Feb. 23, 2009
Center Valley, Pa. - American tries to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament when it hosts Navy at 8 p.m. on CBS College Sports Network on Wednesday. Seeding implications are at stake in each of the other contests as well, with Holy Cross at Colgate, Lehigh at Bucknell and Army at Lafayette. American's Garrison Carr tied a League record with his fourth Anaconda Player of the Week award of the year, while Lafayette's Ryan Willen was named Anaconda Rookie of the Week on Monday.
Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 2.23.09
Patriot League/Anaconda Player of the Week (Feb. 16-22)
Garrison Carr, American Sr., G, 5'11, 165, Bellevue, Wash./Issaquah
Carr ties a Patriot League record with his fourth Anaconda Player of the Week award of the season after leading the first-place Eagles to a pair of victories last week. Carr stepped up when the top spot in the League standings was on the line against Holy Cross on Saturday, scoring 28 of American's 56 points to lead the Eagles to a six-point win. He converted 8-of-15 shots, including 6-of-9 from beyond the arc, and also made 6-of-7 foul shots and recorded three steals. Carr made three consecutive three-pointers to stretch a three-point lead to 12 early in the second half, and connected on five free throws in the final 35 seconds to put the game away. He tallied 22 points in the second half alone as American won its eighth straight contest and guaranteed at least a share of first place in the Patriot League. Carr tallied 13 points on 4-of-8 three-point shooting in a 58-36 win at Army on Wednesday. He scored 10 of American's first 12 points as the Eagles built a 12-2 lead and never looked back. Carr averaged 20.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in the two games, making 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) of his three-point attempts. He moved up to fourth place in League annals with 273 career three-pointers. Carr is the eighth player in Patriot League history with four Player of the Week awards in a season, as Navy's Kaleo Kina also joined that group this year. Carr's seven career Player of the Week honors are one shy of the Patriot League record.
Patriot League/Anaconda Rookie of the Week (Feb. 16-22)
Ryan Willen, Lafayette Fr., F, 6'8, 210, Cape Girardeau, Mo./Notre Dame
Willen receives the first Anaconda Rookie of the Week award of his career after helping the Leopards get back in the thick of the Patriot League standings with two victories last week. He was instrumental in Wednesday's 71-68 win over Bucknell, scoring a career-high 20 points with seven rebounds. Willen made 7-of-13 shots and all six of his free throw attempts in the game, and sealed the victory with a pair of foul shots with just two seconds remaining. It was his eighth-straight game in double figures. Willen chipped in eight points and four rebounds in a 68-66 victory at Lehigh on Sunday, as he played just 21 minutes because of a first-half injury. Willen averaged 14 points and 5.5 rebounds in the two contests, making 45.5 percent of his field goals and all of his foul shots. Willen leads all Patriot League freshmen with three double-doubles this season, the first Lafayette rookie to pull off that feat since Stefan Ciosici in 1995-96. He receives the first weekly honor for a Lafayette student-athlete this season.
Patriot League Notebook
Tournament Seeding Implications in Wednesday's Games
With all eight Patriot League teams still holding a chance to host a game in the League Tournament beginning on March 4, each of Wednesday's contests holds significance for the participants. American already knows it can host through at least the semifinals, and the Eagles can clinch the No. 1 seed in the field and home court throughout the Tournament with a win over third-place Navy on CBS College Sports Network at 8 p.m. Holy Cross tries to lock up at least the No. 2 seed when it travels to Colgate. The Raiders are tied with Lehigh for fourth place, but three other teams are close behind for the final hosting seed in the quarterfinal round. A pair of games will help sort out the teams as Lehigh visits Bucknell and Army goes to Lafayette.
American Clinches At Least a Share of First Place
American moved closer to locking up the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament with a 56-50 win at home over Holy Cross on Saturday, as the Eagles built a two-game lead on the second-place Crusaders with just two games left in the regular season. Third-place Navy also strengthened its prospects to host a contest in the Tournament, as the Mids knocked off rival Army, 59-54. Lafayette won at Lehigh, 68-66, on Sunday, dropping the Mountain Hawks to a tie for fourth place in the standings and keeping the Leopards and other squads right in the mix for a home quarterfinal game. Bucknell and Colgate played non-League contests on Saturday, with the Bison falling at home to Delaware, 81-68, in an ESPNU BracketBusters affair and the Raiders losing at Longwood, 80-75.
American Goes For Rare Back-To-Back No. 1 Seeds
With one more win or one more Holy Cross loss, American will become the first team since Lafayette in 1998-00 to earn consecutive No. 1 seeds in the Patriot League Tournament. The Leopards are the only program to earn three straight No. 1 seeds, with Colgate (1995-96) and Fordham (1990-91) the others to do it in consecutive years. American has already clinched its best record in Patriot League play, and is trying for its third overall No. 1 seed in its eighth year as a League member.
Eagles, Crusaders Clinch Home Court
American and Holy Cross will be playing at home to begin the Patriot League Tournament on March 4. Each squad has clinched home court for at least the quarterfinal round, with the Eagles guaranteed to finish no lower than the No. 2 seed in the final standings and host a potential semifinal contest at well. Holy Cross is guaranteed of at least the No. 3 seed, and can lock up at least the No. 2 with another win or a Navy loss. American has now captured a top four seed in each of its eight Patriot League seasons, while Holy Cross has done so for seven of the past nine campaigns. American will host the quarterfinals for the third year in a row, while Holy Cross hosts for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
American Continues to Roll
American has established itself as one of the nation's top road teams this year, and now it can also add the title of one of the hottest teams in the country. The Eagles have won eight consecutive contests, tied for the fourth-longest streak nationally. American has a 10-6 road record, and is one of only six teams in the country with at least 10 road wins. American's 11-1 Patriot League mark is its best record in any conference since going 11-0 in the East Coast Conference in the 1980-81 season. With their recent hot stretch, the Eagles re-entered the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major top 25 on Feb. 16 at the No. 24 position. The Eagles have limited their last four opponents to 50 points or less, and their last six to under 60 points.
Doing It With Defense
American has reached first place through excellent defense, but the Eagles aren't the only Patriot League team among the national leaders in a defensive category. Six of the eight Patriot League teams are listed in at least one NCAA top 50 leaderboard for a defensive statistic, with American, Holy Cross and Lehigh all listed twice. The Eagles are up to ninth in the country with 58.1 points per game allowed, and also place 39th in field goal percentage defense. Holy Cross in the top 25 nationally in both rebounding margin (23rd) and steals (25th). The Mountain Hawks are 11th in field goal percentage defense, and 40th in the country at defending the three. Bucknell (16th) and Navy (26th) give the Patriot League three teams on the leaderboard for three-point field goal percentage defense. Army rounds out the top defensive leaders by placing 40th in the country in scoring defense.
Two of the best three-point shooters in Patriot League history added to their numbers with great games last week. Lafayette's Andrew Brown made 4-of-8 three-pointers in a win over Lehigh on Sunday, and is up to third place in League annals with 281 career treys. American's Garrison Carr already holds the Patriot League single-season three-point record with 135 last year, and made a nice move up the career charts with 10 trifectas in American's two victories last week. Carr is right behind Brown and fourth in League history with 273 treys, and is currently fifth in League annals with a 40.7 career three-point percentage.
Patriot League Trends
The 20 series that have been completed in Patriot League action have featured an almost equal number of splits (12) and sweeps (8)...Home teams are 31-17 in Patriot League games...No team is averaging more than 70 points in League contests...No player is averaging more than 16 per game in League action...The highest single-game mark for any player is 28 points, achieved by Navy's Chris Harris, American's Garrison Carr and Brian Gilmore, and Army's Cleveland Richard...Carr hit the mark twice, including Saturday vs. Holy Cross.
Exclusive Company For Patriot League Guards
Four of the five active 1,000-point scorers are also among the top assist men in Patriot League annals. Navy's Kaleo Kina, Lafayette's Andrew Brown, American's Derrick Mercer and Lehigh's Marquis Hall are all part of a group of only 14 players in Patriot League history to record at least 1,000 career points and 300 career assists. Kina has even more prestige to his numbers, as he is one of three Patriot Leaguers with at least 1,300 points, 400 rebounds, 300 assists and 150 steals in a career. Kina joins Lafayette's Brian Ehlers (1996-00) and Holy Cross' Kevin Hamilton (2002-06) as players to accomplish the statistical feat.
This and That
Bucknell leads all teams in the country with six overtime games this year, holding a 2-4 record...The Bison represented the Patriot League in the ESPNU BracketBusters event for the fourth year in a row on Saturday, falling to Delaware, 81-68...Lehigh junior guard Marquis Hall is on the nominee list for the Bob Cousy Award, presented to the top guard in college basketball, and was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection...Navy's nine-game home winning streak to open the season wsa the second-longest in school history...American opened Patriot League play at 3-0 for the first time in school history...Navy earned its first-ever spot in the College.Insider.com top 25 on Jan. 12...Navy (11) and Lehigh (10) each won double-digit games in non-League play...Lehigh's Matt Szalachowksi is one of 30 candidates for the 2008-09 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, presented to a student-athlete based on classroom, character, community and competition...American's Derrick Mercer and Garrison Carr are the first set of Eagle teammates to both have over 1,000 career points in the same season since 1996...Army has already had 12 different players score in double figures this season...Navy senior guard Kaleo Kina became the fifth student-athlete in Patriot League history to earn three consecutive Player of the Week awards on Dec. 15. Kina was also one of four finalists for CollegeHoops.net Mid-Major Player of the Week honors on the same week...After posting a 2-1 record from Dec. 1-7, Navy was honored as the Mid-Major Team of the Week by Jeff Goodman in the FoxSports.com Weekly Wrap. The Mids had improved to 7-2 at the time...Navy has the best single-game shooting performance in the nation. The Mids' connected on 71.4 percent of their shots (25-for-35) in a 78-65 win over UT-San Antonio on Dec. 2....Lehigh's 76-71 win over Rutgers on Nov. 26 was the first for the Mountain Hawks against a Big East team in their Patriot League history, and first for the Patriot League against the Big East since 2005.
Patriot League All-Access Returns in 2009
Watch the majority of Patriot League Men's and Women's Basketball regular-season League and tournament games on high-speed Broadband on the Patriot League All-Access package. For $9.95 a month, this cutting-edge technology takes you from your seat to the sideline with multi-camera coverage.
2009 Patriot League Tournament
The 2009 Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament will once again be played at campus sites, with the quarterfinals on March 4, semifinals on March 8 and Patriot League Championship on ESPN2 at 4:45 p.m. on March 13. All games will be played at the site of the higher seed, with American and Holy Cross already set as two of the hosts for the quarterfinal round.
Patriot League Games
Navy (18-9, 7-5 PL) at American (19-7, 11-1 PL), Wednesday, 8 p.m.
Bender Arena; Washington, D.C. TV: CBS College Sports Network
Series: Navy, 36-32 Streak: American, One Win
Last Meeting: American, 68-67 (1.28.09) Last Navy Win: 83-68 (2.27.08)
American tries to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament for the second year in a row when it hosts Navy on Wednesday...The Eagles have guaranteed at least a share of first place with an 11-1 mark, while the Mids are in third place at 7-5...Navy can clinch the No. 3 seed in the field with a win...American scored a 68-67 win at Navy when Garrison Carr hit a three-pointer in the final minute...That snapped a two-game Navy series win streak as the Mids swept last year's matchups...Navy was the last Patriot League team to win at Bender Arena, scoring a 77-66 triumph on Jan. 30, 2008...American has won 13 straight home games against League foes since, beating every team but Navy in the stretch...The Eagles last won both meetings in 2007...Navy has a 36-32 lead in the all-time series, but American holds a 12-3 mark against the Mids in regular-season League games.
Navy The Mids all but locked up a home game in the Patriot League Tournament with a 59-54 win over rival Army at a sold-out Alumni Hall on Saturday...Navy improved to 7-5 in the Patriot League, holding a two-game lead with two to go over fourth-place Lehigh and Colgate...Navy and Army split the season series for the sixth year in a row, with the Mids claiming the Star Game between the schools for the seventh straight season...Navy has won 26 of the last 29 Star Games...The teams have alternated victories for the last 12 meetings, as Navy has claimed the second matchup of the year each time...Navy was down, 26-20, early in the second half but took over with a 22-2 spurt...They went ahead for good on a three-pointer by Kaleo Kina with 13:55 left to start a stretch of 14 consecutive points...Army cut the Navy lead to 53-51 in the final minute, but Adam Teague put the game away with a three-pointer with 38 seconds left...Chris Harris led Navy with 17 points, while Kina tallied 14 to go along with eight rebounds and a season-high four steals...Harris is just 30 points shy of 1,000 for his career...The Mids bounced back from a 15-point first half to shoot 44.8 percent in the second half and make 5-of-13 three-pointers and 13-of-18 fouls shots after the break...The Mids forced 21 turnovers in the contest, and have forced 20 or more turnovers in three straight games for the first time since 2006...The 54 points allowed were a season low...It was the sixth sellout crowd in Alumni Hall history...Navy goes to American on Wednesday, looking to clinch third place in the Patriot League...The Mids are the only Patriot League team not to lose at Bender Arena in the last two seasons.
American The Eagles moved to the doorstep of locking up the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament after beating second-place Holy Cross, 56-50, in Washington on Saturday...American is 11-1 in the Patriot League, and has a two-game lead with two to go over the Crusaders...The Eagles won their eighth consecutive game, and 14th in the last 15 outings...The winning streak is tied for the fourth-longest nationally...They earned their 13th straight home victory against a Patriot League opponent, and eighth consecutive win at Bender Arena overall...American held an opponent to 50 points or less for the fourth straight game, and kept a foe under 60 points for the sixth game in a row...Behind a trio of three-pointers from Garrison Carr, the Eagles scored the first 11 points of the second half to build a 30-18 lead...Holy Cross cut it to three with less than two minutes to go, but American made the big play as a Jordan Nichols steal led to a breakaway layup for Derrick Mercer to make it 51-46 with 1:12 left...Carr made five foul shots in the final 35 seconds to put the contest away...Carr had an outstanding shooting night, making 8-of-15 shots and 6-of-9 from three-point range, while also hitting 6-of-7 foul shots...He scored 22 points in the second half...Mercer had 11 points while Brian Gilmore had nine points and seven rebounds...The Eagles hit 13-of-23 shots in the second half, including 4-of-5 from three-point range...American made 8-of-14 three-pointers in the game...The Eagles improved to 15-2 since Jordan Nichols was inserted into the starting lineup and Bryce Simon returned to the rotation on Dec. 20 against UMBC...American hosts Navy on Wednesday with a chance to lock up the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament for the second year in a row...No team has held the No. 1 seed in the tourney in consecutive years since Lafayette had the position three years in a row from 1998-00.
Holy Cross (14-13, 9-3 PL) at Colgate (9-17, 5-7 PL), Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Cotterell Court; Hamilton, N.Y. TV: Time Warner Sports
Series: Holy Cross, 48-16 Streak: Holy Cross, One Win
Last Meeting: Holy Cross, 68-44 (1.28.09) Last Colgate Win: 63-55 (2.27.08)
Holy Cross attempts to clinch the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament against a Colgte squad trying to lock down a quarterfinal home game...The Crusaders are 9-3 in League play and can seal second place with a victory, while the Raiders are 5-7 and tied for fourth...Holy Cross scored a 68-44 victory in Worcester in the teams first meeting on Jan. 28...Colgate swept last year's season series, including a 58-46 triumph in Hamilton on Jan. 30, 2008...The Crusaders had won the last seven meetings before that point...Holy Cross has a 48-16 advantage in the all-time series, and 25-12 edge in regular-season League games.
Holy Cross The Crusaders fell two games behind first-place American with a 56-50 loss to the Eagles in Washington on Saturday...Holy Cross is 9-3 in the Patriot League, two games ahead of third-place Navy...The teams split the season series for the second year in a row...It was the fifth time in the last six matchups that the outcome was decided by 10 points or less...The Crusaders fell behind by 12 points early in the second half, but used an 11-2 run to cut it all the way down to 49-46 on a three-pointer by Adam May with 2:33 to go...Holy Cross had two possessions with the three-point deficit, but was not able to get any closer...Andrew Beinert tied his career-high with 18 points, making 7-of-11 shots and 4-of-6 three-pointers...Beinert leads the Patriot League by making 46.2 percent of his three-pointers this season...Andrew Keister had his seventh double-double of the year with 13 points and 12 rebounds...The Crusaders held a 36-27 rebounding advantage, but were hurt by committing 19 turnovers while forcing just 10...Holy Cross plays its final Patriot League road game at Colgate on Wednesday...The Crusaders can clinch the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament with a win.
Colgate The Raiders fell in their final non-League game, squandering a 15-point second-half lead in an 80-75 loss at Longwood on Saturday...Colgate fell to 9-17 on the year, and is tied for fourth place in the Patriot League with a 5-7 mark...Colgate finished its non-League schedule with a 4-10 record, including a 4-6 road mark...The Raiders held a 57-42 lead in the second half, but saw Longwood charge back with 16 straight points...Colgate built the advantage back to 67-63 with 3:49 to go, but Longwood finished the game with a 17-8 run...Freshman Yaw Gyawu had a career-high 23 points and seven rebounds for the Raiders, making 10-of-18 shots from the field...Ben Jonson had a double-double with 16 points and 11 boards...The 75 points were a season high...Colgate plays its home finale against Holy Cross on Wednesday...The Raiders are 4-2 at home in Patriot League play, with three straight wins at Cotterell Court.
Lehigh (15-11, 5-7 PL) at Bucknell (6-21, 3-9 PL) , Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Sojka Pavilion; Lewisburg, Pa.
Series: Bucknell, 90-59 Streak: Lehigh, Three Wins
Last Meeting: Lehigh, 61-59 (1.28.09) Last Bucknell Win: 69-56 (2.21.07)
Lehigh travels to Bucknell as it hopes to move closer to capturing fourth place in the final Patriot League standings...The Mountain Hawks are tied for fourth at 5-7, while the Bison are in eighth at 3-9...The first meeting went down to the wire, with Marquis Hall hitting a shot with one second left to give Lehigh a 61-59 win...Lehigh has a three-game series win streak, including a 56-54 triumph in Lewisburg on Jan. 30 of last season...The Bison had earned the previous six victories before that point...Two of the last three meetings have been decided by two points...Bucknell has a 90-59 advantage in the all-time series, and a 27-10 lead in regular-season Patriot League action.
Lehigh The Mountain Hawks concluded their home schedule with a 68-66 loss to archrival Lafayette on Sunday afternoon...Lehigh fell into a tie for fourth place in the Patriot League with Colgate, as each squad holds a 5-7 mark...Lehigh finished up its season at Stabler Arena with an 8-5 record, but just a 3-4 mark in Patriot League action...The teams split the season series for the third year in a row, with the Mountain Hawks falling at home to the Leopards for the first time since 2002..The game was back and forth throughout, with Lehigh tying the score at 62-all with 1:10 to play...Lafayette scored the next three points to go ahead for good...Lehigh had one final inbounds down by two points, but Lafayette knocked the ball away...Five players scored in double figures for the Mountain Hawks, led by 15 for Zahir Carrington...Hall had 12 points, while Buchberger, Phil Anderson and Prentice Small each scored 10...Lehigh was hurt by a 12-for-23 showing at the foul line...The Mountain Hawks conclude the season on the road, visiting Bucknell Wednesday and Holy Cross on Saturday...Lehigh is 2-3 on the road in League action.
Bucknell The Bison suffered a tough loss in non-League action in the ESPNU BracketBusters event, as Delaware scored the final 25 points of the game to upend Bucknell, 81-68, in Lewisburg on Saturday...Bucknell fell to 6-21 overall, and heads back into Patriot League play with a 3-9 mark...The teams were meeting for the first time since 1996...Bucknell fell to 1-3 all-time in BracketBusters games...The Bison were up, 68-56, before Delaware scored the final 25 points of the game in the last seven minutes...Bucknell had four players in double figures, including 23 for Patrick Behan and 16 for G.W. Boon...Behan became the first Bucknell player since Boakai Lalugba in 2002 to record three straight 20-point games...Bryan Cohen played all 40 minutes in the contest for the first time in his career, and recorded 11 points and six rebounds...Bucknell plays its final two Patriot League games at home, facing Lehigh on Wednesday and Army on Saturday...The Bison are still alive for a chance to host in the Patriot League quarterfinals.
Army (8-18, 4-8 PL) at Lafayette (8-19, 4-8 PL), Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Kirby Sports Center; Easton, Pa. TV: Lafayette Sports Network
Series: Lafayette, 34-21 Streak: Army, Two Wins
Last Meeting: Army, 57-56 (1.28.09) Last Lafayette Win: 83-58 (1.30.08)
Army and Lafayette each look for a win to stay in the hunt for a home game in the Patriot League quarterfinals...The teams are tied for sixth place in the standings with 4-8 marks...The Black Knights scored the final six points of the game to beat Lafayette, 57-56, in the first meeting on Jan. 28 at West Point...The home team has won the last six matchups in the series as the teams have split the yearly contests for the past two years...Lafayette recorded an 83-58 win in the last meeting in Easton on Jan. 30, 2008...Lafayette leads the all-time series, 34-21, with a 24-13 advantage in regular-season League games.
Army The Black Knights started their season-ending three-game road trip with a 59-54 loss at rival Navy on Saturday afternoon...The Black Knights are tied for sixth in the League with a 4-8 record, one game out of fourth place...Army and Navy split the season series for the sixth year in a row, with the Mids claiming the Star Game for the seventh straight season...Army held a 17-15 lead at halftime, and went up 26-20 before Navy pulled off a 22-2 run to build a double-digit lead...Army fought back from there, chipping the Navy lead all the way down to two at 53-51 with 1:09 left before the Mids made key plays down the stretch...Two players scored in double digits for the Black Knights, with 14 for Cleveland Richard and 12 for John Moonshower, who hit 4-of-6 shots from three-point range...The Black Knights forced 18 Navy turnovers while committing 21 of their own...Army remained winless on the road in Patriot League action with an 0-5 mark...The Black Knights go for their first League road win at Lafayette.
Lafayette The Leopards snapped a 13-game road losing streak with a 68-66 win at rival Lehigh on Sunday afternoon...Lafayette moved into a tie for sixth place in the Patriot League with a 4-8 record, just one game behind fourth place Lehigh and Colgate...The Leopards had not won on the road since claiming their season opener at Wagner...Lafayette has won consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 14 and 17...It was Lafayette's final road game of the regular season...The Leopards split the season series with the Mountain Hawks for the third year in a row, and won at Lehigh for the first time since 2002...Lafayette held the lead most of the way until Lehigh used a 12-2 surge to claim a 52-48 advantage with 8:57 left..It was back and forth from there, but the Leopards went back ahead for good when Michael Gruner made 1-of-2 foul shots after being hit following an offensive rebound with 27 seconds left, and added another pair of free throws by Jeff Kari with 22 seconds to go to claim a 65-62 lead. Lehigh had one last full court inbounds pass to tie or take the lead, but the Leopards knocked the ball away...Andrew Brown scored 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting that included a 4-for-8 three-point effort, and also dished out five assists...He had Lafayette's first 11 points of the second half...Jared Mintz finished with a career-high 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting and also pulled down 12 rebounds for his second career double-double...Lafayette tries for its first three-game winning streak since January 2008 when it hosts Army on Wednesday...The Leopards have won two straight games four different times this season, including twice in Patriot League play.