Upset Saturday in Patriot League Men's Basketball

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

Feb. 16, 2013

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - As expected, Bucknell and Lehigh will share first place when they meet in Bethlehem on Monday. But the way they got there on Saturday was certainly surprising as each of the co-leaders went down on the road in fantastic finishes.

Bucknell held a lead at halftime at Lafayette and was up three in the final minute, but the Leopards rallied for a 63-62 win when Tony Johnson canned a short jumper with 4.5 seconds to play. Bucknell's Cameron Ayers was off on a three-pointer on the other end as the team's five-game win streak came to an end.

Lehigh fell behind big at Colgate, then nearly had a huge comeback to steal the win. The Raiders led 52-31 in the second half before the Mountain Hawks posted a 25-4 run to tie the score at 56-56 with just over three minutes to play. But Lehigh would go scoreless for nearly the next three minutes, and the Raiders made 8-of-8 free throws in the last two minutes to come away with a 64-60 victory.

There was just as much drama in Annapolis, as Army rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to come away with a 56-55 win in the Star Game at Navy. Army took the lead with a 20-7 run, then had to hold on as Navy scored the last five points and just missed a win at the buzzer when Tilman Dunbar was off on a shot from in close. The Black Knights improve to .500 through 10 Patriot League games for the first time in school history, and have also won three consecutive League road games for the first time. They win the Star Game against Navy for the second straight time and third in four seasons, but the first time in Annapolis since 1992.

A number of League trends were put to an end on Saturday. After just two teams had come back from halftime deficits in the first 36 League contests, the number doubled on Saturday as Lafayette and Army both did it. Also, only five League contests had been decided by five points or fewer before all three games went that way on Saturday. All three season series were split on Saturday after the first eight completed series ended in sweeps.

Bucknell and Lehigh still share the Patriot League lead at 8-2 heading into their matchup at Stabler Arena on Monday at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Lafayette has possession of third place at 6-4, followed by Army (5-5), American (4-5), Colgate (4-6), Holy Cross (3-6) and Navy (1-9). The weekend schedule wraps up on Sunday when Holy Cross visits American at Noon on CBS Sports Network.

Recaps and box scores from each game are included below. A synopsis from each contest will be added later.

at Lafayette 63, Bucknell 62
Box Score

EASTON, Pa. - Tony Johnson hit the game-winning shot with 4.5 seconds left as Lafayette (13-14, 6-4 Patriot League) pulled out a 63-62 win over Bucknell (21-5, 8-2) on Saturday at Kirby Sports Center.

The Leopards snapped an eight-game losing skid against the Bison, beating Bucknell for the first time since 2010. Lafayette moves into sole possession of third place in the Patriot League, while Bucknell remains tied for first with Lehigh.

The Leopards won despite struggling badly on offense in the first half, going more than 14 minutes without a field goal and shooting just 6-of-24 in the period. Mike Muscala had 21 points and 10 rebounds in the first half alone for the Bison, but Bucknell only held a 32-25 lead despite Lafayette's field-goal drought.

Bucknell built its lead to 11 points early in the second half, but Lafayette chipped away and got to within one at 45-44 with 12:31 to go. The Leopards took their first lead since the opening minutes on a jumper by Levi Giese with 7:50 left, and held a 59-57 advantage with 3:22 to go. Bucknell went back in front on a three-pointer and jump shot by Cameron Ayers, but the Bison did not score in the final 1:50. Lafayette got to within 62-61 on a layup by Johnson with 50 seconds left. After Bucknell missed a three-pointer, Johnson drove and hit a pull-up jumper for the game-winning points with 4.5 seconds left. The Bison got off a three to win, but Ayers' shot was off the mark.

Lafayette heated up in the second half, going 12-of-24 from the field and 4-of-8 from three-point range. The Leopards hit 21-of-26 free throws, staying in the game in the first half by going 11-of-12 at the line. Seth Hinrichs led Lafayette with 20 points and six rebounds, while Johnson had 17 points and five assists without any turnovers. Joey Ptasinski added 14 points as the trio accounted for 51 of the 63 points. The Leopards forced 14 Bucknell turnovers while committing 10 of their own. The Leopards have won nine of their last 10 home games. They split the season series with Bucknell for the first time since 2010.

Muscala and Ayers were both outstanding in the loss for the Bison. Muscala had 29 points and 15 rebounds for his NCAA-best 19th double-double of the year. He made 12-of-20 shots from the field in the game. Ayers finished with 20 points on 8-of-12 from the field and 4-of-6 from three-point range. The rest of the Bison totaled a combined 13 points on 3-of-26 from the field as the team was under 40 percent for the game at 23-of-58. Muscala helped the Bison post a 40-30 rebounding advantage and they held Lafayette to just 18-of-48 from the field in the game. Bucknell saw its five-game win streak come to an end, and lost for just the fifth time overall and third on the road in Patriot League action since 2011.

at Colgate 64, Lehigh 60
Box Score

HAMILTON, N.Y. - Colgate (10-17, 4-6 Patriot League) built a huge lead early and it was enough to hold off a late run by Lehigh (18-6, 8-2) for a 64-60 win over the Mountain Hawks on Saturday at Cotterell Court.

The Raiders snapped a two-game losing skid, and also ended Lehigh's four-game win streak in the series. Colgate's 4-6 mark is its best at this stage of Patriot League play since 2010. Lehigh had won 13 of its last 14 Patriot League games, and saw its nine-game road win streak against League opponents come to an end. The Mountain Hawks are still tied with Bucknell for first place in the standings.

Colgate dominated early, scoring 16 straight points to take a 22-4 lead with 11:01 to play in the first half. The Raiders would push their advantage as high as 22 points before taking a 41-25 lead at the half.

Colgate opened the second half strong to build its lead to 52-31 with 14:44 to go, but the Mountain Hawks turned the momentum with a big run to get back in the game. Lehigh scored 18 straight points to get to within three, and eventually turned it into a 25-4 run to tie the score at 56-56 on a three-pointer by Anthony D'Orazio with 3:04 left. After both teams missed three-pointers to take the lead, Colgate went back in front for good on a pair of free throws by Brandon James with 1:53 to go. Lehigh would miss three shots and have a turnover with a chance to tie the score, and James added two more free throws with 13 seconds left for a four-point lead. Mackey McKnight had a pair of layups to get Lehigh within two in the final 10 seconds, but each time Colgate's Mitch Rolls answered with a pair of free throws as the Raiders went 8-of-8 at the line in the final two minutes to hold on for the 64-60 win.

Murphy Burnatowski led Colgate with 19 points, while Pat Moore added 17. The duo combined for 6-of-14 shooting from beyond the arc. Colgate was 12-of-14 at the line including the strong effort in the final minutes, and shot 22-of-54 from the field and 8-of-21 from three-point range. The Raiders held a 40-33 edge on the boards and limited Lehigh to 24-of-62 from the field and just 3-of-18 from three-point range. Colgate beat Lehigh for the first time since sweeping the Mountain Hawks in 2011. The teams split their matchups for the first time since 2009.

Lehigh saw its four-game win streak come to an end despite a team-high 17 points from both D'Orazio and Gabe Knutson. Holden Greiner added 12 while McKnight had eight, but the rest of the Mountain Hawks combined for six points on 2-of-12 from the field. Lehigh was just 10-of-29 overall and 0-of-8 from three-point range in the first half before heating up after intermission. The Mountain Hawks had just six assists on their 24 field goals. It was Lehigh's first Patriot League road loss since Feb. 9, 2012 at American.

Army 56 at Navy 55
Box Score

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Army (12-13, 5-5) set a number of school benchmarks by rallying for a 56-55 win in the Star Game at rival Navy (7-19, 1-9) on Saturday at Alumni Hall. The game was shown on CBS Sports Network.

The Black Knights recorded a pair of first by reaching .500 through 10 Patriot League games and winnning three consecutive League road games. Army also won a Star Game at Navy for the first time since 1992 while taking the Star for the second straight year and third in four seasons. It is the first time the Black Knights claimed consecutive Star Games since a three-game run from 1976-78.

Navy held the advantage throughout the first half, taking a 30-24 lead at the break when Brandon Venturini hit a shot from near halfcourt to close the period. The Mids were up 43-36 with just over 12 minutes to play in the game when Army started to rally. The Black Knights went on a 20-7 stretch to take the lead, going ahead for good when Ella Ellis hit a jumper to make it 50-48 with 7:35 left. An Ellis layup gave the Black Knights a 56-50 lead with 2:58 to go, but Army would not score again as Navy nearly rallied late. The Mids got to within 56-55 on three made free throws by Kendall Knorr with 43 seconds left, and got the ball back with nine seconds left for a chance to win. Tilman Dunbar found his way into the lane, but his shot was off the mark as time expired and Army held on for the win.

Ellis and Kyle Wilson led the Black Knights with 12 points apiece, while Dylan Cox added nine. Ten players scored for Army, who shot 12-of-23 in the second half to finish 20-of-44 from the field in the game. Army limited Navy to 16-of-43 from the field and 3-of-13 from three-point range in the game, and held a 35-25 edge on the boards. The Black Knights won their second straight game, and have clinched just their fifth season of five wins or more in Patriot League play. Army and Navy split their season series for the eighth time in 10 seasons.

Worth Smith had 14 points to lead the Mids, while Dunbar added 12. Smith had a team-high eight rebounds, while Dunbar totaled five assists. Nine players scored for the Mids, but the team was hurt by its shooting from the field and leaving opportunities at the foul line with a 20-of-29 clip. Navy dropped its seventh straight game and 13th in the last 14 contests.

For more on Army's recent run of success, watch the latest episode of "The Season."