Jan. 15, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Three teams entered Wednesday's action with undefeated records in Patriot League men's basketball, and two remained at the end of the night as American and Boston University earned hard-fought victories while Army lost a double-digit second-half lead and fell to Holy Cross.
The Eagles (9-7, 5-0 Patriot League) gave up a 16-point lead at Lehigh (8-10, 1-4), then closed out a 65-63 victory behind two key three-pointers from Jesse Reed in the final minute. Boston University (12-6, 5-0) kept the pace by overcoming a two-point halftime deficit for a 66-58 victory over Colgate (6-10, 0-5) behind 20 points and six assists from Maurice Watson Jr.
Army (8-8, 4-1) appeared to be on its way to remaining undefeated when it went up 14 in the second half against Holy Cross (8-9, 2-3), but the Crusaders came all the way back and held on for a 78-75 victory at West Point. The Black Knights are alone in third place because Navy (7-9, 2-3) fought off a late charge from Bucknell (8-8, 3-2) for a 62-61 win in Annapolis. The Bison finished the game on a 21-6 run, but it was not enough as they missed multiple chances to take the lead in the final seconds.
Patriot League action resumes on Saturday as American tries to get to 6-0 in the League when it hosts Lafayette, while Lehigh goes to Holy Cross and Navy visits Colgate. All three of Saturday's games will be available on Patriot League Network.
The remaining teams play the following two days on CBS Sports Network, as Bucknell visits Army on Sunday at 3 p.m. and Boston University tries to stay perfect in League play when it hosts fellow new member Loyola Maryland on Monday at 7:30 p.m.
Recaps and box scores from Wednesday's contests are included below.
American 65 at Lehigh 63
*After giving up a 16-point lead, American made big plays down the stretch for a 65-63 win at Lehigh on Wednesday.
*The Eagles have their first "true" 5-0 start in the Patriot League, as they only hit the mark later via forfeit in 2005.
*Jesse Reed hit consecutive three-pointers with under two minutes to play to turn a tie score into a 63-57 lead.
*After Lehigh hit a three-pointer, Tony Wroblicky canned a pair of free throws for a 65-60 lead with 15 seconds left and Lehigh never got off a shot to tie.
*The Eagles built a 27-11 lead in the first half, only to see the Mountain Hawks climb back to within 31-26 at the break and tie the score at 39-39 with 15:02 left.
*The margin stayed within four points until Reed's back-to-back treys gave American some breathing room late.
*John Schoof led the Eagles with 23 points while Reed had 15, Wroblicky had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds and Kyle Kager scored 10.
*Darius Gardner dished out 11 of the team's 21 assists, while American committed only nine turnovers.
*Mackey McKnight narrowly missed a triple-double for Lehigh with 23 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.
*Corey Schaefer also finished in double figures with 12 points, while Tim Kempton had eight points and 11 rebounds.
*Lehigh lost its fourth straight game, all by four points or less and by a combined total of 10.
*American won at Lehigh for the first time since 2011, and snapped a three-game skid against the Mountain Hawks.
*The Eagles have the longest winning streak for a Patriot League team this season at six games.
at Boston University 66
, Colgate 58
*Maurice Watson Jr. had 20 points and six assists to help Boston University outlast Colgate on Wednesday.
*The Terriers trailed by as many as seven points late in the first half, but cut the margin to 27-25 by halftime.
*BU went ahead for good on a 12-4 run for a 51-43 lead midway through the second half.
*Colgate got back within 60-58 in the final three minutes, but Watson hit a shot with 2:02 left for some breathing room and the Terriers sealed the win with four free throws down the stretch.
*Dom Morris joined Watson in double figures for BU with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
*The Terriers were just under 50% overall at 24-of-50, and over 50% from three-point range at 8-of-15.
*They shot 13-of-22 from the field, 5-of-6 from long range and 10-of-11 at the line in the second half.
*Murphy Burnatowski led Colgate with 27 points while making 11-of-20 field goals and 5-of-10 from three-point range.
*No other Raider was in double figures, and the rest of the team was just 3-of-18 from three-point land.
*The Raiders became the fifth team in Patriot League history, and second in the last two weeks, that did not make a free throw in a game.
*BU beat Colgate for the 19th straight time, though the teams were meeting for the first time since 1990.
*Colgate starts Patriot League play with five losses for the first time.
Holy Cross 78 at Army 75
*Holy Cross rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit to deal Army its first Patriot League loss with a 78-75 triumph at West Point on Wednesday.
*Army broke open a tie game with a 13-0 run in the second half and pushed its lead as high as 63-49 with under 10 minutes to play before the Crusaders rallied.
*The Crusaders went on a 13-2 stretch to get within three, and eventually took the lead at 70-69 with just over three minutes to go.
*After Army went back ahead, Holy Cross took the advantage for good when Malcolm Miller converted consecutive layups for a 74-71 edge with under two minutes to play.
*Miller hit two free throws for a 76-73 lead with 31 seconds left, and the Black Knights missed a pair of three-pointers to tie in the final 20 seconds.
*Miller led five Crusaders in double figures with 17 points and was followed by Malachi Alexander (16), Dave Dudzinski (14), Anthony Thompson (13) and Eric Green (11), who also had a double-double with 10 rebounds.
*The Crusaders shot an even 50% (24-of-48) from the field and 28-of-37 at the foul line.
*Tanner Plomb led the Black Knights with a career-high 29 points while making 11-of-15 shots and all six three-point attempts.
*The rest of the Black Knights were just 2-of-10 from long range and 18-of-49 from the field.
*Kyle Wilson also finished in double figures with 17 points, while Dylan Cox had 11.
*Army lost despite committing only six turnovers in the game.
at Navy 62, Bucknell 61
*Navy snapped an eight-game losing skid against Bucknell as the Mids held off a furious Bison rally for a 62-61 victory at home.
*Navy scored the last five points of the first half to take the lead for good at 31-26 at the break, and appeared to be in command with a 13-0 run for a 56-40 advantage with under five minutes left.
*Bucknell put together a huge rally down the stretch, closing with a 21-6 run and scoring the last 10 points in the final three minutes to get within 62-61.
*The Bison had two possessions to go ahead after Navy missed free throws, but turned it over with 13 seconds left and missed a pair of jumpers in the final seconds.
*Brandon Venturini led Navy with 14 points, while Worth Smith had 13 and Zach Fong finished with 10.
*Navy got easy baskets throughout the game by forcing Bucknell into a season-high 18 turnovers.
*The Mids made 14-of-28 second-half and shots and won despite a 2-of-12 mark from three-point range.
*A Bucknell team that entered the game in the top 10 nationally in fewest turnovers per game and free throw shooting percentage had an uncharacteristic night with the 18 turnovers and a 4-of-9 mark at the foul line.
*Steven Kaspar put up a big stat line with 12 points, a career-high 10 assists and seven rebounds, while Ben Brackney (12), Chris Hass (11) and Cameron Ayers (10) also scored in double figures.
*Navy beat Bucknell for the first time since sweeping the Bison in 2010.