CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - After pulling out wins on the road Saturday, the top three teams in the Patriot League standings come back home to try and pad their records on Wednesday.
Lehigh and Bucknell remain tied for first place in the Patriot League at 7-1 after surviving road tests on Saturday. The Mountain Hawks came away with a 68-61 win in snowy Worcester, while the Bison held off Army 60-58 at West Point. Lehigh comes home to face American on Wednesday, while Bucknell welcomes Colgate.
Lafayette solidified its hold on third place with a 70-47 win at Navy on Saturday, and now returns home to face Army on Wednesday.
The top three teams are set to square off soon, with Bucknell at Lafayette on Saturday and at Lehigh next Monday before the Mountain Hawks visit the Leopards in Easton on Feb. 24.
American follows with sole possession of fourth place at 4-4 in the Patriot League after a 70-55 win at home against Colgate on Saturday. The Raiders and Army are tied for fifth place in the standings at 3-5, with Holy Cross at 2-6 and Navy at 1-7. The Crusaders and Mids will both try to snap five-game losing skids when they meet in Worcester on Tuesday.
Each of the games during the week will be available to subscribers of Patriot League All-Access.
Patriot League Anaconda Weekly Awards (Feb. 4-10)
Anaconda Player of the Week JOHN SCHOOF, AMERICANSo., G, 6-5, 205; Fairfax, Va./W.T. Woodson
Schoof, the top three-point shooter in the Patriot League at 50.9 percent, had another big day from downtown by making 5-of-8 shots from beyond the arc while scoring 24 points in a 70-55 win over Colgate on Saturday. He made 8-of-11 from the field overall and 3-of-4 at the line. It was the 10th game this season where he knocked down three or more treys, and the 24 points were the second-most in his career. Schoof also leads the Patriot League with 2.4 three-pointers per game and 36.1 minutes per contest, though he played a season-low 31 in the win over Colgate on Saturday. He also helped hold Colgate's Murphy Burnatowski, the No. 2 scorer in the Patriot League, to 11 points on 5-of-16 shooting. Schoof, who won a pair of Anaconda Rookie of the Week awards last season, is named Player of the Week for the first time.
Anaconda Rookie of the Week JESSE REED, AMERICANFr., G, 6-5, 185; Saltsburg, Pa./Kiski School
Reed scored 10 points and pulled down five rebounds to help American to a 70-55 win over Colgate on Saturday. He made 3-of-5 shots and 2-of-4 from beyond the arc in the game to join four other Eagles in double figures. The 10 points and five rebounds were each the second-best marks in Reed's career. He is named Patriot League Anaconda Rooke of the Week for the first time.
Honorable Mention BRYSON JOHNSON, BUCKNELLSr., G, 6-2, 198; Pictou, Nova Scotia/St. David Catholic (Ontario)
Johnson had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists while setting the all-time Patriot League three-pointers record (303) in a 60-58 win at Army on Saturday.
MACKEY McKNIGHT, LEHIGHJr., G, 6-0, 170; New Orleans, La./Langham Creek
McKnight had 22 points, five rebounds and four assists to lead Lehigh to a 68-61 win at Holy Cross on Saturday.
JOEY PTASINSKI, LAFAYETTESo., G, 6-2, 168; Highlands Ranch, Colo./Regis Jesuit/New Hampton
Ptasinski had 15 points while making 4-of-5 three-pointers in a 70-47 win at Navy on Saturday.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*Bucknell and Lehigh each try to clinch winning League records Wednesday.
*The Bison are trying to post an above .500 Patriot League mark for the fourth straight year and 18th in 23 League seasons.
*Lehigh aims to do it for the second year in a row and eighth all-time.
*Bucknell has its third-consecutive 20-win season, and sixth in nine years.
*The Bison are trying to start at least 8-1 in the League for a third straight year.
*Lehigh is trying to continue its best start in Patriot League play since 2006.
*Lafayette goes for its fifth win in the last six games when it hosts Army.
*It is also trying to go 6-3 in the Patriot League for the second year in a row.
*Bucknell is tied with Stony Brook for the national lead with 10 road wins.
*Lehigh is one behind with nine road wins and tied for third nationally.
*The pair is a combined 9-0 on the road in Patriot League action.
*The home/road split in League play is an even 16-16.
*Bucknell's Bryson Johnson became the all-time Patriot League 3-PT leader with the 303rd of his career on Saturday, passing American's Garrison Carr.
*Bucknell's Mike Muscala is tied for first in Division I with 17 double-doubles and third in the country with 11.4 rebounds per game.
*Only twice has a team come back from a halftime deficit to win in League play.
*A win on Wednesday would give Army its best nine-game League mark since 2008 and Colgate its best since 2009, both at 4-5.
*American swept Monday's awards, the first time it has been done this year.
Patriot League Notebook
Bucknell, Lehigh Aim to Clinch Winning Patriot League Campaigns
Bucknell and Lehigh can each lock up winning Patriot League records with a win on Wednesday. The Bison are trying to post an above .500 League mark for the fourth year in a row and 18th time in 23 seasons, while the Mountain Hawks can do it for the second straight year and eighth in school history. Both teams also continue to inch closer to hosting at least one game in the Patriot League Tournament, as they each stand four games ahead of fifth place with six to play. Bucknell has won 32 of 36 Patriot League games since the start of the 2011 season, while Lehigh has claimed wins in 12 of its last 13 League contests.
Another 20-Win Season for Bucknell
Bucknell reached the 20-win mark for the third year in a row when it beat Army on Saturday. It is the second time in program history that the Bison have recorded three straight 20-win seasons (2005-07), as they have six 20-win campaigns in the last nine seasons and eight in their time as a Patriot League member.
Kings of the Road
Bucknell and Lehigh have each found success on the road this season, more so than just about any other team in the country. The Bison tied Stony Brook for the national lead with 10 road wins when they beat Army on Saturday, and lead the country in road/neutral wins with 12. Lehigh is just behind, as the nine road victories for the Mountain Hawks stands tied for third nationally. Lehigh has won nine of its last 10 road games overall. Both teams are especially exceptional on the road in Patriot League play. Lehigh has won nine straight road games against Patriot League opponents including a 5-0 mark this season, while Bucknell has a 4-0 road mark this season and is 16-2 away from Lewisburg in Patriot League action over the last three years.
Break Out the Brooms
Every matchup on Saturday featured a sweep of the season series. American swept Colgate for the third year in a row, while Bucknell won both meetings against Army for the second straight year and Lafayette did the same against Navy. Lehigh swept the matchups with Holy Cross for the first time since 2010. Holy Cross goes for its third straight season sweep against Navy on Tuesday, while Bucknell shoots for its fourth straight sweep of Colgate on Wednesday. Lehigh last swept American in 2010, while Army has not swept the matchups with Lafayette since 2009 after the Leopards won all six meetings the last three years.
Top Three Hope to Continue Fast Starts
Lehigh, Bucknell and Lafayette have all jumped off to impressive records in the Patriot League, and aim to keep it up Wednesday. It's familiar territory for the latter two teams, as Bucknell has been 8-1 and 9-0 through nine Patriot League games the last two seasons and Lafayette is trying to get to 6-3 for the second year in a row. Lehigh's 7-1 start is its best since going 11-1 in 2006.
Bucknell's Muscala Leads the Nation in Double-Doubles
Bucknell's Mike Muscala posted his third-straight double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday's win at Army, and is tied for the national lead with 17 double-doubles for the year. He is third in the country with 11.4 rebounds per game, while ranking 33rd in scoring (18.7 ppg) and 17th in blocked shots (2.8 bpg).
Doing it With Defense
Scoring numbers are down throughout college basketball this season, and it's certainly no different in Patriot League action. Every team is allowing under 70 points in League play, with the top squads leading the way. Lafayette and Bucknell are tied for first with 56.9 points per game allowed in League play, while Lehigh is third at 59.4 per game. It's been a particularly stunning turnaround for the Leopards, who were allowing a League-worst 74.8 points per game entering League action.
Better Lead at Halftime
Holding a lead at halftime is not usually a requirement for winning the game, but it sure seems that way in the Patriot League this season. The only comebacks from halftime deficits this year came in Colgate's win over Army on Jan. 23 and Army's over American on Jan. 26, a game the Black Knights trailed by just one point at the break. The lead has only changed hands after halftime in eight of the 32 Patriot League games to date.
More League Play Trends
After three road wins on Saturday, the home/road split is an even 16-16 in Patriot League action. That will be put to the test this week as the home team has the better League mark in all four contests on Tuesday and Wednesday. There have been 24 League games decided by nine points or more, and only five that came down within five points.
Patriot League Games
American Eagles (9-14, 4-4) at Lehigh Mountain Hawks (17-5, 7-1) Stabler Arena; Bethlehem, Pa.; Wednesday, 7 p.m. TV: Service Electric 2 Sports
*Two teams on winning streaks clash at Stabler Arena as Lehigh hosts American on Wednesday.
*Lehigh has claimed three straight wins, all on the road, while American has won two straight, both at home.
*The Mountain Hawks are trying to sweep the season series after posting a 63-57 win at American on Jan. 16.
*Lehigh has won the last two meetings, also beating the Eagles 85-66 in last year's Patriot League semifinals at home.
*The season series was swept for six years in a row before last year's split, with both teams winning at home in 2012.
*Lehigh posted season sweeps over American in 2006, 2007 and 2010 during that span.
*American has a 22-17 lead in the all-time series, though the teams are tied 13-13 as Patriot League members.
*Lehigh is trying to continue its best opening run in the Patriot League since going 11-1 in 2006.
*The Mountain Hawks are also trying to guarantee a winning mark in the Patriot League for the second year in a row.
*American has put up a winning mark through nine League games in each of the last two years.
Colgate Raiders (9-16, 3-5) at Bucknell Bison (20-4, 7-1) Sojka Pavilion; Lewisburg, Pa.; Wednesday, 7 p.m.
*Bucknell tries to sweep Colgate for the fourth straight season when they meet in Lewisburg Wednesday.
*The Bison posted a 73-59 win over Colgate in Hamilton on Jan. 16 for their seventh straight over the Raiders.
*Bucknell has won nine straight home games against Colgate dating back to 2004.
*Colgate's last win over Bucknell came at home in 2009.
*The Bison have a 59-40 lead in the all-time series and a 34-11 edge in regular-season Patriot League games.
*Bucknell has won 32 of 36 Patriot League games since the start of the 2011 campaign.
*The Bison have started 8-1 and 9-0 in League play in each of the last two years.
*A victory would clinch Bucknell's fourth straight winning League record, and 18th in 23 seasons overall.
*A 4-5 mark would be Colgate's best through nine Patriot League games since 2009.
Army Black Knights (10-13, 3-5) at Lafayette Leopards (12-13, 5-3) Kirby Sports Center; Easton, Pa.; Wednesday, 7 p.m. TV: Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60)
*Lafayette aims for its fifth win in the last six games when it plays host to Army on Wednesday.
*The Black Knights had lost six straight to the Leopards until posting a 77-54 win at home on Jan. 16.
*That was the only time the Leopards gave up more than 70 points in League play, and Lafayette has held its opponent to under 60 points in each of its five Patriot League wins.
*Army tries to sweep Lafayette for the first time since 2009 after the Leopards swept the matchups the past three years.
*Lafayette has won the past three and nine of the last 10 at home against Army.
*The past six meetings between the schools have been decided by double digits.
*Lafayette has a 40-23 edge in the all-time series, and a 31-15 advantage as Patriot League members.
*Lafayette shoots for a 6-3 Patriot League mark for the second year in a row.
*A 4-5 mark would be Army's best through nine Patriot League games since 2008.
Navy Midshipmen (7-17, 1-7) at Holy Cross Crusaders (10-13, 2-6) Hart Center; Worcester, Mass.; Tuesday, 7 p.m.
*Two teams in need of a victory meet on Tuesday night as Navy pays a visit to Holy Cross.
*Both teams have lost five consecutive Patriot League games.
*Holy Cross came away with a 62-47 win at Navy on Jan. 16 and has won five in a row and seven of eight against the Mids.
*The Crusaders are trying to sweep the season series with Navy for the third straight year.
*Holy Cross has also won four in a row against Navy at the Hart Center.
*The Crusaders hold a 36-18 edge in the all-time series, and a 30-17 advantage as Patriot League members.
*Holy Cross has not held a 2-7 League mark since 2000, and has never lost six consecutive Patriot League games.
Team Notebooks AMERICAN The Eagles broke open a close game with a 16-2 second-half run to go on to a 70-55 win over Colgate 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...The game was tight most of the way, but American took over after the score was tied at 36-36 with 13:32 to play...It scored the next nine points to build a 45-36 lead, then answered a Colgate basket with seven straight points to make it a 16-2 run and take a 52-38 lead with 6:51 left...American later went on an 8-0 run to seal the 70-55 win...John Schoof led the Eagles with 24 points while making 8-of-11 shots and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc...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...The Eagles earned their second straight win, and will try to keep it up this week at Lehigh on Wednesday and at home against Holy Cross on Sunday afternoon on CBS Sports Network.
ARMY A valiant comeback effort came up just short as the Black Knights fell 60-58 at home against Bucknell on Saturday...Army never led in the game as it fell to Bucknell for the fifth straight time and was swept in the season series by the Bison for the second year in a row...While the Black Knights never led, they made it close late with a 14-5 run to get within 52-50 with 4:13 to play....Bucknell went back up six, but Army was back to within 60-58 with 1:27 left...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...Kyle Wilson led Army with 14 points, while Ella Ellis and Larry Toomey each added 10...Wilson stands eighth in the Patriot League with 12.9 points per game, and also eighth with 14.4 points per contest in League action...Army dropped its second straight game, and has still not been at .500 in the second half of League play since 2008...The Black Knights hope to get back on track on the road this week at Lafayette on Wednesday and Navy Saturday on CBS Sports Network.
BUCKNELL Bucknell led from start to finish, but had to survive in the final seconds to top Army 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 got back to within two at 52-50 with 4:13 left...Johnson responded with his record-breaking three-pointer and Ayers hit a pair of shots as Bucknell built its lead back to 60-54...The Bison would not score again, but held on at the end as the Black Knights missed three shots to tie in the final minute...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...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, and aims to keep it up this week when it hosts Colgate Wednesday and visits Lafayette on Saturday.
COLGATE The Raiders were close with American most of the way before a late run gave the Eagles a 70-55 win over Colgate on Saturday at Bender Arena...Colgate continued its struggles against American, losing to the Eagles for the seventh straight time and 18th in the last 19 meetings...Colgate led by as many as six points early, but trailed 25-24 at half...The game was still tied 36-36 with 13:32 left before American went on a 16-2 run to take control...Colgate inched back with the next six points before American put the game away with another 8-0 run...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, but can change that this week if it wins at Bucknell Wednesday and at home against Lehigh on Saturday.
HOLY CROSS The Crusaders weathered a fast start by Lehigh to lead by three in the second half, but gave up a 15-4 run to the Mountain Hawks and fell 68-61 at home on Saturday evening...Lehigh built a 33-27 at halftime, but Holy Cross opened the second stanza with a 12-4 run to take the lead...The Crusaders were up 47-44 midway through the second half before Lehigh put together a 15-4 stretch to go ahead for good and went on to the 68-61 win... Dave Dudzinski led the Crusaders with 13 points, while Malcolm Miller had 10....The Crusaders were 22-of-42 from inside the arc, but were hurt by 3-of-18 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...They were swept by Lehigh for the first time since 2010...Holy Cross hosts Navy on Tuesday and is at American Sunday on CBS Sports Network this week.
LAFAYETTE After giving up the first eight points of the game, Lafayette dominated in every area to come away with a 70-47 win over Navy 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...The Leopards come back home this week to take on Army on Wednesday and Bucknell on Saturday.
LEHIGH Lehigh went on a 15-4 run late in the second half to rally for a 68-61 win over Holy Cross on Saturday at the Hart Center...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....Lehigh led by six at halftime, but Holy Cross opened the second half strong and had a three-point lead midway through the period...Lehigh answered with a 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 the scoring...Lehigh forced 15 turnovers and limited the Crusaders to 3-of-18 from long distance...The Mountain Hawks have won nine consecutive road games against Patriot League opponents, and swept a three-game road trip...They are home for American on Wednesday, then go back on the road to visit Colgate Saturday.
NAVY The Mids scored the first eight points against Lafayette on Saturday, but struggled after that point as the Leopards came away with a 70-47 win in Annapolis... Lafayette used a 28-6 run after Navy's start to take control, and built its lead to over 20 points early in the second half...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...The Mids go on the road to Holy Cross on Tuesday before hosting rival Army in the Star Game on Saturday on CBS Sports Network.