Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 1.7.13

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Bucknell's Mike Muscala won his third Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award of the year on Monday.
Bucknell's Mike Muscala won his third Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award of the year on Monday.

Jan. 7, 2013

Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 1.7.13 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The Patriot League men's basketball race tips off on Saturday, and takes on an entirely new look with the top scorer in the nation out for an extended period of time.

Lehigh senior guard C.J. McCollum will be out an estimated 8-10 weeks with a fracture of his fifth metatarsal in his left foot, as confirmed through an X-ray on Sunday. McCollum suffered the injury against VCU on Saturday, a game the Mountain Hawks went on to lose 59-55.

Bucknell, which was picked second behind Lehigh in the preseason, enters League play with momentum even after a 66-64 loss at No. 12 Missouri on Saturday. The Bison are 13-3 for the season, becoming the first Patriot League team to earn 13 non-League wins. Senior center Mike Muscala continued to shine with 25 points and 14 rebounds in the loss to Missouri, and earned his third Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award of the season on Monday.

Colgate was the only team to record a win over the weekend as the Raiders posted a 78-62 triumph at Dartmouth for their third victory in the last four games. Holy Cross, American and Army all fell in games at home while Navy joined Bucknell and Lehigh with a loss on the road.

Four teams play their final non-League game on Tuesday as Holy Cross hosts Columbia, Army is at Dartmouth, Lafayette goes to Penn and Lehigh welcomes Division III Muhlenberg.

Patriot League Anaconda Weekly Awards (Dec. 31-Jan. 6)

Anaconda Player of the Week
MIKE MUSCALA, BUCKNELL Sr., C, 6-11, 239; Roseville, Minn./Roseville
Muscala put together a dominant performance on a national stage with 25 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and two blocks as the Bison took No. 12 Missouri to the wire in a 66-64 loss on Saturday. He made 10-of-17 shots and helped limit Missouri center Alex Oriakhi to just nine points. The outing came after Muscala put in a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds to go with four assists and four blocks in a 72-56 win at Cornell on Wednesday. He made 4-of-5 shots in the game and finished 14-of-22 (63.6%) from the field for the week while averaging 19.0 points and 12.5 rebounds. Muscala became the 10th player in Patriot League history to reach 1,700 career points, and is averaging 19.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game for the season as the only player in the nation in the top 30 in scoring and top 15 in rebounding in Division I. Muscala earns his third Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award of the season, and the seventh of his illustrious career.

Anaconda Rookie of the Week
KYLE WILSON, ARMY Fr., G, 6-4, 190; Mission Viejo, Calif/Trabuco Hills (USMAPS)
Wilson is named Patriot League Anaconda Rookie of the Week for the third time after averaging 17.5 points and 3.5 assists in two games for the Black Knights. He did most of his damage in a 95-86 win at Houston Baptist on Monday, going 8-of-15 from the field and 7-of-8 from the foul line to score 24 points while dishing out six assists in the victory. Wilson tied for the team lead with 11 points, making all three of his three-point attempts, in a 64-52 loss to Columbia on Saturday. He is Army's second-leading scorer, and stands 11th in the Patriot League, with 12.5 points per game despite not starting yet this season and averaging 21.4 minutes per contest.

Honorable Mention

SETH HINRICHS, LAFAYETTE So., G, 6-7, 214; Clara City, Minn./Maccray
Hinrichs poured in 21 points while shooting 7-of-8 from the field, including 5-of-6 from three-point range,and had seven rebounds in an 83-66 win over NJIT on Wednesday.

DAVE DUDZINSKI, HOLY CROSS Jr., F, 6-9, 227; Elburn, Ill./Kaneland
Dudzinski had 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting with nine rebounds and four blocks in a 61-54 loss to Yale on Friday.

HOLDEN GREINER, LEHIGH Sr., F, 6-8, 210, Traverse City, Mich./Saint Francis
Greiner had 17 points and nine rebounds as Lehigh fell to VCU 59-55 on Saturday.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*Four Patriot League teams play on Tuesday in the final action before the League schedule tips off on Saturday.
*Lehigh's C.J. McCollum is expected to miss 8-10 weeks with a foot injury.
*McCollum was injured in a 59-55 loss to VCU on Saturday.
*Bucknell took one of the top teams in the country to the wire on Saturday before falling 66-64 at No. 12 Missouri.
*The Bison are the only team in Patriot League history to win 13 non-League games and have their second-best 16-game record in school history.
*They are tied for the Division I lead in both road (6) and road/neutral (8) wins. *Bucknell's Mike Muscala is at No. 2 in player efficiency rating on
*He is the only player in the top 30 in scoring and top 15 in rebounding.
*Colgate enters Patriot League play with three wins in its last four games after a 78-62 victory at Dartmouth on Saturday.
*Patriot League teams are 59-61 overall, and 54-40 against DI teams outside of the BCS leagues.
*The Patriot League is a combined 46-28 against regional conferences including the Atlantic 10, America East, CAA, Ivy League, MAAC, NEC and MEAC.
*Patriot League teams are 32-12 at home, with Bucknell at 5-0.
*Lehigh leads the nation in three-point field-goal percentage and is second in free-throw percentage.
*Bucknell is in the top 50 nationally in six different categories.

Patriot League Notebook

Lehigh's McCollum Expected to Miss 8-10 Weeks
Lehigh senior guard C.J. McCollum will be out an estimated 8-10 weeks with a fracture of his fifth metatarsal in his left foot, as confirmed through an X-ray on Sunday. McCollum injured the foot with approximately 5:37 remaining in the first half of Saturday's game at VCU and did not return. The estimated recovery time means there is a possibility that McCollum could return for the final game of the regular season or Patriot League Tournament, however that possibility will depend entirely on his healing process. A preseason candidate for the Naismith and Wooden Awards, McCollum stands second in the country with 23.9 points per game even after scoring only four on Saturday. He holds Patriot League records for all-time scoring (2,361 points), field goals made, free throws made and double-figure scoring games.

Heartbreaking Saturday for Bison and Mountain Hawks
Bucknell and Lehigh each had a chance for a major road victory on Saturday, and each came up just short in their non-League tests. The Bison gave No. 12 Missouri all it could handle, but a late turnover proved costly as Bucknell fell 66-64 to the Tigers. Lehigh rallied without McCollum in the lineup, but also turned it over late and fell 59-55 at VCU.

Bucknell Becomes First Patriot League Team with 13 Non-League Wins
Bucknell set a standard on Wednesday as the Bison became the first Patriot League team to record 13 non-League victories in the regular season with a 72-56 win at Cornell. Even with the loss to Missouri, Bucknell's 13-3 mark trails only the 1983-84 team for the top 16-game record in school history. Bucknell has won at all sites, holding a 5-0 record at home, 6-3 on the road and 2-0 at neutral courts. Bucknell matches Stony Brook for the most road victories in the nation and ties Fairfield and Gonzaga for the national lead with eight road/neutral wins.

Bucknell's Muscala Continues to Post Big Numbers
Bucknell senior center Mike Muscala is putting up an oustanding all-around year with 19.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.5 blocks per game coupled with good shooting from the field (55%) and foul line (80%). The packed stat sheet has Muscala at No. 2 in the nation in player efficiency rating from John Hollinger on Muscala is the only Division I player ranked in the top 30 nationally in scoring and the top 15 in rebounding. He stands second in League history in rebounding and blocked shots, and moved into 10th in League history in points last week while going over the 1,700-point mark on Saturday.

Wrapping Up the Non-League Slate
The Patriot League is concluding a strong overall performance in non-League play, with a chance to finish over .500 on Tuesday. The eight squads are a combined 59-61 in non-League contests, with four games remaining on Tuesday and one in February when Colgate takes on NJIT. The League has combined for a 54-40 record against Division I teams outside of the "Big-Six" conferences, and a 46-28 record against regional foes from the Atlantic 10, America East, CAA, Ivy League, MAAC, NEC and MEAC. Patriot League teams have done plenty of their damage at home with a 32-12 mark on their own courts.

Patriot League Teams, Players Rank High in NCAA Statistics
Patriot League teams continue to shoot the ball well this season, and the NCAA statistics show just how impressive the performances have been. Four Patriot League teams are in the top 40 nationally in both three-point and free-throw percentage, with Lehigh at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in Division I in the categories. Bucknell has shown the ability to shoot well and keep its opponents from doing so by ranking in the top 50 in the country in both field-goal percentage and field-goal percentage defense. Navy joins the Bison with a top 50 mark in scoring defense, while Holy Cross is sixth in the country in defending the three. Bucknell's Mike Muscala is in the top 30 nationally in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots and also in the top 50 in field goal percentage, while Lehigh's C.J. McCollum stands second in the country in scoring before his injury.

Plenty of Coverage for Patriot League Men's Basketball
Every game of the race for the 2013 Patriot League title will be available to viewers either through national television or live streaming on Patriot League All-Access. It all starts on Saturday when Holy Cross visits Lehigh on CBS Sports Network and the games pitting Army at Bucknell, American at Colgate and Navy at Lafayette will all be available for free on Patriot League All-Access. After the opening weekend, Patriot League All-Access contests wll be available for a small monthly fee.

Team Notebooks

AMERICAN American put an end to a four-game losing streak with a 63-49 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore on Thursday, but followed it up with a 68-60 loss to Cornell on Sunday...The Eagles used an early 10-2 run to take a 12-5 lead on Thursday, and never trailed after that point...American closed the first half on a 10-4 run for a 34-24 lead at the break, and pulled away late by finishing the game with a 9-2 surge for the 63-49 win...Blake Jolivette led the way with 16 points, while Daniel Munoz scored 11 and Stephen Lumpkins and John Schoof each added 10...Lumpkins also pulled down 13 rebounds and filled the stat sheet with five assists and three blocks...Lumpkins put up 10 points and a career-high 18 rebounds in the loss to Cornell on Sunday..The Eagles were up by one point early in the second half when Cornell went on a 10-0 run to take the lead for good..Blake Jolivette scored 15 points and Daniel Munoz added 13...The Eagles begin Patriot League action at Colgate on Saturday afternoon.

ARMY The Black Knights scored 60 second-half points to pull out a 95-86 win over Houston Baptist on Monday, but struggled to score in the second half of a 64-52 loss to Columbia on Saturday...Army took control at Houston Baptist with 14 straight points to grab a 64-53 lead with 9:20 to go...Ella Ellis led the Black Knights with 26 points while making 15-of-16 free throws, while Kyle Wilson had 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting and 7-of-8 at the foul line...The Black Knights suffered their first home loss of the year and saw their eight-game non-League home winning streak come to an end against Columbia... The Black Knights led by five points at the half and eight early in the second half, but Columbia put together a 19-3 run to turn the tide of the game and had a 13-2 run late to pull away...Ellis and Wilson had 11 points apiece to lead the Black Knights, and Wilson was named Patriot League Anaconda Rookie of the Week on Monday for averaging 17.5 points in the two games...Army concludes its non-League slate at Dartmouth on Tuesday.

BUCKNELL Bucknell never backed down from one of the top teams in the country on Saturday, but ultimately fell 66-64 at No. 12 Missouri... The Bison went back-and-forth all game with the Tigers, with neither team leading by more than six points...Bucknell had a 28-24 lead at the half, and held a 55-51 lead with just over five minutes to go before Missouri went on a 9-2 run to go ahead for good...Bucknell had the ball down by one in the closing seconds, but Mike Muscala was ruled out of bounds on an entry pass and Missouri hit two free throws to go up 66-63 with three seconds to go...Muscala hit a free throw to get the Bison within two, but the team could not corral his intentional miss on the second try as Missouri held on...Muscala had an outstanding afternoon with 25 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and two blocks, and made 10-of-17 shots from the field...Cameron Ayers added 13 points, while Bryson Johnson scored 11...At 13-3, the Bison are tied for the second-best 16-game record in program history...They became the first team in Patriot League history with 13 non-League victories after defeating Cornell 72-56 on the road on Wednesday... Bucknell held a slim 55-51 lead with under eight minutes to play before closing the contest on a 17-5 run to earn the lopsided win...Ayers led a balanced effort with 16 points, while Johnson had 15, Muscala had 13 and 11 rebounds and Joe Willman scored 10...Bucknell improved to 9-1 in its last 10 games against Ivy League opponents....Muscala is averaging 19.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, and is the only player in the country in the top 30 in scoring and top 15 in rebounding...The Bison open Patriot League play at home against Army on Saturday.

COLGATE Colgate earned a split of Ivy League road games last week by defeating Dartmouth 78-62 on Saturday after a 66-59 loss at Columbia on Wednesday...The Raiders won for the third time in four games as they jumped on the Big Green early, going on a 20-5 run in the first half to build a 29-16 lead...After Dartmouth closed the gap to 10, Colgate scored the final six points of the first half for a 40-24 lead at the break...Colgate led by as many as 22 points in the second half, and the advantage never slipped below double digits...Murphy Burnatowski led the Raiders with 21 points while Luke Roh had 15 points, Mitch Rolls finished with 12 and Brandon James had 10....The Raiders had lights out shooting all-around, going 23-of-44 from the field, 10-of-13 from three-point range and 22-of-27 at the foul line...Colgate was up six early in the second half at Columbia and had a one-point lead late before the Lions put together a 13-5 run to pull away...Burnatowski, John Brandenburg and Pat Moore finished with 13 points apiece...The Raiders begin Patriot League play at home against American on Saturday.

HOLY CROSS Holy Cross suffered its first home loss of the season as Yale came away with a 61-54 win at the Hart Center on Friday...The Crusaders battled throughout the night, coming back from an early 11-point deficit to trail by two points at halftime and rallying from a 47-41 gap to tie the score at 51-51 with 2:45 to go...Yale went back ahead with the next six points, but Holy Cross had a chance to tie down 57-54...Justin Burrell had his three-point attempt blocked, and the Bulldogs hit their foul shots down the stretch to cap the 61-54 final...Dave Dudzinski had a standout effort for the Crusaders with 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocks while Burrell added 17 points...The Crusaders held Yale to 3-of-22 shooting from beyond the arc, but only hit 5-of-17 from three-point range themselves and were outrebounded 44-32 by the Bulldogs...Holy Cross is among the national leaders by holding teams to just 26.2% from three-point range this season...The Crusaders try to finish with a winning non-League record when they host Columbia on Tuesday.

LAFAYETTE Lafayette won its fifth straight home game with an impressive effort in an 83-66 win over NJIT on Wednesday...The Leopards led for nearly the entire game, and closed the first half on a 23-9 run to build a 46-31 lead at the break...Lafayette built its lead as high as 28 points in the second half as it led by double digits for the entire period...Seth Hinrichs led the way with 21 points and seven rebounds while shooting 7-of-8 overall and 5-of-6 from three-point range, while Tony Johnson had a great game overall with 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds...Lafayette made exactly 50 percent of its shots (29-of-58) and three-pointers (13-of-26)...The Leopards moved into the top 30 nationally with 8.4 three-pointers made per game...The Leopards close out their non-League slate at Penn on Tuesday as they look for their first road victory.

LEHIGH Lehigh was dealt two heartbreaking blows on Saturday as the Mountain Hawks lost 59-55 at VCU and saw the nation's leading scorer, C.J. McCollum, go down with a foot injury that will keep him out for an extended period of time...The school announced on Sunday that McCollum will be out an estimated 8-10 weeks with a fracture of his fifth metatarsal in his left foot, as confirmed through an X-ray...Lehigh held tough without McCollum but could not pull out the win at VCU...After McCollum's injury, Lehigh closed the first half on a 13-2 run to take a 30-29 lead at the break...VCU had a small lead throughout the second half, but Lehigh closed to within 52-51 with 2:34 left...Lehigh had the ball down two with 31 seconds left, but turned it over as VCU held on for the win at the foul line...Holden Greiner led the Mountain Hawks with 17 points, while Gabe Knutson scored 10...Greiner also had nine rebounds to fall just one shy of his second straight double-double, and leads the team with 6.5 boards per game for the year...McCollum had four in his limited playing time...Lehigh concludes its non-League schedule at home on Tuesday against Division III Muhlenberg.

NAVY The Mids have dropped four straight games entering Patriot League play after falling on the road at IPFW on Wednesday and Norfolk State on Saturday last week...Worth Smith averaged 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in the two games, scoring a career-high 17 against IPFW and just missing a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds against Norfolk State on Saturday...Navy held the lead late at IPFW after scoring nine straight points to go up 54-50 with 7:10 left, but the Mastodons answered with 10 straight points and went on to beat the Mids 68-63... Brandon Venturini joined Smith with a team-high 17 points...Navy shot the ball well at 23-of-47 overall and 10-of-19 from three-point range...The Mids had won the first meeting between the schools on Nov. 28...Navy trailed by 26 points with 13 minutes to play in the game at Norfolk State, and had its furious rally come up just short in a 74-68 loss...Kevin Alter led the Mids with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting from three-point range, while Tilman Dunbar had 12 points...Nine of the team's 10 losses this season have come by 10 points or less...The Mids open Patriot League play on Saturday when they visit Lafayette.