Bucknell, Lehigh Survive Road Test to Remain Tied For First Place



Feb. 9, 2013

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Bucknell held on in the final seconds while Lehigh rallied late as each team won on the road to remain tied for first place in Patriot League men's basketball.

The Bison never trailed against Army, but had to escape with a 60-58 win as the Black Knights missed multiple shots to tie in the final seconds. Lehigh was down 47-44 late in the second half at Holy Cross before taking control with a 15-4 run and going on to a 68-61 victory in snowy Worcester.

Both teams improved to 7-1 in the Patriot League, two games ahead of third-place Lafayette. The Leopards gave up the first eight points, then dominated the rest of the way in a 70-47 win at Navy. American took sole possession of fourth place by using a 16-2 second-half run to get past Colgate 70-55 and become the only home winner of the day.

Each of the winning teams swept the season series against their opponent, with Lafayette, Bucknell and American doing it for the second straight year against their foes and Lehigh winning both meetings with Holy Cross for the first time since 2010.

Colgate and Army fell into a fifth-place tie at 3-5, while Holy Cross is 2-6 and Navy stands 1-7 in the Patriot League. The Crusaders host the Mids on Tuesday before Wednesday's schedule features American at Lehigh, Colgate at Bucknell and Army at Lafayette.

Recaps and box scores from Saturday's games are included below.

Bucknell 60 at Army 58
Box Score

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Bucknell (20-4, 7-1 Patriot League) led from start to finish, but had to survive in the final seconds to top Army (10-13, 3-5) 60-58 on Saturday at Christl Arena.

Bryson Johnson hit a trio of three-pointers to become the Patriot League's all-time leader with 303 in his career, and also scored 17 points with eight rebounds and six assists. Cameron Ayers led the Bison with 19 points, while Mike Muscala had his NCAA-best 17th double-double of the year with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bison scored the first seven points of the game, and held a small lead throughout the first half before taking a 25-21 advantage at intermission. Bucknell extended its lead in the second half and went up 47-36 with 8:48 to play, but Army came back with a 14-5 run to get within 52-50 4:13 to play. Johnson responded with his record-breaking three-pointer and Ayers hit a pair of shots as Bucknell built its lead back to 60-54, but Army was back to within 60-58 with 1:27 to play. Army had three shots to tie in the final minute, including two in the last 15 seconds, but could not come up with the bucket as Bucknell held on for the win.

The Bison won on the road for the 10th time this season, tied with Stony Brook for the most in Division I. Bucknell beat Army for the fifth consecutive time, and has won at least five straight meetings against five Patriot League schools. The Bison overcame a sub-par shooting night of 39.2% (20-of-51), though they did heat up in the second half with a 14-of-28 clip. Bucknell was a solid 13-of-16 at the foul line, and limited a proficient three-point shooting team to 5-of-15 from beyond the arc. Bucknell starts at least 7-1 in the Patriot League for the third consecutive season.

Kyle Wilson led Army with 14 points, while Ella Ellis and Larry Toomey each added 10. The Black Knights shot just 21-of-55 overall and 5-of-15 from beyond the arc, though they did hit 11-of-14 free throws. Army dropped its second straight game, and has still not been at .500 in the second half of League play since 2008.

Lehigh 68 at Holy Cross 61
Box Score

WORCESTER, Mass. - Lehigh (17-5, 7-1 Patriot League) went on a 15-4 run late in the second half to rally for a 68-61 win over Holy Cross (10-13, 2-6) on Saturday at the Hart Center. The game was pushed back to 7 p.m. due to massive amounts of snowfall in the Worcester area.

The Mountain Hawks continued their road success with their ninth win away from Bethlehem in the last 10 games. Lehigh's nine road wins this season are tied for third in the country behind Bucknell and Stony Brook. It also won at Holy Cross for just the second time in 19 tries, and swept the season series with the Crusaders for the first time since 2010. Lehigh continues its best Patriot League start since opening 11-1 in 2006.

Lehigh came out hot, making 9-of-12 shots and 4-of-6 three-pointers to build the lead in the early minutes. The Mountain Hawks would go on to take a 33-27 lead at the half, but Holy Cross surged back in the second half. The Crusaders opened the second stanza with a 12-4 run to take the lead, and the teams went back and forth until Holy Cross had a 47-44 advantage midway through the second half. Lehigh answered with a decisive 15-4 run to take a 58-51 lead with less than four minutes to play and sealed the win by making 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute.

Mackey McKnight led the Mountain Hawks with 22 points, and also added five rebounds and four assists. He hit 11-of-12 free throws in the game including the clutch makes down the stretch. Gabe Knutson had 14 points, Holden Greiner added 13, B.J. Bailey had 10 and Anthony D'Orazio scored nine as Lehigh's starters accounted for all of the team's scoring. The Mountain Hawks hit just 20-of-46 shots and 6-of-22 three-pointers after their hot start, but made up for it with a 22-of-27 clip at the foul line. Lehigh also showed up defensively by forcing 15 turnovers and limiting the Crusaders to 3-of-18 from long distance. The Mountain Hawks have won nine consecutive road games against Patriot League opponents.

Dave Dudzinski led the Crusaders with 13 points, while Malcolm Miller had 10. The Crusaders were 22-of-42 from inside the arc to finish at 25-of-60 for the game, but were hurt by their three-point shooting. Holy Cross held a 37-30 edge on the boards, with Miller pulling down nine to just miss a double-double. The Crusaders have lost five consecutive Patriot League games for the first time since 1999, and fall to 2-6 in the League for the first time since 2008.

Lafayette 70 at Navy 47
Box Score

ANNAPOLIS, Md - After giving up the first eight points of the game, Lafayette (12-13, 5-3) dominated in every area to come away with a 70-47 win over Navy (7-17, 1-7) on Saturday at Alumni Hall.

The Leopards won for the fourth time in the last five meetings, and knocked off the Mids for the fourth straight time for their second consecutive season sweep of Navy. Lafayette improves to 5-3 in the Patriot League for the second straight year and fourth in the last six seasons.

After the early deficit, Lafayette took over by shooting lights out from beyond the arc. The Leopards made seven consecutive three-pointers as part of a commanding 28-6 surge to build a 28-14 lead with 4:07 to play in the first half. Lafayette led 35-20 at the break, then opened the second half on a 12-4 run and led by at least 20 the rest of the way in the 70-47 triumph.

Four Leopards scored in double figures, led by Joey Ptasinski with 15 while making 4-of-5 three-pointers. Dan Trist scored 13 points, Seth Hinrichs had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Zach Rufer added 11. Lafayette shot well in all areas, going 24-of-46 from the field, 8-of-16 from three-point range and 14-of-17 at the free throw line. The Leopards held a 35-24 edge on the boards and limited Navy to 19-of-51 from the field and 3-of-14 from three-point range in the game. Lafayette has held its opponent to under 60 points in each of its five Patriot League wins this season.

Worth Smith was the only Navy player in double figures with 13 points, and also finished with five steals. Tilman Dunbar had eight points and five assists, but Navy fell for the fifth straight time and 11th in the last 12 games.

at American 70, Colgate 55
Box Score

WASHINGTON, D.C. - American (9-14, 4-4) broke open a close game with a 16-2 second-half run to go on to a 70-55 win over Colgate (9-16, 3-5) on Saturday at Bender Arena.

The Eagles won against the Raiders for the seventh consecutive time and 18th in the last 19 meetings, and swept the season series with Colgate for the third year in a row. American has been at least .500 through eight Patriot League games for six consecutive seasons.

Colgate used a 9-0 run to grab an early six-point lead, but the Eagles came right back and the first half was back and forth as American held a 25-24 lead at the break. The game stayed close early in the second half with the score knotted at 36-36 with 13:32 left, but the Eagles took over from there. American scored the next nine points to build a 45-36 lead on John Schoof's three-pointer with 9:24 left, then answered a Colgate basket with seven straight points to make it a 16-2 run and take a 52-38 lead on another Schoof three-pointer with 6:51 left. Colgate scored the next six points to get back within eight, but American responded with an 8-0 run to seal the 70-55 win.

Schoof led the Eagles with 24 points while making 8-of-11 shots and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. He stands fourth in the country by making 50.9% from beyond the arc this season. Daniel Munoz added 13 points and six assists, Stephen Lumpkins had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and Tony Wroblicky just missed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds. The Eagles had five players in double figures as Jesse Reed added 10 points off the bench. American held a 37-27 edge on the boards and finished with 14 assists against just eight turnovers. The Eagles earned their second straight win.

Brandon James led the Raiders with 18 points off the bench, while Murphy Burnatowski scored 11. The Raiders only committed four turnovers in the game, but were 21-of-61 from the field and 6-of-20 from beyond the arc. Colgate has still not been at .500 in the second half of League play since 2009.