Bucknell, Lehigh, Lafayette and American Win Patriot League Men's Basketball Openers



Jan. 12, 2013

CENTER VALLEY, Pa.- Bucknell, Lehigh, Lafayette and American each came away with decisive wins to open the Patriot League men's basketball schedule on Saturday.

The Bison routed Army 76-55 in the nightcap behind 20 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists from senior center Mike Muscala. In the afternoon, Lehigh overwhelmed Holy Cross 79-47 on CBS Sports Network, Lafayette rolled past Navy 64-47 and American held off Colgate 72-63. None of the winners trailed or were tied in the second half of their games.

The next Patriot League men's basketball games come on Wednesday when Bucknell heads to Colgate, Lafayette is at Army and Holy Cross visits Navy at 7 p.m. while Lehigh goes to American at 7:30 p.m. All of the games will be available on Patriot League All-Access.

A synopsis of each contest is included below, along with the recaps from each school and the box score from every game.

at Bucknell 76, Army 55
Box Score

LEWISBURG, Pa.- Mike Muscala had 20 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists as Bucknell (14-3, 1-0 PL) overcame a slow start to pull away from Army (7-9, 0-1 PL) for a 76-55 win over the Black Knights in a Patriot League opener on Saturday evening at Sojka Pavilion.

The Black Knights had leads of 11-4 and 17-12 over the first 10 minutes, but Bucknell took over by closing the period with a surge. The Bison took the lead for good with 6:42 left until the half as part of a 16-0 stretch that built the advantage to 32-19 with 2:53 left in the period.

Bucknell took a 36-24 lead at the break, and opened the second half with a 9-2 run to build the advantage to 45-26. The Bison never let the lead slip below 14 points the rest of the way as they went on to the 21-point win.

Muscala picked up where he left off in non-League action by recording his 11th double-double of the year and leading the team in points, rebounds and assists as well as with three blocks. Joe Willman added 18 points while making 8-of-12 shots from the field, while Cameron Ayers scored 15 points and shot 6-of-10 in the game. The Bison were just under 50 percent from the field at 28-of-58, and had a strong 14-of-16 day at the foul line with Muscala going 10-for-10. The Bison held a 36-28 edge on the glass and had 19 assists with only nine turnovers. They held Army to under 40 percent shooting from the field and three-point range.

Bucknell defeated Army for the fifth straight time, and also won at home against the Black Knights for the fifth consecutive meeting in Lewisburg. Bucknell has won 34 of its last 39 Patriot League regular-season games, and opened League play with a win for the third consecutive season. The Bison also remained perfect at home this season, improving to 6-0 at Sojka Pavilion.

Ella Ellis led the Black Knights with 17 points, while Larry Toomey added 10. Ellis became the 12th player in Army history to reach 1,300 points. The pair made 10-of-18 shots and all four three-point attempts, but the rest of the Black Knights combined to shoot 10-of-35 from the field and 3-of-15 from three-point range. Army was also hurt by 15 turnovers in the game. The Black Knights dropped their third straight game overall, and fell in their Patriot League opener for the second straight season.

at Lehigh 79, Holy Cross 47
Box Score

BETHLEHEM, Pa.- Lehigh (11-4, 1-0 PL) took control with a 14-0 first-half run and blew the game open in the second half to coast to a 79-47 win over Holy Cross (8-8, 0-1 PL) in a Patriot League opener on Saturday at Stabler Arena and shown on CBS Sports Network.

The teams played an even first 10 minutes with Holy Cross holding a 17-16 advantage, but Lehigh turned up the defense from there. Corey Schaefer, B.J. Bailey and Stefan Cvrklaj each hit three-pointers during the 14-0 stretch while Gabe Knutson converted an old-fashioned three-point play. Lehigh held Holy Cross without a field goal for more than eight minutes, and went into the half with a 34-23 lead while limiting the Crusaders to 6-of-23 shooting in the period.

Lehigh continued to pull away throughout the second half. After Holy Cross opened with a three-pointer, the Mountain Hawks went on a 25-7 run to build their lead to 59-33 with 9:07 left and ended with their biggest advantage with the 79-47 final.

It was a balanced effort for the Mountain Hawks, as Mackey McKnight led the way with 16 points, Holden Greiner had 15 and Gabe Knutson added 12. Bailey and Anthony D'Orazio each scored nine as the Lehigh starting five put up 61 points in the game. The Mountain Hawks were just over 50 percent for the game at 28-of-54, with a sizzling 16-of-24 shooting in the second half. The No. 2 three-point shooting team in the nation made 10-of-21 from beyond the arc, and Lehigh also held a 39-26 advantage on the glass. The Mountain Hawks had 17 assists with just nine turnovers in the game. They also limited Holy Cross to 13-of-44 (29.5%) from the field, and the Crusaders made only six shots from inside the arc. Lehigh won its Patriot League opener for the first time since 2010, and beat Holy Cross at home for the fourth straight time.

Justin Burrell led the Crusaders with 16 points, while Phil Beans added 10. The Crusaders had a tough day offensively with 15 turnovers to go with the sub-par shooting. Holy Cross fell in a Patriot League opener for the first time since 2010.

A video recap from Lehigh athletics is included below.

at Lafayette 64, Navy 47
Box Score

EASTON, Pa.- Lafayette (8-10, 1-0 PL) overcame a slow start with outstanding defense to roll to a 64-47 win over Navy (6-11, 0-1 PL) in a Patriot League opener on Saturday at Kirby Sports Center.

The Leopards won their third consecutive game, a first this season, and beat Navy for the third straight time overall and fifth in a row at home. The Leopards won a Patriot League opener for the second year in a row, while the Mids dropped their first League contest for the third consecutive season.

Navy held a 14-8 lead midway through the first half , but the Leopards closed the period on a 17-4 run to take a 25-18 lead at the break. They held Navy to just two field goals in the final 11:30, and none in the last five minutes as the Leopards scored the last eight points of the period to take the lead for good.

The Mids had a strong start to the second half to get back within 32-30, but Lafayette answered with an 8-0 run to build a 40-30 lead with 13:34 to play. Lafayette continued to surge, turning the run into a 22-3 stretch to extend the advantage to 54-33 with 7:42 left. The Leopards led by double digits the rest of the way as they went on to the 17-point win and improved to 7-2 at home this season.

Seth Hinrichs led the Leopards with 22 points, while Tony Johnson and Joey Ptasinski each scored 14. The trio combined to shoot 20-of-33 from the field. Hinrichs and Ptasinski combined to make 5-of-10 three-pointers. Hinrichs added nine rebounds to lead Lafayette on the glass, while Johnson had a team-high six assists as well as three steals. The Leopards made 24-of-50 shots in the game, including 13-of-24 in the second half, while holding Navy to 37.5% shooting for the game.

The Mids dropped their fifth straight game despite 23 points from Brandon Venturini, who hit 8-of-17 shots and 7-of-15 from three-point range. The rest of the team combined to shoot just 10-of-31 from the field while missing all eight of their three-point attempts as Venturini accounted for nearly half of Navy's points. Tilman Dunbar chipped in nine points and six assists, but the Mids had just eight assists as a team.

A video recap from Lafayette athletics is included below.

American 72 at Colgate 63
Box Score

HAMILTON, N.Y.- American (6-10, 1-0 PL) never trailed and held off Colgate (6-11, 0-1 PL) in the second half for a 72-63 win over the Raiders in a Patriot League opener on Saturday at Cotterell Court.

The Eagles took control early, building a 12-4 lead less than four minutes into the game. They led by as many as 11 points in the first half, though Colgate closed the gap to 33-27 at the break.

American went on an 11-0 run to stretch the lead to 46-31 with 15:10 to play in the game, but Colgate responded with an 11-0 surge of its own to get back within 46-42 just over four minutes later. After American went back ahead by 10, Colgate would score six straight points to get as close as 59-56 with 4:28 to go in the game. The Eagles were solid from there, going on an 8-2 run to build the lead back to 67-58 and playing tough defense down the stretch to hold on for the 72-63 win.

Four players scored in double figures for the Eagles, led by Stephen Lumpkins with 22 points. Lumpkins had nine rebounds to just miss a double-double, while Tony Wroblicky did have a double-double effort with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Blake Jolivette added 16 points, while Daniel Munoz scored 10. The Eagles only made three three-pointers, but hit 25-of-55 shots from the field and 19-of-25 at the foul line while only turning the ball over seven times. The Eagles held a 41-34 rebounding advantage behind Wroblicky and Lumpkins, and were strong defensively by limiting Colgate to 5-of-21 from three-point range.

American continued its dominance of the Raiders, beating Colgate for the sixth straight time and 17th in the last 18 meetings. American also won its Patriot League opener for the third year in a row.

Brandon James paced Colgate with 15 points, while Murphy Burnatowski added 14 and John Brandenburg scored 12. Burnatwoski also added nine rebounds, but had to work for his points with 5-of-16 shooting. The Raiders hit 24-of-64 shots (37.5%) in the game and the usually proficient three-point shooting was off the mark. Colgate only had five turnovers in the game. The Raiders dropped their Patriot League opener for the third year in a row.