Patriot League Men's Basketball Weekend Preview - 1.25.13

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Seth Hinrichs and Lafayette will visit rival Lehigh on Sunday at Noon on CBS Sports Network.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
Seth Hinrichs and Lafayette will visit rival Lehigh on Sunday at Noon on CBS Sports Network.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

Jan. 25, 2013

Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 1.25.13 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - After staging another dramatic showdown on national television on Wednesday, Lehigh and Bucknell will be right back with games on CBS Sports Network this weekend.

The Mountain Hawks improved to 4-0 in the Patriot League, their best mark since 2006, by taking down the Bison 65-62 at Sojka Pavilion on Wednesday. Now Lehigh comes home from a matchup with its top competitor to face its biggest rival when Lafayette comes to Stabler Arena on Sunday at Noon on CBS Sports Network.

Bucknell will have to pick up the pieces on the road as the Bison make the trip to Holy Cross for a 4 p.m. tip-off Saturday on CBS Sports Network. Bucknell lost at Holy Cross in 2012 following a defeat at home against the Mountain Hawks.

While Lehigh holds the Patriot League lead at 4-0 and Bucknell follows at 3-1, there remains a jumbled pack of teams hoping to step up as challengers for League supremacy. Holy Cross and Lafayette are at 2-2 heading into their matchups with the top two squads this weekend, while American is tied with the same mark as it heads to Army. The Black Knights are at 1-3 in the Patriot League along with Colgate and Navy, who square off in Annapolis on Saturday evening.

On Wednesday, Colgate rallied from a six-point margin in the last 30 seconds to beat Army 93-90 in overtime. Lafayette knocked off Holy Cross 63-53, while American beat Navy 72-49.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*The Bucknell-Holy Cross and Lafayette-Lehigh contests will both be shown on CBS Sports Network this weekend.
*The Mountain Hawks are trying to go 5-0 in the Patriot League for the first time since 2006 and third in school history.
*It would be the third straight season that a Patriot League team opened 5-0.
*There are three-way ties at 2-2 and 1-3 in the Patriot League.
*American tries to get over .500 through five League games for the third year in a row, while Lafayette aims to do it for the second straight year.
*Lehigh has won the last five meetings with Lafayette.
*American has claimed the last six matchups against Army.
*Five of the last six meetings between Bucknell and Holy Cross have been decided by five points or less.
*Every Patriot League team is at .500 or better at home for the year.
*The League squads hold a .710 home winning percentage for the year, but it is just .625 in Patriot League games.
*Bucknell and Lehigh are each in the top 10 of both Mid-Major polls this week.
*Lehigh became the first team to win three consecutive trips to Sojka Pavilion.
*The Mountain Hawks also now own five overall wins at the venue, the most for any opponent.
*Bucknell's Mike Muscala leads the League in points, rebounds and blocks, and is among the Division I top 20 in each category.

Patriot League Notebook

Lehigh in Search of First 5-0 Start Since 2006
Lehigh aims to get to 5-0 in the Patriot League for the first time since 2006 and just the third in school history when it hosts Lafayette on Sunday on CBS Sports Network. The Mountain Hawks also started 5-0 in 2003, and have never opened with a mark better than that. A Patriot League team has started 5-0 in the last two seasons as Bucknell got to 6-0 in 2011 and 10-0 in 2012.

Another Epic Lehigh-Bucknell Clash at Sojka
Lehigh and Bucknell put on another nationally-televised show on Wednesday as the Mountain Hawks escaped Lewisburg with a 65-62 win over the Bison when Cameron Ayers' three-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark. It was the fourth straight meeting between the schools at Sojka Pavilion that was decided by five points or less, with key plays coming in the final 10 seconds in each of those games. Lehigh has won the last three of those games, becoming the first team to ever win in three straight trips to Sojka. Lehigh also owns the most wins for a visitor in the arena, accounting for five of the 15 victories by Patriot League squads against the Bison in the decade since the facility opened in 2003.

Bison, Mountain Hawks Continue to Earn Mid-Major Praise
Bucknell and Lehigh have held spots in the top 10 in Mid-Major rankings all season, and that was no different this week. Bucknell was No. 3 and Lehigh No. 8 in the College Insider.com Mid-Major top 25 published on Monday, while the Bison came in at No. 6 and the Mountain Hakws No. 9 in the ESPN.com Mid-Major poll which came out on Thursday, following Lehigh's win at Bucknell on Wednesday. Bucknell also received votes in this week's Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today top 25 polls.

Will Anyone Else Step Up to Pose a Challenge?
While Lehigh leads the Patriot League at 4-0 and Bucknell follows at 3-1, the rest of the teams are very jumbled after Wednesday's results. Holy Cross, Lafayette and American are each 2-2 in the League after the Leopards beat the Crusaders and the Eagles won at Navy, while Colgate, Army and the Mids are all 1-3 following the Raiders' 93-90 overtime win against the Black Knights. Colgate is at Navy and American goes to Army in games among the squads packed in the standings on Saturday.

Bucknell's Muscala Continues to Shine
Bucknell center Mike Muscala had a quiet game by his lofty standards with 16 points, eight rebounds and six blocks in Wednesdya's loss to Lehigh, but it did little to change his impressive status this season. Muscala is 15th in the nation with 19.9 points per game, sixth with 11.0 rebounds per contest and 12th with 2.9 blocks per game while leading the Patriot League in all three categories. He is the only player in the nation in the top 15 in scoring and top 10 in rebounding. On ESPN.com, he has a player efficiency rating of 38.16, a 1.75 advantage over Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk as the most efficient player in the country. Muscala won his fifth Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award on Monday, just one away from the single-season record set by Lehigh's C.J. McCollum in both 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Finally Some Drama in Patriot League Play
After no lead changes and just one tie in the first 12 Patriot League games, two contests finally produced some down-to-the-wire action on Wednesday. Lehigh and Bucknell saw the lead change hands six times in the second half before the Mountain Hawks came away with a 65-62 win. While the lead never actually changed hands until overtime in the Army-Colgate game, there was great drama as the Raiders rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit and came back from six points down in the final 30 seconds on a pair of three-pointers by Mitch Rolls. Colgate finally took its first lead since 2-0 in overtime, and won it on a three-pointer by Murphy Burnatowski with 12 seconds left. Lafayette and American followed the script of the early part of League play, building their leads at intermisson and holding comfortable advantages throughout the second half.

CBS Sports Network Concludes Busy January of Patriot League Hoops
The January slate of Patriot League action on CBS Sports Network wraps up over the weekend when Bucknell visits Holy Cross at 4 p.m. on Saturday and Lafayette goes to Lehigh at Noon on Sunday. Three League contests have already been played on CBS Sports Network this year, with Lehigh beating Holy Cross on Jan. 12 and Bucknell on Jan. 23 while Navy took down Army on Jan. 20 in nationally-televised affairs. Five more regular-season games will be shown in February and March before both semifinals and the championship will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Games that are not on CBS Sports Network are shown through Patriot League All-Access, with both the American at Army and Colgate at Navy games broadcast on All-Access on Saturday.

Patriot League Games

American Eagles (7-12, 2-2) at Army Black Knights (8-11, 1-3)
Christl Arena; West Point, N.Y.; Saturday, 3 p.m.
*Two teams trying to break through the pack in the Patriot League standings meet in West Point on Saturday at 3 p.m.
*American is part of a three-way tie for third at 2-2, while Army is in a three-way tie for sixth at 1-3.
*The Eagles have won the last six meetings in the series, including all three last season.
*American won 57-40 in the Patriot League quarterfinals on Feb. 29 after beating Army twice in the regular season.
*The Eagles won 67-55 at home on Jan. 21 and 74-50 at West Point on Feb. 18 in last year's regular-season matchups.
*Army's last victory over American was a 68-48 triumph at home in 2010.
*American is 24-2 against the Black Knights as Patriot League members, with Army's other win coming at home in 2007.
*The Eagles try to get over .500 through five League games for the third year in a row.
*Army has been at least 2-3 through five League contests in each of the past six seasons.

Bucknell Bison (16-4, 3-1) at Holy Cross Crusaders (10-9, 2-2)
Hart Center; Worcester, Mass.; Saturday, 4 p.m.
TV: CBS Sports Network
*Bucknell and Holy Cross both try to rebound when they play at the Hart Center Saturday at 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
*The Bison dropped a 65-62 final at home against Lehigh on Wednesday, while the Crusaders fell 63-53 at Lafayette.
*Holy Cross snapped Bucknell's three-game win streak in the series with a 54-52 win at home on Feb. 18 last season.
*Bucknell won the first meeting 75-41 in Lewisburg on Jan. 21 after sweeping the matchups in 2011.
*Five of the last six meetings have been decided by five points or less.
*Bucknell holds a 31-26 lead in a series that has been played entirely as Patriot League members.
*The Bison had started the last two Patriot League seasons with 6-0 and 10-0 records.
*Holy Cross tries to go 3-2 in the Patriot League for the second time in three seasons.

Colgate Raiders (7-13, 1-3) at Navy Midshipmen (7-13, 1-3)
Alumni Hall; Annapolis, Md.; Saturday, 7 p.m.
*Colgate and Navy meet at Alumni Hall on Saturday at 7 p.m. after playing two memorable games last season.
*The Raiders won both contests, claiming a 65-54 overtime win at home on Jan. 21 and 59-57 at Navy on Feb. 18.
*Mitch Rolls hit big three-pointers in both games for the Raiders, tying the contest with seven seconds left in Hamilton and nailing the game-winning trey with 1.5 seconds to play in Annapolis.
*Those were the only two Patriot League wins for the Raiders, while Navy was winless in League play last year.
*Navy had swept the season series in 2011 before Colgate won both of last year's meetings.
*The Mids have still won three of the past five matchups with the Raiders at Alumni Hall.
*Colgate holds a slim 27-24 lead in the all-time series, and is up 22-20 in Patriot League regular-season games.
*Navy last started better than 1-4 in the Patriot League in 2010, while Colgate last did it in 2009.

Lafayette Leopards (9-12, 2-2) at Lehigh Mountain Hawks (14-4, 4-0)
Stabler Arena; Bethlehem, Pa.; Sunday, 12 p.m.
TV: CBS Sports Network
*Archrivals Lafayette and Lehigh meet again on CBS Sports Network on Sunday at Noon from Stabler Arena.
*Lehigh has won five straight games against its rival, a streak that started with the 2010 Patriot League Championship.
*The Mountain Hawks have swept the season series against the Leopards in each of the last two years.
*Lehigh won 90-76 at Lafayette on Jan. 22 and 72-53 at home on Feb. 18 in last year's matchups.
*Lehigh has won the last four meetings between the schools at Stabler Arena.
*Lafayette's last win in the series was a 90-75 triumph in 2010, while the Leopards' last won at Stabler Arena 68-66 in 2009.
*Lafayette holds a 138-79 edge in the series, with Lehigh holding a slight 26-22 lead as Patriot League members.
*Lehigh is trying to open 5-0 in the Patriot League for the first time since 2006 and third in school history.
*Lafayette aims to go over .500 through five League games for the second year in a row.

Team Notebooks
AMERICAN John Schoof made 8-of-10 three-pointers and scored 27 points to lead American to a 72-49 win over Navy 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...American closed the first half 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...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...Lumpkins is up to fifth in Patriot League history with 785 career rebounds, and is among the top 30 nationally with 9.6 boards per game this year...American tries to make it a winning streak when it travels to Army on Saturday.

ARMY The Black Knights suffered a tough loss on Wednesday as a game they led almost the whole way slipped away and Colgate posted a 93-90 victory in overtime in Hamilton...Army is under .500 through four League games for the first time since 2009, and saw its two-game overall and road winning streaks against the Raiders come to an end...The Black Knights scored the final seven points of the first half to take a 39-27 lead at the break...Colgate came back to tie the score twice in the second half, but Army was still in good position with an 81-75 advantage and 53 seconds to play...The Black Knights, however, missed a pair of front ends on 1-and-1 attempts at the foul line, and Colgate answered with a three-pointer each time to even the score at 81-81 and send the game to overtime...Army went ahead 88-83 in the extra session, but Colgate came back with a 7-0 run and won it on a three-pointer with 12 seconds to play...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...Led by that group, freshmen accounted for 67 of Army's 90 points...Army made 57.4% of its shots at 36-of-57 in the game...The Black Knights host American on Saturday at 3 p.m. to try and get back on track.

BUCKNELL The Bison suffered another tough home loss against Lehigh as the Mountain Hawks pulled out a 65-62 win at Sojka Pavilion Wednesday in a game shown on CBS Sports Network...The Bison fell to Lehigh for the third straight time, all at home and all by five points or less...Lehigh became the first team to ever win three consecutive trips to Sojka...A slow start hurt the Bison as Lehigh grabbed a 27-12 lead, but Bucknell closed the first half on a 16-2 run to get within 29-28 at the break...Bucknell went up by as many as seven points in the second half, and held a 56-51 advantage before Lehigh rolled off a 10-2 run to grab the lead for good... Bucknell had shots to take the lead and tie trailing 61-59, but came up empty...Cameron Ayers got off a three-point attempt to tie at the buzzer, but it was off the mark... Mike Muscala paced Bucknell with 16 points while also pulling down eight rebounds and recording six blocked shots...Joe Willman had 15 points while Dom Hoffman came off the bench with 10 points...The Bison fell at home for the first time this season, dropping to 7-1 at Sojka Pavilion...Bucknell hits the road for its next two games, starting on Saturday at Holy Cross at 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

COLGATE Murphy Burnatowksi closed an outstanding 35-point evening by making the game-winning three-pointer with 12 seconds left in overtime to lift Colgate a 93-90 win over Army 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...After scoring the first basket, Colgate never led again in regulation as Army went up 12 at halftime and as many as 14 in the second half...Colgate tied the score twice in the second half, but Army answered and went ahead 81-75 with 51 seconds to go...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...Army went up 88-83 in overtime before Colgate finally grabbed the lead with a 7-0 run...Army knotted the score at 90, but Burnatowski had the last laugh with the three-pointer to 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...Brandon James and Rolls each added 15 points...Colgate shot over 50% overall (35-of-68) and from three-point range (12-of-23)...The Raiders go for their first Patriot League win streak since 2010 when they visit Navy on Saturday at 7 p.m.

HOLY CROSS One game after shooting above 50 percent in a win, Holy Cross could not find the mark on Wednesday and fell 63-53 at Lafayette...Holy Cross fell to Lafayette for the fifth time in the last six meetings, and fourth in five games on the road...The Crusaders never led, falling behind 12-2 in the early going...Holy Cross did close the first half with consecutive three-pointers by Phil Beans to get within 23-20 at the break, but Lafayette scored the first eight points after intermission to pull away...The Crusaders got as close as seven late in the contest but Lafayette held on for the 10-point win...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, but will try to start a new run with the next two games at home beginning on Saturday at 4 p.m. against Bucknell on CBS Sports Network.

LAFAYETTE Lafayette 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 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...The lead was cut to three points at halftime, but the Leopards got it back to double digits with the first eight points of the second half...Lafayette later scored 11 straight points to build the biggest lead of the game at 47-30 with 7:08 left, and led by at least seven the rest of the way...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...Lafayette makes the short trip to rival Lehigh on Sunday at Noon on CBS Sports Network.

LEHIGH Lehigh claimed sole possession of first place in the Patriot League by winning another thriller at Bucknell by a 65-62 final on Wednesday at Sojka Pavilion... 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, which included the 2012 Patriot League Championship as well as the last two regular-season contests...Lehigh opened the game strong by taking a 17-5 lead and extending it to 27-12, but Bucknell got back within 29-28 by halftime... After falling behind by seven, Lehigh scored 10 straight points and took the lead back at 47-44 with 10:49 to play...Bucknell went back ahead 56-51, but 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...Bucknell missed shots to tie and take the lead before McKnight gave Lehigh a 63-59 edge with 19 seconds to play...Bucknell's final three-point attempt was off the mark at the buzzer as Lehigh held on.. B.J. Bailey led Lehigh with 18 points, making all four three-point attempts...McKnight added 17 points, while Holden 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 just four turnovers in the game. The Mountain Hawks earn their fifth all-time win at Sojka Pavilion, the most for any visiting school...Lehigh is back home and looks to go 5-0 in the Patriot League on Sunday at Noon against rival Lafayette on CBS Sports Network.

NAVY Navy's struggles at American continued as the Eagles topped the Mids 72-49 on Wednesday evening at Bender Arena...Navy lost for the sixth straight time at the venue, and 13th in 14 meetings since American joined the Patriot League...The Mids fell to the Eagles for the fourth straight time and ninth in the last 10 matchups overall...Navy was in the game for most of the first half, but American closed the period on an 8-2 run for a 33-23 lead at the break...Navy never got back within single digits in the second half as the Eagles pulled away for the win...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, and tries to get back on track when it hosts Colgate on Saturday at 7 p.m.