Lehigh Wins at Bucknell to Take First Place in Patriot League Men's Basketball



Jan. 24, 2013

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Lehigh and Bucknell staged another epic showdown at Sojka Pavilion on Wednesday, and for the third straight time it was the Mountain Hawks coming out with the victory on the road as they knocked off the Bison 65-62 to claim first place in the Patriot League.

Lehigh went on a 10-2 run to take the lead for good in the final minutes and held on for the victory in a contest shown on CBS Sports Network. The Mountain Hawks improved to 4-0 in the Patriot League, one game ahead of the Bison at 3-1.

Three teams are at .500 in League play after Wednesday's contests. Lafayette improved to 2-2 in League action with a 63-53 victory at home against Holy Cross, which fell to 2-2 in the League. American also moved to 2-2 with a 72-49 triumph at home against Navy.

The most dramatic finish of the night came in Hamilton, where Colgate rallied in the final seconds to send the game to overtime and topped Army 93-90 in the extra session. Mitch Rolls had two key three-pointers late in regulation, while Murphy Burnatowski hit the game-winning trey with 12 seconds to play as part of a 35-point night. Both teams are now 1-3 in the Patriot League along with Navy.

Patriot League action picks back up on Saturday with three games, including Bucknell at Holy Cross at 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. American is at Army at 3 p.m., while Colgate visits Navy at 7 p.m. On Sunday, Lafayette travels to rival Lehigh for a Noon tip-off on CBS Sports Network.

A synopsis of each contest will be added soon along with the recaps and box scores from the evening.

Lehigh 65 at Bucknell 62
Box Score

LEWISBURG, Pa. - Lehigh (14-4, 4-0 Patriot League) claimed sole possession of first place in the Patriot League by winning another thriller at Bucknell (16-4, 3-1) by a 65-62 final on Wednesday at Sojka Pavilion.

The rematch of the 2012 Patriot League Championship was televised on CBS Sports Network. Lehigh defeated Bucknell for the third straight time, all at Sojka Pavilion and all by five points or less. The Mountain Hawks improve to 4-0 in the Patriot League for the first time since 2006 and become the first team to ever win three straight trips to Sojka.

The Mountain Hawks made it look easy in the early minutes, using strong defense and three-point shooting to build a 17-5 lead and eventually push it to 27-12 with 6:03 to play in the first half. But the rest of the period was all Bucknell, as the Bison closed out the half on a 16-2 run and got within 29-28 at the break on Joe Willman's shot as time expired.

Momentum went back and forth throughout the second half, with Bucknell going up 44-37 only to see Lehigh score 10 straight points and take the lead back at 47-44 with 10:49 to play. The Bison answered with a 9-2 surge to go ahead 53-49, and got their lead back to 56-51 with 6:34 to go. Lehigh scored five straight points to tie the score, and went ahead for good when Mackey McKnight's three-pointer with 4:41 left made it a 59-58 advantage for the Mountain Hawks. Bucknell had shots to take the lead and tie trailing 61-59, but came up empty on the possession. Gabe Knutson got a key offensive rebound that led to a pair of free throws by McKnight that gave Lehigh a 63-59 edge with 19 seconds to play. Bucknell had a shot to tie the score after Holden Greiner split a pair of free throws with 4.8 seconds left, but Cameron Ayers' attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.

B.J. Bailey led Lehigh with 18 points, making all four three-point attempts in the game. McKnight added 17 points, while Greiner scored 12. The Mountain Hawks shot just over 35% for the game at 21-of-59, but were hot from three-point range with a 10-of-18 clip. Lehigh had 10 assists with just four turnovers in the game. The Mountain Hawks earn their fifth all-time win at Sojka Pavilion, the most for any visiting school.

Mike Muscala paced Bucknell with 16 points while also pulling down eight rebounds and recording six blocked shots. Joe Willman had 15 points and nine rebounds as Bucknell held a 39-34 edge on the boards. Dom Hoffman came off the bench with a solid game of 10 points. The Bison were just under 45% at 26-of-58 in the game, but hit just 2-of-14 three-pointers in the contest. Bucknell had 15 assists with just eight turnovers in the game, and Cameron Ayers dished out a career-high eight assists. The Bison fell at home for the first time this season, dropping to 7-1 at Sojka Pavilion.

The Lehigh post-game press conference is included below.

at Lafayette 63, Holy Cross 53
Box Score

EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette (9-12, 2-2 Patriot League) continued to play well at home as it improved to 8-2 at Kirby Sports Center this season with a 63-53 win over Holy Cross (10-9, 2-2) on Wednesday evening.

The Leopards beat Holy Cross for the seventh time in 10 meetings since 2010, and the fourth in five games at Kirby Sports Center during that span. Lafayette has been at least .500 through four Patriot League contests in each of the last six seasons.

Lafayette never trailed in the game, opening with a flurry by building a 12-2 advantage less than five minutes into the contest. Holy Cross would claw back later in the period, and a pair of three-pointers by Phil Beans in the final minute of the first half trimmed Lafayette's lead to 23-20 at the half.

The Leopards got the lead back to double digits with the first eight points of the second half, and never looked back from there. Lafayette's lead was cut only as low as six at 36-30, but the Leopards responded with 11 straight points to build the biggest lead of the game at 47-30 with 7:08 left. The Leopards led by at least seven points the rest of the way to take the 63-53 win.

Three players accounted for 47 points for the Leopards, as Seth Hinrichs and Bryce Scott led the way with 16 points apiece and Tony Johnson finished with 15. While Lafayette only shot 22-of-55 in the game, the Leopards limited Holy Cross to 20-of-57 shooting. Lafayette also took great care of the ball with 16 assists and just six turnovers in the game. The Leopards beat Holy Cross for the fifth time in the last six meetings.

Beans led the Crusaders with 14 points, while Dave Dudzinski had 13 and Justin Burrell added 10. The Crusaders held a 37-34 rebounding advantage, but were hurt by poor shooting at 35.1% for the game. Holy Cross saw its two-game winning streak come to an end.

The post-game video recap from Lafayette athletics is included below.

at American 72, Navy 47
Box Score

WASHINGTON, D.C. - John Schoof made 8-of-10 three-pointers and scored 27 points to lead American (7-12, 2-2) to a 72-49 win over Navy (7-13, 1-3) on Wednesday at Bender Arena.

The Eagles beat Navy for the fourth straight time, and ninth in the last 10 meetings. American has won the last six games played between the schools at Bender Arena, and is at least .500 through four Patriot League games for the third year in a row.

The contest was tight for most of the first half, but the Eagles closed the period on an 8-2 run to build a 33-23 advantage at the break. The lead stayed in double digits throughout the second half, with American effectively putting the game away with a 10-0 run that extended the advantage to 50-29 with 11:52 to go. The Eagles held a lead of at least 17 points the rest of the way as they went on to the 72-49 victory.

In addition to Schoof's three-point shooting, rebounding was a key advantage for the Eagles as they held a 44-29 edge on the glass. Stephen Lumpkins just missed a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Tony Wroblicky also came close with nine points and 11 rebounds. The Eagles were 45.1% from the field at 23-of-51 for the game, while Schoof's performance keyed the team's 10-of-26 three-point shooting. He came just one make away from the school record. American limited Navy to 20-of-55 shooting, including just 4-of-16 from three-point range. The Eagles had 17 assists against 11 turnovers in the game.

Kendall Knorr was the only Navy player in double figures with 11 points, while Tilman Dunbar had seven points and eight assists. The Mids struggled offensively despite committing only 10 turnovers in the game. Navy has dropped seven of its last eight contests overall.

at Colgate 93, Army 90 (OT)
Box Score

HAMILTON, N.Y. - Murphy Burnatowksi closed an outstanding 35-point evening by making the game-winning three-pointer with 12 seconds left in overtime to lift Colgate (7-13, 1-3) to a 93-90 win over Army (8-11, 1-3) on Wednesday at Cotterell Court.

The shot capped a comeback from a 14-point deficit as the Raiders scored 54 points in the second half and tied the score with nine seconds left on a three-pointer by Mitch Rolls. Colgate beat Army for the first time since 2011 and avoided a second straight 0-4 start in the Patriot League.

Army had the advantage in the first half, closing the period with the final seven points to take a 39-27 lead at the break. The Black Knights had the lead at 52-38 with under 15 minutes to play before the Raiders began to chip away. Colgate tied the score on two ocassions only to see Army push the lead back to 77-69 with 4:09 left. The Raiders scored six straight points to get back within two, but the Black Knights answered to go ahead 81-75 with 51 seconds to play in the game. Rolls stepped up from there, making a three-pointer with 25 seconds left to cut the gap to 81-78 before evening the score at 81-81 on the three with nine seconds to go.

The Raiders once again had to rally in overtime after Army went ahead 88-83 with 3:17 to play. Colgate came back with seven straight points, taking its first lead since it was 2-0 when Brandon James hit a three-pointer for a 90-88 advantage with 1:50 to go. Army evened the score at 90-90 on a pair of free throws by Ella Ellis, but Burnatowski came through with the game-winning three-pointer with 12 seconds left. Ellis and Kyle Wilson each missed shots to tie in the final seconds as Colgate held on for the win.

Burnatowski made 14-of-24 shots and 5-of-9 three-pointers in the game, and also pulled down eight rebounds. He had 31 of his 35 points in the second half and overtime. James and Rolls each added 15 points, with the former pulling down a team-high nine rebounds and the latter leading the way with five assists. Colgate shot over 50% overall (35-of-68) and from three-point range (12-of-23) while limiting Army to 8-of-19 from long range.

The Black Knights got almost all of their scoring from freshmen, including four who finished in double figures. Kyle Wilson led the team with 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting, while Kyle Toth had 14 and Dylan Cox and Kevin Ferguson each added 11. Cox had an outstanding overall showing with 4-of-4 shooting, eight assists, five rebounds and no turnovers. Freshmen accounted for 67 of Army's 90 points overall, as leading scorer Ella Ellis was held to five points on 1-of-10 shooting in the game. Army made 57.4% of its shots at 36-of-57 in the game, but could not stop Colgate on the other end and missed key free throws that could have sealed the win in the final minute of regulation.