Jan. 25, 2008
WHAT: Bucknell (8-10, 3-1 PL) vs. Colgate (9-9, 1-3 PL)
WHERE: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008, 7 p.m.
TICKETS: Limited number of standing-room-only tickets available at door, starting at 5 p.m.
SATELLITE RADIO: Sirius 110
RADIO: Eagle 107 and SportsJuice.com
LIVE VIDEO: Patriot League All-Access
COMPLETE PRESS NOTES
G, 11 John Griffin, Sr., 12.3 ppg
G, 10, Justin Castleberry, Jr., 12.7 ppg
G, 14 Jason Vegotsky, Jr., 5.7 ppg
F, 15 Stephen Tyree, So., 6.1 ppg
C, 1 Darren Mastropaolo, Sr., 6.2 ppg
G, 32 Daniel Waddy, Sr., 8.8 ppg
G, 13 Kyle Roemer, Jr., 15.3 ppg
F, 2 Alex Woodhouse, Jr., 5.5 ppg
F, 4 Kendall Chones, Sr., 10.4 ppg
F, 22 Tim Pounds, Sr., 6.4 ppg
With a Victory over Colgate, Bucknell Would ...
About the Game
-- ... improve to 9-10 overall and 4-1 in the Patriot League.
-- ... win its 38th straight home game against a Patriot League opponent.
-- ... improve to 6-3 at home this season and 55-12 all-time at Sojka Pavilion.
-- ... win its seventh in a row over the Raiders.
Looking to rebound from its first conference loss of the season, Bucknell entertains Colgate on Saturday night at Sojka Pavilion in the first game of a three-game homestand. The Bison saw their three-game winning streak come to an end on Wednesday in Easton, when red-hot Lafayette raced to an 80-68 victory in a battle of 3-0 Patriot League teams. After relinquishing first place to the Leopards, Bucknell hopes to bounce back at home against a Colgate squad that is looking to shake off its own three-game losing streak. After going 8-6 in non-conference play, the Raiders opened the league schedule with a six-point home win over Army, but since then they have lost a 69-68 overtime heartbreaker to Lafayette, a 65-57 decision at American and a 63-60 verdict at Lehigh. After missing all of last season with an injury, Kyle Roemer leads Colgate in scoring at 15.3 ppg. Always a deep threat, Roemer has a team-high 43 3-pointers, which accounts for about 41% of the team's total from long range. Kendall Chones averages 10.4 ppg, while Alex Woodhouse leads the team in rebounding (5.7) and blocked shots (1.9). As a team, Colgate averages 64.1 ppg while allowing 65.6 ppg. Justin Castleberry
(12.7 ppg) took over Bucknell's scoring lead a week ago, with John Griffin
just behind at 12.3 ppg.
How to Get the Game
The Bucknell-Colgate game will not be televised, however live online video coverage is available via Patriot League All-Access, which is available for $7.95 per month. The game can also be heard locally on Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM), with Doug Birdsong and Doug Byerly on the call. The pregame show begins 30 minutes before tip-off. The audio feed is available free of charge via BucknellBison.com and SportsJuice.com. Additionally, this contest will air on Sirius Satellite Radio (ch. 110) as part of the network's Patriot League game of the week package. Frank Santore provides the play-by-play call on Sirius.
Bucknell vs. Colgate
This will be the 88th all-time meeting between Bucknell and Colgate in a series that dates back to 1920. The Bison have a 49-38 series lead and have beaten the Raiders six straight times. As Patriot League rivals, Bucknell has won 28 of the 39 meetings, including 14 of 17 in Lewisburg.
Colgate Last Patriot League Team to Win at Sojka
On March 2, 2003, when the current Bison freshmen were in the eighth grade, Colgate rallied for a 64-56 victory at Sojka Pavilion. The Bison have not lost to a Patriot League team at home since then, winning 37 in a row including regular-season and PL Tournament games. During that streak, Bucknell's closest call also came against Colgate. In the 2004-05 regular-season finale, the Raiders scored 12 straight points to take a 59-57 lead, but senior Chris Niesz hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to win it for the Bison.
Bucknell vs. Colgate Last Season
Bucknell swept the season series from Colgate in 2006-07:
-- On Jan. 20 at Sojka Pavilion, Bucknell held Colgate to 26.7% shooting, including an 0-for-14 showing from 3-point range, and held off the Raiders 50-36. Chris McNaughton scored 12 points to lead the Bison, who allowed only one field goal in the last 14:57 of the game. Kendall Chones led Colgate with nine points.
-- On Jan. 30 at Cotterell Court, McNaughton and Abe Badmus scored 12 points apiece and the Bison rallied from a big early deficit for a 56-53 win. Bucknell spotted Colgate a 17-2 lead but outscored the Raiders 54-36 the rest of the way. The Bison actually went up by as many as 13 points after a 16-0 second-half run, but Colgate rallied late and got as close as one point at 54-53 before Stephen Tyree sealed it with a breakaway layup just before the final buzzer.
Last Time Out
Lafayette put together a complete performance at both ends of the floor on Wednesday night and snapped an eight-game losing streak to Bucknell with an 80-68 victory at Kirby Sports Center. The Leopards came in ranked No. 4 in the nation in 3-point field goals per game (10.4), and they knocked down 14 more in this one. Five of those treys came in their first seven attempts, as the Leopards raced to an early 27-8 lead. Lafayette led by as many as 25 in the second half -- Bucknell's largest deficit of the season -- before the Bison came alive late in the game and chopped its deficit in half. Not only was Lafayette excellent from long range, but it defended the perimeter just as well. Bucknell only managed a season-low 12 3-point attempts, making five. The Bison were effective going inside, scoring 36 points in the paint, but often they were trading twos for threes and could not make a serious run until it was too late. Andrew Brown hit 7 of 12 from long range and scored a game-high 28 points.
Inside the Lafayette Boxscore
-- It was Bucknell's first loss to a Patriot League team other than Holy Cross since a 66-62 setback at Navy on Jan. 30, 2005.
-- Bucknell shot a season-best 56.5% from the floor (26-46). Both teams finished with 26 field goals, but Lafayette outscored the Bison 42-15 from 3-point range and 14-11 from the foul line.
-- The Bison finished with a season-worst 6-to-19 assist-to-turnover ratio. Lafayette parlayed those 19 turnovers into 26 points. Bucknell had 11 turnovers in the first 12 minutes of the game, when the Leopards built the commanding 27-8 lead.
-- Bucknell did finish with four players in double figures. John Griffin led the way with 13 points, while Stephen Tyree had a career-high 12 and Justin Castleberry and Darren Mastropaolo had 10 each.
-- Todd O'Brien had a solid game off the bench. The freshman center played 20 minutes and finished with eight points and five rebounds.
-- The Bison outrebounded Lafayette 29-21, but eight of the Leopards' 21 boards came on the offensive glass.
-- Zach Evans logged his first points of the season on a put-back in the final minute.
A Rare Sight
Lafayette became the first Patriot League team to score 80 points on the Bison since Jan. 25, 2004, when the Leopards won 81-72 at the Kirby Center. Bucknell had gone 65 straight league games without allowing 80 points. In fact, during that span they only allowed 70 or more points four times while holding teams to 45 or less 11 times.
Numbers to Watch
Some relevent stats involving Bucknell and Colgate:
-- Allowing second-chance points has been an issue for the Bison at times this season, and they will have to be mindful of Colgate's Kendall Chones and Alex Woodhouse, who are two of the Patriot League's top five offensive rebounders. Both have 32 offensive boards. Chones has 14 in league play alone, the best figure in the PL.
-- Colgate and Bucknell are both holding opponents to 41.2% shooting from the field, ranking them 1-2 in the Patriot League in that category. If that trend continues on Saturday and plenty of missed shots are available, rebounding could be a factor. The Raiders are +0.3 in rebounding margin on the season, while the Bison are -2.5 (but only -1.0 in league play). Last year the Bison won a 50-36 defensive struggle against Colgate at Sojka Pavilion, in large part because they dominated 35-21 on the glass.
-- Colgate has not found the Sojka Pavilion rims to its liking since the facility opened in 2003. In five games here, the Raiders have shot only 37.1% from the floor and 25.3% from 3-point distance.
-- These two teams faced two common opponents during non-league play. Both teams lost to Marist at home (BU 55-40; CU 61-60) and both defeated Cornell (BU 88-75 at home; CU 76-73 on the road). In Patriot League play, Bucknell defeated American (66-62) while Colgate lost to the Eagles (65-57), and both teams lost to Lafayette (BU 80-68 away; CU 69-68 in OT at home).
Tyree Picking up Scoring
Sophomore forward Stephen Tyree is playing perhaps the best basketball of his career over the last five games. Tyree had never before scored in double figures, but now he has done it in four of the last five games, including a career-high 12 points on Wednesday at Lafayette. In that span Tyree is 20-for-24 (.833) from the field -- his streak of 10 straight made field goals ended in the second half against American -- and is averaging 10.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg and 2.8 apg. In four league games he is shooting 80.0% (16-20) from the field, No. 1 in the PL.
Castleberry Excelling in League Play, Takes over Team Scoring Lead
Bison junior Justin Castleberry has really picked up his scoring in recent weeks. In four Patriot League games he is averaging 16.5 ppg, sixth-best in the league. Castleberry had 22 points against Holy Cross, 19 against Navy, 15 against American and 10 at Lafayette. He has scored in double figures in eight straight, and dating back to the La Salle game he is averaging 14.8 ppg. Castleberry's season average is up to 12.7 ppg, and he is now the team scoring leader.
Patriot League Success
The Bison are 158-70 (.693) in Patriot League regular-season games, the best record of any league team. They have finished at least .500 in PL play in 15 of 17 seasons. The Bison won a league-record 23 straight contests against conference foes from Feb. 23, 2005 to Jan. 12, 2007. Bucknell has an active streak of 37 straight wins at home against conference opponents, with their last home league loss coming on March 2, 2003 against Colgate.
No Doubting Thomas
Senior Rob Thomas has given the Bison a significant boost off the bench in the four games since his return from injury. The veteran can fill in at three different positions, and he has made a number of big plays thus far. Thomas had critical 3-pointers against both Navy and American, and he had one of the team's biggest field goals of the season in Bucknell's road win over Holy Cross, coming on a drive to the basket that also drew the fifth foul on Crusaders star Tim Clifford. Thomas has 22 points and nine rebounds while averaging a shade under 15 minutes per game since his return.
Who's Got Next?
Bucknell's three-game homestand continues on Wednesday night when Lehigh visits Sojka Pavilion for a 7 p.m. start. The Mountain Hawks are 9-9 overall and 2-2 in the Patriot League heading into Saturday night's showdown with crosstown rival Lafayette.