Lafayette's Joey Ptasinski earned his first Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award on Monday.
Feb. 24, 2014
Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*Boston University has a one-game lead over American for first place in the Patriot League with two games to play.
*The Terriers head to Army while the Eagles are at Navy on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
*The Patriot League Network broadcast of BU-Army will be produced exclusively by Campus Insiders.
*American made up a game by beating Army 58-54 on Saturday while BU lost 63-53 at home against Bucknell.
*The Bison and Black Knights are now tied for fourth place in the Patriot League at 9-7.
*Bucknell can clinch the last quarterfinal home spot with a win at home over Lehigh and Army loss on Wednesday.
*Holy Cross joined BU and American as a quarterfinal host by beating Navy 74-57 on Sunday.
*The Crusaders can lock up at least the No. 3 seed with a win at Loyola on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
*Lafayette has won four straight and six of its last seven as the Leopards visit Colgate on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
*The Leopards trail Lehigh by one game for sixth place, the final spot that would earn a first-round bye in the tourney.
*All five games on Wednesday can be seen through Patriot League Network.
Patriot League Anaconda Weekly Awards (Feb. 17-23)
Anaconda Player of the Week
JOEY PTASINSKI, LAFAYETTE Jr., G, 6-2, 174; Highlands Ranch, Colo./Regis Jesuit/New Hampton
Ptasinski averaged 19.5 points while making 9-of-14 shots from beyond the arc as Lafayette has now won four straight after defeating Holy Cross and Lehigh last week. He started off with 16 points while making 4-of-6 shots from long range in a 76-64 win at Holy Cross on Wednesday, then hit 5-of-8 from three-point land and all six of his free throw attempts to score a career-high tying 23 points in a 77-71 win over Lehigh on Sunday. Ptasinski made 6-of-9 shots from the field in both games to finish 12-of-18 for the week, and also averaged 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals per contest. He is up to fifth in school history with 169 three-pointers, and his career 42.1% mark from long range stands third in Patriot League history. Ptasinski ranks eighth in the country with a 45.3% clip from three-point range this season, and leads the Patriot League with 72 three-pointers made for the year. Ptasinski is named Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week for the first time.
Anaconda Rookie of the Week
NICK LINDNER, LAFAYETTE Fr., G, 5-10, 161; Doylestown, Pa./Germantown Academy
Lindner played well at the point in a pair of victories for the Leopards as he averaged 14.0 points and 5.5 assists in wins over Holy Cross and Lehigh. He scored 17 points and dished out six assists in a 76-64 win over the Crusaders on Wednesday, and followed it up with 11 points and five assists in a 77-71 victory against Lehigh on Sunday. Lindner shot 50% or better in each game to finish at 9-of-17 for the week, and also hit 4-of-6 three-pointers and 6-of-8 free throws in the two contests. He had only four turnovers, two in each game, to go with the 11 assists. Lindner ranks sixth in the Patriot League and leads all freshmen with 3.9 assists per game, and is second among all League freshmen with 10.3 points per contest. He is named Patriot League Anaconda Rookie of the Week for the fourth time this season.
DAVE DUDZINSKI, HOLY CROSS Sr., F/C, 6-9, 227; Elburn, Ill./Kaneland
Dudzinski had a pair of double-doubles last week and averaged 19.5 points and 10.5 rebounds as Holy Cross split two games.
CAMERON AYERS, BUCKNELL Sr., G, 6-5, 203; Blue Bell, Pa./Germantown Academy
Ayers scored 22 points and hit the game-winning three-pointer with 16 seconds left in a 55-53 win at Loyola on Wednesday, and led the team with 11 points in a 63-53 victory at first-place Boston University on Sunday.
AUSTIN TILLOTSON, COLGATE So., G, 6-0, 175; York, Pa./Eastern York
Tillotson made 12-of-16 shots and all four threes while averaging 15.5 points and 5.0 assists in two games for the Raiders.
JESSE REED, AMERICAN So., G, 6-5, 185; Saltsburg, Pa./Kiski School
Reed had 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting in American's 58-54 win over Army on Saturday, and averaged 17.0 in two games.
TIM KEMPTON, LEHIGH Fr., F/C, 6-10, 225; Scottsdale, Ariz./Brophy College Prep
Kempton made 11-of-15 shots and 9-of-11 free throws while averaging 15.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in two games.
Patriot League Notebook
Patriot League Race Coming Down to the Wire
Boston University got separation from American by beating the Eagles on Wednesday, then gave it right back over the weekend as the Terriers fell 63-53 at home against Bucknell on Sunday while the Eagles won 58-54 at home versus Army on Saturday. Boston University now leads American by just one game with two to play for first place in the Patriot League, with the Eagles holding the potential tiebreaker for the top seed in the League Tournament. The Terriers aim to clinch a share of the regular-season title with a win at Army on Wednesday, and can earn the No. 1 seed with a victory and an American loss at Navy. Unless that happens, the top seed in the Patriot League Tournament will be at stake as the 18-game regular season concludes on Saturday with Boston University at Holy Cross and American hosting Bucknell.
Bucknell, Army in Contention for Last Home Game in Quarterfinals
Bucknell and Army are tied for fourth place in the Patriot League and vying for the last spot to host a game in the quarterfinals of the League Tournament on March 5. Bucknell can lock up that position on Wednesday if it beats Lehigh at home and Army loses its game to Boston University. The Bison have surged up the standings with four straight wins while the Black Knights have dropped four of the last five contests. Holy Cross secured a home game in the quarters with a 74-57 win at home against Navy on Sunday, and can seal at least the No. 3 seed if it wins at Loyola Maryland on Wednesday.
Three Teams Competing for First-Round Bye
Lehigh, Lafayette and Loyola Maryland are all trying to avoid playing a first-round game by finishing the season outside of the bottom four spots in the standings. The Mountain Hawks hold the edge right now at 7-9, but the charging Leopards are up to 6-10 after a 77-71 win over Lehigh on Sunday and the Greyhounds are still mathematically in the hunt despite falling to 5-11 in League play with an 84-60 defeat at Colgate on Saturday for their fifth straight loss. Lafayette goes to Colgate on Wednesday, with the Raiders and Navy locked into first-round contests in the League Tournament on March 3 but still able to move up the standings and play that game at home.
2014 Patriot League Tournament
Boston University, American and Holy Cross have already locked up three 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. Bucknell and Army are the only teams in contention to earn the final home game in the quarters. 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 at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m., 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.
Ptasinski Leads the way for Lights-Out Leopards
Lafayette's win streak surged to four with a pair of victories last week, and not surprisingly long-range shooting played a key role in the wins. The Leopards made 10-of-19 three-pointers in a 76-64 win at Holy Cross on Wednesday and then did even better with a 10-of-15 clip in a 77-71 victory at home against Lehigh on Sunday. The 20-of-34 week from beyond the arc moved Lafayette all the way up to third in the country at 41.0% from three-point range this season. Joey Ptasinski made 9-of-14 threes in the two games to earn the Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award, and stands eighth in the country with a 45.3% clip from downtown this season.
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 20-9 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 conference 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 20 games, and have a 14-6 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 6.1 per contest. Watson's 194 assists this year rank third 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 176 assists. McKnight is up to 562 assists for his career, just four from the school record of 566 held by Marquis Hall (2007-10). 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 five teams in the League standings are 25-15 on the road overall in League play and 19-4 against the other five squads in the League. Boston University leads the road success at 6-1, while American and Holy Cross are each 5-3, Army is 5-4 and Bucknell has a 4-4 mark in Patriot League action. None of the other five Patriot League squads has even a .500 road record in League play, and those teams have combined for an 8-32 away mark as home teams have a 47-33 edge in League action.
More League Trends
Of the 43 games decided by single digits this year, 25 have been decided by by five points or less including American's win over Army on Wednesday. There have been 37 games with double-digit margins. Of the 35 matchups played twice in the Patriot League, there have been 17 sweeps and 18 splits of the season series. Boston University and Holy Cross have swept four opponents each, while American and Army have three apiece, Bucknell has two and Lehigh has one.
CBS Sports Network, Patriot League Network Cover the Season
CBS Sports Network has already shown 11 Patriot League games this season, with another to come when Bucknell visits American to close the regular season on Saturday. 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
Boston University Terriers (20-9, 13-3) at Army Black Knights (13-14, 9-7)
Christl Arena; West Point, N.Y. - Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*After weekend losses, Boston University and Army both need a win to help their outlook for the Patriot League tourney.
*The Patriot League Network broadcast features an exclusive production by Campus Insiders.
*BU is still in first place, but now just one game up on American with two to play and the Eagles holding the tiebreaker.
*Army fell into a fourth-place tie with Bucknell, and the two teams are battling for the final quarterfinal home game.
*BU won the first meeting 86-81 in overtime on Jan. 29 after Army rallied from a 22-point deficit to tie the score.
*The Terriers took a 10-6 lead in the series as the teams faced off for the first time since 1994-95.
*BU has the best road record in the Patriot League at 6-1, while Army is 4-3 at Christl Arena.
American Eagles (16-11, 12-4) at Navy Midshipmen (9-18, 4-12)
Alumni Hall; Annapolis, Md. - Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*American can clinch at least the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament with a win at Navy on Wednesday.
*The Eagles are one game back of Boston University for first place and hold the tiebreaker over the Terriers.
*American won 74-52 at home against Navy on Jan. 29 for its seventh straight home win over the Mids.
*Jesse Reed had a career-high 28 points for American while making 8-of-10 shots and 6-of-8 from long range in the win.
*Navy pulled out a 50-44 win when the teams met in Annapolis last season to stop a four-game streak for the Eagles.
*American holds a 40-38 edge all-time, but is up 22-5 on Navy as Patriot League members and has claimed 10 of the last 12.
*Navy needs a win to strengthen its chances at hosting in the first round of the League Tournament on March 3.
Lehigh Mountain Hawks (14-15, 7-9) at Bucknell Bison (14-13, 9-7)
Sojka Pavilion; Lewisburg, Pa. - Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Bucknell has won four games in a row to move into a tie for fourth place as it hosts Lehigh on Wednesday.
*The Bison can clinch a home game in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament with a win and an Army loss.
*Lehigh used a late 9-0 run to pull out a 66-63 victory at home against the Bison on Jan. 29.
*That result ended a streak where the road team had won all five meetings over the past two seasons.
*Lehigh has won the last three at Sojka Pavilion the past two years, including the 2012 Patriot League Championship game.
*The Mountain Hawks have won four of the last five meetings in the series overall.
*Lehigh can clinch a bye through the first round of the League Tournament with a win and a Lafayette loss on Wednesday.
Lafayette Leopards (10-17, 6-10) at Colgate Raiders (10-17, 4-12)
Cotterell Court; Hamilton, N.Y. - Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Lafayette has won four straight and six of seven as its heads to Colgate on Wednesday night.
*The Leopards have split six season series after losing to each team in the first half of the Patriot League schedule.
*The run started after Colgate won 75-68 at Lafayette on Jan. 27 to drop the Leopards to 0-9 in the Patriot League.
*That victory was the first for the Raiders over the Leopards since 2010, snapping Lafayette's seven-game run in the series.
*Lafayette has won the matchup at Cotterell Court in each of the last four seasons.
*A win would secure at least a first-round home game in the Patriot League Tournament for the Leopards.
*Colgate also needs a win to boost its chances at hosting a first-round game.
Holy Cross Crusaders (17-11, 11-5) at Loyola Md Greyhounds (10-17, 5-11)
Reitz Arena; Baltimore, Md. - Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Holy Cross can lock up the No. 3 seed in the Patriot League Tournament with a win at Loyola on Wednesday.
*The Crusaders can only reach the No. 2 with two more wins and two American losses to close the regular season.
*Holy Cross has won 10 of its last 12 games, including a 60-51 victory at home against the Greyhounds on Jan. 29.
*The Crusaders used a 9-2 run to pull away down the stretch after Loyola had closed within two points.
*Dave Dudzinski made 8-of-11 shots and finished with a double-double of 24 points and 12 rebounds for Holy Cross.
*The Crusaders took a 3-2 lead in the all-time series as the teams played for the first time since 1995-96.
*Loyola still hopes to earn a first-round bye or at least a home game in the round on March 3.
AMERICAN American went ahead by as many as 23 points, then held off Army down the stretch for a 58-54 win at home against the Black Knights on Saturday...The Eagles improve to 12-4 in the Patriot League, reaching the 12-win mark for the second time...American has clinched a top-three seed in the Patriot League Tournament and now sits just one game back of first-place Boston University...Army scored the first four points, but American took control from there with a 19-2 run...The Eagles took a 30-16 lead at halftime, then opened the second half with a 17-8 stretch to go ahead 47-24..Army used runs of 12-0 and 8-0 to close within 51-46...Army got within 54-51 with 1:18 left, but missed two three-pointers with a chance to tie the score...Darius Gardner hit a pair of free throws with 20 seconds left to put AU back up five, and Jesse Reed sealed the win on a layup with five seconds to go...Reed scored 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting and also pulled down seven rebounds, while Tony Wroblicky had a double-double of 14 points and 12 boards...American shot an even 50% (21-of-42) while holding Army to 17-of-47...The Eagles swept the Black Knights for the third time in four seasons after Army won all three meetings last year...American plays its last road game of the regular season at Navy on Wednesday.
ARMY The Black Knights had a chance to tie the score after trailing by as many as 23 points, but could not overcome the deficit and fell 58-54 at American on Saturday...After trailing 47-24 early in the second half, Army clawed back with runs of 12-0 and 8-0 to close within 51-46 with under three minutes to play...Army got within 54-51 with 1:18 left, but Larry Toomey and Kyle Wilson each missed three-pointers with a chance to tie the score and American scored four straight points to seal the win before an Army three-pointer at the buzzer... Mo Williams led Army with 18 points off the bench...One game after a career-high tying 29 points, Kyle Wilson scored only two on 1-of-15 shooting for the night...Wilson was 0-of-6 from three-point range as Army was 5-of-16 from downtown and 15-of-26 at the line...Army is tied for fourth place in the Patriot League with Bucknell with first-place Boston University coming to West Point on Wednesday.
BOSTON UNIVERSITY The Terriers gave back a game on their first-place lead over American as they fell 63-53 at home against Bucknell on Sunday...BU now leads American by just one game for first place with two to play, and the Eagles hold the tiebreaker...The Terriers were up by nine points early in the second half after using a 10-2 run, but Bucknell held a 39-20 advantage over the last 15 minutes to earn the win... The Bison limited BU to 16-of-50 shooting from the field and just 4-of-18 from beyond the arc to snap BU's five-game win streak... BU was also outrebounded 46-27 one game after holding a 40-24 edge on the boards against American...Nathan Dieudonne led BU with 13 points, while Maurice Watson Jr. had 12....The Terriers finish with a 5-2 home record in Patriot League play, and it was the first of their four losses at home overall that came in regulation...BU has a tough road to finish the regular season as it goes to Army on Wednesday and Holy Cross on Saturday.
BUCKNELL After going down by nine points early in the second half, Bucknell finished with a 39-20 stretch and went on to a 63-53 win at Boston University on Sunday...The Bison won their fourth straight game to tie Army for fourth place in the Patriot League at 9-7...After BU used a 10-2 run to open the second half and take a 33-24 lead, Bucknell bounced back with an 11-2 run for a 40-38 lead with under eight minutes to go...Bucknell went ahead for good with 7:02 left, and pulled away late with an 11-3 run capped by consecutive three-point plays for Ryan Frazier to go up 57-47 with under two minutes to play..Bucknell held a 34-20 edge in bench scoring, and the Bison reserves accounted for 30 of the team's final 32 points...Cameron Ayers led the Bison with 11 while Ryan Frazier topped the reserves with 10 as six players scored seven points or more for the Bison...In addition to the bench production, Bucknell's dominance on the boards was the story as the Bison held a 46-27 rebounding advantage...The Bison limited BU to 16-of-50 shooting from the field and just 4-of-18 from beyond the arc as the teams split the season series...Bucknell hosts Lehigh on Wednesday, and can clinch a home game in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament with a win and an Army loss.
COLGATE Colgate shot over 60% overall and from three-point range to roll to an 84-60 win over Loyola on Saturday at Cotterell Court...The Raiders made 32-of-53 shots and 12-of-18 threes, including 17-of-25 overall and 7-of-9 from downtown in the first half to take a 44-30 lead...Loyola actually led 25-24 with 6:16 to play in the period before Colgate used a 20-5 run to close the half and take control... Colgate hit a three-pointer to open the second half and led by at least 15 and as many as 27 the rest of the way...Ethan Jacobs led Colgate with 20 points, while Austin Tillotson had 17 and Murphy Burnatowski finished with 15..Tillotson had seven of the team's 22 assists, and Colgate also had a 29-23 rebounding edge..Colgate will play in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament, but can still move up to host that contest on March 3...The Raiders finish the regular season at home against Lafayette on Wednesday and at Lehigh on Saturday.
HOLY CROSS Dave Dudzinski led the way with 22 points and 10 rebounds as Holy Cross locked up a home game in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament with a 74-57 win at home against Navy...Holy Cross won for the ninth time in the last 11 contests to reach 11 Patriot League wins for the first time since 2009...The Crusaders took the lead for good with an early 13-1 run that put them up 18-7 midway through the first half, and carried it into a 34-19 lead at the break...Holy Cross never saw the advantage fall below double figures in the second half as it cruised to the 17-point win...Anthony Thompson added 17 points for the Crusaders, while Eric Green scored 14...The Crusaders dominated the boards with a 45-24 advantage to win easily in a game where they shot under 40% from the field...Holy Cross also made up for an average shooting night by making 25-of-31 free throws...The Crusaders swept the season series with Navy for the fourth year in a row...They will go for a season sweep at Loyola on Wednesday, where a win would guarantee no worse than the No. 3 seed in the League tourney.
LAFAYETTE Lafayette won its fourth straight game and sixth in the last seven by holding off rival Lehigh for an exciting 77-71 win in Easton on Sunday...The Leopards went ahead for good in the back and forth game early in the second half before holding off Lehigh down the stretch...Lafayette led for the last 17 minutes, and used an 8-0 run to build the advantage to 59-49 with 9:46 to play...Lehigh scored the next five points to bring it closer, and eventually wittled the Lafayette lead all the way down to 73-71 with 21 seconds to play...Seth Hinrichs put Lafayette back up four with a pair of free throws, and Joey Ptasinski clinched the win with a pair at the line with six seconds to go...Ptasinski led the Leopards with 23 points, and averaged 19.5 points in two games last week to be named Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week for the first time...Bryce Scott (16), Nick Lindner (11) and Dan Trist (10) also finished in double figures for Lafayette...Hinrichs was held to four points, but pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds to help Lafayette to a 34-29 edge on the glass...The Leopards also forced 15 Lehigh turnovers while committing only eight of their own, and were red-hot from long range with a 10-of-15 clip led by 5-of-8 from Ptasinski..Lafayette is up to third in the nation at 41.0% from beyond the arc this season, while Ptasinski is eighth with a 45.3% clip from long range...Lafayette split the season series with Lehigh and beat its rival for the fourth time in the last five games...The Leopards visit Colgate on Wednesday where a win would lock up no worse than a home game in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament on March 3 and potentially keep the Leopards in the mix for a bye through the round.
LEHIGH Lehigh fell behind early in the second half and could not get all the way back in a 77-71 loss at Lafayette on Sunday...The Mountain Hawks saw Lafayette take the lead for good with 17 minutes left and push the advantage to 10 points with under 10 minutes to play...Lehigh kept fighting and eventually got as close as 73-71 on a three-pointer by Mackey McKnight with 21 seconds to play...The Mountain Hawks would get no closer as Lafayette hit four free throws to seal the win... Lehigh made 9-of-17 three-pointers and finished 26-of-53 overall, but had seven more turnovers than its rival...Tim Kempton had a monster game for the Mountain Hawks with 20 points and 13 rebounds, while McKnight added 15 points...It was his fourth game with 20 points or more and the fifth double-double for the freshman... The Mountain Hawks fell out of contention to host a quarterfinal of the Patriot League Tournament, and are just one game ahead of the Leopards for sixth place as they try to stay out of the bottom four squads which play in the first round of the League tourney...Lehigh can boost its chance for the first-round bye by winning at Bucknell on Wednesday.
LOYOLA MARYLAND Colgate took control with a 20-5 run to close the first half and beat Loyola 84-60 in Hamilton on Saturday...The Greyhounds led by one before the Raiders used the stretch to go up 44-30 at the half, and Loyola got not closer than that after intermission... R.J. Williams led Loyola with 16 points while Jarred Jones scored 10...The Greyhounds lost their fifth straight game and fell to 0-8 on the road in Patriot League action....Loyola does have a 5-3 home mark, and wraps up its home slate by welcoming Holy Cross on Wednesday...Loyola would at least host a first-round game of the Patriot League Tournament on March 3 by winning its last two games, and could still get a bye to the quarterfinals.
NAVY Holy Cross used a 13-1 run to go up double digits midway through the first half and never looked back in a 74-57 win at home against Navy on Sunday...The Mids were down 15 at halftime and never got within single digits in the second half...Navy held Holy Cross under 40% from the field and had a slightly higher percentage than the Crusaders, but was beaten 45-24 on the boards and allowed
Holy Cross to go to the line 31 times (25-of-31)... Thurgood Wynn led the Mids with 14 points, while Worth Smith added 12...Navy finished its regular-season road schedule with a 2-14 record, including 1-8 in Patriot League play...The Mids are guaranteed to play in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament on March 3, but can still earn a home game...The Mids host second-place American on Wednesday.