Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 1.16.12

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Lehigh's C.J. McCollum won his ninth career Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award on Monday.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG
Lehigh's C.J. McCollum won his ninth career Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award on Monday.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG

Jan. 16, 2012

Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 1.16.12 Get Acrobat Reader

Center Valley, Pa. - Five teams hold winning marks in Patriot League play, and four of them will battle for position in the standings this week.

Defending Patriot League champion Bucknell is the last remaining undefeated squad in League play, and the Bison will try to continue their Patriot League winning streak when they visit Lehigh on Wednesday. The game matches up the top two teams in the Patriot League's preseason poll and last two League champions. It also pits reigning Patriot League Player of the Year Mike Muscala of Bucknell up against 2010 Player of the Year C.J. McCollum of Lehigh in a clash of talented juniors.

On Thursday, Lafayette pays a visit to Holy Cross in a game of teams with 2-1 records in the Patriot League. The contest can be seen on CBS Sports Network at 7 p.m. Lafayette Head Coach Fran O'Hanlon can tie the Patriot League all-time wins record with a victory.

The four teams switch opponents and sites over the weekend, as Holy Cross goes to Bucknell on Saturday and Lehigh is at Lafayette in a CBS Sports Network telecast on Sunday.

The other 2-1 team, American, hopes to take advantage as it plays teams below in the standings. The Eagles are at Navy on Wednesday before playing host to Army on Saturday.

The Black Knights have other designs, as Army hopes to move up the standings this week starting with a home date against Colgate on Wednesday. The Black Knights improved to 1-2 in the Patriot League with a 75-62 win at Navy on Saturday, dropping the Mids to 0-3 along with the Raiders.

The Army victory was part of a weekend where all four contests were decided by double digits. In a matchup of undefeated League teams, Bucknell posted a 79-65 win at Lafayette. American dealt Holy Cross its first League loss with a 67-54 win at Bender Arena, while Lehigh came away with a 78-56 win at Colgate.

McCollum led the Mountain Hawks with 32 points in the win at Colgate, and earned his record-setting ninth career Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award on Monday. McCollum averaged 29.0 points in two wins for the Mountain Hawks last week. He has three player of the week honors this season after receiving six last year.

Patriot League Anaconda Weekly Awards (Jan. 9-15)

Anaconda Player of the Week
C.J. McCOLLUM, LEHIGH Jr., G, 6-3, 185; Canton, Ohio/Glen Oak
McCollum becomes the all-time leader in Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week awards with his ninth career honor, and third this season. He did it in impressive fashion, averaging 29.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals in a pair of victories for the Mountain Hawks. McCollulm scored 26 points with five steals and four rebounds as the Mountain Hawks beat American 71-60 on Wednesday, then totaled 32 points to lead Lehigh to a 78-56 win at Colgate on Saturday. McCollum scored 14 points in the final 2:50 of the first half as Lehigh put together a 22-3 run to go ahead for good. He tied a career-high with seven three-pointers in the game. McCollum is up to ninth in Patriot League history after scoring 58 points on the week to boost his career total to 1,711. He leads the Patriot League and stands fifth in the country with 21.2 points per game, and is averaging 28.3 per contest in the first three Patriot League games. McCollum has 159 points in the last six games, raising his scoring average from 18.8 to 21.2 during that span. McCollum wins his third Player of the Week award of the season and second in the past three weeks. He breaks the previous mark of eight career Player of the Week honors that had been held by Colgate's Adonal Foyle (1994-97), Lafayette's Brian Ehlers (1996-00) and American's Garrison Carr (2005-09) and Vlad Moldoveanu (2009-11).

Anaconda Rookie of the Week
SETH HINRICHS, LAFAYETTE Fr., G, 6-7, 214; Clara City, Minn./Maccray
Hinrichs earns his fifth Patriot League Anaconda Rookie of the Week award of the season after averaging 11 points in a pair of games for the Leopards. He had five points, two rebounds and an assist in a 75-63 win over Army on Wednesday, then tied a career-high with 17 points in a 79-65 loss to Bucknell on Saturday. He shot the ball extremely well, making 8-of-11 from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range for the week. Hinrichs is in the top five in the Patriot League in field goal and three-point percentage this season, and leads all freshmen with 9.3 points per game. The five Rookie of the Week awards are the most for a Lafayette freshman since Stefan Ciosici won six in 1995-96.

Honorable Mention
MIKE MUSCALA, BUCKNELL Jr., C, 6-11, 235; Roseville, Minn./Roseville
Muscala averaged 20.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in a pair of wins for the Bison. He had a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds on Wednesday against Colgate, and scored a season-high 27 points in a win over Lafayette Saturday.

CHARLES HINKLE, AMERICAN Sr., F, 6-5, 210; Los Alamitos, Calif./Hebron Academy (Maine)
Hinkle had two more solid efforts for the Eagles, scoring 22 points in a 71-60 loss at Lehigh on Wednesday and tallying his first double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday's 67-54 win over Holy Cross.

J.J. AVILA, NAVY So., F, 6-7, 246, McAllen, Texas/McAllen
Avila was brilliant in a pair of losses for the Mids, averaging 21.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals in games against Holy Cross and Army while shooting 17-of-30 from the field. He had 21 points and career highs of 14 rebounds and six steals on Saturday against the Black Knights.

A conversation with McCollum for the Patriot League All-Access Player of the Week Interview Series is included below.


Patriot League Notebook

Lehigh's McCollum Sets Patriot League Player of the Week Record
Add another Patriot League record for Lehigh junior C.J. McCollum. The standout who became the first freshman to win the Patriot League Player of the Year award in 2010 hit another accomplishment on Monday when he set the League's all-time mark for Player of the Week awards. McCollum earned his ninth career Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week honor, and third this season, after averaging 29.0 points, four rebounds and 3.5 steals in two games for the Mountain Hawks last week. He broke the mark of eight previously held by Colgate's Adonal Foyle (1994-97), Lafayette's Brian Ehlers (1996-00) and American's Garrison Carr (2005-09) and Vlad Moldoveanu (2009-11). McCollum's next major accomplishment could be as the League's all-time leading scorer. He is up to 1,711 career points, good for ninth place and just over 500 away from the top spot with the rest of this year and an entire senior season to come.

McCollum Takes Over Top Spot in Scoring Race
With the big week, McCollum also took over the Patriot League scoring lead in a competitive race with American senior Charles Hinkle. McCollum has averaged 26.5 points in the past six games to raise his season average to 21.2, good for fifth in all of Division I. Hinkle is not far behind, coming in with 20.5 points per game to slot behind McCollum in the League and land eighth overall in the country. The Patriot League is one of two Division I conferences with two players in the top 10 of the scoring leaderboard.

Bucknell Continues Patriot League Run
Bucknell remained undefeated in the Patriot League with a 79-65 win at Lafayette on Saturday, and carried on an impressive run that dates back to February of last year. The Bison have won 13 straight games against Patriot League opponents, and 10 in a row in the regular season. The win over Lafayette was the fifth straight on the road during that stretch, while the Bison have won 11 in a row at home against League foes and 14 straight regular-season Patriot League contests at Sojka Pavilion. Bucknell also won its fifth game in a row overall and fourth straight on the road.

Lafayette's O'Hanlon One Away From Patriot League All-Time Wins Mark
With wins in the first two Patriot League contests, Lafayette Head Coach Fran O'Hanlon is just one away from the record of 234 wins as a Patriot League head coach. O'Hanlon is up to 233 wins in his career at Lafayette, just one behind the mark held by former Bucknell Head Coach Pat Flannery (1994-08). O'Hanlon already holds Patriot League records for overall (484) and League (213) games coached, and his total of 107 Patriot League wins is second only to Flannery. He will try to tie and possibly break the all-time mark in two nationally-televised games this week, as the Leopards play at Holy Cross Thursday and host Lehigh Sunday in games on CBS Sports Network.

Patriot League Games Being Decided Early
One of the highights of recent Patriot League seasons has been competitive games featuring a balanced group of teams. That has not been the case so far in 2012. Of the 12 games played to date, nine have been decided by double digits including all four on Saturday. Eight of the 12 have featured no lead changes or ties in the second half, while in two others the winning team trailed just once by one point after intermission. There have been four games with no lead changes at all, and an additional three where the lead remained in the winning team's hands for the final 33 minutes or more. Bucknell has been the most dominant winner, as the Bison have led for all but 2:41 of their first three League games. Navy has suffered the hardest luck, with the Mids losing the only two games where the lead changed hands multiple times in the second half. The Mids fell 65-63 to Lafayette in their League opener and 73-69 at Holy Cross on Wednesday after holding second-half leads.

Catch it All on All-Access
To view nearly all of the Patriot League men's basketball contests, fans can purchase the Patriot League All-Access package for a monthly fee of $7.95. All-Access allows subscribers to see the live action of all available Patriot League basketball games as well as the archived content for past games. All three of Wednesday's games will be available on Patriot League All-Access. To purchase the All-Access package, go to the multimedia tab at the top of the front page at www.patriotleague.org.

Patriot League with Busy Schedule on CBS Sports Network
Patriot League basketball made its season debut on CBS Sports Network Saturday with an Army-Navy doublehedaer, and that's just the start of a packed slate on the network for the rest of January. The action continues on Thursday when Lafayette visits Holy Cross at 7 p.m., and continues on Sunday with Lehigh at Lafayette at 2 p.m. The January slate wraps up next week with Navy at Lehigh on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. and Colgate visiting Holy Cross two days later at 5 p.m. Eleven Patriot League men's basketball contests will be broadcast by CBS Sports Network during the regular season, and the Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship will be televised on CBS Sports Network for the first time on March 7 at 7 p.m. In addition, CBS Sports Network will broadcast both semifinal games of the Patriot League Tournament on March 3 at 2 and 4:30 p.m.

Nine Active 1,000-Point Scorers
McCollum leads the active group of 1,000-point scorers and is ninth all-time with 1,711 points. He is part of a group of nine active 1,000-point scorers in the Patriot League, and is followed by Lafayette's Ryan Willen (1,274), Holy Cross' Devin Brown (1,273), Navy's Jordan Sugars (1,219), Lafayette's Jim Mower (1,190), Colgate's Yaw Gyawu (1,171), Army's Julian Simmons (1,115), Bucknell's Mike Muscala (1,099) and Holy Cross' R.J. Evans (1,077). Bucknell's Bryan Cohen appears to be the next player headed for the list as he is within 27 points of 1,000.

Navy's Avila Doing it All
Navy sophomore J.J. Avila has not reached the 1,000-point plateau just yet, but his numbers are putting the reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Year in position to occupy plenty of spots in the record book before his career is done. Avila averaged 21.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals in two games last week, with a 21-point, 14-rebound, six-steal effort on Saturday against Army. It was his ninth career-game of at least five in three of the five major statistical categories: points, rebounds, assists, steals or blocks. Avila is one of only three players in the country averaging at least 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He ranks in the top five in the Patriot League in scoring (16.1), rebounding (7.2), steals (1.6) and field goal percentage (51.2)

Bucknell's Muscala Enters Elite Company
Bucknell junior Mike Muscala is just the fourth player in Patriot League history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 150 blocks in his career. Colgate's Adonal Foyle (1994-97), Bucknell's Dan Bowen (1996-00) and Holy Cross' Tim Clifford (2004-08) are the only players to previously pull off the feat. Muscala has 1,099 points, 567 rebounds and 160 blocks to his credit. He is one of 28 all-time with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds, a group that also includes Navy's Jordan Sugars (1,219/576) and Lehigh's C.J. McCollum (1,711/520) among active players.

Home Cooking
Three of four games were won by the road team on Saturday, a rare occurence in a season where Patriot League teams have played very well at home. The lone home winner, American, improved to a perfect 8-0 on its home court this season. Lehigh (5-0) is also undefeated at home, while Bucknell (7-1) and Holy Cross (6-1) have just one loss and Army (6-3) and Colgate (4-3) have winning marks. Patriot League teams are 7-5 at home in League play and 42-18 for the season.

First-Year Coaches Still Trying to Get on Track
Colgate Head Coach Matt Langel and Navy's Ed DeChellis both remain in search of their first Patriot League victory after falling to 0-3 on Saturday. Colgate also opened 0-3 last year, while Navy started Patriot League action with an 0-4 mark in 2011.

0-2 Start Could Not Stop this Trio
Starting the season with an 0-2 record would not deter Lehigh, Bucknell or American as each squad has bounced back nicely from the slow start. The Mountain Hawks (14-5), Bison (13-6) and Eagles (11-7) all have gaudy winning percentages since their 0-2 records. Bucknell has added to its surge with a 3-0 Patriot League record, while the Mountain Hawks and Eagles are both 2-1 in League action after all three squads won on Saturday.

Patriot League Games

Bucknell Bison (13-6, 3-0) at Lehigh Mountain Hawks (14-5, 2-1)
Stabler Arena; Bethlehem, Pa.; Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Series: Bucknell, 95-60 TV: Service Electric 2 Sports
Streak: Bucknell, Three Wins Last Meeting: Bucknell 66, Lehigh 64 (3.6.2011)
Last Lehigh Win: 81-59 (2.24.2010) Last Five Games: Bucknell, 4-1

The top two teams in the Patriot League preseason poll meet in a key early season showdown when Bucknell visits Lehigh on Wednesday...The game can be seen on Service Electric 2 Sports as well as Patriot League All-Access...The Bison won all three meetings against the Mountain Hawks last season, including a memorable 66-64 victory at home in the Patriot League Tournament semifinals on March 6...The regular-season wins were easier for the Bison, as they won at Lehigh 81-68 on Jan. 26 and at home against the Mountain Hawks 72-55 on Feb. 23...Lehigh's last win over Bucknell came at home on Feb. 24, 2010, an 81-59 victory that clinched the top seed in the Patriot League Tournament as the Mountain Hawks went on to win the title...Bucknell has won the last four meetings with Lehigh at Sojka Pavilion, with the Mountain Hawks last winning in the arena in 2008...The Bison try to extend streaks of 13 straight wins against Patriot League opponents and 10 League games in a row in the regular season...Bucknell is at 3-0 for the second straight year after a 6-0 start last season...Lehigh is trying to start 3-1 for the second time in the last three years...Bucknell has a 95-60 lead in the all-time series with the Mountain Hawks, and a 36-13 edge as Patriot League members.

Bucknell Mike Muscala scored a season-high 27 points to keep Bucknell undefeated in League action with a 79-65 win at Lafayette in a rematch of last year's Patriot League Championship... The win was the 13th in a row against Patriot League competition for the Bison, and 10th straight regular-season League win...Bucknell has started 3-0 in consecutive seasons after opening last year's League campaign with a 6-0 mark... For the third time in as many games, Bucknell led for nearly the entire contest...The Bison were down just once at 2-0 and tied once at 7-7 before taking the lead for good with seven straight points...The game stayed close throughout the first half as Bucknell took a 34-30 lead at the break, but the Bison opened the second half on a 9-2 run and led by at least seven points the rest of the way in the 79-65 win...Bucknell has led for all but 2:41 in its first three League contests...Muscala's 27 points came on 9-of-13 shooting from the field and a perfect 9-for-9 at the foul line...He averaged 20.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in two games last week, including a double-double in Wednesday's win over Colgate...Cameron Ayers added 15 points...The Bison had an outstanding shooting night at 30-of-52 from the field while making all 15 of their free throw attempts...Bucknell shot 65 percent (17-of-26) in the second half alone...The Bison also dominated the glass with a 34-18 rebounding advantage...Bucknell leads the Patriot League and is 25th in the nation with a +6.4 rebound margin...Bucknell defeated Lafayette for the fourth straight time...The Bison won their fifth game in a row overall, and fourth straight on the road...They play two in a row at home beginning on Saturday when Holy Cross comes to Sojka Pavilion.

Lehigh C.J. McCollum scored 32 points as Lehigh overcame an early deficit to roll past Colgate on Saturday at Cotterell Court...The Mountain Hawks trailed by as many as nine at 24-15 with six minutes to play in the first half, but got hot from there with a 22-3 run for a 37-27 lead at halftime...McCollum scored 14 points and the Mountain Hawks hit six three-pointers in the decisive stretch...The lead never dipped below eight in the second half, and Lehigh closed the game with a 17-3 run to pull away for the 22-point win...McCollum's 32 points came on 11-of-21 from the field and 7-of-12 from three-point range...He is averaging 28.3 points per game in League action...McCollum took over the Patriot League scoring lead at 21.2 per game for the season...On Monday, he earned a record-setting ninth career Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award...Three other Lehigh players finished in double figures, as Mackey McKnight and John Adams scored 12 and Holden Greiner added 10...McKnight also finished with seven assists and did not turn the ball over...He had 15 assists in two games last week and has 51 over his last nine contests...Lehigh made 30-of-65 shots overall and hit 13-of-24 from three-point range...The Mountain Hawks improved to 9-5 away from Stabler Arena this season...They stopped a two-game losing skid against Colgate after getting swept by the Raiders last season...The Mountain Hawks head on the road Sunday to rival Lafayette in a game shown on CBS Sports Network.

American Eagles (11-7, 2-1) at Navy Midshipmen (3-14, 0-3)
Alumni Hall; Annapolis, Md.; Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Series: Tied, 37-37
Streak: American, One Win Last Meeting: American 69, Navy 58 (2.23.2011)
Last Navy Win: 72-53 (1.26.2011) Last Five Games: American, 4-1

The Patriot League's two southern-most schools square off when American visits Navy on Wednesday evening...The teams split the season series last year, with each winning on their home court...The Mids posted a 72-53 victory in Annapolis on Jan. 26 before the Eagles answered with a 69-58 win at home on Feb. 23...American has won six of the past seven meetings between the schools, sweeping Navy in both 2009 and 2010...A win would give American its second consecutive 3-1 start in League play, while the Mids are trying to avoid going 0-4 for the second year in a row...The all-time series is tied 37-37, but the Eagles hold a 19-4 advantage over the Mids as Patriot League members.

American After surrendering an 18-point lead, American closed the game with a 21-7 run to knock off Holy Cross 67-54 on Saturday at Bender Arena...The Eagles led for all but a minute in the game, but saw a 31-13 advantage late in the first half turn into a 47-46 deficit with 9:22 to play...Tony Wroblicky put American back ahead 52 seconds later to start a 7-0 run that was capped by a Troy Brewer three-pointer with 7:15 left...Holy Cross got back to within 55-52 with four minutes left, but the Eagles finished the contest on a 12-2 run to pull away for the 67-54 win...Charles Hinkle came off the bench to lead the Eagles with his first-career double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds...Hinkle averaged 19.5 points in two games last week and is eighth in the country with 20.5 points per game for the year...He has scored in double digits in all but one game this season...It was American's first double-double of the year, and Hinkle also added five assists...Daniel Munoz added 14 points for the Eagles, who shot 50 percent (24-of-48) for the game and made 17-of-20 free throws...The Eagles held a 34-27 advantage on the boards and limited Holy Cross to 15-of-49 shooting from the field and 4-of-17 from beyond the arc...American won its third straight against the Crusaders, and beat Holy Cross at Bender Arena for the sixth consecutive meeting...The Eagles are a perfect 8-0 at home this season, and come back to Bender on Saturday to take on Army.

Navy The Mids fell at home to a hot-shooting Army team by a 75-62 final on Saturday...Navy never led in the game, and fell behind for good as Army put together a 22-5 run in the first half...Navy never got closer than nine points in the second half... J.J. Avila had an outstanding game in defeat for Navy...He led the Mids with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting and also notched career highs with 14 rebounds and six steals...Avila is one of only three players in the nation with 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game for the year...He has recorded 13 consecutive double-figure scoring games, and is in the top five in the Patriot League in scoring (16.1), rebounding (7.2), steals (1.6) and field goal percentage (51.2)...Jordan Sugars finished with 17 points for Navy, while Isaiah Roberts scored 11...Jordan Brickman also totaled eight points and six assists, but only two other players scored a combined five points for Navy...The Mids shot 20-of-47 from the field, and also just 16-of-26 at the foul line...Navy dropped its 10th straight game overall and starts 0-3 in the Patriot League for the second year in a row...The Mids begin a two-game road trip on Saturday at Colgate.

Colgate Raiders (5-12, 0-3) at Army Black Knights (8-10, 1-2)
Christl Arena; West Point, N.Y.; Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Series: Colgate, 55-53
Streak: Colgate, One Win Last Meeting: Colgate 77, Army 71 (2.5.2011)
Last Army Win: 73-66 (1.8.2011) Last Five Games: Colgate, 3-2

Colgate and Army meet at Christl Arena on Wednesday in a series that has been very competitive in recent years...The teams have split their season matchups in the past two years, and eight of the last 10 meetings have been decided by seven points or less or in overtime...Each team won on the road last season, as Army posted a 73-66 win at Colgate in the League opener on Jan. 8 and the Raiders returned the favor with a 77-71 victory at West Point on Feb. 5...Colgate has won 11 of the past 14 meetings overall..Army is trying to get to 2-2 in the Patriot League for the second year in a row, while Colgate aims to avoid an 0-4 start...The Raiders have never lost their first four League contests...Colgate has a slim 55-53 edge in the all-time series, but holds a 36-8 lead in the series since Patriot League play began and 34-8 in regular-season League contests.

Colgate The Raiders could not hold an early lead and fell at home against Lehigh 78-56 on Saturday...Colgate opened up a 16-7 advantage behind four three-pointers by Brandon James, and still led 24-15 when Lehigh closed the first half with a 22-3 run to go ahead for good...The Raiders were within eight points late before Lehigh finished the game with a 17-3 run to pull away for the 22-point win... James used the early surge to finish with a career-high 20 points, making 7-of-10 shots overall and 6-of-7 from three-point range...Mike Venezia added 10 for the Raiders...Colgate hit 10-of-22 three-pointers, but also committed 18 turnovers...The Raiders dropped their seventh straight game overall and start 0-3 in the Patriot League for the second year in a row...They come back to Cotterell Court on Saturday for a matchup with Navy.

Army The Black Knights made 13-of-23 three-pointers and posted their biggest win in 40 years at rival Navy with a 75-62 triumph in Annapolis on Saturday...Army never trailed in an impressive performance from start to finish...The game was tied three times in the early minutes before Army pulled away with a 22-5 run to take a 34-17 lead with just over two minutes to play in the first half...The Black Knights carried a 35-24 lead into the half, and led by at least nine points throughout the second half...Army put the game away with a 14-3 run to take a 68-47 lead with 7:52 left before settling on the 75-62 final...Three players scored 15 points or more for Army, as Ella Ellis (19), Julian Simmons (18) and Josh Herbeck (15) all had strong games...The trio combined to make 11-of-21 three-point shots to lead the team's barrage from beyond the arc...Ellis just missed his first double-double of the year with nine rebounds...He has scored in double figures in every game this season and 20 straight overall...Army shot just over 50 percent overall at 22-of-43, and hit 18-of-22 foul shots...The Black Knights forced 19 Navy turnovers and limited the Mids to 6-of-23 shooting from three-point range...Army snapped a two-game losing skid to Navy after getting swept by the Mids last season, and won in Annapolis for the first time since 2008...It was Army's first double-digit win at Navy since 1971...The win also snapped the Black Knights' 10-game losing skid against League opponents, and ended their seven-game road losing streak versus League foes...The Black Knights try to make it a road winning streak on Saturday when they play at American.

Lafayette Leopards (7-11, 2-1) at Holy Cross Crusaders (8-9, 2-1)
Hart Center; Worcester, Mass.; Thursday, 7 p.m.

Series: Holy Cross, 32-18 TV: CBS Sports Network
Streak: Lafayette, Two Wins Last Meeting: Lafayette 77, Holy Cross 70 (3.2.2011)
Last Army Win: 69-50 (2.20.2010) Last Five Games: Lafayette, 3-2

A pair of teams in the upper echelon of the Patriot League standings aim to improve their position when Lafayette visits Holy Cross on Thursday...The game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network at 7 p.m...The Crusaders will also be out for a bit of revenge, as Lafayette ended Holy Cross' 2011 season with a 77-70 win in the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals in Worcester...The Leopards also put an end to the Holy Cross season in 2010 with a victory over the Crusaders in the semifinals in Easton...The teams have been competitive in the regular season, splitting the matchups for the last two and three of the past four seasons...Holy Cross opened League play with a 70-65 win over the Leopards on Jan. 8 last year, while Lafayette returned the favor with a 76-70 home victory against the Crusaders on Feb. 5...Holy Cross had won eight consecutive games against the Leopards at the Hart Center before Lafayette broke through in last year's postseason...The Leopards last won a regular-season game at Holy Cross in 2004...Holy Cross has a 32-18 lead in the all-time series, and a 30-17 edge as Patriot League members.

Lafayette The Leopards were dealt their first League loss of the season as Bucknell came away with a 79-65 win in Easton on Saturday...Lafayette trailed for nearly the entire game, falling behind 34-30 at the half and then seeing Bucknell pull away early in the second half... Three Leopards scored in double figures, as freshman Seth Hinrichs tied his career high with 17 points while Ryan Willen added 14 and Jim Mower scored 10...Hinrichs won his fifth Patriot League Anaconda Rookie of the Week honor on Monday, the most for a Lafayette student-athlete since Stefan Ciosici in 1995-96...The Leopards were 8-of-21 from three-point range, but hit just 3-of-13 in the second half after a hot-shooting first half...Lafayette hit 46 percent (23-of-50) for the game and committed only six turnovers...Fran O'Hanlon was denied in his first attempt to tie the all-time wins mark for a Patriot League head coach...Depending on Thursday's result, he can tie or break the record on Sunday when the Leopards host Lehigh in another CBS Sports Network telecast.

Holy Cross The Crusaders suffered their first League loss of the season as a big comeback fell short in a 67-54 defeat at American on Saturday...The Eagles took a 31-13 lead late in the first half, but Holy Cross fought back and used an 11-2 run to take its first lead of the game on a jumper by Justin Burrell that made it 47-46 with 9:22 left...That would be the only advantage for the Crusaders as American closed the game with a 21-7 run to earn the victory... Devin Brown led the Crusaders with 14 points, while Phil Beans had 11...Holy Cross had only six turnovers in the game and made 20-of-25 free throws, but it was not enough to overcome 15-of-49 shooting from the field and 4-of-17 from beyond the arc...For the second straight season, the Crusaders fell after a 2-0 start in League action...They lost to American for the third straight time, and fell in a sixth straight trip to Bender Arena...Holy Cross wraps up a very tough schedule stretch on Saturday at Bucknell.