Jan. 10, 2011
Center Valley, Pa. -- Each Patriot League men's basketball team plays its second League contest of the year on Wednesday, and at the end of the night only two teams will still be undefeated as the winners of Saturday's contests go head-to-head.
Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 1.10.11
The top two teams in the preseason poll each won their opener on Saturday, and will face off on Wednesday in a key early showdown for the League lead. Preseason favorite American knocked off Lehigh, 82-75, on Saturday behind a career-high 39 points from Vlad Moldoveanu, and welcomes a Bucknell team that won for the eighth time in the past nine games with a 71-64 triumph at Navy. Moldoveanu was named the Patriot League/Anaconda Player of the Week on Monday for his performance. Bucknell swept last year's season series from the Eagles, and is trying to conclude a perfect three-game road trip and win for the sixth time in the past seven games away from home.
A less likely matchup for a 2-0 Patriot League record will pit Holy Cross against Army at West Point. The Crusaders entered League play with just one win, but doubled that mark by winning their Patriot League opener at home against Lafayette, 70-65. The Black Knights won their League opener for the first time since 2002 with a 73-66 triumph at Colgate, and will try to get to 2-0 in the Patriot League for the first time ever.
The other side of the story features two matchups of teams that lost their League openers on Saturday. Both games will be played in the Lehigh Valley, as Navy heads to Lehigh and Colgate pays a visit to Lafayette.
The Mountain Hawks won the Patriot League title and went 10-4 in the regular season last year, but will be looking for revenge in this case against the one team that gave them trouble as Navy swept last year's series between the teams. The Mids will be led by four-time Patriot League/Anaconda Rookie of the Week J.J. Avila.
Lafayette and Colgate will each look for their first Patriot League victory in a rematch of last year's quarterfinal contest won by the Leopards. Despite that loss in Easton, Colgate has still won three of the past five matchups at Lafayette.
The games in the Lehigh Valley could also feature the first two 1,000-point scorers among active Patriot Leaguers. Lafayette's Jared Mintz is just eight points shy of the mark, with Lehigh's C.J. McCollum needing 29 points to reach 1,000.
Patriot League Anaconda Players of the Week (Jan. 3-9)
Anaconda Player of the Week
VLAD MOLDOVEANU, AMERICAN Sr., F, 6-9, 215, Bucharest, Romania/St. John's College
A career-high scoring night gives Moldoveanu his fourth Patriot League/Anaconda Player of the Week award of the season and seventh of his career, each just one off the Patriot League record. He played a near-perfect game to lead the Eagles to a Patriot League-opening 82-75 win over defending champion Lehigh on Saturday, scoring a career-high 39 points on 13-of-18 from the field, 3-of-4 from three-point range and 10-of-10 at the foul line while also grabbing 12 rebounds and committing just one turnover. It was the seventh-highest scoring output in American history, and most came during an incredible second half. Moldoveanu tallied 29 points after the break, with 19 in a span of 4:03 where the Eagles went on a 21-8 run to turn a three-point deficit into a 65-55 lead. He also buried a jumper with under 15 seconds remaining and the Eagles leading by three points to seal the win. Moldoveanu outdueled Lehigh's' C.J. McCollum, who had 32 points and 23 in the second half. The career-night came after scoring 24 points with seven rebounds in a 77-67 win over Brown on Monday, and Moldoveanu averaged 31.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in two games last week while making 20-of-37 (54.1%) of his shots from the field and 20-of-21 (95.2%) at the foul line. Moldoveanu leads the Patriot League and is in the top 20 nationally with 21.8 points per game for the season, and he has scored 20 points or more in six of the past seven games.
Anaconda Rookie of the Week
J.J. AVILA, NAVY Fr., F, 6-7, 228, McAllen, Texas/McAllen
Avila had a pair of solid outings to earn his second straight and fourth overall Patriot League/Anaconda Rookie of the Week award of the season, leading all Patriot League freshmen. He helped Navy to an 87-70 win over Longwood on Tuesday by scoring 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting and pulling down four rebounds. Avila scored 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting and 4-of-10 from beyond the arc in his first Patriot League action as Navy fell to Bucknell, 71-64, on Saturday. Avila has scored in double figures in four straight games, and is averaging 18.3 ppg during that span.
DARRYL SHAZIER, BUCKNELL Sr., G, 6-0, 178, Newport News, Va./Menchville
Shazier scored 23 of his career-high 28 points in the second half to lead Bucknell to a 71-64 win at Navy on Saturday.
C.J. McCOLLUM, LEHIGH So., G, 6-3, 180, Canton, Ohio/Glen Oak
McCollum scored 32 points in a losing effort as Lehigh fell to American, 82-75, on Saturday.
JULIAN SIMMONS, ARMY Jr., G, 5-11, 187, Katy, Texas/Cinco Ranch (USMAPS)
Simmons led Army to a pair of victories by averaging 19.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in wins over Dartmouth and Colgate.
Patriot League Notebook
Favorites Face off in Washington
The top two teams in the Patriot League preseason poll have lived up to their billing thus far, and now preseason favorite American hosts the team picked just behind, Bucknell, in a key early Patriot League game for a share of the League lead on Wednesday. The teams have been remarkably similar throughout the 2010-11 season. Each team heads into Wednesday's contest with a four-game win streak, and has been great of late as American has six wins in its past eight games and Bucknell has won eight of its past nine. The Eagles have a slight edge in overall record (11-5 to 10-7) while the Bison hold a slim eight-place edge in RPI rating (85 to 93). The teams hold the top two spots in the Patriot League in scoring defense, scoring margin, field-goal percentage, field-goal percentage defense and assist/turnover ratio. American goes for a 2-0 League record for the second time in the past three years, while the Bison try to pull off the mark for the first time since 2008.
Who Else Will be 2-0?
The winner of the Bucknell/American game will hold a share of first place with a team whose position will be somewhat more surprising. After winning their League openers over the weekend, Holy Cross visits Army with the other share of the top spot on the line. The Crusaders won their first Patriot League game after going just 1-13 in non-League action, while the Black Knights won a League opener for the third time overall and first since 2002. Army won a League opener on the road for the first time in school history. Now the Black Knights, picked to finish last in the League, will go for their first-ever 2-0 record in League action. The Crusaders try to go 2-0 for the first time since 2009 and fourth in the past six seasons.
1,000-Point Scorers coming Wednesday?
The chase for 1,000 career points is on for a pair of Patriot League players, who could each set the mark in games separated by less than 15 miles on Wednesday. Lafayette senior forward Jared Mintz is up to 992 career points after a 10-point game against Holy Cross on Saturday. Lehigh sophomore guard C.J. McCollum continues his meteoric rise to the mark, as his 32-point game on Saturday brought McCollum to 971 for his career. Lafayette hosts Colgate and Lehigh welcomes Navy Wednesday as each player could be in line for the mark. Colgate's Yaw Gyawu is next on the active list with 892 points.
American senior Vlad Moldoveanu and Lehigh sophomore C.J. McCollum put on an extraordinary one-on-one battle on Saturday, with Moldoveanu holding a 39-32 edge in individual scoring and more importantly leading American to an 82-75 victory. Moldoveanu had 29 points and McCollum scored 23 in the second half alone as each player caught fire. Not that it was anything new for either player, who have clearly emerged as the top two in the Patriot League in 2010-11. Moldoveanu averages 21.8 points per game while McCollum is at 21.3, each standing in the top 20 nationally. After McCollum became just the second Patriot Leaguer to earn four straight Player of the Week awards earlier in the season, Moldoveanu won his fourth of the year on Monday and became the first to win the honor consecutively three times in his career.
Defending Champs Start Slow Again
Lehigh's loss at American marked the third time in the past four seasons that the defending Patriot League champion opened League action with a loss on the road. The script was reversed last year when American lost at Lehigh, while Holy Cross fell at Lafayette to open League play in 2008. It could be bad news for the Mountain Hawks, as no team has gone on to win the Patriot League title after losing its opener since Navy dropped its first three League contests in 1994 and won the crown.
Saturday's games provided a measure of payback for each of the four winners. American and Holy Cross each exacted revenge on Lehigh and Lafayette, respectively, after losing the matchup in last year's Patriot League semifinals. The Eagles lost all three games to Lehigh last year, while Bucknell defeated Navy after losing the previous four meetings between the schools. That's been a common theme for each team this year, as seven of American's 11 wins and nine of Bucknell's 10 victories came over opponents they lost to a year ago. Finally, Army ended a six-game road losing streak to Colgate, and beat the Raiders in a Patriot League opener after losing the same matchup for the past six seasons.
Revenge Factor, Part II
There could be more revenge for three teams on Wednesday. American and Lehigh are each trying to get back at teams that swept them a year ago when they host Bucknell and Navy, respectively. Colgate will try to get payback at Lafayette after being knocked out of last year's Patriot League Tournament by the Leopards in the quarterfinals.
Catch the Action on All-Access
Almost every regular and postseason Patriot League game will be streamed on high-speed broadband on Patriot League All-Access, available through www.patriotleague.org for a monthly fee of $7.95. The Patriot League has also been producing free content on All-Access with the magazine-format video Webcast "Sidelines: Inside the Patriot League" as well as weekly highlight segments for men and women's basketball.
CBS College Sports Network Slate Continues Sunday
The Bucknell/Navy contest on Saturday was the first of 12 Patriot League games (nine regular season, three postseason) shown on CBS College Sports Network this season. Most of those are part of the Patriot League's package with the network, which begins on Sunday when Holy Cross visits Bucknell at 2 p.m. CBS College Sports Network is available through cable operators as well as on DIRECTV Channel 613 and Dish Network Channel 152.
Patriot League on the Web
The Patriot League continues its extensive coverage of men's basketball in the 2010-11 season. On the sidebar of the men's basketball page, links are available to the 2010-11 Patriot League media guide, weekly and weekend releases, daily recaps, news articles from around the League and any videos produced by the Patriot League multimedia staff.
Patriot League Games
Bucknell Bison (10-7, 1-0) at American Eagles (11-5, 1-0)
Bender Arena; Washington, D.C.; Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Series: Bucknell, 27-20
Streak Bucknell, Two Wins Last Meeting Bucknell, 73-59 (2.11.2010)
Last American Win 52-50 (2.11.2009) Last Five Games American, 3-2
The top two teams in the Patriot League preseason poll will meet for the early lead in the League race when Bucknell travels to American on Wednesday...The Bison are trying to get to 2-0 in the League for the first time since 2008, while the Eagles last hit the mark in their League championship season of 2009...Bucknell swept both of last year's meetings, winning 72-68 in overtime at home on Jan. 13 and 73-59 at American on Feb. 11...The Eagles swept the games in 2009...Five of the past seven matchups have been decided by four points or less...Bucknell has a 27-20 lead in the series, and a 12-8 lead since American entered the Patriot League.
Bucknell The Bison continued to roll and earned a measure of revenge against Navy by winning in Annapolis, 71-64, on Saturday...Bucknell won its fourth straight, eighth in the past nine games and fifth of the past six on the road, while also putting an end to a four-game losing skid against the Mids...Nine of Bucknell's 10 wins this season have come against an opponent that defeated them last year... Darryl Shazier scored 23 of his career-high 28 points in the second half as Bucknell kept answering runs by Navy...Bucknell was down eight points before closing the first half on a 9-2 run to cut Navy's lead to 28-27 at the break...There were five lead changes and four ties in the first eight minutes of the second half before Bucknell scored six straight points for a 45-39 lead with 10:17 to play...Navy got within 47-45 before Shazier scored four of Bucknell's six straight points for a 53-45 lead...Navy got the next five to get back within three, but Shazier again answered with seven straight Bucknell points as the Bison went back up 60-53...Navy rallied again and got the gap down to 62-60 with 2:39 left...Bucknell built the lead back to five, but Navy got within three twice in the final 20 seconds...Each time Shazier hit a pair of free throws to keep the Bison ahead and Bucknell went on to the 71-64 win...Shazier made 10-of-17 shots and 7-of-8 free throws on the evening, and also finished with six rebounds, three assists and three steals...Mike Muscala added 19 points, while Joe Willman scored 12...The Bison made 14-of-16 free throws and held a 36-31 advantage on the boards...Bucknell took a slim 20-19 lead in regular-season Patriot League games against the Mids, and the teams are an even 22-22 all-time since joining the Patriot League...Bucknell completes its three-game road trip Wednesday and begins a three-game homestand on Sunday against Holy Cross in a game that will be shown on CBS College Sports Network.
American A career-high 39 points for Vlad Moldoveanu, 19 of which came in an incredible four-minute span in the second half, gave American a Patriot League-opening 82-75 win over defending champion Lehigh on Saturday...Moldoveanu scored 29 points in the second half to lead the Eagles, with 19 in a 4:03 span as the Eagles used a 21-8 run to turn a three-point deficit into a 65-55 lead with 8:34 to play...Lehigh clawed back within three points, and still trailed by three in the final minute...Moldoveanu put the game away from there, hitting a turnaround jumper over Lehigh's C.J. McCollum and adding two free throws in the final 20 seconds to give the Eagles the 82-75 win... Moldoveanu made 13-of-18 shots, 3-of-4 three-pointers and all 10 free throws to score a career-high 39 points, and also pulled down 12 rebounds and committed just one turnover...He scored 29 of American's 55 points after intermission after the Eagles trailed 30-27 at the half...Moldoveanu averaged 31.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in two victories last week to earn Patriot League/Anaconda Player of the Week honors for the fourth time this season and seventh in his career...He made 20-of-21 free throws in the two games...Moldoveanu leads the Patriot League and is in the top 20 nationally with 21.8 points per game, and has scored 20 or more in six of the past seven contests...Stephen Lumpkins had 16 points and nine rebounds while Nick Hendra had eight points and 10 rebounds as the Eagles held a 44-24 edge on the boards...American won its League opener for the third time in the past four years...American also won its fourth straight game and sixth in the past eight contests...The Eagles have scored 70 points or more in each of those contests, the first time they have done so in four consecutive games since 2003-04...They are 5-0 this season and 35-4 in the past five seasons when scoring 70 or more...American plays its first Patriot League road game when it visits Colgate on Saturday.
Holy Cross Crusaders (2-13, 1-0) at Army Black Knights (9-7, 1-0)
Christl Arena; West Point, N.Y.; Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Series: Holy Cross, 54-16
Streak Holy Cross, One Win Last Meeting Holy Cross, 70-56 (2.10.2010)
Last Army Win 67-64 (1.13.2010) Last Five Games Holy Cross, 4-1
After winning its League opener for the first time since 2002, Army will try to move to 2-0 in the Patriot League for the first time in school history when it hosts Holy Cross on Wednesday...The Crusaders are in search of a 2-0 mark in League play as well, which would be their first since 2009 and fourth in the past six seasons...To reach 2-0 for the first time, Army will need to defeat Holy Cross at West Point for the first time since 2002...The Crusaders have won the past eight meetings at West Point, including a 70-56 victory in the teams' most recent matchup on Feb. 10 of last season...That earned Holy Cross a split of the season series after Army won in Worcester, 67-64, on Jan. 13...Holy Cross has won four of the past five and 17 of the past 19 matchups in the series overall...Holy Cross leads the all-time series 54-16, with a 35-9 record since the teams entered the Patriot League.
Holy Cross Down by 13 points in the second half, Holy Cross rallied all the way back to claim a 70-65 victory over Lafayette on Saturday at the Hart Center... The game went back and forth in the first half before Lafayette grabbed a 33-28 lead at the break, and the Leopards extended the advantage to 49-36 with 13:27 to play in the game...Holy Cross chipped the lead down to eight with seven minutes to play, then scored 11 straight points to take the lead on a three-pointer by Andrew Beinert with 4:55 to play...Lafayette re-gained the lead with five straight points, but Holy Cross went ahead for good on a pair of free throws by Dave Dudzinski with 1:37 to play...Devin Brown hit a key three-pointer to put Holy Cross up four with 47 seconds to go, and Ryan Willen missed a three-pointer that would have tied the score in the final seconds as Holy Cross ended the game on an 8-2 run for the 70-65 victory...Beinert scored a career-high 21 points while making 7-of-9 shots and 5-of-6 three-pointers, while Andrew Keister had 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds off the bench for the Crusaders...Brown and Dudzinski each added nine...Holy Cross won its first home game of the year, and defeated Lafayette in Worcester for the eighth consecutive meeting...The Crusaders also earned a measure of payback after losing to the Leopards in the Patriot League semifinals last season...Holy Cross defeated Lafayette for the fifth time in the past seven meetings...The Crusaders won a game decided by fewer than five points for the first time after losing their previous three contests by a combined four points....Holy Cross plays the middle of its three-game road trip when it visits Bucknell on Sunday in a game shown on CBS College Sports Network at 2 p.m.
Army For the first time since 2002, Army opened Patriot League play with a win when it went to Colgate and came away with a 73-66 victory on Saturday...Not only did Army end an eight-year losing streak in season openers, but the Black Knights ended a six-game losing streak in Hamilton and defeated Colgate in the season opener after losing the matchup to the Raiders in each of the past six seasons... Army led nearly from start to finish, opening the game with a 10-3 lead and answering a Colgate run by closing the first half with a 20-7 surge
to grab a 40-25 advantage at the half...Army extended the lead to 54-37 when the Raiders began to chip away, eventually cutting the gap to two with 3:59 left...The Black Knights had a response, with Julian Simmmons making a four-point play and Jason Pancoe hitting a three-pointer in a 7-0 run that built the lead back to 68-59 with 2:23 to go...Army led by at least five points the rest of the way to hold on for the 73-66 win...Jeremy Hence led the way with a career-high 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting, while Simmons scored 20 and Pancoe added 10...The Black Knights shot 54 percent while holding Colgate to 31 percent in the first half to build the lead..Army earned its first win in Hamilton since 2004...The Black Knights won their Patriot League opener for just the third time, and won the League opener on the road for the first time in school history...Army is 6-4 on the road, just one win shy of matching its season high since 2000-01...It will get a chance to hit that mark on Saturday at Lehigh.
Navy Midshipmen (5-12, 0-1) at Lehigh Mountain Hawks (9-7, 0-1)
Stabler Arena; Bethlehem, Pa.; Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Series: Navy, 45-16 TV: Service Electric 2 Sports
Streak Navy, Two Wins Last Meeting Navy, 85-78 (2.10.2010)
Last Lehigh Win 70-59 (2.11.2009) Last Five Games Navy, 4-1
Defending Patriot League champion Lehigh tries to rebound from a League-opening loss, but will have to do it against a team that has had its number in recent years when it hosts Navy on Wednesday...The Mids dealt Lehigh two of its four Patriot League losses by sweeping last year's season series...Navy scored a 94-83 victory at home on Jan. 14 and came away with an 85-78 win in Bethlehem on Feb. 10...Navy enjoyed the same type of success in previous years, as the Mids have won six of the past seven meetings with the Mountain Hawks and the past four contests in Bethlehem...The visiting team has won seven of the past nine meetings overall...Both teams are going for their first Patriot League victory, and trying to stay away from an 0-2 start in League action...Lehigh started 0-2 in the Patriot League in 2008 and 2009, while Navy has not done so since 2007.
Navy The Mids fell behind midway through the second half and could never get all the way back in a 71-64 home loss to Bucknell to open Patriot League play on Saturday...Navy held a 26-18 edge late in the first half before Bucknell closed the gap to 28-27 at the break...The Mids held small leads into the second half before Bucknell scored six straight points for a 45-39 lead with just over 10 minutes to go...Navy got the game within two or three points on multiple ocassions, coming within 62-60 with 2:39 left and getting the deficit to three twice in the final 20 seconds...Each time, Bucknell scored to push the lead higher and eventually went on to the seven-point win... J.J. Avila led the Mids with 20 points despite playing just 23 minutes and fouling out with more than four mintues to play...He earned his fourth overall and second consecutive Patriot League/Anaconda Rookie of the Week award on Monday after averaging 19.5 points in two contests last week...Avila has scored in double figures in Navy's past four games and is averaging 18.3 ppg during that span... Jordan Sugars had 12 points and O.J. Avworo scored 11...Navy made 16-of-17 free throws but hit just 8-of-33 shots from three-point range as their four-game win streak over the Bison came to an end...The Mids also closed out a five-game homestand and will play their next two Patriot League games on the road, with a date at Lafayette on Saturday.
Lehigh The Mountain Hawks opened defense of their Patriot League title with a hard-fought 82-75 loss at American on Saturday...Lehigh fell despite an outstanding effort from C.J. McCollum, who scored 32 points while shooting 10-of-22 from the field and 11-of-13 at the foul line...Lehigh held a 30-27 lead at the break, and was still up three midway through the second half when American put together a 21-8 run to take the lead for good... McCollum led Lehigh's answer with a three-point play, and Gabe Knutson scored consecutive baskets to complete a 7-0 run that brought the Mountain Hawks right back within 65-62...It stayed close, with a McCollum layup bringing Lehigh within 78-75 in the final minute before the Eagles made plays down the stretch to win by seven... Mackey McKnight and Holden Greiner each scored 11 points as the Lehigh bench chipped in 32 points of its own...The Mountain Hawks became the third defending champion in the past four years to lose their League opener on the road...They fell to the Eagles after winning all three meetings last year, including a Patriot League semifinal contest...Lehigh led at the half for the 12th time in 16 games this season...McCollum moved closer to 1,000 career points, as the sophomore has already reached 971 for his career...Lehigh completes a two-game home stint with a matchup against Army on Saturday.
Colgate Raiders (1-13, 0-1) at Lafayette Leopards (5-11, 0-1)
Kirby Sports Center; Easton, Pa.; Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Series: Colgate, 46-40 TV: Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60)
Streak Lafayette, One Win Last Meeting Lafayette, 73-65 (3.3.2010)
Last Colgate Win 74-73 (2.10.2010) Last Five Games Lafayette, 3-2
Colgate and Lafayette each go for their first Patriot League victory of the season when they meet in Easton on Wednesday...Neither team has started 0-2 in quite some time, as the Raiders are trying to avoid their first 0-2 League start since 2002 and the Leopards last began League play with two losses in 2001...If recent history holds, the Leopards will be in good shape as they have won the first meeting between the schools in each of the past five seasons...Lafayette won two of three games between the teams last year, with each team winning on the other's home court in the regular season before Lafayette defeated Colgate, 73-65, in the Patriot League quarterfinals in Easton on March 3...Despite that loss, Colgate has fared well in its action at Lafayette as last year's regular-season victory was the third time in the past four seasons that the Raiders won the matchup on the road...Though Lafayette has enjoyed success in the opening meetings, the teams have been matched evenly with a 4-4 mark in the regular season and 1-1 tally in Patriot League Tournament action in the past four years...Colgate has a 46-40 edge in the all-time series, while leading the Leopards 28-12 in regular-season Patriot League games.
Colgate The Raiders nearly battled all the way back from a 17-point deficit but could not overcome Army and fell, 73-66, at home on Saturday...The Raiders were down 15 at the half and as many as 17 in the second half, and still trailed by 14 when they scored 12 consecutive points to get all the way within 61-59 on a three-pointer by Mitch Rolls with 3:56 to go...Army responded with seven straight points, and Colgate never got closer than five the rest of the way... Colgate saw its six-game home and League-opening win streaks over the Black Knights come to an end despite 16 points from Yaw Gyawu and 14 for Joe Hoban...Rolls and Sterling Melville each added nine, but it wasn't enough for Colgate's first home win of the year...The Raiders will return home on Saturday to face preseason favorite American.
Lafayette The Leopards held the lead for most of the game but saw Holy Cross rally late for a 70-65 victory in the Patriot League opener on Saturday...It continued a tough trend for Lafayette in Worcester with an eighth straight loss at the Hart Center...Lafayette was up five points at halftime, and stretched the advantage to 49-36 in the second half before the Crusaders began to rally...Holy Cross came back to take a 59-56 lead, but Lafayette scored five straight points and the game was still tied in the final two minutes before the Crusaders made key plays down the stretch...Ryan Willen missed a three-pointer that would have tied the score in the final 10 seconds as Lafayette fell by five... Darion Benbow led Lafayette with 13 points, while Nick Petkovich had 11 and Jared Mintz scored 10...The Leopards shot just 35 percent in the second half...Mintz ran his career total to 992 points, inching closer to becoming the first active Patriot League player with 1,000 points...Lafayette closes out a brief two-game homestand when it takes on Navy on Saturday.