Jan. 17, 2013
Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 1.17.13
CENTER VALLEY, Pa.
- With their highly-anticipated showdown coming in less than a week, Bucknell and Lehigh each hope to take care of business and remain undefeated in Patriot League play with a win on Saturday.
The Bison and Mountain Hawks both went on the road Wednesday to improve to 2-0 in the Patriot League, with Bucknell winning 73-59 at Colgate and Lehigh coming back for a 63-57 win at American. Now, each squad returns home in search of a 3-0 start as Bucknell welcomes Lafayette and Lehigh hosts Colgate on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Bucknell has started 3-0 in each of the last two seasons, while Lehigh last hit the mark in 2006. The teams will meet in Lewisburg on Wednesday at 6 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
Four teams are one game behind the Bison at 1-1 in the Patriot League and aim to remain in the top half this weekend. Two of them will square off on Saturday as American visits Holy Cross at 2 p.m. The Crusaders topped Navy 62-47 for their first Patriot League win on Wednesday.
Army defeated Lafayette 77-54 at home on Wednesday for its first Patriot League win, and now goes for a 2-1 start in the League when it hosts rival Navy on Sunday at Noon on CBS Sports Network. NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller joins Patriot League broadcasters Bob Socci and Chris Spatola on the call.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*Bucknell and Lehigh each go for 3-0 Patriot League records on Saturday.
*The Bison have started 3-0 in each of the last two seasons.
*The Mountain Hawks have not opened 3-0 in League play since 2006.
*A win at Bucknell would give Lafayette at least a 2-1 mark through three games for the sixth consecutive season.
*The American/Holy Cross winner will be 2-1 for the third year in a row.
*Army aims for a 2-1 record for the second time in three years when it hosts rival Navy on Sunday at Noon on CBS Sports Network.
*NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller will join the broadcast crew of Bob Socci and Chris Spatola for the game.
*None of the winners of the first eight Patriot League games trailed at any point in the second half.
*The only second-half tie came for 19 seconds in the Lehigh/American contest.
*Bucknell has won seven straight games against Lafayette, and is a perfect 13-0 against the Leopards at Sojka Pavilion.
*Lehigh won all three games versus Colgate last year, while Army swept Navy.
*Bucknell's Mike Muscala is the only player in the country in the top 20 in scoring and top 10 in rebounding in Division I.
*He is at No. 1 by a wide margin in player efficiency rating on ESPN.com.
*The Bison are ranked No. 3 in both Mid-Major polls this week, and received votes in the national rankings for the fifth time this season.
Patriot League Notebook
Bucknell, Lehigh Off to Fast Starts
Bucknell and Lehigh have been tied at the hip in discussions of Patriot League supremacy the past four seasons, but there's been one area the teams have differed. Bucknell has become accustomed to opening League play with a bang, and has a 2-0 record for the third straight season after winning 73-59 at Colgate on Wednesday. The Bison have won 27 of 30 Patriot League games since the start of the 2011 season, and 35 of the past 40 going back to the 2010 campaign. They started 6-0 and 10-0 in the last two years. While Lehigh has been nearly as solid overall, a fast start is new to the Mountain Hawks. After winning their season opener for the first time since 2010, Lehigh improved to 2-0 in League action for the first time since 2007 with a 63-57 win at American on Wednesday. Now, Lehigh aims to go 3-0 for the first time since the 2006 season when it hosts Colgate on Saturday.
Who Will Join the Top Half of the Standings?
Four teams are right behind Bucknell and Lehigh with a 1-1 record in the Patriot League, and each hope to get on the winning side of the ledger this weekend. Lafayette will have to win at Bucknell to earn its 2-1 record, but the Leopards are used to that mark as they have opened with at least two wins in their first three Patriot League games in each of the past five seasons. The winner of the American/Holy Cross contest will start 2-1 in the League for the third year in a row, while Army goes for a 2-1 start for the second time in the last three years when it hosts Navy on Sunday on CBS Sports Network.
Patriot League Games Decided Early
If you're looking for dramatic finishes and close contests, the first eight Patriot League games have probably been a bore. Six of the first eight contests have been decided by double digits, and none have been within five points. Lehigh's 63-57 win at American on Wednesday was the closest League game to date. To take it even further, none of the winning teams have trailed at any point after halftime. There has only been one second-half tie as American evened up Lehigh for 19 seconds on Wednesday before the Mountain Hawks went back ahead for good.
Bucknell has always enjoyed success at Sojka Pavilion with a 70-14 all-time record against Patriot League foes and 104-32 overall since the arena opened in 2003. Matchups with Lafayette have been a big part of that success, as the Bison are a perfect 13-0 at Sojka Pavilion against the Leopards including wins in the regular season and Patriot League Tournament in each of the last two seasons. The Bison have won seven straight overall against the Leopards heading into the contest.
Bucknell Earning National Recogntion
Bucknell has its second-best record through 18 games in school history at 15-3, and the Bison are increasingly being regarded by media outlets as a threat should they make the NCAA Tournament. Bucknell moved up one spot to No. 3 in both the College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 and ESPN Mid-Major rankings this week, and received votes in one of the national polls for the fifth time this season. The Bison became the first Patriot League team ever to record 13 non-League victories in the regular season and is among the national leaders in overall, road (7) and road/neutral (9) victories.
Bucknell's Muscala Getting Even Better in Patriot League Play
Bucknell senior Mike Muscala earned third-team Midseason All-America honors from SI.com for his play during the non-League portion of the schedule, and amazingly he is putting up even greater numbers in Patriot League games. Muscala is averaging 22.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 5.0 blocks through the first two League contests, leading the conference in each category except for rebounds where he stands second. For the season, Muscala is now at 19.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.8 blocks per contest while shooting 54.7% from the field and 81.8% at the foul line. He is the only player in the nation in the top 20 in scoring and top 10 in rebounding, and also adds a spot in the top 20 in blocked shots. Muscala's 12 double-doubles are also the most in the country, and he is easily the most efficient player in the nation according to the rankings on ESPN.com.
CBS Sports Network with Four More Patriot League Games in January
The early part of the Patriot League season will be highly visible on national television with four more games on CBS Sports Network in the span of a week. It starts on Sunday when Navy visits Army at Noon, with NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller joining the Patriot League broadcast crew of Bob Socci and Chris Spatola. The CBS Sports Network slate continues with a rematch of the Patriot League Championship when Lehigh heads to Bucknell on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The following weekend features both the Bison and Mountain Hawks, with Bucknell at Holy Cross on Saturday at 4 p.m. and Lehigh hosting rival Lafayette on Sunday at Noon. All of the games that will not be televised on CBS Sports Network will be available to viewers through the Patriot League All-Access package.
Patriot League Games
American Eagles (6-11, 1-1) at Holy Cross Crusaders (9-8, 1-1)
Hart Center; Worcester, Mass.; Saturday, 2 p.m.
*Two teams trying to break into the top half of the Patriot League meet on Saturday when American visits Holy Cross.
*Holy Cross snapped a three-game American win streak in the series with a 59-52 win at home on Feb. 11 last year.
*The Eagles posted a 67-54 win at home on Jan. 14 in 2012 after sweeping the season series in 2011.
*American has won three of the last four and six of the past eight games against Holy Cross.
*The Crusaders have still fared well at the Hart Center with wins in three of the last four home games against American.
*Holy Cross holds a 17-11 edge in the all-time series, with a 13-9 lead in regular-season Patriot League games.
*Each team is trying to get to 2-1 in the Patriot League for the third consecutive season.
Lafayette Leopards (8-11, 1-1) at Bucknell Bison (15-3, 2-0)
Sojka Pavilion; Lewisburg, Pa.; Saturday, 7 p.m.
*Bucknell hopes to keep its streaks alive when it welcomes Lafayette to Sojka Pavilion on Saturday evening.
*The Bison have won seven straight games against the Leopards and are a perfect 13-0 against Lafayette at Sojka Pavilion.
*Bucknell has won six games against Lafayette in each of the last two seasons, with four of those at home.
*Bucknell won last year's meetings by finals of 79-65 at Lafayette on Jan. 14, 90-78 at home on Feb. 11 and 79-52 in the League Tournament semifinals on March 3.
*Lafayette's last win over Bucknell came at home in 2010 by a 61-57 final.
*Lafayette holds an 85-66 lead in the series, though Bucknell has a 36-13 edge in games played as Patriot League members.
*The Bison try to start 3-0 in the Patriot League for the third year in a row.
*Lafayette aims to go at least 2-1 through three Patriot League games for the sixth consecutive season.
Colgate Raiders (6-12, 0-2) at Lehigh Mountain Hawks (12-4, 2-0)
Stabler Arena; Bethlehem, Pa.; Saturday, 7 p.m.
TV: Service Electric 2 Sports
*Lehigh tries to go 3-0 in the Patriot League for the first time since 2006 when it hosts Colgate on Saturday.
*Lehigh won all three games between the teams last year, sweeping the regular-season contests and winning in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament.
*The Mountain Hawks won 78-56 (Jan. 14) at Colgate and 89-69 (Feb. 11) at home in the regular season.
*Lehigh beat Colgate 70-57 in the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals at home on March 3.
*The Raiders won both games against Lehigh in 2011, including a 94-90 overtime win in Bethlehem on Feb. 16.
*Colgate leads the all-time series 47-32, with a 30-19 advantage over the Mountain Hawks as Patriot League members.
*The Raiders hope to stay away from what would be a third straight 0-2 start to League play.
Navy Midshipmen (6-12, 0-2) at Army Black Knights (8-9, 1-1)
Christl Arena; West Point, N.Y.; Sunday, Noon
TV: CBS Sports Network
*A great rivalry in the Patriot League takes center stage as Navy visits Army on CBS Sports Network Sunday at Noon.
*NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller will be on the call along with Bob Socci and Chris Spatola.
*Army swept last year's season series with the Mids for the first time since 1992.
*The Black Knights won 75-62 at Navy on Jan. 14 and 69-63 in a double overtime classic at West Point on Feb. 11.
*Army has won the first matchup between the schools in seven of the last nine seasons.
*The Black Knights have also won three of the last four games against the Mids at West Point.
*Navy leads the all-time series, 71-45, with a 34-13 edge as Patriot League members.
*Army shoots for a 2-1 start in the Patriot League for the second time in the last three seasons.
*Navy plays to break a 16-game Patriot League losing streak and avoid its third straight 0-3 start.
AMERICAN The Eagles could not keep up a hot start and fell at home against Lehigh 63-57 on Wednesday...It was all Eagles in the early minutes, as American put together a 14-3 run to build a 23-9 lead with 9:06 to go in the first half...Lehigh came back to go up 31-28 by halftime, and extended its lead to eight early in the second half...The Eagles fought back with a 12-4 run to tie the score at 42-42 with 12:16 to play, but Lehigh answered with a 13-1 stretch to go back ahead for good...American got as close as three at 58-55 with 58 seconds to play, but had two turnovers and two missed shots down the stretch as Lehigh held on for the 63-57 win..American held a 40-26 advantage on the boards, led by senior Stephen Lumpkins with 17 rebounds to go with 10 points for a double-double...Three other players scored in double figures as Tony Wroblicky had 14, Daniel Munoz scored 13 and John Schoof added 11...The Eagles dished out 18 assists on their 23 made field goals, led by Munoz with seven. American is at 1-1 in the Patriot League for the third year in a row, and falls at home against Lehigh for the first time since 2010...After visiting Holy Cross on Saturday, the Eagles return home to face Navy on Wednesday.
ARMY Army jumped to a big lead with an early 21-2 run and never looked back in a 77-54 win over Lafayette on Wednesday at Christl Arena...The Black Knights snapped a three-game losing streak and defeated Lafayette for the first time since 2009..Lafayette scored the first basket of the game, but the lead was short-lived as Army rolled off the next 12 points for a 10-point advantage..After Lafayette broke the drought, Army had nine consecutive points to make it a 21-2 run overall and take a 21-4 lead with 11:28 to go in the first half...Lafayette got as close as eight points in the second half, but the Black Knights closed the game with a 22-7 run to pull away...Ella Ellis led all scorers with 23 points, while Dylan Cox added 13 and Kyle Wilson scored 11..Army's freshmen accounted for 46 points in the game, and aided a strong shooting night for the Black Knights overall at 25-of-43 (58.1%) from the field and 7-of-13 (53.8%) from beyond the arc...The Black Knights had excelled defensively by holding Lafayette to 18-of-50 overall and 5-of-23 from three-point range while forcing 22 Leopard turnovers...Army hosts rival Navy on Sunday on CBS Sports Network, then visits Colgate Wednesday.
BUCKNELL Bucknell pulled away down the stretch to record a 73-59 victory at Colgate on Wednesday evening at Cotterell Court..,The Bison improved to 2-0 in the Patriot League for the third straight season...Bucknell's quartet of stars all shined on Wednesday, led once again by senior center Mike Muscala with 25 points, 10 rebounds, seven blocks and four assists...Muscala recorded his 12th double-double of the year, the most in Division I...Bucknell trailed only twice midway through the first half, and inched ahead with a 35-32 lead at halftime...It was still a four-point game with under 11 minutes to go when the Bison put together an 11-4 run to stretch the advantage to 58-47...Colgate whittled the deficit down to seven points, but would get no closer as the Bison went on a 9-2 run and took the 73-59 win... Muscala had help from the usual suspects as Bryson Johnson scored 15 points, Cameron Ayers had 14 and Joe Willman added 10...Willman joined Muscala and Johnson in the 1,000-point club, making Bucknell just the second program in the nation (Santa Clara) with three 1,000-point scorers...Bucknell had 10 steals and nine blocks while committing only eight turnovers in the game...The Bison defeated Colgate for the seventh straight meeting, and have won 27 of 30 Patriot League games in the past two seasons and 35 of the last 40 overall...The Bison also improved to 7-3 on the road this season, tying them for the most road wins in the country...Bucknell has its next two games at home, welcoming Lafayette on Saturday before facing Lehigh on Wednesday on CBS Sports Network.
COLGATE The Raiders hung tough with Bucknell for most of the evening, but could not make a final push and fell to the Bison 73-59 on Wednesday...Colgate fell to 0-2 in the Patriot League for the third year in a row...The Raiders had a pair of small leads in the first half before falling behind 35-32 at halftime...Bucknell went on an 11-4 run to take a 58-47 edge with 5:54 to go, and later put together a 9-2 stretch to seal the win after Colgate had closed back to within seven points...The Raiders dropped their second straight game to open the
Patriot League, with both coming at home...Murphy Burnatowski led the way with 17 points, while Damon Sherman-Newsome added 13...The duo combined to shoot 13-of-25 from the field, but the rest of the Raiders were just 13-of-36...Colgate held a 35-32 advantage on the glass against the top rebounding team in the Patriot League, but was off in its typical three-point proficiency...The Raiders play their first Patriot League road game on Saturday at Lehigh, then return to Hamilton to face Army on Wednesday.
HOLY CROSS Two players had double-doubles as Holy Cross handed Navy a 62-47 defeat on Wednesday at Alumni Hall...Dave Dudzinski had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Crusaders, while Malcolm Miller added career highs of 13 points and 13 rebounds...Holy Cross held a 36-23 edge on the boards and pulled away late for the 15-point win...The Crusaders grabbed a slim 31-27 lead at the half, but gained some breathing room early in the second half with nine straight points for a 40-29 edge with 16:14 to play in the game...Navy would get back within 43-38 with 11:53 to go, but Holy Cross had strong defense down the stretch to earn the win...The Crusaders held Navy scoreless for more than six minutes while scoring eight straight points to build a 59-44 lead in the final minute and earn the 62-47 win...Phil Beans was a third double-figure scorer for the Crusaders with 10 points...Holy Cross shot 22-of-48 (45.8%) from the field while making 8-of-20 three-pointers, and limited Navy to 20-of-49 (40.8%) shooting and just 5-of-18 from three-point range...Holy Cross had 16 assists on its 22 made field goals...The Crusaders won their fifth straight against the Mids, and seventh in the past eight meetings...Holy Cross plays its first Patriot League home game against American on Saturday, then travels again to visit Lafayette on Wednesday.
LAFAYETTE It became a long night early for the Leopards as Army took a big lead and went on to beat Lafayette 77-54 in West Point on Wednesday...Lafayette's three-game win streak came to an end, and the Leopards fell to Army for the first time since 2009...Army put up a 21-2 run to take a 21-4 lead less than nine minutes into the game...The Leopards fell behind 52-31 with
11:45 to play, but made a game of it with a 16-3 run to get as close as 55-47 with 9:00 to go..Army responded with the next six points and held Lafayette scoreless for the final 5:15 to go on to the 77-54 victory...Dan Trist had 16 points to lead the Leopards, while Tony Johnson added 11...Lafayette's offense was hamstrung by poor shooting and turnovers throughout the evening, though the Leopards tried to make up for it on the other end by forcing 23 Army turnovers...Trist made 6-of-9 shots, while the rest of the team was 12-of-41 from the field...Lafayette finishes its two-game road trip at Bucknell on Saturday, then returns home to face Holy Cross on Wednesday.
LEHIGH Lehigh overcame a 14-point deficit in the first half and rolled off a 13-1 run in the second half to get past American 63-57 on Wednesday at Bender Arena.. The Mountain Hawks improve to 2-0 in the Patriot League for the first time since 2007, and win at American for the first time since 2010...They fell behind 23-9 with 9:06 to go in the first half, but scored the next six points and the final nine of the first half to take a 31-28 lead at the break...The Mountain Hawks opened the lead up to eight early in the second half, but the Eagles fought back with a 12-4 run to tie the score at 42-42 with 12:16 to play...Lehigh went back ahead for good 19 seconds later on a three-pointer by Corey Schaefer which ignited a 13-1 run for a 55-43 advantage with 7:37 to go...The Eagles got as close as 58-55 with 58 seconds to play, but Lehigh was strong defensively down the stretch by forcing two turnovers and two missed shots and making enough free throws to hold on for the 63-57 win...Holden Greiner led Lehigh with 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting, while Mackey McKnight added 11 and filled the stat sheet with team highs of six rebounds, five assists and four steals...Lehigh had 13 steals in the game to force an American team that usually protects the ball well into 15 turnovers on the night...Lehigh held the Eagles to 6-of-22 shooting from three-point range in the game...Lehigh plays at home against Colgate on Saturday before a showdown at Bucknell on Wednesday on CBS Sports Network.
NAVY Holy Cross pulled away in the second half to deal the Mids a 62-47 loss on Wednesday at Alumni Hall...Navy fell to 0-2 in the Patriot League for the third year in a row...The Mids were within two points early in the second half before Holy Cross scored nine straight to take an 11-point edge...Navy would get back within 43-38 with 11:53 to go, but a six-minute scoreless drought proved costly as the Crusaders went on to the 15-point win...Worth Smith led Navy with 17 points, while Tilman Dunbar added 12...The Mids only got to the foul line four
times to go with a tough night shooting from the field...Navy dropped its sixth straight game overall, and lost to Holy Cross for the fifth consecutive time and seventh in the past eight meetings...The Mids have a big one on Sunday as they travel to rival Army on CBS Sports Network, then they make a short trip on Wednesday to face off with American.