Feb. 10, 2014
Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 2.10.14
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The Patriot League men's basketball schedule is two-thirds complete, and very little has been decided heading into the home stretch. American and Boston University are tied for first place at 10-2 with six games to go after the Eagles fell twice last week.
Patriot League Anaconda Weekly Awards (Feb. 3-9)
Anaconda Player of the Week
MALCOLM MILLER, HOLY CROSS Jr., F, 6-7, 210; Laytonsville, Md./Gaithersburg
Miller continued his strong play and led the Crusaders to a pair of wins last week by averaging 15.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in victories over Colgate and Bucknell. He led the team with 17 points and added five rebounds and three assists in a 69-68 win at Colgate on Tuesday. Miller made both ends of a one-and-one with eight seconds left to put the Crusaders ahead 69-65 and secure the win. He put up 14 points, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals as Holy Cross won for the seventh time in eight games with a 66-50 triumph over Bucknell on Sunday. Miller has scored in double figures in three straight and eight of the last 10 games, with the Crusaders going 8-2 in that stretch to move into a tie for third place in the Patriot League. Miller is named Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week for the first time.
Anaconda Rookie of the Week
TIM KEMPTON, LEHIGH Fr., F/C, 6-10, 225; Scottsdale, Ariz./Brophy College Prep
Kempton earns his third straight Patriot League Anaconda Rookie of the Week award and now leads all players with five honors for the season after averaging 13.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in a pair of games for the Mountain Hawks. He had 12 points and eight rebounds in a 70-51 loss to Army on Wednesday, then totaled 14 points and eight boards in a 66-52 win over Loyola on Saturday. Kempton was consistent with 5-of-11 shooting from the field in each game, and also made all four of his free throw attempts against the Greyhounds. He stands ninth in the Patriot League with 13.2 points per game for the season, third with 6.8 rebounds per contest and 10th with a 50.6% mark from the field. Kempton is the only Patriot League freshman ranked in the top 10 in any of the three categories.
TANNER PLOMB, ARMY So., F, 6-7, 200; Mukwonago, Wis./East Troy
Plomb had 27 points in a win over Lehigh on Wednesday and averaged 22.0 in two games last week.
SETH HINRICHS, LAFAYETTE Jr., G, 6-7, 218; Clara City, Minn./Maccray
Hinrichs averaged 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in two games last week, with his first double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds in a 66-58 win at Bucknell on Wednesday.
MAURICE WATSON Jr., BOSTON UNIVERSITY So., G, 5-10, 165; Philadelphia, Pa./Boys' Latin
Watson averaged 10.5 points and 8.0 assists in two wins for the Terriers, and his total of 168 assists for the season is already eighth in school history and one away from the Patriot League top 10.
WORTH SMITH, NAVY Jr., F, 6-6, 202; Mooresville, N.C./Charlotte Christian
Smith scored 23 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead Navy to a 79-57 win in the Star Game at Army on Saturday.
MACKEY McKNIGHT, LEHIGH Sr., G, 6-0, 170; New Orleans, La./Langham Creek
McKnight averaged 11.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists in a 1-1 week for the Mountain Hawks.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*American and Boston University are tied for first in the Patriot League with six games to play.
*The Eagles lost both of their games last week after a 10-0 start, including a 63-60 home loss to Colgate on Saturday.
*Colgate won its first-ever game at American's Bender Arena.
*Boston University has won two straight and tied the Eagles at 10-2 after an 88-54 win over Lafayette on Saturday.
*American hosts Lehigh while Boston University heads to Colgate on Wednesday.
*Army and Holy Cross are tied for third place after the Black Knights fell to Navy and the Crusaders beat Bucknell.
*Holy Cross hosts Army on Wednesday with the winner getting the upper hand.
*Lehigh emerged from a fifth-place tie with Bucknell and Loyola Maryland by beating the Greyhounds 66-52 on Saturday.
*Lehigh senior guard Mackey McKnight moved into third place in League history with 536 assists.
*Wednesday's slate also features Navy at Bucknell and Loyola at Lafayette as teams battle for position in the standings.
*All five of Wednesday's games can be seen on Patriot League Network.
Patriot League Notebook
First-Place, Third-Place Ties with Three Weeks to Go
The Patriot League schedule is two-thirds complete, and very little has been decided heading into the home stretch. American and Boston University are tied for first place at 10-2 with six games to go after the Eagles fell twice last week. Both squads look for an advantage on Wednesday as the Eagles host Lehigh and the Terriers visit Colgate. The next spot in the standings is very much up for grabs as Army and Holy Cross are tied for third place at 8-4 heading into their game in Worcester on Wednesday. Bucknell hosts Navy and Loyola Maryland visits Lafayette to complete Wednesday's slate. All five of Wednesday's contests will be shown on Patriot League Network, with four games at 7 p.m. and Lehigh-American at 7:30.
American Falls Again as Boston University Ties Eagles for First Place
One week ago, American was sitting at 10-0 in Patriot League men's basketball and had opened up a two-game lead for first place over Boston University. That advantage is all gone now, as the Eagles fell 63-60 at home against Colgate for their second straight loss and the Terriers beat Lafayette 88-54 to tie American for first place on Saturday. American made a late push after falling behind by double digits, but Colgate hung on in the final seconds for its first-ever win at Bender Arena.
Colgate was not the only upset road winner, as Navy pulled away early in the second half for a 79-57 thumping of rival Army in the Star Game at West Point. Lehigh moved into fifth place in the Patriot League with a 66-52 win at home against Loyola Maryland, while Holy Cross tied Army for third with a nearly identical 66-50 win at home against Bucknell on Sunday.
2014 Patriot League Tournament
The 2014 Patriot League Tournament begins with the first round on March 3 with the No. 10 seed at the No. 7 and No. 9 at No. 8. The quarterfinals are two days later and will be hosted by the top four seeds, with the 9/8 winner playing at No. 1 and 10/7 winner at No. 2. The semifinals are at the higher seeds in each bracket on March 8, with the Patriot League Championship on March 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the site of the higher seed. The first round and quarterfinal contests are on Patriot League Network, with the semifinals (3:30 p.m./5:30 p.m.) and championship on CBS Sports Network.
BU's Watson, Lehigh's McKnight Among Nation's Assist Leaders
Boston University sophomore Maurice Watson Jr. and Lehigh senior Mackey McKnight are on opposite ends of their careers, but are both tearing up the Patriot League this season. Watson is sixth in the country with 6.7 assists per game, while McKnight is not far behind in 14th at 6.0 per contest. Watson already has 168 assists for the season, just one away from the Patriot League top 10, while McKnight is up to third in League history with 536 assists for his career. Both players are also in the top 10 in the Patriot League in scoring this season, with McKnight already in the 1,000-point club.
Lafayette's Hinrichs Ready to Become First Member of Class of 2015 in 1,000-Point Club
Six active Patriot Leaguers have scored 1,000 points in their career, all of whom are seniors. The first member of the class of 2015 might join the group as early as Wednesday as Lafayette's Seth Hinrichs is within 12 points of 1,000 for his career. Hinrichs is ready to hit the mark in his junior season even after missing 10 games with an injury. Active Patriot Leaguers with over 1,000 points in their career include Loyola's Dylon Cormier (1,659), Bucknell's Cameron Ayers (1,424), Boston University's D.J. Irving (1,349), Lehigh's Mackey McKnight (1,243), Holy Cross' Dave Dudzinski (1,210) and BU's Dom Morris (1,029).
Loyola's Cormier Out for Extended Period After Surgery
Cormier leads the way among active Patriot Leaguers in scoring and tops the charts with 21.2 points per game this year, but he might not have a chance to add to those numbers. Loyola announced on Wednesday that Cormier had surgery on his left hand to repair two fractures sustained in the Greyhounds game against the Army on Feb. 1 Cormier will be out indefinitely and likely will miss the remainder of the season.
Lafayette, Colgate End Road Woes Last Week
After Lafayette earned its first win at Bucknell's Sojka Pavilion on Wednesday, Colgate did the same at American's Bender Arena with a 63-60 victory over the Eagles on Saturday. The Leopards had an 0-15 mark at Sojka since the facility opened in 2003, while the Raiders carried an 0-14 all-time record at Bender Arena.
Top Four Separate by Winning on the Road
While road wins by Lafayette, Colgate and Navy last week showed multiple teams can win away from home, the difference in the Patriot League standings remains the success of the top four teams in road contests. 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 9-27 as home teams have a 33-27 overall edge in League play.
Four out of five Patriot League games were decided by double digits over the weekend, but that has definitely not been the norm in 2014. Thirty-four of 60 games played to date have been decided by single digits, and 20 have finished with margins of five points or less.
Eagles Shooting the Lights Out in League Play
Even in defeat, American continued to shoot the ball extremely well in Patriot League action last week. The Eagles were over 50% in both of their games and stand at 53.3% in League action and 50.7% for the season overall, which is good for second in the nation. American has shot over 50% in five of its last six games while shooting 48% in the other contest in the stretch. The Eagles also lead the way in field-goal percentage defense both overall (41.4%) and in Patriot League games (41.0%).
CBS Sports Network, Patriot League Network Cover the Season
CBS Sports Network has already shown 10 Patriot League games this season, with flex games to come as the regular season closes out on Feb. 23 and March 1. CBSSN also has both semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament on March 8 at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. and the Patriot League Championship on March 12 at 7:30 p.m. Any game that is not shown on CBS Sports Network will be available with free online web streaming through Patriot League Network. 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 has also produced three broadcasts on PLN this season, and has one more left with Boston University at Army on Feb. 26.
Patriot League Games
Army Black Knights (12-11, 8-4) at Holy Cross Crusaders (14-10, 8-4)
Hart Center; Worcester, Mass. - Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Third place in the Patriot League is on the line as Army visits Holy Cross on Wednesday at the Hart Center.
*Holy Cross tied the Black Knights by beating Bucknell on Sunday after Army fell to Navy on Saturday.
*The Crusaders would own the tiebreaker with a win as they beat Army 78-75 at West Point on Jan. 15.
*Holy Cross rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit to come back for the victory.
*Army's Tanner Plomb scored 29 points in the loss, the highest mark in a Patriot League game this season.
*Holy Cross is trying to sweep the Black Knights for the first time since 2011 after Army swept the matchups last year.
*Holy Cross leads the all-time series 58-19, with a 39-12 record since the teams entered the Patriot League.
Boston University Terriers (17-8, 10-2) at Colgate Raiders (9-14, 3-9)
Cotterell Court; Hamilton, N.Y. - Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*After beating first-place American on Saturday, Colgate tries to do it again when it hosts Boston University on Wednesday.
*The Raiders won 63-60 at American to allow Boston University, which beat Lafayette 88-54, to tie the Eagles for first.
*BU beat Colgate 66-58 at home on Jan. 15, scoring the last six points of the contest to pull out a tight victory.
*Colgate became the fifth team in Patriot League history that did not make a free throw in a game.
*The Terriers have won 19 straight against Colgate as BU won all 18 meetings between the schools from 1979-80 to 1989-90.
*The Terriers hold a closer 23-15 edge in the all-time series with Colgate.
Navy Midshipmen (8-15, 3-9) at Bucknell Bison (10-13, 5-7)
Sojka Pavilion; Lewisburg, Pa. - Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Navy tries to build off its big win at rival Army on Saturday and sweep Bucknell for the first time since 2010 on Wednesday.
*The Mids snapped a six-game losing skid and won on the road for the first time since November with a 79-57 win at Army.
*Navy's last previous victory had been a 62-61 nail-biter against the Bison at home on Jan. 15.
*Navy led 56-40 with under five minutes to play before barely holding off Bucknell down the stretch.
*The Mids snapped an eight-game losing skid against the Bison and beat Bucknell for the first time since the sweep in 2010.
*The loss began a stretch where the Bison have fallen in six of the last eight games, including two in a row at home.
*Navy holds a slim 35-33 lead in the all-time series, though Bucknell is ahead 29-23 as Patriot League members.
Loyola Maryland Greyhounds (10-13, 5-7) at Lafayette Leopards (6-17, 2-10)
Kirby Sports Center; Easton, Pa. - Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network | Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60)
*Loyola Maryland goes for its first Patriot League road victory when it visits Lafayette on Wednesday.
*The Greyhounds are 0-6 on the road in League play despite a 5-1 mark at home.
*Loyola beat Lafayette 77-63 at home on Jan. 13 by taking over in the second half after trailing by two at the break.
*Dylon Cormier had 25 points and 11 rebounds in the game for Loyola, but is now out of action with an injury.
*R.J. Williams also had a double-double with 12 points and a career-high 10 assists and Loyola shot over 50% from the field.
*Loyola took a 2-1 lead in the all-time series as the teams were facing off for the first time since 1962.
Lehigh Mountain Hawks (13-12, 6-6) at American Eagles (14-9, 10-2)
Bender Arena; Washington, D.C. - Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*After losing twice last week, American tries to get back in the win column at home against Lehigh on Wednesday.
*American had started 10-0 in League play and held a two-game lead, but is now tied for first with Boston University.
*Part of the 10-0 start was a 65-63 win at Lehigh when the teams first met on Jan. 15.
*Jesse Reed hit consecutive three-pointers to break a 57-57 tie late and send American to the win.
*American had 21 assists and only nine turnovers and won at Lehigh for the first time since 2011.
*The Eagles are now trying to sweep the Mountain Hawks for the first time since that 2011 campaign.
*American is also trying to reach 11 Patriot League wins for the first time since 2011.
*American has a 23-18 lead in the all-time series, and the teams are tied 14-14 as Patriot League members.
AMERICAN The Eagles led the Patriot League by two games a week ago, but are now tied with Boston University after falling 63-60 at home against Colgate on Saturday...American had opened 10-0 in League play and had an 11-game winning streak before a 62-58 loss at Loyola Maryland on Wednesday...American lost at home to Colgate for the first time, and saw their eight-game win streak over the Raiders come to an end...The Eagles fell behind by 15 points with 12 minutes to play,
but nearly staged a huge rally to win...They went on a 7-0 run to get within 53-49 with five minutes to play, and John Schoof hit three free throws to make it 61-60 with three seconds left...Colgate answered with a pair at the line, and Darius Gardner could not connect on a desperation heave as time expired... Schoof and Jesse Reed led the Eagles with 15 points apiece, while Gardner scored 13 and Tony Wroblicky had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds...American was over 50% from the field for the fifth time in six games at 22-of-43, but was not as proficient from long range at 6-of-17...The Eagles will try to get back on track on Wednesday when they host Lehigh.
ARMY After an impressive 19-point win at home against Lehigh on Wednesday, Army came out with its worst performance in Patriot League play in a 79-57 home loss to Navy on Saturday... The Black Knights were trying to win three consecutive Star Games for the first time since 1976-78, but instead fell to just 3-3 at Christl Arena in Patriot League action and lost to their rival at home for the second
year in a row...Army rallied to take a one-point lead late in the first half and was down two early in the second before Navy went on a 22-4 run to take control for good... Tanner Plomb led Army with 17 points, while Dylan Cox added 10...Army shot under 40% for the game while allowing Navy to go 30-of-57 from the field and 11-of-20 from three-point range...Army fell into a third-place tie with Holy Cross at 8-4 in the Patriot League, and now visits the Crusaders on Wednesday trying to even the season series.
BOSTON UNIVERSITY Boston University never trailed in an 88-54 rout of Lafayette on Saturday...BU swept an opponent in Patriot League play for the second time this week after doing so against Navy on Wednesday...The Terriers took command early with a 27-4 run to build a 31-8 lead with less than eight minutes to play in the first half...BU held a 42-23 advantage at the half, and led by at least 19 points throughout the second half on its way to the 34-point win...Justin Alston led the Terriers with a career-high 17 points, while D.J. Irving (16), Maurice Watson (12) and John Papale (11) also finished in double figures...Watson also had eight assists for the second game in a row as BU dished out 21 in the game against only nine turnovers...Watson is sixth nationally with 6.7 assists per game, and his total of 168 is already eighth in school single-season history and just one away from the Patriot League top 10...The Terriers shot 37-of-66 (56.1%) from the field in the contest while limiting Lafayette to 18-of-55 (32.7%)...Now tied for first place with American, BU tries to keep it that way as it faces road games this week at Colgate on Wednesday and Loyola Maryland on Saturday.
BUCKNELL The Bison lost for the second time in the week and sixth in the last eight overall as they fell to Holy Cross 66-50 on Sunday on CBS Sports Network...Holy Cross took the lead late in the first half, went up 27-21 at the break and pulled away in the second half to lead by as many as 21 in the final minute...Cameron Ayers led the Bison with 15 points while Chris Hass scored 14...The Bison shot just 16-of-49 for the game, and 7-of-27 from three-point range... Holy Cross beat Bucknell for the first time since 2012, snapping a three-game streak for the Bison...Bucknell will try to get back on track with a pair of home games this week as it welcomes Navy on Wednesday at Army on Saturday.
COLGATE Colgate earned its first-ever win at Bender Arena as it held on for a 63-60 victory over American on Saturday...The Raiders beat American for the first time since 2010, snapping an eight-game run in the series for the Eagles...Colgate led for the last 34 minutes of the game, going up 33-26 at halftime and stretching it to 49-34 with 12 minutes to play...American answered with the next six points, and later went on a 7-0 run to get within 53-49 with five minutes to play...After the Eagles hit three free throws to make it 61-60 with three seconds left, Matt McMullen iced the win at the line for the Raiders with a pair of his own...Austin Tillotson led Colgate with 17 points, while Ethan Jacobs added 14...The 6-foot-11 Jacobs stands second on the team and in the top 15 in the Patriot League with 41 three-pointers for the season...The Raiders were 8-of-15 from three-point range while holding American to 6-of-17 from beyond the arc...Colgate came in with an 0-14 record at Bender Arena...After knocking American out of sole possession of first place in the Patriot League, the Raiders take on the team that is now tied with the Eagles when they host Boston University on Wednesday.
HOLY CROSS Holy Cross built the lead in the first half and pulled away in the second for a 66-50 win at home against Bucknell on Sunday...The Crusaders went on an 8-2 run late in the first half and took a 27-21 lead at the break, then scored the first five points of the second half to go ahead by double digits...Bucknell would get no closer than eight points the rest of the way, with Holy Cross
building the lead to 21 in the final minute before settling on the 16-point win...Justin Burrell led the Crusaders with 19 points, while Malcolm Miller added 14...Miller had 17 points in Tuesday's win over Colgate, and has scored in double digits in three straight and eight of the last 10 games...Dave Dudzinski just missed a double-double for Holy Cross with nine points and 12 rebounds...The Crusaders held a 38-30 edge on the boards, and pulled down 13 offensive rebounds...Holy Cross limited Bucknell to 16-of-49 shooting for the game, and just 7-of-27 in the second half...The Crusaders beat Bucknell for the first time since 2012 to end a three-game run for the Bison...Holy Cross has won seven of eight games to bounce back from a 1-3 start in the Patriot League and hold an 8-4 record...The Crusaders are tied for third place with Army, who they will try to sweep in the season series on Wednesday in Worcester.
LAFAYETTE Lafayette saw its two-game winning streak come to an end with an 88-54 loss at Boston University on Saturday...The Leopards were taken out of the game early as BU went on a 27-4 run to build a 31-8 lead and coasted from there... Seth Hinrichs led the Leopards with 19 points as he played well for the second game in a row in his return to the court...Hinrichs also pulled down nine rebounds in the game, and averaged 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds last week after scoring 18 with
10 boards in a 66-58 win at Bucknell on Wednesday...Hinrichs is just 12 points shy of 1,000 for his career...Lafayette returns home for both of its games this week, welcoming Loyola Maryland on Wednesday and hosting American on Saturday.
LEHIGH Lehigh led from start to finish in a 66-52 win at home against Loyola Maryland on Saturday...The game was close into the second half when Lehigh scored seven straight points for a 36-27 edge with less than 15 minutes to play...Loyola got back to within six, but Lehigh answered with a 9-2 run to push the lead to 13 and led by at least nine points for the last nine minutes...Jesse Chuku led Lehigh with 15 points, while Tim Kempton added 14...Mackey McKnight filled the stat sheet with seven points, 10 rebounds and six assists, where he moved into third place in Patriot League history with 536 for his career...Lehigh shot just 17-of-51 from the field, but made up for it with a 26-of-30 performance at the foul line...
The Mountain Hawks also had a commanding 45-30 advantage on the boards and limited Loyola to 19-of-57 from the field and 3-of-15 from three-point range..Lehigh won a Patriot League game by more than seven points for the first time this season, and led at the half for the first time since the League opener at Colgate...Lehigh split the season series with Loyola...The Mountain Hawks go back on the road Wednesday when they visit first-place American.
LOYOLA MARYLAND The Greyhounds remained winless on the road in Patriot League play as they fell 66-52 at Lehigh on Saturday...Loyola never led, and saw Lehigh pull away with runs of 7-0 and 9-2 early in the second half... Eric Laster led Loyola with 17 points, while Jordan Latham scored 13 off the bench...The Greyhounds fell to 0-6 on the road in Patriot League play despite holding a 5-1 mark in League home games...Loyola will be without leading scorer Dylon Cormier for an extended period because of an injury, though the Greyhounds did beat first-place American 62-58 at home in their first contest without Cormier on Wednesday...Loyola comes back to the Lehigh Valley to visit Lafayette on Wednesday.
NAVY Navy put up a 22-4 run early in the second half to pull away and go on to a 79-57 rout of Army in the Star Game at West Point on Saturday...The Mids won the Star Game for the first time since 2011, and won at Christl Arena for the second year in a row...The Mids led 37-35 before going on the surge which put them ahead 59-39 with less than 13 minutes to play...Navy later scored 11 straight points to build the lead to 72-46 before cruising to the 22-point win...Worth Smith led the Mids with 23 points, while Brandon Venturini (17) and Kendall Knorr (12) also scored in double figures...Smith had a career-best nine field goals and also led the team with eight rebounds...Venturini and Knorr also recorded careers bests of eight assists apiece as Navy had 23 assists on 30 field goals...Navy shot over 50% for the game at 30-of-57 and was lights out from long range with an 11-of-20 clip...The 55% mark from three-point range was a record in the Army-Navy series...The Mids also held a 34-26 rebounding advantage, forced 17 turnovers and held Army to under 40% shooting from the field...Navy snapped a six-game losing skid and won on the road for the first time in Patriot League play and second this season...The Mids try to do it again when they visit Bucknell on Wednesday and aim to sweep the Bison this year.