Feb. 13, 2009
WHAT: Bucknell (5-19, 2-8 PL) vs. Holy Cross (13-11, 8-1 PL)
WHERE: Hart Center, Worcester, Mass.
WHEN: Saturday, February 14, 2009, 3:30 p.m.
RADIO: Eagle 107 and SportsJuice.com
STREAMING VIDEO: Patriot League All-Access
LIVE STATISTICS: None
COMPLETE PRESS NOTES
With a Victory over Holy Cross, Bucknell Would ...... snap a five-game losing streak and improve to 3-8 in the Patriot League.
... defeat the Crusaders in the Hart Center for the second straight year.
... split the season series with the Crusaders.
... win for the first time on the road this season and snap a 14-game road losing streak dating back to last year.
About the Game
Bucknell takes on a Patriot League co-leader for the second time this week when it travels to Worcester, Mass., to face Holy Cross on Saturday afternoon at the Hart Center. The Bison have dropped five straight games to fall into the eighth-place spot in the Patriot League standings, a half-game behind seventh-place Lafayette. Three of those five losses, including each of the last two, have been agonizing two-point decisions. On Wednesday Bucknell dropped a 52-50 decision to American, which sits in a first-place tie with Holy Cross at 8-1. The Crusaders have won five straight games, and they are 11-5 since a 2-6 start. In its most recent outing, Holy Cross had to come from 17 points down to defeat Army at home, 62-59. Freshman R.J. Evans leads the team in scoring at 13.0 points per game, while Andrew Keister averages 8.8 points and a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game. Keister, who shots 60.6% from the floor, had a big game against Bucknell last month, registering 18 points and 10 rebounds in the Crusaders' 68-56 win at Sojka Pavilion.
How to Get the Game
The Bucknell-Holy Cross game will not be televised, however live streaming video is available on the Internet through Patriot League All-Access. The game can be heard locally on the radio on Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM), with Doug Birdsong and Ed Sigl on the call. The pregame show begins 30 minutes before tip-off. The audio feed is available free of charge via BucknellBison.com and SportsJuice.com.
Bucknell to Host Blue Hens in BracketBusters
The pairings for the 2009 ESPNU BracketBusters showcase were announced last week, and Bucknell was matched up with former Middle Atlantic Conference and East Coast Conference rival Delaware. The non-televised game will be played on Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. at Sojka Pavilion. Bucknell is the lone Patriot League representative in the BracketBusters. The Bison drew a team from the Colonial Athletic Association for the third straight year in the event. Bucknell played Towson in 2007 and Old Dominion last year.
Bucknell vs. Holy Cross Series Notes The Bison and Crusaders have combined to win six of the last eight Patriot League titles, and they are the only two league teams to have won in the postseason (Bucknell in the 2005 and 2006 NCAA Tournaments, Holy Cross in the 2005 NIT).
These two teams have met 11 times in the 18 Patriot League Tournaments, including four times in the championship game. Bucknell defeated Holy Cross in the 2005 and 2006 title tilts, while the Crusaders topped the Bison in the final in 1993 and 2007.
The Bison and Crusaders had never met until the formation of the Patriot League in 1990-91, but in the next 18 years since then they clashed 47 times, an average of 2.61 meetings per season.
Bucknell has won six of the last 10 against the Crusaders and lead the series 26-22. The road team has won the last three meetings.
Bucknell and Holy Cross have split 20 all-time meetings at the Hart Center. One of Bucknell's 10 wins in Worcester was a 61-57 decision in the 2005 Patriot League championship game.
The Patriot League has deep-rooted rivalries based on geography (Lehigh-Lafayette) and military brethren (Army-Navy), but there has been no better basketball rivalry in the league than Bucknell-Holy Cross. Some of the highlights:
Bucknell vs. Holy Cross Earlier this Season
Andrew Keister posted 18 points and 10 rebounds and Holy Cross used a dominant effort on the boards and good free-throw shooting to outlast Bucknell 68-56 before a large Sojka Pavilion crowd on Jan. 17. After falling behind 35-15 in the opening minutes of the second half, the Bison rallied all the way back within 3-points on G.W. Boon's 3-pointer with 5:22 to play. But Alex Vander Baan immediately answered with a trey for the Crusaders, and the visitors led by at least five the rest of the way. Holy Cross outrebounded the Bison 43-28 and held Bucknell to only four offensive rebounds and two second-chance points. The Crusaders then put the game away from the foul line, canning 14 of their last 15 and 31 of 40 on the day.
Inside the First Holy Cross Boxscore
Bucknell shot only 27.8% in the first half ... and was the better-shooting team. Holy Cross shot 26.9% but gained a 30-15 halftime lead thanks to 14 made free throws and 13 Bucknell turnovers.
Patrick Behan led the Bison with 12 points, 10 of them coming in the second half.
G.W. Boon played a career-high 37 minutes as a reserve and scored 11 points. Boon was 3-for-6 from 3-point range but 0-for-5 inside the arc.
Jason Vegotsky came back after missing the previous game with a hamstring injury and tallied a season-high 11 points. Vegotsky made a career-high six free throws in seven attempts.
Darryl Shazier played all 40 minutes in the game, becoming the first Bison to play an entire game in six years. The last to do it was Dan Blankenship against Lafayette in 2003.
Shazier had six assists without a turnover.
Bucknell committed only two turnovers in the second half after giving it away 13 times in the first period.
Bucknell drew a season-high three charging fouls in the game. Boon, Shazier and Bryan Cohen all took one for the team.
Bucknell vs. Holy Cross Last SeasonOn Jan. 18, 2008 at the Hart Center, Justin Castleberry tied a career high with 22 points, 15 of them coming in the final 7:30, leading Bucknell to a 73-65 victory in an intense, back-and-forth affair. The physical battle played in front of a boisterous sellout crowd featured big momentum swings througout. Bucknell built a 13-point lead, then Holy Cross scored 11 points in a row to take the lead in the second half, then the Bison finished with a flourish, outscoring the Crusaders 27-19 over the last nine minutes. Jason Vegotsky hit 4 of 5 3-point tries and scored 14 points for the Bison, while Tim Clifford led Holy Cross with 16.
On Feb. 16, 2008 at Sojka Pavilion, it was a one-point game with three minutes to play before Holy Cross broke things open at the free-throw line and defeated the Bison 63-53. Castleberry led the Bison with 13 points, while Clifford had a game-high 18 for the Crusaders. Bucknell made 18 field goals to 15 for Holy Cross but was outscored 27-11 at the free-throw line.
Last season Bucknell and Holy Cross split two games, with the road team winning each time.
Last Time Out
Wednesday night at Sojka Pavilion the Bison again came up just short, falling 52-50 to American when Darryl Shazier's potential game-winning 3-pointer came up short at the final buzzer. Bucknell led for about 14 straight minutes in the first half, but the Eagles closed the half on a 10-0 run to go up 28-23. They stretched the lead to 10 early in the second period, but the Bison fought back and tied it at 48-all on Patrick Behan's shot in the lane with 5:21 to play. But there would be only one more field goal in the game, that a go-ahead layup by American's Derrick Mercer (game-high 17 points) with 4:31 left. A missed front-end of a 1-and-1 with seven seconds remaining left the door open for the Bison, but Shazier's 23-foot jumper hit the front iron as time expired.
Inside the American BoxscoreBucknell had another chilly shooting night, going 15-for-50 (.300) from the field.
Defensively, the Bison held the Patriot League's top 3-point shooting team to a 4-for-18 night from the arc. Bryan Cohen did a solid job on Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year Garrison Carr, the league's No. 2 scorer coming in. Carr went 6-for-15 from the floor, 1-for-6 from 3-point range and did not shoot a free throw after taking 17 charity tosses in the first meeting of the season between the two teams. Carr's only 3-pointer was a contested one that he banked in off the glass in the second half.
Patrick Behan continued his recent strong play with 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Behan scored nine points in a six-minute span of the second half to help the Bison rally from a 10-point deficit.
Bryan Cohen hit three 3-pointers in six attempts. The three treys were his most in a Patriot League game. He finished with 13 points.
Justin Castleberry logged 12 points four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
For only the second time this season, Bucknell lost a game when shooting more free throws than its opponent, and in this case the Bison shot twice as many. Bucknell as 14-for-18 from the line, while the Eagles were 6-for-9.
For American, the victory was its first over Bucknell at Sojka Pavilion. The Eagles' last win over the Bison in Lewisburg came during the 2001-02 season, their first in the Patriot League.
Who's Got Next?
Bucknell plays its final regular-season road game of the year on Wednesday, when it will make a day trip to Lafayette to face the Leopards. The Bison defeated Lafayette 71-61 at Sojka Pavilion on Jan. 21.