Patriot League Men's Basketball Weekend Preview - 2.21.14

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG D.J. Irving and Boston University host Bucknell Sunday on CBS Sports Network.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG
D.J. Irving and Boston University host Bucknell Sunday on CBS Sports Network.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG

Feb. 21, 2014

Patriot League Men's Basketball Weekend Preview - 2.21.14 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - After going up two games in the Patriot League race with a win over American on Wednesday, Boston University has a chance to lock up at least a share of the regular-season title this weekend.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*Boston University can clinch at least a share of the regular-season Patriot League title when it hosts Bucknell Sunday.
*The game will tip off at 12 p.m. and be shown on Patriot League Network.
*The Terriers can claim the No. 1 seed with a win and a loss by American.
*The Eagles host Army on Saturday at 2 p.m. in a matchup of top four teams in the League standings.
*American and Boston University have already locked up home games in the League Tournament quarterfinals on March 5.
*The Terriers are guaranteed a top-two seed, and the Eagles can be as well with a win and a Holy Cross loss.
*The Crusaders play host to Navy on Sunday, needing a win and Bucknell loss to clinch a quarterfinal home game.
*Lehigh goes to Lafayette on Sunday while Loyola Maryland is at Colgate on Saturday to complete the schedule.
*Each contest except the Bucknell/BU game will be available on Patriot League Network.
*Boston University's Maurice Watson Jr. has 188 assists, the highest in a season for a Patriot League player since 2003-04.
*Lafayette's Fran O'Hanlon set another League record with his 127th Patriot League victory on Wednesday.

Patriot League Notebook
Boston University Can Clinch Share of Regular-Season Title, Maybe More on Sunday
After going up two games in the Patriot League race with a win over American on Wednesday, Boston University has a chance to lock up at least a share of the regular-season title this weekend. The Terriers host Bucknell on Sunday at Noon on CBS Sports Network and would guarantee at least a share of the crown with a win. They will know by tip-off if more is on the line, because American hosts Army on Saturday and an Eagles' loss would allow BU to claim the top seed in the Patriot League Tournament with a win. Both teams have already clinched quarterfinal home games on March 5, with BU guaranteed of a top-two seed in the League tourney. Holy Cross is in third place, and the Crusaders can lock up a quarterfinal home game with a win over Navy and Bucknell loss on Sunday. Elsewhere, Lehigh visits Lafayette on Sunday and Loyola Maryland goes to Colgate on Saturday. The Saturday games will both tip off at 2 p.m. and the Sunday contests are at Noon, with all but the Bucknell/BU contest available on Patriot League Network.

BU Beats American, Takes Two-Game Lead in Patriot League Race
After trailing by double digits early, Boston University rallied and pulled away late for a 71-62 win at home against American on Wednesday to take a two-game lead over the Eagles for first place in Patriot League men's basketball. The Terriers won for the fifth straight time while sending the Eagles to their fourth loss in the last five contests. American remains alone in second place because Lafayette won for the third straight time and fifth in the last six contests with a 76-64 triumph at Holy Cross, which saw its four-game win streak come to an end. Lafayette Head Coach Fran O'Hanlon set the all-time record for Patriot League wins with his 127th triumph in League action. Army follows in fourth place after Kyle Wilson scored a career-high tying 29 points in a 74-66 win at home against Colgate. Cameron Ayers hit a three-pointer with 16 seconds left to keep Bucknell one game behind the Black Knights with a 55-53 win at Loyola Maryland, while Lehigh is one game back of the Bison after scoring the final 11 points in a 72-65 win at home against Navy.

2014 Patriot League Tournament
American and Boston University have already locked up two of the four spots to host quarterfinal games in the Patriot League Tournament on March 5, with the Terriers guaranteed of a top-two position and with a chance to lock up the No. 1 seed this weekend with a win and American loss. Holy Cross can clinch a top-four spot with a win over Navy and Bucknell loss at Boston University on Sunday. The tournament starts with a first round this season when the bottom four teams compete on March 3 with No. 10 at No. 7 and No. 9 at No. 8. The top four seeds host the quarterfinals, with the No. 9/8 winner at No. 1 and No. 5 at No. 4 in one bracket and No. 10/7 at No. 2 and No. 6 at No. 3 on the other side. 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 games will be available on Patriot League Network, with the semifinals and championship on CBS Sports Network.

Lafayette's O'Hanlon Sets Another Patriot League Coaching Record
Lafayette's Fran O'Hanlon now has all of the Patriot League career coaching records after winning his 127th League game at Holy Cross on Wednesday, surpassing the total of 126 set by Bucknell's Pat Flannery (1994-08). O'Hanlon also has the most overall games won as a Patriot League coach (267) as well as the most games coached in League action (255) and overall (559). He is in his 19th season at Lafayette, five more than Flannery for the longest tenure in League history.

Terriers Posting Best Season in a Decade
Boston University is enjoying success both within and outside the Patriot League in its inaugural season in the conference. The Terriers have a 20-8 record overall, notching their highest regular-season win total since a 20-7 mark in the 2004-05 campaign. BU is trying to win a confernce regular-season title for the first time since claiming one in the America East in 2003-04. The Terriers have led by at least eight points in each of their last 19 games, and have a 14-5 record in that span.

BU's Watson, Lehigh's McKnight Among Nation's Assist Leaders
Boston University sophomore Maurice Watson Jr. and Lehigh senior Mackey McKnight are among the top assist men not just in the Patriot League but nationally this season. Watson is seventh in the country with 6.7 assists per game, while McKnight is not far behind in 12th at 6.2 per contest. Watson's 188 assists this year rank fourth in Patriot League history and are the most for any player in a single season since American's Andres Rodriguez set the record of 225 in 2003-04, while McKnight has also entered the top 10 in a season with 174 assists. McKnight is up to 560 assists for his career, just six from the school record and 39 from the all-time Patriot League mark. 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.

Road Wins Separate the Standings
Winning on the road has been the difference this season as the top four teams in the League standings are 21-10 on the road overall and 18-4 against the other six squads in the League. Boston University leads the road success at 6-1, while American, Holy Cross and Army are each 5-3. None of the other six Patriot League squads has a winning road record in League play, and those teams have combined for an 11-33 away mark as home teams have a 43-32 edge in League action.

More League Trends
Four Patriot League games were decided by single digits on Wednesday, and there have been more of those (41) than double digits (34) in League play this season. Of the 41 single-digit games, 24 have been decided by by five points or less including Bucknell's win at Loyola on Wednesday. Of the 30 matchups played twice in the Patriot League, there is an even 15-15 distribution between sweeps and splits of the season series. Boston University has swept four opponents, while Holy Cross and Army have three apiece, American and Bucknell have two and Lehigh has one.

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 on Sunday (Bucknell/BU) and again on March 1 when Bucknell visits American at 2 p.m. 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. Campus Insiders, which powers Patriot League Network, has also produced three broadcasts on PLN this season, and has one more left with BU at Army on Wednesday.

Patriot League Games
Army Black Knights (13-13, 9-6) at American Eagles (15-11, 11-4)
Bender Arena; Washington, D.C. - Saturday, 2 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network | Comcast SportsNet +
*After winning at Bender Arena for the first time last year, Army tries to do it again when it visits American on Saturday.
*The Black Knights posted a 72-58 win at AU last year and won all three meetings between the schools in 2013.
*American ended that streak with an 84-74 win at Army on Jan. 25 and leads the all-time series 25-6.
*The Eagles hit 28-of-51 (54.9%) from the field and 10-of-20 shots from three-point range.
*John Schoof (22 points), Jesse Reed (20) and Tony Wroblicky (19) all had big games in the win.
*American had won the previous six meetings before Army's sweep of the three games last year.
*The Eagles can clinch at least the No. 2 seed in the League Tournament with a win and a Holy Cross loss to Navy.

Loyola Maryland Greyhounds (10-16, 5-10) at Colgate Raiders (9-17, 3-12)
Cotterell Court; Hamilton, N.Y. - Saturday, 2 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Loyola and Colgate both try to stop losing skids when they meet in Hamilton on Saturday.
*The Greyhounds have lost four straight and six of seven, while the Raiders have dropped three in a row and five of six.
*Loyola held off Colgate for a 67-60 victory in the teams' first meeting in Baltimore on Jan. 25.
*The Greyhounds are 0-7 in Patriot League road games, but Colgate is just 1-6 at Cotterell Court in League action.
*Loyola leads the all-time series 2-1 as the first meeting this year was the first since 1983-84.

Bucknell Bison (13-13, 8-7) at Boston University Terriers (20-8, 13-2)
Agganis Arena; Boston, Mass. - Sunday, 12 p.m.
TV: CBS Sports Network
*Boston University can clinch at least a share of the regular-season title when it hosts Bucknell on Sunday.
*The game will tip off at Noon and be televised on CBS Sports Network.
*The Terriers can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament with a win and an American loss.
*The first meeting between the two was also on CBSSN as BU held on for a 64-61 win in Lewisburg on Jan. 25.
*The Terriers led by 20 points with eight minutes to go before hanging on down the stretch.
*BU evened the all-time series at 3-3 as the teams met for the first time since a Bucknell win at BU on Dec. 22, 2011.
*BU comes in on a four-game winning streak, while Bucknell has won three in a row.

Navy Midshipmen (9-17, 4-11) at Holy Cross Crusaders (16-11, 10-5)
Hart Center; Worcester, Mass. - Sunday, 12 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Holy Cross tries to solidify its spot in the top four of the League standings when it hosts Navy on Sunday.
*The Crusaders can clinch a top-four seed and home game in the League quarterfinals with a win and Bucknell loss.
*Holy Cross won 67-52 at Navy on Jan. 25 for its seventh in a row and ninth in the last 10 against the Mids.
*The Crusaders never trailed in the game and put it away with a late 11-0 run go up 20.
*The Crusaders are trying to sweep the season series for the fourth year in a row.
*Holy Cross also aims to claim 11 Patriot League wins for the first time since 2009.

Lehigh Mountain Hawks (14-14, 7-8) at Lafayette Leopards (9-17, 5-10)
Kirby Sports Center; Easton, Pa. - Sunday, 12 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network | Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60)
*Surging Lafayette hosts its rival as Lehigh comes to Kirby Sports Center on Sunday at Noon.
*The Leopards have won five of six to move from last place to a tie for seventh in the Patriot League.
*Lafayette's 0-9 start in the Patriot League included a 71-68 loss at Lehigh on Jan. 25.
*Lehigh's frontcourt duo of Tim Kempton and Justin Goldsborough combined for 38 points on 15-of-19 shooting.
*Lafayette had three chances to tie or take the lead in the final minute, but could not get past the Mountain Hawks.
*Lehigh's win snapped a three-game series winning streak for the Leopards which all came in 2013.
*Lehigh had won the previous five meetings starting with the 2010 Patriot League Championship.
*The teams have not split the regular-season matchups since that 2010 season.

Team Notebooks
AMERICAN The Eagles saw their chances at finishing with the top seed for the Patriot League Tournament take a big hit with a 71-62 loss at Boston University on Wednesday...American lost for the fourth time in the last five games after a 10-0 start in League play and now trails the Terriers by two games for first place...The Eagles did remain in sole possession of second with Holy Cross' loss to Lafayette...American led by 10 points in the first half, but BU took control with a 19-4 run spanning the first and second half to go up six with 15 minutes to play...American never got closer than five points again... Tony Wroblicky and Jesse Reed led the Eagles with 13 points apiece...American shot 23-of-50 for the game, finishing under 48% for the second game in a row after eight straight at that mark or better...American made over 70% of its shots in an 86-56 win over BU on Jan. 22...The Eagles, who came into the game leading the Patirot League in rebound margin, were also beaten 40-24 on the boards...American has another big game at home against Army on Saturday.

ARMY Kyle Wilson tied his career high with 29 points as Army played well in the last 10 minutes and pulled out a 74-66 win at home against Colgate...Army fell behind by six points after scoring only two points in the first seven minutes of the second half, but fought back with a 13-4 run and took the lead for good on a three-pointer by Tanner Omlid that made it 50-47 with 9:31 to go...Wilson helped put the game away with the first seven points of a 9-0 run that pushed Army's advantage to 69-57 with under two minutes to go...Wilson was very efficient as he made 8-of-10 shots, all three of his three-pointers and 10-of-11 free throws...The 29 points tied him with teammate Tanner Plomb for the most in a Patriot League game this season...Kevin Ferguson had 17 points while making 7-of-7 shots, while Dylan Cox added 15 and hit 5-of-7 from the field...The 20-of-24 shooting from the trio helped Army finish 24-of-42 (57.1%) for the game...Army put an end to a three-game losing skid and swept the season series with Colgate for the second time in three years...The Black Knights head on the road for the final time in the regular season when they visit American on Saturday.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY Boston University came back from an early deficit to take control of first place in the Patriot League with a 71-62 win over American on Wednesday...The Terriers moved two games ahead of the Eagles for the top spot as the teams split the season series...BU will be a top-two seed in the Patriot League Tournament, and can clinch the No. 1 spot as early as this weekend with a win and an American loss...American jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first half, but BU closed the period with eight straight points to get within 32-31 at the break...The Terriers took the lead for good early in the second half with seven straight points for a 42-36 lead with just under 15 minutes to play, making it a 19-4 run going back to the first half...BU would lead by at least five points for the remainder of the game before settling on the nine-point win...Dom Morris made 6-of-9 shots and led the Terriers with 16 points and seven rebounds.Maurice Watson Jr. added 13 points and seven assists, while six other players scored five points or more...Facing the top rebounding team in the Patriot League, BU dominated the glass with a 40-24 advantage and pulled down 16 offensive boards...The Terriers will honor an accomplished class on Senior Day at Agganis Arena on Sunday at Noon against Bucknell..The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network as BU goes for its sixth win in a row.

BUCKNELL Cameron Ayers hit a three-pointer with 16 seconds left to send Bucknell to a 55-53 victory in a wild game at Loyola Maryland...The Bison dominated the first half with a 28-14 edge, but the Greyhounds turned things around with a 28-7 run in the first 10 minutes of the second half to take a 42-35 lead...Bucknell answered with an 11-4 run to tie the score and neither team would lead by more than two points for the final six minutes...R.J. Williams put Loyola ahead 53-52 on a layup with 1:15 left, but the Greyhounds left the door open with a pair of missed free throws before Ayers hit the winning basket with 16 seconds to go...Ayers led the Bison with 22 points, while John Azzinaro scored 12 and Dom Hoffman finished with 10...The Bison made 24-of-51 shots and had a 39-29 rebounding advantage to win a game where they were just 2-of-5 at the free throw line and had a -11 turnover margin (16/5)...Bucknell has won three straight to move over . 500 in the Patriot League at 8-7, and next travels to Boston University on Sunday at Noon on CBS Sports Network.

COLGATE The Raiders used an 8-2 run in the first seven minutes of the second half to take a 43-37 lead, but Army heated up from there and went on to a 74-66 win at West Point...The Black Knights went ahead for good with 9:31 left, but the Raiders stayed close until a 9-0 Army run pushed the margin to 12 with under two minutes to go... Austin Tillotson led Colgate with 14 points...Colgate was over 50% for the game at 26-of-50, but made only 6-of-17 shots from three-point range and allowed Army to shoot 24-of-42 from the field...The Raiders lost their third straight game and fifth in the last six....Colgate will try to get back on track at home as it welcomes Loyola Maryland on Saturday afternoon.

HOLY CROSS The Crusaders came into Wednesday with a four-game win streak, but ran into an equally hot Lafayette team and fell 76-64 at home against the Leopards...Holy Cross fell to 10-5 in the Patriot League and is just one game ahead of Army for third place, though a season sweep over the Black Knights provides some extra breathing room in tournament seeding... Lafayette was over 50% from the field (27-of-49) and three-point range (10-of-19) and also made 12-of-13 free throws, while Holy Cross made just 22-of-58 field goals and hit just 5-of-25 three pointers...Lafayette scored the last five points of the first half to go up 39-34 at the break, and used runs of 11-2 and 10-0 to pull away after intermission...Holy Cross lost its first game at the Hart Center since Jan. 5 as a five-game home win streak was snapped...Lafayette beat the Crusaders in Worcester for the fifth straight meeting and third in a row in the regular season as the teams split the season series...Dave Dudzinski led Holy Cross with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Anthony Thompson scored 13 points...The Crusaders go for a new home streak when they welcome Navy on Sunday at Noon.

LAFAYETTE Lafayette had another outstanding shooting night to win for the third straight time and fifth in the last six with a 76-64 triumph at Holy Cross on Wednesday...Head Coach Fran O'Hanlon won his 127th Patriot League game, breaking the previous record of 126 set by Bucknell's Pat Flannery (1994-08)...The Leopards won at Holy Cross for the fifth straight time, and third consecutive regular-season meeting, while splitting the season series with the Crusaders...Lafayette was over 50% from the field (27-of-49) and three-point range (10-of-19) and also made 12-of-13 free throws...The Leopards took the lead for good with the last five points of the first half for a 39-34 edge at the break, and later used an 11-2 run to go up 54-42 with 11:19 to play...Lafayette had another 10-0 run to go ahead by 18 with four minutes to play before taking the 76-64 victory...Seth Hinrichs led the Leopards with 21 points, while Nick Lindner (17), Joey Ptasinski (16) and Dan Trist (10) also scored in double figures...After losing to every Patriot League team in the first half of the schedule, Lafayette has split the season series with five of six squads it has faced twice...The Leopards try to do it again when they host rival Lehigh on Sunday at Noon.

LEHIGH Lehigh scored the last 11 points to pull out a 72-65 win at home against Navy on Wednesday...Navy had used a 9-2 run to take a 65-61 lead with less than three minutes to play before the Mountain Hawks closed out the victory...Tim Kempton brought Lehigh within a point with a three-point play, and Jesse Chuku had the eventual winning bucket when he made it 66-65 with 1:59 left...The Mountain Hawks closed the game out with 6-of-6 free throw shooting in the final 30 seconds... Mackey McKnight had 15 points and nine assists for Lehigh, moving within six assists of the school record of 566...Corey Schaefer matched McKnight with 15 points, while Kempton and Chuku had 11 each..Lehigh was just under 50% from the field at 26-of-53 and also made 11-of-13 free throws while recording 16 assists and just six turnovers... Lehigh swept Navy for the fourth straight season and beat the Mids for the ninth time in a row overall....The Mountain Hawks go for a season sweep of rival Lafayette when they visit the Leopards on Sunday at Noon.

LOYOLA MARYLAND Loyola charged back from a rough first half to lead Bucknell by seven with 10 minutes to play, but suffered a tough loss when Cameron Ayers hit the winning three-pointer for the Bison with 16 seconds left...After trailing 28-14 at the break, Loyola used a 28-7 run in the first 10 minutes of the second half to take a 42-35 lead...Bucknell tied the score with an 11-4 run, and neither team led by more than two points in the last six minutes... R.J. Williams put Loyola ahead 53-52 on a layup with 1:15 left, but the Greyhounds left the door open with a pair of missed free throws before Ayers hit the winning basket...Jarred Jones could not convert on a chance to tie the score for the Greyhounds in the final seconds... Loyola made 50% of its second-half shots after a brutal first half, but finished just 18-of-56 (32%) from the field for the game...The Greyhounds fell despite committing only five turnovers while forcing 16...Jones and Jordan Latham led the way with 13 points apiece...Loyola tries to snap a four-game losing skid when it visits Colgate on Saturday.

NAVY After using a 9-2 run to take a four-point lead with less than three minutes to play, Navy allowed Lehigh to score the last 11 points and go on to a 72-65 win over the Mids on Wednesday...The Mids were still in it until the closing moments as Lehigh hit 6-of-6 free throws in the last 30 seconds to seal the win after going ahead 66-65 with 1:59 to play... Will Kelly had a double-double for the Mids with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Worth Smith and Zach Fong had 12 each and Brandon Venturini had 10 with seven assists...Navy shot nearly 55% at 28-of-51, but hit only 3-of-12 three-pointers and 6-of-12 free throws....The Mids also held a 32-23 edge on the boards, but had six more turnovers than Lehigh...Navy plays its final Patriot League road game when it visits Holy Cross on Sunday at Noon.