-66.

Who Will Get to 2-0?
Boston University and Loyola Maryland are trying to start Patriot League play with a 2-0 mark in their first season, but they aren't the only teams going for their first 2-0 League records. Army has never started 2-0 in its Patriot League history, but can change that against Loyola on Sunday. American aims to go 2-0 for the first time since 2009, while Lehigh hopes to do so for the second straight season.

15 Patriot League Contests to Be Shown On CBS Sports Network.....
The first of 15 games on CBS Sports Network in 2014 pits Boston University at Lehigh on Sunday at 1 p.m. It is the first of seven League games in the month of January on CBSSN, followed by five more regular-season games in February-March. The Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship will be televised on CBS Sports Network for the third year in a row on Wednesday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m., while CBSSN will also air both semifinal games of the Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 8 at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m.

...And All of the Rest on Patriot League Network
Any game that is not shown on CBS Sports Network will be available with free online web streaming through Patriot League Network. In its first year, PLN has already showcased all men and women's basketball non-League home games in addition to action for all of the fall sports. PLN also has highlights throughout the year and features on teams and individuals and is available nationally at www.patriotleague.tv and to a wide audience through the Campus Insiders platform.

Three Coaches Win Patriot League Debuts
It was a good opening day for coaches making their debut in the Patriot League. Boston University's Joe Jones and Loyola's G.G. Smith each led their teams to a win in their first Patriot League game on Thursday, while American's Mike Brennan also earned a victory in his first Patriot League game for the Eagles. Lehigh's Brett Reed notched a significant victory as well with his 50th League win to open his seventh Patriot League campaign with the Mountain Hawks.

On the Flip Side
It was a tough opening day for the participants in last year's Patriot League title game. Defending champion Bucknell and runner-up Lafayette each lost their Patriot League opener by double digits at home on Thursday. Now, both squads try to avoid an 0-2 mark on Sunday. Bucknell has not started 0-2 in League play since 2009, while Lafayette last did so back in 2001 Among the other teams who lost Thursday, Holy Cross has not begun League action at 0-2 since 2010 while Colgate and Navy have started 0-2 in each of the last three seasons.

Navy, Lehigh Put Unbeaten Home Marks on the Line Sunday
Navy has opened 4-0 at home for the first time since 2008-09 and has its first four-game home win streak at any point since 2009-10. Lehigh has a 5-0 home record for the second time in three years. Both teams will return home for games on Sunday afternoon, with the Mountain Hawks going for their first 6-0 home start since posting an 11-0 opening in 2002-03 and the Mids trying to extend their best season-opening home win streak since starting 9-0 in 2008-09.

Little Leaders
Basketball is supposed to be a big man's game, but don't tell that to the host of players standing 6-foot-0 or under who are putting together a great season in the Patriot League. Colgate's Austin Tillotson is an even 6-foot-0, yet ranks in the top 10 nationally in a category dominated by big men with a 64.4% mark from the field. Boston University's Maurice Watson (5-foot-10) is high in a more conventional category for a point guard as he stands 11th in the nation with 6.5 assists per game. Lehigh's Mackey McKnight (6-foot-0) is in the top 25 in the nation in assists and part of the Patriot League's 1,000-point and 400-assist clubs, and just entered the career top 10 on Monday. BU's D.J. Irving (6-foot-0) was the Preseason Patriot League Player of the Year and won the Player of the Week honor last Monday, while Lafayette's Nick Lindner (5-foot-10) has claimed a pair of Rookie of the Week honors.

Patriot League Teams Finish the Non-League Slate
There were peaks and valleys throughout the non-League schedule for all 10 Patriot League teams, but in the end the squads had very similar profiles. There were only two games separating the 10 teams in overall record, with Colgate (6-5), Boston University (7-6) and Lehigh (7-6) all coming in over .500 and no team finishing worse than 4-7. League squads were 53-62 overall which included a 44-32 record against teams from conferences that are a part of the College Insider Mid-Major top 25 rankings. Seven Patriot League schools have rolled off winning streaks of three or more games this season, topped by a five-game run for Lehigh before losing at Bryant on Monday. League squads made the most of limited opportunities at home by putting together a 26-15 record on their own courts. Bucknell won at Penn State on Nov. 13 and Boston University won at Maryland on Dec. 21 to give League squads seven victories over BCS opponents in the past three years.

Patriot League Games
Boston University Terriers (8-6, 1-0) at Lehigh Mountain Hawks (8-6, 1-0)
Stabler Arena; Bethlehem, Pa. - Sunday, 1 p.m.
TV: CBS Sports Network
*Boston University heads to Lehigh for a 1 p.m. matchup Sunday on CBS Sports Network.
*It is the first of 15 appearances for the Patriot League on CBS Sports Network in 2014.
*Lehigh aims for its second straight 2-0 mark in Patriot League play, while BU hopes to do the same in its first season.
*The Mountain Hawks also try to get to 6-0 at home for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
*BU won the only meeting between the schools in the 1968-69 season.

American Eagles (5-7, 1-0) at Holy Cross Crusaders (6-7, 0-1)
Hart Center; Worcester, Mass. - Sunday, 1 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*American goes for its first 2-0 Patriot League mark since 2009 when it visits Holy Cross on Sunday.
*The 1 p.m. tip-off can be seen live on Patriot League Network.
*The teams split the series last year, with each winning on its home court.
*The Crusaders posted a 79-60 win at the Hart Center on Jan. 19, while the Eagles won 64-61 in overtime on Feb. 17.
*Holy Cross has won the last three meetings at the Hart Center.
*Holy Cross holds an 18-12 edge in the all-time series, with a 14-10 lead in regular-season Patriot League games.
*The Crusaders have not started 0-2 in League play since 2010.

Colgate Raiders (6-6, 0-1) at Bucknell Bison (5-7, 0-1)
Sojka Pavilion; Lewisburg, Pa. - Sunday, 2 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Two teams looking to rebound from home losses meet up as Colgate visits Bucknell on Sunday at 2 p.m. on PLN.
*The Bison have won the last eight meetings, sweeping the series in each of the past four seasons.
*Bucknell won 69-61 at home on Feb. 13 last season after a 73-59 win at Colgate on Jan. 19.
*Bucknell has won 10 straight home games against Colgate dating back to 2004.
*Colgate's last win over Bucknell came at home in 2009.
*The Bison have a 60-40 lead in the all-time series and a 35-11 edge in regular-season Patriot League games.
*Colgate will try to avoid a fourth-straight 0-2 League start, while Bucknell last had an 0-2 League record in 2009.

Loyola Maryland Greyhounds (6-6, 1-0) at Army Black Knights (5-7, 1-0)
Christl Arena; West Point, N.Y. - Sunday, 2 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Both Loyola and Army go for their first 2-0 starts in Patriot League play when they meet at Christl Arena on Sunday.
*The 2 p.m. tip-off can be seen on Patriot League Network.
*Army has never stared 2-0 in 23 Patriot League seasons, while Loyola is in its first campaign.
*Loyola won the only meeting between the schools at home in Jan. 1990, before the formation of the Patriot League.
*Army has won six of its last seven Patriot League regular-season games, and four of the last five overall.

Lafayette Leopards (4-8, 0-1) at Navy Midshipmen (5-7, 0-1)
Alumni Hall; Annapolis, Md. - Sunday, 2 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Lafayette and Navy both play for their first Patriot League win when they meet at Alumni Hall on Sunday.
*The Patriot League Network will carry the game, which starts at 2 p.m.
*Lafayette has swept the Mids the past two seasons and won seven of eight in the last four years against Navy.
*The Leopards won 64-47 at home and 70-47 on the road in last year's matchups.
*Navy's only win during the last four years was a 57-52 triumph at home against the Leopards in 2011.
*Navy has a 41-30 lead in the all-time series, though Lafayette holds a 26-21 edge as Patriot League members.
*Lafayette has not started 0-2 in League play since 2001, while Navy has done it the last three seasons.
*The Mids are 4-0 at home and try to extend their best season-opening home win streak since starting 9-0 in 2008-09.

Team Notebooks
AMERICAN American won its fourth Patriot League opener in a row by snapping an eight-game losing streak to Bucknell with a 67-57 win in Lewisburg on Thursday...Tony Wroblicky had a dominant performance with 24 points, 11 rebounds, six blocks and five assists for the Eagles...American scored the first nine points of the game, and went ahead by as many as 17 points in the second half...Bucknell was within four in the the final minute, but American made 9-of-10 free throws down the stretch to seal the win...Wroblicky made 8-of-12 shots as the Eagles finished at 53.8% for the game at 21-of-39...American limited Bucknell to 18-of-54 (33.3%) from the field and held a 34-29 rebounding advantage...The Eagles have won two straight after also posting a 71-58 win at Maryland Eastern Shore on Sunday...They conclude a five-game road swing with a visit to Holy Cross on Sunday at 1 p.m. on Patriot League Network...American is trying to open League play at 2-0 for the first time since a 3-0 start in 2009.

ARMY Army posted a third-straight convincing victory over Lafayette, and claimed its fourth game in the last five overall, with an 85-66 triumph in Easton on Thursday... Army's wins over Lafayette in the past two seasons have come by 23, 17 and 19 points. Tanner Plomb led the Black Knights with a career-high 24 points, while Kyle Wilson also totaled 24...Army used first-half runs of 8-0, 9-0 and 12-2 to take a 39-27 lead at the break...The Black Knights pulled away for good with a 19-5 stretch in the second half to go ahead by 22, and led by at least 17 the rest of the way...Tanner Omlid added 14 points for the Black Knights, who shot 54.4% (31-of-57) for the game...Army also made 9-of-20 three-pointers and 14-of-17 free throws in the contest, and held a 33-28 edge on the boards...Army won its first Patriot League opener since 2011, and now tries to start with two wins in League play for the first time ever when it hosts Loyola Maryland on Sunday at 2 p.m. on PLN.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY The Terriers won their inaugural Patriot League game with a balanced effort in a 70-60 win over Holy Cross on Thursday...Maurice Watson Jr. scored 12 points, Dom Morris and John Papale had 11 and five others scored six points or more...The Terriers took the lead for good with an 8-0 run in the first half, and pulled away with an 8-0 run in the second half for a 57-47 lead with 9:51 to play...Holy Cross never got closer than six the rest of the way...BU made 18-of-20 free throws in the game while limiting the Crusaders to under 40 percent from the field at 22-of-57...BU stopped a six-game losing streak against the Crusaders...The Terriers will play their first Patriot League road game on national television Sunday when they visit Lehigh at 1 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

BUCKNELL Bucknell lost a Patriot League opener for the first time since 2010 as it fell 67-57 at home against American on Thursday...The Bison lost their third straight game overall, and second in a row at Sojka Pavilion...Bucknell saw an eight-game win streak against American come to an end... The Bison gave up the first nine points of the game and never got closer than four the rest of the way...They did use a 15-2 run to get within 49-45 with 4:11 left, and were still down just 58-54 in the final minute before American iced the game at the foul line...Chris Hass led Bucknell with a career-high 18 points, while Cameron Ayers added 17...No other Bucknell player scored more than four points in the game...Bucknell became the first defending champion to drop its League opener since Lehigh lost its first contest in 2011...The Bison try to get back on track when they host Colgate on Sunday at 2 p.m. on Patriot League Network...Bucknell has not started 0-2 in League action since 2009.

COLGATE Colgate dropped a double overtime final at home for the second time this week as Lehigh came away with an 88-81 victory in Hamilton on Thursday...The Raiders had a chance to win in regulation, but Lehigh's Mackey McKnight tied the score at 62-62 on a three-pointer with 27 seconds to play...Ethan Jacobs tied it for Colgate at 72-72 with 27 seconds left in the first overtime and the game went to a second overtime, where Lehigh pulled away with game-closing 11-5 run...Murphy Burnatowski led five Colgate players in double figures with 26 points...Damon Sherman-Newsome scored 16 for the Raiders, while Austin Tillotson (13), Luke Roh (11) and Jacobs (10) also had double-digit totals...Roh also led Colgate with nine rebounds and six assists...Colgate dropped its League opener for the fourth year in a row, and fell to the Mountain Hawks for the sixth time in the last seven meetings...Colgate will try to avoid a fourth-straight 0-2 start to League play when it visits Bucknell on Sunday at 2 p.m. on Patriot League Network.

HOLY CROSS Holy Cross held tight through most of the game, but could not overcome League favorite Boston University in a 70-60 loss on the road Thursday...BU went ahead with an 8-0 run in the first half, and after Holy Cross had closed within two in the second half the Terriers used another 8-0 run for a 57-47 lead with 9:51 to play....Holy Cross never got closer than six the rest of the way as the Crusaders shot just 22-of-57 from the field...Cullen Hamilton led Holy Cross with 16 points, while Dave Dudzinski had a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds...Holy Cross lost its League opener for the second straight season...Holy Cross has not started 0-2 in League play since 2010, a fate it will try to avoid when it hosts American on Sunday at 1 p.m. on Patriot League Network.

LAFAYETTE The Leopards dropped their Patriot League opener for the first time since 2011 as Army came away with an 85-66 win in Easton on Thursday...The Black Knights put together a 21-6 run in the first half on their way to a 39-27 lead at the break, and used a 19-5 stretch in the second half to lead by 22 and pull away for good... Bryce Scott and Dan Trist had 13 points apiece for the Leopards, while Zach Rufer added 10...Lafayette made just 5-of-19 three-pointers as leading scorer Seth Hinrichs (20.2 ppg) remained out of the lineup with an injury...The Leopards lost to Army for the third straight time, with each defeat by more than 15 points...The Leopards pay a visit to Navy on Sunday at 2 p.m. on Patriot League Network, with Lafayette hoping to stay away from its first 0-2 League record since 2001.

LEHIGH Lehigh outlasted Colgate 88-81 in double overtime in a game that was back and forth throughout on Thursday..Mackey McKnight tied the score at 62-62 on a three-pointer with 27 seconds left in regulation for the Mountain Hawks, and had a steal in the final seconds to preserve the tie and send it to overtime...Colgate scored late to send the game to a second overtime, but Lehigh took command there...The Mountain Hawks took the lead for good when a three-pointer by Jesse Chuku made it 75-74 with 3:41 left, and iced it with buckets by Tim Kempton and Corey Schaefer for an 81-76 advantage with 57 seconds to play...Kempton had 25 points while making 11-of-17 shots and also pulled down 13 rebounds to lead the way for Lehigh...McKnight chipped in 18 points, with 11-of-12 foul shooting, to go with seven assists and Chuku also finished with 18 while Schaefer scored 16...Lehigh hit 21-of-26 free throws and only turned the ball over 11 times in the 50-minute game... Lehigh won its second straight Patriot League opener, and claimed its sixth victory in the last seven against the Raiders...Lehigh has also won six of seven games overall heading into Sunday's 1 p.m. home date with Boston University on CBS Sports Network...Lehigh aims for its second straight 2-0 mark in Patriot League play, and also tries to get to 6-0 at home for the first time since the 2002-03 season.

LOYOLA MARYLAND Loyola had a furious late rally to send the game to overtime and went on to beat Navy 63-57 in the extra session in its first Patriot League contest on Thursday...The Greyhounds trailed 47-34 with just over five minutes to play before finishing regulation with an 18-5 run to tie the score...Loyola forced six turnovers during the stretch, and tied the score at 52-52 on a pair of free throws by Jarred Jones with 11 seconds left...Loyola took the lead for good in overtime on a pair of free throws by Dylon Cormier with 1:52 left, and iced it when a three-pointer by Denzel Brito made it 61-56 with 39 seconds to play...Cormier led Loyola with 20 points while making 12-of-12 free throws....Loyola forced 23 Navy turnovers to overcome 18 of its own and a 39-26 rebounding advantage for the Mids...Loyola snapped a three-game skid against the Mids, and a four-game losing streak overall....The Greyhounds have overcome a second-half deficit in each of their five wins against Division I opponents this season...Loyola visits Army on Sunday at 2 p.m. on Patriot League Network.

NAVY Navy suffered another tough loss on Thursday as Loyola came back from 13 points down in the final five minutes and won 63-57 in overtime against the Mids...The Mids held a 47-34 lead, but turned it over six times down the stretch as the Greyhounds came back to force overtime...Loyola closed the OT session with a 7-1 run to earn the win...Navy forced 18 turnovers and held a 39-26 rebounding advantage, but was hurt by 23 turnovers in the game... Thurgood Wynn led Navy with 15 points, while Brandon Venturini scored 11....Navy dropped its Patriot League opener for the fourth year in a row, and also lost its fourth straight game overall...The Mids have held a halftime lead in each of the four consecutive losses...Navy tries to snap a three-year run of 0-2 starts in the Patriot League when it returns home to face Lafayette on Sunday at 2 p.m. on Patriot League Network...It will be Navy's first home game since Dec. 4 as the Mids put a 4-0 mark at Alumni Hall on the line and try to extend their best season-opening home win streak since starting 9-0 in 2008-09.