Patriot League Men's Basketball Weekend Preview - 2.7.14

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Malcolm Miller and Holy Cross host Bucknell on Sunday at Noon on CBS Sports Network.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG
Malcolm Miller and Holy Cross host Bucknell on Sunday at Noon on CBS Sports Network.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG

Feb. 7, 2014

Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 2.7.14 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The top four teams in the Patriot League standings already have a separation from the rest of the group, and that can grow even further as each squad will play at home this weekend.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*The top four teams in the Patriot League standings all host games this weekend.
*Two are on CBS Sports Network with Navy at Army on Saturday at 4 p.m. and Bucknell at Holy Cross on Sunday at Noon.
*Jason Knapp and Chris Spatola will call the action for both games on CBSSN.
*First-place American hosts Colgate and second-place Boston University welcomes Lafayette on Saturday afternoon.
*Saturday's schedule also includes Loyola Maryland at Lehigh in a matchup of two of three teams tied for fifth place.
*Those three games are all at 1 or 2 p.m. and will each be shown on Patriot League Network.
*Army is trying to win three straight Star Games against Navy for the first time since 1976-78.
*The Black Knights also aim to get to six games over .500 in the Patriot League for the first time.
*American has a perfect 14-0 home record against Colgate, and has won eight straight overall against the Raiders.
*The Eagles were one of five teams in League history to open 10-0 before losing at Loyola on Wednesday.
*Loyola's Dylon Cormier, the leading scorer in the Patriot League, will be out for an extended period with an injury.

Patriot League Notebook
Top Four Squads Play at Home for the Weekend
The top four teams in the Patriot League standings already have a separation from the rest of the group, and that can grow even further as each squad will play at home this weekend. The schedule starts on Saturday at 1 p.m. when second-place Boston University hosts Lafayette, while first-place American hosts Colgate one hour later. The third and fourth-place teams will play on CBS Sports Network with Army hosting Navy in the Star Game on Saturday at 4 p.m. and Holy Cross welcoming Bucknell on Sunday at Noon. Two of the teams that are tied for fifth place also square off on Saturday afternoon as Loyola Maryland visits Lehigh at 2 p.m. That game, along with the contests at BU and American, will be on Patriot League Network.

Loyola Ends American's Unbeaten Run as Patriot League Standings Tighten
After learning the top scorer in the Patriot League would be out for an extended period of time, Loyola University Maryland went out and dealt American its first League loss with a 62-58 triumph at home on Wednesday night. The Greyhounds took the lead in the second half and held on for a 62-58 win over American, which saw an 11-game winning streak come to an end. Boston University got within one game of first place with a 61-48 win at Navy, while Army is alone in third place after blasting Lehigh 70-51 at West Point. Bucknell had a chance to grab sole possession of fifth place, but the Bison dropped into a tie with Lehigh and Loyola by falling 66-58 at home against Lafayette, which beat the Bison at Sojka Pavilion for the first time. Holy Cross had locked up fourth place in the standings with a 69-68 win at Colgate on Tuesday on CBS Sports Network.

Loyola's Cormier Out for Extended Period After Surgery
Prior to beating American, Loyola announced that Dylon Cormier, who leads the Patriot League with 21.2 points per game, had surgery on his left hand to repair two fractures sustained in the Greyhounds game against the Army on Saturday. Cormier will be out indefinitely and likely will miss the remainder of the season.

Top Four Separate by Winning on the Road
Fourth-place Holy Cross has a two-game lead over the three teams tied for fifth, and the Crusaders and the rest of the top three teams in the League standings have gained their advantage by winning on the road. American (5-1), Army (5-1) and Boston University (4-1) each have just one road loss, while Holy Cross (4-3) has hung in despite playing the most road games in League play. While the top four squads are a combined 18-6 on the road in Patriot League action, the other six teams are just 7-24 as home teams have a 30-25 overall edge in League play. The top four squads are all home this weekend.

Army Going for History in Star Game
The annual Star Game with Navy will always be a big deal for Army, but this year the Black Knights have some extra incentives on the line against the Mids on Saturday at 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Army has won two straight Star Games, and aims to win the matchup in three straight seasons for the first time since 1976-78 when Mike Krzyzewski was the head coach. Within the Patriot League, Army aims to go six games over .500 for the first time ever after hitting five over for the first time this season.

Lafayette Ends Sojka Sorrows...Can Colgate do it at Bender?
Lafayette earned its first win at Bucknell's Sojka Pavilion when it topped the Bison 66-58 on Wednesday. Bucknell had won the previous 15 meetings in the building which opened in 2003, and had been a particular house of horrors for the Leopards in the last three years with losses in both the regular season and Patriot League Tournament. Colgate tries to pull off a similar feat on Saturday at American, as the Raiders are 0-14 all-time at Bender Arena.

American's Impressive Run Comes to an End
American suffered its first League loss on Wednesday when it fell at Loyola, snapping an 11-game winning streak and a 10-0 start in the Patriot League. The Eagles became only the fifth team in League history to start at 10-0, and were the third that could not get past that mark. American's Mike Brennan opened his Patriot League tenure with 10 wins, one off the record set by Fordham's Nick Macarchuk in the first League season in 1990-91.

Eagles Shooting the Lights Out in League Play
Even in defeat, American continued to shoot the ball extremely well in Patriot League action on Wednesday. The Eagles made 21-of-41 shots and 11-of-19 three-pointers against Loyola, and have hit over 50% from the field in four of the last five games while shooting 48% in the other contest in the stretch. American is shooting 53.5% in League games, and stands second in the nation at 50.7% from the field for the season. The Eagles also lead the way in field-goal percentage defense both overall (41.2%) and in Patriot League games (40.6%).

Photo Finishes
Of the 55 League games played to date, 33 have been decided by single digits and 19 have finished with margins of five points or less. Lehigh has been the team most involved in the tight contests, as nine of the Mountain Hawks' 11 Patriot League games have been decided by four points or less or in overtime.

15 Patriot League Contests to Be Shown On CBS Sports Network....
A 15-game schedule for Patriot League men's basketball on CBSSN featured seven games in January and an additional five to close the regular season in February-March, with three of those coming this week. The Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship will be televised on CBS Sports Network on March 12 at 7:30 p.m., while CBSSN will also air both semifinal games of the Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament on March 8.

...And All of the Rest on Patriot League Network
Any game that is not shown on CBS Sports Network will be available with free online web streaming through Patriot League Network. In its first year, PLN has already showcased all men and women's basketball non-League home games in addition to action for all of the fall sports. PLN also has highlights throughout the year and features on teams and individuals and is available nationally at www.patriotleague.tv and to a wide audience through the Campus Insiders platform. Campus Insiders will also produce a handful of broadcasts on PLN this season, which included the Bucknell/Lehigh and Holy Cross/Amerian games last week. The final Campus Insiders produced broadcast features Boston University at Army on Feb. 26.

Patriot League Games
Lafayette Leopards (6-16, 2-9) at Boston University Terriers (16-8, 9-2)
Agganis Arena; Boston, Mass. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Lafayette tries to keep its winning streak going when it visits Boston University on Saturday afternoon.
*The Leopards have won two straight after dropping all nine contests in the first half of Patriot League play.
*One of those was an 89-78 win for the Terriers in Easton on Jan. 11.
*BU shot 30-of-54 from the field and 15-of-30 from three-point range in the game and had five players in double figures.
*Lafayette was also over 50% from the field at 30-of-58 and had four players score in double figures.
*BU holds a 7-3 overall home mark and 5-1 in League play, with all of the losses coming in overtime.
*Lafayette holds a 4-3 lead in the series with BU, as the schools had last met before this year in 1990-91.

Colgate Raiders (8-14, 2-9) at American Eagles (14-8, 10-1)
Bender Arena; Washington, D.C. - Saturday, 2 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*American tries to rebound from its first Patriot League loss against a team it has historically dominated.
*The Eagles won 69-62 at Colgate on Jan. 11 and hold a 26-3 edge against Colgate as a Patriot League member.
*American trailed by eight points at halftime in the first meeting, but came back with 14-of-18 shooting in the second half.
*The Eagles finished 25-of-40 (62.5%) for the game, while the Raiders were also over 50% at 21-of-41.
*American beat Colgate for the eighth straight time and 19th in the past 20 meetings. *The Eagles are a perfect 14-0 at home against the Raiders.
*American is trying to sweep the season series with Colgate for the fourth year in a row.

Loyola Md Greyhounds (10-12, 5-6) at Lehigh Mountain Hawks (12-12, 5-6)
Stabler Arena; Bethlehem, Pa. - Saturday, 2 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network | Service Electric 2 Sports
*Two of the three teams tied for fifth place in the Patriot League meet in Bethlehem when Loyola Maryland visits Lehigh.
*Loyola won 72-68 at home on Jan. 11 to even the series between the schools at 5-5 in the first meeting since 1988-89.
*Loyola shot an even 50% (26-of-52) for the game, including 12-of-20 in the second half, and led for 38 minutes.
*Dylon Cormier led the Greyhounds with 25 points, but is out for an extended period with an injury.
*Loyola is still looking for its first Patriot League road win as the Greyhounds are 0-5 to offset a 5-1 home League mark.

Navy Midshipmen (7-15, 2-9) at Army Black Knights (12-10, 8-3)
Christl Arena; West Point, N.Y. - Saturday, 4 p.m.
TV: CBS Sports Network
*Navy visits Army in the annual Star Game matchup between the academies on Saturday at 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
*Army has won the Star Game in two straight and three of the last four seasons, including the last two at West Point.
*The Black Knights have not won three straight Star Games against the Mids since 1976-78.
*Navy had won seven straight Star Game matchups before Army's run of three in the last four years.
*The Alumni Trophy is presented to the winner of the game, which consists of plates with the seal of both academies.
*Army has won two straight and four of five overall meetings with Navy after a 60-55 victory in Annapolis on Jan. 11.
*The Black Knights are trying to sweep the season series with the Mids for the second time in three years.
*The Mids did register a 59-50 win when the teams played at West Point last season.
*Army also tries to get to six games over .500 in the Patriot League for the first time.
*Navy leads the all-time series 72-47 with a 35-15 edge as Patriot League members.

Bucknell Bison (10-12, 5-6) at Holy Cross Crusaders (13-10, 7-4)
Hart Center; Worcester, Mass. - Sunday, 12 p.m.
TV: CBS Sports Network
*Holy Cross plays on CBS Sports Network for the second time this week when it hosts Bucknell on Sunday at Noon.
*The Crusaders won on CBSSN at Colgate on Tuesday, while the Bison are 0-2 on the Network this year.
*Bucknell has won three straight and six of the last seven meetings with Holy Cross after a 61-57 win at home on Jan. 11.
*The Bison rallied from a double-digit first-half deficit and went ahead for good in the final minutes.
*Holy Cross' only win in the stretch was a 54-52 triumph at home in 2012.
*Seven of the last nine meetings have been decided by seven points or less.
*Bucknell holds a 34-26 lead in a series that has been played entirely as Patriot League members.

Team Notebooks
AMERICAN American saw its 11-game winning streak and 10-0 run in the Patriot League come to an end with a 62-58 loss at Loyola Maryland on Wednesday...The Eagles' lead over Boston University for first place in the Patriot League fell to one game...American had been just the fifth team in League history to start with a 10-0 record, and became the third that did not get past that mark...The Eagles shot the ball well once again at 21-of-41 overall and 11-of-19 from three-point range, but were just 5-of-7 at the foul line and committed 19 turnovers... American scored the first 10 points of the second half for a 35-27 lead, but the Greyhounds surged back with a 15-4 run for a 42-39 edge midway through the period...The game was close from there until Loyola took the lead for good late with five straight points for a 54-49 edge...American got within two in the final seconds, but Loyola hit a pair of free throws to seal the win... Darius Gardner led American with 19 points, while Jesse Reed scored 16 and Tony Wroblicky finished with 11...The Eagles try to get back on track on Saturday when they play host to Colgate at 2 p.m.

ARMY Army jumped out to a big early lead and never looked back in a 70-51 win over Lehigh at Christl Arena on Wednesday...The Black Knights swept the season series with the Mountain Hawks for the first time since 2002...Army used a 22-4 run to build a 25-8 lead midway through the first half, and carried a 36-19 lead into the half...Lehigh got within eight points twice in the second half, but Army scored the last 10 points to pull away for the 19-point win...Tanner Plomb led the Black Knights with 27 points while making 9-of-11 shots and 5-of-6 from three-point range...Kevin Ferguson and Kyle Wilson each scored nine, with Ferguson filling the stat sheet with nine rebounds, six blocks and four assists...The sophomore center has blocked 17 shots in the last three games...Army held Lehigh to 19-of-53 field-goal shooting and 3-of-11 from three-point range, and the Black Knights also held a 42-32 edge on the boards...Army won for the second game in a row to reach five games over .500 in League play, matching its highest mark ever set earlier this year...The Black Knights try to go six games over for the first time when they host rival Navy on Saturday.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY Boston University held Navy under 50 points for the second time this year in a 61-48 win in Annapolis on Wednesday...The Terriers swept the season series after beating the Mids 55-32 at home on Jan. 7...After Navy scored the opening bucket, BU rolled off 10 straight points and led the rest of the way...The Terriers built their lead as high as 14 points in the first half and again in the second, but Navy came back to close to within 47-42 with under six minutes to play...Navy stayed close until the final minutes when BU finished with an 11-3 run for the 13-point win...D.J. Irving led the Terriers with 12 points, while John Papale added 10 and three others scored nine...Maurice Watson had eight assists to go with his nine points...The Terriers held Navy to under 30% shooting overall (17-of-58) and from three-point range (7-of-27)...BU also held a commanding 50-33 rebounding advantage and pulled down 18 offensive rebounds to add extra possessions on a night where it was under 40% from the field...The Terriers are just one game out of first place, and try to win a second straight contest when they host Lafayette on Saturday.

BUCKNELL The Bison lost to Lafayette at Sojka Pavilion for the first time as the Leopards prevailed 66-58 on Wednesday...Bucknell had won the first 15 meetings between the schools at the building which opened in 2003...Bucknell led by seven points late in the first half, but the Leopards used a 17-4 run spanning the first and second half to take a six-point lead... Lafayette scored six straight points for a 47-37 lead, and held at least a six-point lead the rest of the way... After Bucknell set a Patriot League single-game record by shooting 80% (12-of-15) from three-point range in a 96-86 win over Lafayette on Jan. 8, the Leopards held the Bison to just 2-of-16 from three-point range Wednesday...Cameron Ayers led the Bison with 22 points, his fourth-straight with 20 or more...Brian Fitzpatrick added 12 points for Bucknell, which lost for the fifth time in seven games and second straight at home...The Bison go on the road to Holy Cross Sunday at Noon on CBS Sports Network.

COLGATE The Raiders led most of the way against Holy Cross, but faltered in the final minute and fell to the Crusaders 69-68 at home on Tuesday on CBS Sports Network... Colgate led by as many as 12 in the first half before settling on a 36-31 lead at the break...Colgate pushed its lead to 50-40 in the second half, but Holy Cross answered with a 12-3 run....The Raiders scored four straight points for a 63-60 lead, but Holy Cross tied the score at 63-63 and 65-65...Colgate had possession in the final minute, but threw away the inbounds pass to lead to a go-ahead layup for the Crusaders...Ethan Jacobs missed a three-pointer for the lead, and Holy Cross hit two free throws to seal the win...Colgate fell despite shooting 58.3% (28-of-48) and 9-of-17 from three-point range...Murphy Burnatowski led the Raiders with 16 points, while Jacobs and Chad Johnson each scored 10...The Raiders now face a tough trip as they visit first-place American on Saturday.

HOLY CROSS Holy Cross trailed for nearly the entire game before using a late 9-2 run to pull out a 69-68 win at Colgate on Tuesday...The Crusaders won their sixth game in the last seven, and also beat Colgate for the sixth time in seven meetings...Holy Cross swept the season series from the Raiders for the second time in three years...Colgate was up 10 in the second half before Holy Cross used a 12-3 run to tighten the game..Justin Burrell tied the score at 63-63 on a three-pointer, and Malcolm Miller evened it at 65-65 on a bucket with 1:16 left for the Crusaders...Burrell stole an inbounds pass and fed Eric Green for a dunk to put Holy Cross ahead for good at 67-65 with 25 seconds left...Colgate missed a three-pointer for the lead, and Miller hit two free throws to ice the win with nine seconds left before Colgate hit a three at the buzzer for the final margin...Miller led Holy Cross with 17 points, while Dave Dudzinski (14), Burrell (11) and Green (11) also scored in double figures...Holy Cross shot 52.8% (28-of-53) for the game and pulled down 11 offensive rebounds while holding a 25-21 edge on the boards...The Crusaders have another CBS Sports Network appearance on Sunday when they host Bucknell at Noon.

LAFAYETTE Lafayette earned its first win in 16 games at Sojka Pavilion with a 66-58 victory at Bucknell on Wednesday...The Leopards have won two straight after an 11-game losing streak and 0-9 start in the Patriot League...Lafayette trailed 24-17 late in the first half before using a 17-4 run spanning the periods to take the lead for good...The Leopards closed to within 26-24 at the half, and built a 34-28 lead early in the second half with the 17-4 stretch...Lafayette scored six straight points for a 47-37 lead with 6:24 left, and held at least a six-point lead the rest of the way...Seth Hinrichs had a double-double for the Leopards with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Dan Trist (14) and Monty Boykins (13) added scoring punch off the bench...After Bucknell set a Patriot single-game record by shooting 80% (12-of-15) from three-point range in a 96-86 win over Lafayette on Jan. 8, the Leopards held the Bison to just 2-of-16 from three-point range on Wednesday...Lafayette tries to build on its winning streak when it visits Boston University on Saturday afternoon.

LEHIGH Lehigh got off to a bad start and could never recover in a 70-51 loss at Army on Wednesday...The Mountain Hawks fell back under .500 in the Patriot League as their four-game winning streak came to an end... Army used a 22-4 run to build a 25-8 lead midway through the first half, and carried a 36-19 lead into the half...Lehigh got within eight points twice in the second half, but Army scored the last 10 points to pull away for the 19-point win... Mackey McKnight led Lehigh with 16 points, while Tim Kempton scored 12...The Mountain Hawks were swept by the Black Knights for the first time since 2002...Lehigh tries to avoid the season sweep against Loyola Maryland when it hosts the Greyhounds on Saturday...Lehigh and Loyola are tied for fifth place in the Patriot League along with Bucknell at 5-6.

LOYOLA MARYLAND With leading scorer Dylon Cormier sidelined, three players stepped up to finish in double figures as Loyola Maryland handed American its first League loss with a 62-58 final on Wednesday...American scored the first 10 points of the second half for a 35-27 lead, but the Greyhounds surged back with a 15-4 run for a 42-39 edge midway through the period...The game went back and forth from there until Loyola went ahead for good on a layup by Franz Rassman with 3:49 left and R.J. Williams added three more points for a 54-49 lead with just over a minute to play... Loyola made 8-of-10 free throws down the stretch to seal the win, including a pair by Denzel Brito with five seconds left to provide the final margin...Tyler Hubbard led the Greyhounds with 20 points, while Rassman scored 11 and Jordan Latham had 10 off the bench...Loyola made just under 50% from the field at 19-of-39 and hit 7-of-10 three-pointers and 17-of-22 free throws...Loyola was outrebounded 25-17, but gained possessions by forcing 19 turnovers by the Eagles...Loyola announced before the game on Wednesday that Cormier, who leads the Patriot League with 21.2 points per game, had surgery on his left hand to repair two fractures sustained in the Greyhounds game against Army on Saturday...He will be out indefinitely and likely will miss the remainder of the season....Loyola improved to 5-1 at home in the Patriot League with the win over American, but is still looking for its first League road win as it starts a two-game trip with a visit to Lehigh on Saturday.

NAVY Navy struggled to score against Boston University for the second time this season in a 61-48 loss at home on Wednesday...The Mids dropped the first contest 55-32 at BU on Jan. 7...Navy fell behind for good when BU scored 10 straight points early, but the Mids fought back from a 14-point deficit to get within 47-42 with under six minutes to play...Navy stayed close until the final minutes when BU finished with an 11-3 run for the 13-point win... Zach Fong scored 15 points and Tim Abruzzo added 12 as the freshmen paced a bench which scored 34 points...Navy dropped its sixth consecutive game...The Mids will try to end the losing skid and win the Star Game when they visit rival Army on Saturday at 4 p.m.