Patriot League Men's Basketball Weekend Preview - 2.28.14

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Lehigh's Mackey McKnight has a big game against Colgate on Senior Day at Stabler Arena.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
Lehigh's Mackey McKnight has a big game against Colgate on Senior Day at Stabler Arena.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

Feb. 28, 2014

Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 2.28.14 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - An expanded Patriot League schedule with two more teams and four more games did not prevent the top seed in the League Tournament from being up for grabs on the final day of the regular season for the first time since 2010.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*The top seed in the Patriot League Tournament remains up for grabs on the final day of the regular season.
*Boston University leads American by one game and would secure the top spot with a win at Holy Cross.
*American can earn the No. 1 seed with a home win over Bucknell and BU loss at Holy Cross.
*The Bucknell-American game will be seen on CBS Sports Network at 2 p.m. with Jason Knapp and Chris Spatola on the call.
*Seeds six through nine in the League Tournament are still at stake as well.
*Lehigh takes sixth with a win over Colgate, which would also set Lafayette at No. 7, Loyola at No. 8 and Colgate at No. 9.
*Lafayette can reach sixth and earn a first-round bye with a win at Army and wins by Colgate, Holy Cross and American.
*Colgate secures a first-round home game with a win at Lehigh, and moves to No. 7 if Lafayette also loses.
*If Colgate wins, Loyola can only finish No. 8 if it wins and Lafayette loses, which would drop the Leopards to No. 9.
*Holy Cross (No. 3), Bucknell (No. 4), Army (No. 5) and Navy (No. 10) have their seeds determined for the League tourney.
*The four games not on CBS Sports Network on Saturday afternoon will be available on Patriot League Network.

Patriot League Notebook
Top Seed, Regular-Season Crown at Stake on Saturday
An expanded Patriot League schedule with two more teams and four more games did not prevent the top seed in the League Tournament from being up for grabs on the final day of the regular season for the first time since 2010. Boston University, which has already claimed at least a share of the regular-season title in its first Patriot League season, would earn the No. 1 seed and outright first place with a win at Holy Cross or American loss. If the Terriers fall, American can tie for the regular-season crown and earn the No. 1 seed with a win over Bucknell on CBS Sports Network. American has not won the regular-season title or been No. 1 seed since doing it for a second straight season in 2009.

More Seeding Scenarios
The three seeds below the Terriers and Eagles are set, with Holy Cross (No. 3) and Bucknell (No. 4) also hosting quarterfinal contests and Army (No. 5) heading to Bucknell for that game on Wednesday. Navy is also set at No. 10, but there can be some shuffling between six through nine. If Lehigh beats Colgate, the seeds would be set as Lehigh (6), Lafayette (7), Loyola (8) and Colgate (9). A win by the Raiders opens the door to several scenarios. Lafayette could then pass Lehigh for the No. 6 spot with a win and wins by Holy Cross and American. Colgate would be guaranteed of a first-round home game with the victory, and would be No. 7 if Lafayette also loses. If Colgate wins, Loyola can only earn the No. 8 seed and host in the first round if it wins at Navy and Lafayette loses at Army, dropping the Leopards to a road spot at No. 9.

Patriot League Tournament Opens Monday
The Patriot League tournament starts with a first round this season when the bottom four teams compete on Monday with No. 10 (Navy) 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 (Army) at No. 4 (Bucknell) in one bracket and No. 10/7 at No. 2 and No. 6 at No. 3 (Holy Cross) 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 bracket does not re-seed throughout the League tourney.

Boston University, American Earn Big Road Wins on Wednesday
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 remained one game ahead of American in the Patriot League race after the Eagles won 64-55 at Navy. Bucknell 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. Holy Cross secured the No. 3 seed in the League Tournament with a 65-52 win at Loyola Maryland. Colgate kept the race for seeds six through nine interesting with an 83-66 win at home against Lafayette.

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 21-9 record overall, notching their highest regular-season win total since a 20-7 mark in the 2004-05 campaign. BU has claimed a conference regular-season title for the first time since doing so in the America East in 2003-04.

Road Wins Separate the Standings
Perhaps it's fitting that Boston University needs a tough road victory to earn the No. 1 seed, because winning on the road has been the difference this season for the top teams in the League standings. The top half squads are 28-15 on the road overall in League play and 21-4 against the other five teams in the League. Boston University leads the road success at 7-1, while American and Holy Cross are each 6-3, 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 8-34 away mark as home teams have a 49-36 edge in League action.

Lehigh's McKnight Sets School Assist Record; Will BU's Watson Break Single-Season Mark?
The last two point guards at Lehigh have accounted for more than 1,100 assists, as Mackey McKnight on Wednesday reachred 568 for his career to surpass the school record of 566 set by Marquis Hall (2007-10). McKnight's total is also second in Patriot League history, just 31 behind all-time record holder Holy Cross' Jave Meads (2000-04). There could be another assist record to go down as Boston University's Maurice Watson Jr. is up to 200 for the season, just 25 away from the Patriot League record set by American's Andres Rodriguez in 2003-04. Both players are also in the top 10 in the Patriot League in scoring, and McKnight has passed 1,300 points for his career.

More League Trends
Of the 46 games decided by single digits this year, 27 have been decided by by five points or less including BU's escape at Army and Bucknell's win over Lehigh on Wednesday. There have been 39 games with double-digit margins. Of the 40 matchups played twice in the Patriot League, there have been 21 sweeps and 19 splits of the season series. Boston University and Holy Cross have swept five opponents each, while American has four, Army three, Bucknell two and Lehigh and Colgate 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. PLN will have the coverage of the Patriot League Tournament in both the first round and quarterfinals.

All-League, Major Awards Coming Monday
The All-Patriot League Team and major awards will be announced on Monday morning. For the first time, there will be a first-team, second-team and third-team All-Patriot League squad which include five players each, as well as an All-Rookie Team. Individual honors will be handed out for Player, Defensive Player, Rookie and Coach of the Year. The 10 Patriot League head coaches will submit their All-League and major award votes over the weekend. The Scholar-Athlete of the Year award and Academic All-Patriot League Team, which are nominated and voted on by men's basketball sports information directors, will be announced on Tuesday.

Patriot League Games
Boston University Terriers (21-9, 14-3) at Holy Cross Crusaders (18-11, 12-5)
Hart Center; Worcester, Mass. - Saturday, 2 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Boston University plays for the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament when it visits Holy Cross on Saturday.
*The Terriers would claim the No. 1 spot and outright regular-season title with a win or American loss to Bucknell.
*BU has already claimed a share of the regular-season title, but would lose the seeding tiebreak to American.
*Boston University opened its Patriot League era with a 70-60 win over Holy Cross on Jan. 2.
*That stopped a six-game series win streak for Holy Cross, which still leads BU 51-13 all-time.
*The Terriers are trying to pull off their sixth season sweep in Patriot League play.
*Holy Cross is locked into the No. 3 seed in the League tourney, but could tie for second place with a win and American loss.

Bucknell Bison (15-13, 10-7) at American Eagles (17-11, 13-4)
Bender Arena; Washington, D.C. - Saturday, 2 p.m.
TV: CBS Sports Network
*American still has hopes for the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament as it hosts Bucknell on Saturday at 2 p.m.
*The game can be seen on CBS Sports Network with Jason Knapp and Chris Spatola on the call.
*American will earn the No. 1 seed with a win and Boston University loss, while otherwise the Eagles will be No. 2.
*The Eagles snapped an eight-game losing streak to Bucknell with a 67-57 road win to open League play on Jan. 2.
*Tony Wroblicky had a dominant performance with 24 points, 11 rebounds, six blocks and five assists for the Eagles.
*American is trying to sweep the season series with Bucknell for the first time since 2009.
*Bucknell, which has won five straight, will be the No. 4 seed in the Patriot League Tournament.
*The Bison will host No. 5 Army in a quarterfinal contest on Wednesday.

Colgate Raiders (11-17, 5-12) at Lehigh Mountain Hawks (14-16, 7-10)
Stabler Arena; Bethlehem, Pa. - Saturday, 2 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network | Service Electric 2 Sports
*Colgate and Lehigh both have important Patriot League Tournament seeding at stake when they meet on Saturday.
*The Raiders can lock up a home game in the first round on Monday with a victory, but would play on the road with a loss.
*Lehigh secures a first-round bye and the No. 6 seed with a win, though it would still have a good shot with a loss.
*Lehigh outlasted Colgate 88-81 in double overtime in a game that was back and forth throughout on Jan. 2 in Hamilton.
*It was the second straight win for Lehigh over Colgate, and sixth in the last seven meetings.
*Lehigh has won three straight at home against Colgate, with the last Raider win at Stabler Arena coming in 2011.
*Lehigh is trying to sweep the season series with Colgate for the second time in three years.

Lafayette Leopards (10-18, 6-11) at Army Black Knights (13-15, 9-8)
Christl Arena; West Point, N.Y. - Saturday, 3 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Lafayette can lock up a first-round home game with a win at Army on Saturday at 3 p.m.
*The Leopards would be the No. 7 seed with a win, and move up to No. 6 with wins by Colgate, American and Holy Cross.
*Lafayette would also be the No. 7 if Lehigh beats Colgate, regardless of the result at Army.
*The Leopards would fall to No. 8 with a loss and Colgate win, and No. 9 if that scenario plays out and Loyola also wins.
*Army won 85-66 at Lafayette on Jan. 2 for its third straight win in the series, all coming by 17 points or more.
*The Black Knights are trying to sweep the Leopards for the second year in a row.
*Lafayette had won six straight before last season, sweeping the matchups from 2010-12.
*Army also aims for just its second winning record in the Patriot League after notching its first last year at 8-6.

Loyola Md Greyhounds (10-18, 5-12) at Navy Midshipmen (9-19, 4-13)
Alumni Hall; Annapolis, Md. - Saturday, 2 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Loyola and Navy finish the regular season on Saturday, with the Greyhounds hoping to earn a first-round home game.
*Navy is locked into the No. 10 seed in the League Tournament, while Loyola can be No. 8 or No. 9.
*That outcome is somewhat out of Loyola's hands as the Greyhounds would be the No. 8 seed with a Colgate loss.
*If Colgate wins, Loyola falls to No. 9 and goes on the road unless it wins at Navy and Army tops Lafayette.
*Loyola beat Navy 63-57 in overtime at home on Jan. 2, rallying from 13 points down with five minutes left to force OT.
*The Greyhounds are trying to win a Patriot League road game for the first time as they come in with an 0-8 mark.
*Navy would tie Loyola for ninth with a win, and would be tied for eighth with a win and Colgate loss.

Team Notebooks
AMERICAN 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...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 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...The Eagles open the Patriot League Tournament with a home quarterfinal game on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

ARMY Initially ruled good, Josh Herbeck's shot was then waved off after replay confirmed it left his hand after time had expired and Army fell 71-70 at home against Boston University on Wednesday...The fifth loss in six games for the Black Knights locks them into the No. 5 seed in the Patriot League Tournament and a quarterfinal trip to Bucknell on Wednesday...Army led by as many as 11 points in the second half, but saw BU surge ahead by five with a 13-2 run...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, but BU made five foul shots to offset two Dylan Cox layups down the stretch...Army forced a five-second count to get one final possession, but Wilson's shot was off the mark before Herbeck's came late... 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 concludes the regular season at home against Lafayette on Saturday afternoon.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY 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...After Army tied it 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...BU gave up the ball on a five-second count with eight seconds left, but Army's Kyle Wilson was off the mark before Herbeck's shot came late...John Papale led the Terriers with 19 points while making 5-of-6 three-pointers, all coming in the second half....Watson added 16 for BU, which shot 16-of-27 (59.3%) in the second half...The Terriers swept the season series from Army and won for the sixth time in the last seven games overall...BU opens its first Patriot League Tournament with a home quarterfinal game on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

BUCKNELL 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 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...The Bison forced a turnover up by three in the final seconds, 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...Bucknell tries to play spoiler as it closes out the regular season at American on Saturday.

COLGATE 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, and 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...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 Raiders close the regular season at Lehigh on Saturday, needing a win to claim a home game in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament on Monday.

HOLY CROSS 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 finish 6-3 on the road in Patriot League play...Holy Cross opens the Patriot League Tournament with a home game in the quarterfinals Wednesday, but first can deny Boston University the top seed when the Crusaders host the Terriers on Saturday.

LAFAYETTE Lafayette saw its four-game win streak come to an end at Colgate, and the Leopards took a hit for their chances to earn a first-round bye in the Patriot League Tournament...Lafayette is a game back of Lehigh for sixth place, and would need a win at Army on Saturday coupled with a Lehigh loss, Boston University loss and American win to pass the Mountain Hawks and earn the bye...Lafayette saw Colgate use a 20-5 run early to pull ahead for good, and the Raiders closed the first half on a 9-2 run to go up 11 at the break...Lafayette never got closer than nine points in the second half of the 83-66 loss...The Leopards fell 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...Lafayette also allowed Colgate to shoot 30-of-49 overall and 24-of-32 from inside the arc...The Leopards would at least lock up a first-round home game by winning at Army on Saturday, or with losses by either Colgate or Loyola.

LEHIGH Lehigh took another close loss as Bucknell topped the Mountain Hawks 65-61 in Lewisburg on Wednesday...The Mountain Hawks fell behind early in the second half, and could never get back to a tie or lead despite staying within seven points the whole way...Lehigh was down 64-61 with the ball in the final 20 seconds, but the Bison forced a turnover and sealed the game at the foul line...Jesse Chuku led Lehigh with 18 points...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, and would lock up the No. 6 position with a win over Colgate at home on Saturday...Lehigh could only fall to No. 7 with a loss and wins by Lafayette, Holy Cross and American.

LOYOLA MARYLAND The Greyhounds dropped their sixth straight game with a 65-52 loss at home against Holy Cross on Wednesday...Loyola had a 33-27 lead early in the second half before the Crusaders went ahead with a 23-8 stretch and pulled away further for the 13-point win... Franz Rassman led Loyola with 15 points, while R.J. Williams added 13...Loyola made only 8-of-26 shots after halftime following a 12-of-21 clip in the first half...The Greyhounds were also just 9-of-18 at the foul line...Loyola finishes the regular season at Navy on Saturday as the Greyhounds look for their first Patriot League road win...Loyola will play as either the No. 8 or No. 9 seed in the Patriot League Tournament, but their spot is largely dependent on Colgate's result...Loyola will be the No. 8 if Colgate loses, but would fall to the No. 9 if the Raiders win at Lehigh unless Loyola wins at Navy and Lafayette falls at Army.

NAVY Navy will play as the No. 10 seed in the Patriot League Tournament after falling to American 64-55 at home on Wednesday...The Mids hung tough as American did not take the lead for good until there were under nine minutes to play, and Navy was still within three with two minutes left before AU's John Schoof hit consecutive three-pointers to put it away...Navy forced 18 turnovers in the game, but shot under 40% overall and 4-of-18 from three-point range... 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...While Navy is locked into the No. 10 seed in the Patriot League Tournament, the Mids can tie for eighth place in the standings with a win over Loyola and Colgate loss on Saturday.