Lehigh, Bucknell Separate Further in Patriot League Men's Basketball



Feb. 13, 2013

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Less than a week away from their second meeting of the season, Lehigh and Bucknell now have a three-game lead on the field in Patriot League men's basketball after winning at home on Wednesday.

The Mountain Hawks saw American rally to tie the score, then answered with a 13-0 run to dispatch the Eagles 60-47 at Stabler Arena. The Bison got yet another double-double from Mike Muscala, who had 27 points and 12 rebounds to help hold off Colgate 69-61 at Sojka Pavilion.

Lafayette fell one game further behind the co-leaders as Army dominated the Leopards in an 85-68 victory in Easton.

Lehigh and Bucknell share the Patriot League lead at 8-1, with Lafayette still in third place but now three games back at 5-4. Army and American are tied for fourth place at 4-5, while Colgate and Holy Cross share sixth at 3-6 and Navy holds a 1-8 mark. The Crusaders beat the Mids 66-57 on Tuesday night.

Three games are set for Saturday afternoon, all with 2 p.m. tip-offs as Bucknell goes to Lafayette, Lehigh is at Colgate and Army visits Navy in the Star Game on CBS Sports Network. On Sunday, it's another CBS Sports Network telecast as Holy Cross visits American at Noon.

Bucknell visits Lehigh on Monday at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

Recaps and box scores from Wednesday's games are included below, with a synopsis of each contest added later on.

at Lehigh 60, American 47
Box Score

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - With the score tied and just over six minutes remaining, Lehigh (18-5, 8-1 Patriot League) put together a 13-0 run to pull away for a 60-47 win over American (9-15, 4-5) on Wednesday at Stabler Arena.

The Mountain Hawks kept up their best Patriot League start since 2006, and swept the season series with the Eagles for the first time since 2010. Lehigh has won 13 of its last 14 Patriot League games, and won its third in a row against the Eagles.

Lehigh had control of the game early, opening up a 15-4 lead less than nine minutes into the contest and going on to a 28-20 lead at the break. The Mountain Hawks scored the first eight points of the second half to build their lead to 36-20, but the Eagles fought back from there. American scored eight straight points to get within 38-30, then answered a Lehigh three-pointer with a 13-2 run to even the score at 43-43 on a Mike Bersch trey with 6:31 left. Lehigh re-gained control from there, going on the 13-0 surge in a span of 3:03 to pull back in front and go on to the 60-47 win.

Gabe Knutson led the Mountain Hawks with 18 points, making 4-of-5 shots from beyond the arc. Anthony D'Orazio had 15 points and made 3-of-6 three-pointers as Lehigh hit 10-of-19 from downtown in the game. Mackey McKnight had nine points and nine assists as Lehigh finished with 15 assists and seven turnovers. The Mountain Hawks held the Eagles to 19-of-54 from the field and just 5-of-22 from three-point range, and also forced 14 American turnovers.

Stephen Lumpkins paced American with 10 points and 13 rebounds, helping lead the way to a 40-29 edge on the boards. No other player scored more than seven points, and the Eagles only got to the free throw line eight times. American saw its two-game win streak come to an end.

at Bucknell 69, Colgate 61
Box Score

LEWISBURG, Pa. - Locked in a two-point game with under eight minutes to play, Bucknell (21-4, 8-1 Patriot League) turned to its star and Mike Muscala delivered with a big closing stretch in a 69-61 victory against Colgate (9-17, 3-6) on Wednesday at Sojka Pavilion.

Muscala finished with his NCAA-best 18th double-double by racking up 27 points and 12 rebounds, and scored 12 of the Bison's final 20 points after Colgate had trimmed the Bucknell lead to 49-47.

Bucknell swept the season series with Colgate for the fourth year in a row, beating the Raiders for the eighth consecutive meeting overall. The Bison improve to at least 8-1 in the Patriot League for the third year in a row, and have won 33 of their last 37 League contests.

Bucknell never trailed in the game, and it looked like a blowout early as the Bison scored the first nine points. Colgate got back to within two later in the first half, but Bucknell closed the period on a 14-5 stretch to build a 34-23 lead at the break. The Raiders chipped away throughout the second half, finally getting back to within two points at 49-47 with 7:49 left. Muscala responded with consecutive baskets to put the Bison back up six, and converted a big bucket with 2:02 to play to push the lead to 64-58. The Bison led by at least six points the rest of the way as they went on to the 69-61 final.

Muscala made 12-of-21 shots in the game. He became just the second Patriot Leaguer, and second Bucknell player, to go over 1,000 rebounds in a career. Cameron Ayers had a strong game with 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Bryson Johnson added 12. The Bison had 16 assists with just eight turnovers, while forcing 14 turnovers by the Raiders. Bucknell shot just under 50 percent at 29-of-61, while the Bison held Colgate to 4-of-15 from beyond the arc. Bucknell won its fifth consecutive game overall.

Murphy Burnatowski led Colgate with 23 points and seven rebounds, making 9-of-18 shots from the field. The Raiders were a solid 22-of-46 from the field, but struggled from long range and left points at the foul line with a 13-of-21 clip. Colgate outrebounded the Bison 32-30, but was hurt by committing six more turnovers than Bucknell. The Raiders fell for the second straight time.

Army 85 at Lafayette 68
Box Score

EASTON, Pa. - Army (11-13, 4-5 Patriot League) was impressive from start to finish and rolled to an 85-68 win at Lafayette (12-14, 5-4) on Wednesday at Kirby Sports Center.

The Black Knights swept the Leopards for the first time since 2009 after getting swept by Lafayette in each of the last three seasons. Army's 4-5 mark is its best through nine Patriot League games since the 2008 season, and the Black Knights put an end to a two-game losing skid.

Army never trailed in the game, going on an early 9-0 run to build an 11-2 lead less than seven minutes into the contest. The Black Knights had a 16-4 stretch later in the period that built the lead to 38-17, and took a 38-19 advantage into the break. Lafayette scored the first 10 points of the second half to briefly get back within single digits, but Army responded with the next 10 to pull back in front by 19. The Black Knights would never see their lead slip below 16 points, going up by as many as 31 before Lafayette scored the final 12 points to make the final more respectable.

Army shot over 55 percent for the game at 30-of-54, and was unconscious from three-point range with a 13-of-24 clip. The Black Knights capped the big shooting night with a 12-of-15 showing at the foul line. Kyle Wilson led the way with 24 points on 9-of-13 from the field, and also had seven rebounds and four assists. Ella Ellis added 20 points, while Kyle Toth had 14. Kevin Ferguson had a team-high 10 rebounds as Army dominated the boards with a 43-25 advantage. The hot shooting helped Army overcome 20 turnovers in the game. The Black Knights also excelled defensively, particularly in the first half when they limited Lafayette to 8-of-28 from the field and 1-of-12 from three-point range. Army averaged 81 points in its two wins over the Leopards, and is the only Patriot League team to top 70 points against Lafayette this season.

Tony Johnson led Lafayette with 18 points, while Seth Hinrichs and Bryce Scott each added 16. The trio combined to make 7-of-12 shots from long range, but the rest of the Leopards were just 2-of-16 from downtown. Johnson also added seven assists with four steals in the game. Lafayette lost at home for the first time in Patriot League action, and had won eight consecutive home contests overall.