Boston University Stays One Game Ahead of American in Patriot League Men's Basketball

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Cameron Ayers and Bucknell earned the No. 4 seed in the Patriot League Tournament on Wednesday.
Cameron Ayers and Bucknell earned the No. 4 seed in the Patriot League Tournament on Wednesday.

Feb. 26, 2014

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - It took a replay review to wave off what would have been a game-winning shot for Army, but Boston University survived for a 71-70 win at West Point on Wednesday to clinch a share of the Patriot League men's basketball regular-season title and stay in control of its own fate to earn the top seed in the League Tournament.

The Terriers (21-9, 14-3) remain one game ahead of American (17-11, 13-4) in the Patriot League race after the Eagles won 64-55 at Navy (9-19, 4-13). Boston University visits Holy Cross and American hosts Bucknell in Saturday's regular-season finales at 2 p.m. The Eagles hold the tiebreaker over the Terriers, so they would earn the No. 1 seed with a win and a BU loss.

Bucknell (15-13, 10-7) benefitted from Army's loss as the Bison locked up the No. 4 seed in the Patriot League Tournament with a 65-61 win at home against Lehigh (14-16, 7-10). Bucknell will host fifth-seed Army (13-15, 9-8) in a quarterfinal contest on Wednesday. Holy Cross (18-11, 12-5) secured the No. 3 seed in the League Tournament with a 65-52 win at Loyola Maryland (10-18, 5-12).

While the top two seeds still need to be decided, it's the bottom half of the standings that can see the most movement in Saturday's finales. Colgate (11-18, 5-12) kept that race interesting with an 83-66 win at home against Lafayette (10-18, 6-11) on Wednesday.

Saturday's season finales also include Lafayette at Army, Colgate at Lehigh and Loyola Maryland at Navy. Lehigh and Lafayette are battling for the No. 6 seed in the League Tournament, which is the last spot that would avoid a first-round game on Monday. Lehigh takes the No. 6 spot with a win or Lafayette loss, or if Boston University finishes as the top seed ahead of American. The Leopards need a win or a loss by Colgate or Loyola to clinch a home game in the first round, while Colgate would earn a first-round home game with a victory. Loyola would play at home in the first round with a Colgate loss or a win at Navy coupled with a Lafayette loss. Navy is locked into the No. 10 seed in the Patriot League Tournament.



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

Boston University 71 at Army 70
Box Score
*After Josh Herbeck's shot was initially ruled good, replays showed it came after the buzzer and Boston University held on for a 71-70 win at Army on Wednesday.
*BU clinched at least a share of the regular-season title with the win, claiming a regular-season crown for the first time since doing so in the America East in 2004.
*The Terriers need a win at Holy Cross or an American loss to Bucknell to lock up the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament on Saturday.
*BU had to rally for the win after trailing 33-23 at halftime and by 11 with 13 minutes to play in the game.
*The Terriers cut the gap to six, then surged ahead with a 13-2 run to go up 58-53 with 7:30 to play.
*Army got a three-pointer by Kyle Wilson and free throws by Mo Williams to tie the game at 66-66 with two minutes to go.
*BU went back ahead on a free throw by Maurice Watson Jr., and the sophomore hit a pair for a 69-66 lead with 21 seconds left.
*Army twice got to within one point on layups by Dylan Cox, and got the ball back trailing 71-70 with eight seconds left by forcing a five-second count.
*Wilson missed a shot for the lead with four seconds left, and Herbeck did not get his final attempt off in time after pulling down the rebound.
*John Papale led the Terriers with 19 points while making 5-of-6 three-pointers, all coming in the second half.
*Watson added 16 and Travis Robinson had 11 for BU while D.J. Irving finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.
*BU shot 16-of-27 (59.3%) in the second half to finish just under 50% for the game at 25-of-52.
*BU also made 8-of-17 three-pointers and 13-of-16 free throws in the game.
*The Terriers swept the season series from Army after beating the Black Knights in overtime on Jan. 29, and won for the sixth time in the last seven games overall.
*Army fell despite a monster game from Kevin Ferguson who had 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting, 10 rebounds and six blocks.
*Wilson added 15 for the Black Knights, who shot just 6-of-24 from beyond the arc.
*Army lost for the fifth time in six games and fell to 0-6 in action against the top three teams in the Patriot League standings.
*The Black Knights will play as the No. 5 seed in the Patriot League Tournament and open at No. 4 Bucknell on Wednesday.

American 64 at Navy 55
Box Score
*American pulled away late to lock up at least the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament with a 64-55 win at Navy on Wednesday.
*The Eagles can still reach the No. 1 seed with a win over Bucknell and Boston University loss at Holy Cross on Saturday.
*American did not take the lead for good in the back-and-forth game until a pair of John Schoof free throws made it 43-42 with 8:41 to play.
*It was still a three-point game with two minutes to play before Schoof made three-pointers on consecutive possessions to put American up 60-51 with 52 seconds left and seal the win.
*Schoof and Darius Gardner led the Eagles with 15 points apiece, while Jesse Reed had 12 and Tony Wroblicky finished with 10.
*The Eagles shot just under 50% for the game at 21-of-43, and made 10-of-24 three-pointers and 12-of-15 free throws for the night.
*American held Navy under 40% overall and to 4-of-18 from three-point range as the Eagles overcame 18 turnovers.
*American swept the season series from Navy and beat the Mids for the 11th time in 13 meetings.
*Brandon Venturini led the Mids with 18 points while Worth Smith added 11.
*Navy is locked into the No. 10 seed in the Patriot League Tournament.

at Bucknell 65, Lehigh 61
Box Score
*Bucknell won its fifth straight game and clinched the No. 4 seed in the Patriot League Tournament with a 65-61 win at home against Lehigh on Wednesday.
*The Bison will host No. 5 Army in a quarterfinal contest on Wednesday.
*Bucknell overcame an early deficit as Lehigh was up by eight points in the first half before the Bison closed the period on a 17-8 run to take a 29-28 edge at the break.
*Bucknell took the lead for good with a 7-0 run for a 36-30 advantage early in the second half, though the Bison never went ahead by more than seven points.
*Lehigh was down 64-61 with the ball in the final 20 seconds, but the Bison forced a turnover and Cameron Ayers sealed the win with a free throw with eight seconds to go.
*Ayers led the Bison with 17 points, while Chris Hass added 12.
*Bucknell overcame 33% shooting and 5-of-20 from three-point range by dominating the boards with a 49-34 advantage, which included 18 offensive rebounds.
*The Bison have outrebounded Boston University and Lehigh by a combined 95-61 in the last two games.
*The teams split the season series, with the home team winning each game after the road squad had won each contest in the previous two seasons.
*Jesse Chuku led Lehigh with 18 points, while Austin Price added 11 and Tim Kempton scored 10.
*Mackey McKnight had nine points and six assists, becoming the school record-holder and moving to second place in Patriot League history with 568 assists in his career.
*Lehigh shot 22-of-59 in the game, and just 10-of-30 in the second half.
*The Mountain Hawks will be either the No. 6 or No. 7 seed in the Patriot League Tournament.

Holy Cross 65 at Loyola Maryland 52
Box Score
*Holy Cross dominated the second half to secure the No. 3 seed in the Patriot League Tournament with a 65-52 win at Loyola Maryland on Wednesday.
*After trailing 33-27 just over a minute into the period, the Crusaders took over with a 23-8 run to go up 50-41 with 7:26 to play.
*The Crusaders were up by at least six points the rest of the way as they pulled away for the 13-point win.
*Malcolm Miller led Holy Cross with 20 points, while Eric Green and Anthony Thompson poured in 12 apiece.
*Holy Cross was under 40% from the field, but had a strong night at the foul line with a 21-of-25 clip.
*After Loyola shot 12-of-21 in the first half, the Crusaders limited the Greyhounds to a 8-of-26 clip after halftime.
*Holy Cross also held a 36-27 rebounding advantage in the game.
*The Crusaders swept the season series with Loyola, and finished 6-3 on the road in Patriot League play.
*Franz Rassman led Loyola with 15 points, while R.J. Williams added 13.
*Loyola was hurt by its second-half shooting as well as a 3-of-7 clip from three-point range and 9-of-18 at the free throw line.
*The Greyhounds lost their sixth straight game and will play as either the No. 8 or No. 9 seed in the Patriot League Tournament.

at Colgate 83, Lafayette 66
Box Score
*Colgate came out on fire and never let the lead slip away in an 83-66 win over Lafayette on Wednesday.
*The Raiders stayed in contention to host a first-round game in the Patriot League Tournament and swept the season series from the Leopards.
*Colgate went on a 20-5 run after Lafayette scored the opening bucket to build a 13-point lead just over seven minutes into the game.
*Lafayette got back within four points late in the first half before Colgate closed the period on a 9-2 run for a 42-31 lead at the break.
*The lead never dipped below nine points in the second half, and Colgate finished on a 10-2 run to pull away for the 17-point win.
*Murphy Burnatowski led the Raiders with 25 points, while Ethan Jacobs added 18 and Chad Johnson scored 13.
*The Raiders made 30-of-49 shots in the game, including 24-of-32 from inside the arc.
*Colgate held Lafayette, one of the top three-point shooting teams in the country, to a 4-of-21 clip from downtown.
*The Leopards saw their four-game win streak come to an end despite 24 points from Nick Lindner and 19 from Dan Trist.
*That duo made 17-of-25 shots from the field, but the rest of the Leopards were just 10-of-33.
*Both teams can earn a home game in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament with a win on Saturday, while the Leopards hope to move up to the No. 6 seed and receive a first-round bye.