CENTER VALLEY, Pa.- Bucknell moved into sole possession of first place in Patriot League men's basketball while American and Colgate each edged up in the standings as all three teams won at home on Saturday.
The Bison topped Navy 69-54 to improve to 6-1 in the Patriot League, the third straight year they have won at least six games midway through the League slate. American held on for a 68-64 win over Lafayette while Colgate knocked off Holy Cross 63-45 as each victorious team improved to 3-4 in the Patriot League.
Lehigh will try to keep pace with the Bison on Sunday when the Mountain Hawks visit Army at 1 p.m. The Black Knights aim to get over .500 halfway through the League slate for the first time and tie Lafayette for third place in the standings.
Recaps and box scores from Saturday's games are included below.
LEWISBURG, Pa.- Bucknell (19-4, 6-1 Patriot League) led from start to finish to claim its third straight victory with a 69-54 triumph over Navy (7-16, 1-6) on Saturday evening at Sojka Pavilion.
The Bison beat the Mids for the sixth straight time, and have won at least six of their first seven Patriot League games for three straight seasons. Bucknell has won 31 of 35 League games since the start of the 2011 season. Bucknell's 19-4 record is the third-best in program history after 23 games, with the 2005-06 and 1983-84 teams both starting 20-3.
Bryson Johnson started the Bison off with two three-pointers in the first minute and half, setting the school's all-time record for treys in the process. The Bison methodically built their lead in the early going, then went on an 8-0 run to go up 29-14 with 6:34 to play in the half. Bucknell held a 34-22 lead at the break, and scored 12 straight points early in the second half to go up 46-24. The Bison were up by at least 13 points the rest of the way as they went on to the 69-54 win.
Johnson scored 20 points while making 6-of-10 three-pointers in the game. He is up to a school record 300 career treys, just two away from the Patriot League mark held by American's Garrison Carr (2005-09). Mike Muscala had his 16th-career double-double with 11 points and a career-high tying 19 rebounds. Thirteen players got in the game and 11 scored for the Bison, with none seeing more than Johnson's 29 minutes. Bucknell held a 47-20 rebounding edge and limited Navy to 19-of-60 from the field as the Bison overcame 21 turnovers.
Kevin Alter led the Mids with 15 points, while Worth Smith and Brandon Venturini each scored 11. Tilman Dunbar had eight points and five assists without a turnover as the Mids committed only eight turnovers in the game. Navy was a solid 10-of-11 at the free throw line, but could not overcome its field-goal shooting or rebounding margin. The Mids have dropped four in a row and 10 of their last 11 games overall.
WASHINGTON, D.C.- American (8-14, 3-4 Patriot League) took the lead for good late in the second half and held off Lafayette (11-13, 4-3) down the stretch for a 68-64 win over the Leopards on Saturday at Bender Arena.
The Eagles beat Lafayette for the 17th time in the last 18 meetings, and the 15th in a row in the regular season. American has still never been worse than 3-4 halfway through the Patriot League schedule as it put an end to a two-game losing skid. Lafayette saw its three-game win streak come to an end.
The game was tight early, but American took control late in the first half with a 15-2 run to take a 29-16 lead at intermission. The Eagles built it even further with the first four points of the second half, but Lafayette fought back from the 17-point deficit. The Leopards scored eight straight points to get closer, and later went on a 9-0 run to get within one point at 39-38 with 12:26 to play. Lafayette briefly took a one-point lead, and the score was tied at 50-50 with 7:40 to go before American went ahead for good. The Eagles put together a 10-3 run for a 60-53 lead with 4:17 to play, and held off Lafayette down the stretch as Daniel Munoz had a layup with 28 seconds to go and a pair of free throws with 21 seconds left after the Leopards had come within two each time.
Stephen Lumpkins had a big day for the Eagles, scoring 24 points while making 8-of-10 field goals and 8-of-9 free throws. He just missed a double-double by pulling down nine rebounds. Munoz added 12 points and five assists, and hit 8-of-8 free throws as he and Lumpkins combined for American's 16-of-17 mark at the line. John Schoof added 11 points with 3-of-4 from three-point range to help the Eagles go 6-of-12 from beyond the arc. The Eagles held a 31-22 rebounding advantage and made more than 50% of their shots in the game at 23-of-44.
Lafayette fell despite once again taking great care of the ball, finishing with 14 assists and just six turnovers in the game. Seth Hinrichs led the Leopards with 18 points and made 4-of-8 three-pointers, while Bryce Scott tied a career-high with 17 points and hit all five of his three-point attempts. Outisde of Hinrichs and Scott, the rest of the Leopards were 0-of-8 from three as Lafayette went 9-of-21 from beyond the arc. Dan Trist added 12 points for Lafayette, which shot 24-of-54 (44.4%) for the game.
HAMILTON, N.Y.- Colgate (9-14, 3-4 Patriot League) dominated the second half to pull away for a 63-45 win over Holy Cross (10-12, 2-5) on Saturday at Cotterell Court.
The Raiders won for the third time in their last four games, and have their best Patriot League record halfway through the League slate since also going 3-4 in 2008. Colgate also snapped a three-game losing streak to Holy Cross while sending the Crusaders to their fourth straight defeat.
Neither team led by more than five points in the first half as Colgate settled on a 28-26 lead at the break, but the Raiders took over late in the second half. Holy Cross led 31-30 early in the period, but Colgate went ahead for good with 13:23 left when it snapped a nearly four-minute scoreless stretch for both teams. That was the start of a 7-0 run that gave the Raiders a 37-31 advantage, and Colgate closed the game on a 17-4 surge to turn a tight contest into the 63-45 final.
Murphy Burnatowski was the only Raider in double figures with 19 points, while Luke Roh turned in an impressive overall effort with five points, a career-high 14 rebounds and five assists. The Raiders had 13 assists with just six turnovers in the game. Colgate forced 15 turnovers and held a 33-30 rebounding edge as it took 14 more shots than Holy Cross. The Raiders were 25-of-59 from the field while limiting Holy Cross to a 17-of-45 shooting effort. Colgate shot an even 50% in the second half at 14-of-28 from the field.
Dave Dudzinski led the Raiders with 15 points and added eight rebounds, while Phil Beans scored 10 in the game and Justin Burrell added nine points with five assists. No other player scored more than four points as the rest of the team combined to shoot just 5-of-22 from the field. Holy Cross has scored under 60 points in three of its last four games.