March 1, 2013
Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 3.1.13
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Bucknell earned a third-straight No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament on Wednesday, but the seeds behind the Bison will all be determined on Saturday.
Lafayette, Lehigh and Army have all clinched home games in the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals, and now vie for positioning in the seed lines. The Leopards will be the No. 2 seed with a win at home against American, while the winner of the Army/Lehigh game claims the spot if the Leopards fall.
Both contests will be shown at Noon, with Army/Lehigh televised on CBS Sports Network. American at Lafayette will be available on Patriot League All-Access, along with Colgate at Holy Cross at the same time and Bucknell at Navy at 7 p.m.
In addition to seeding for the Patriot League Tournament, school benchmarks are on the line Saturday. Bucknell aims to become the first team in Patriot League annals to win at least 12 League games in three straight seasons. Lafayette plays for its fourth season of 10 League wins or more and first since 2000, while Army continues the best run in its Patriot League era by trying to clinch its first winning overall record since 1984-85.
The Patriot League Tournament begins with the quarterfinal round on Wednesday, and continues with the semifinals on March 9 at 2 and 4:30 p.m. and Championship on March 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*The No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament is at stake on Saturday.
*Lafayette earns the spot with a win at home against American.
*If the Leopards fall, the winner of the Army/Lehigh contest would be the No. 2 seed in the tourney.
*All three schools have clinched quarterfinal home games along with Bucknell.
*The Bison claimed the No. 1 seed for the third year in a row on Wednesday.
*Bucknell is the second school to earn the No. 1 seed in three straight years.
*It is the first to claim three straight outright regular-season titles.
*Bucknell can become the first team with three straight 12-win campaigns in League play on Saturday.
*Lafayette goes for its first 10-win season since 2000 and fourth all-time.
*Army needs a win to clinch a record over .500 for the season for the first time since 1984-85.
*Lehigh is trying to win 10 Patriot League games for the sixth time overall and third in four seasons.
*American has won 17 of the past 18 matchups against Lafayette dating back to 2006, and 15 in a row in the regular season.
*The Eagles would be the No. 5 seed in the Patriot League Tournament with a win, and fall to No. 6 only with a loss and a Colgate win at Holy Cross.
*Holy Cross is locked into the No. 7 seed in the League tourney, while Navy is the No. 8 and will visit Bucknell in the quarterfinals.
Patriot League Notebook
Three Seeds Set, Others to Be Determined Saturday
Heading into the final day of the regular season, the seeding picture for the Patriot League Tournament is almost completely clear. Bucknell will be the No. 1 seed and have the right to host each round of the tourney for the third year in a row, while Holy Cross is locked into the No. 7 and Navy will be the No. 8. Lafayette, Lehigh and Army hold the other top four spots, with their order decided this weekend. The Leopards claim the No. 2 seed with a win, while if they lose the Lehigh/Army winner will be the No. 2. American and Colgate are tied for fifth place, with the Eagles holding the tiebreaker by virtue of their season sweep.
Tickets Available for Patriot League Quarterfinals
The four host sites have been determined for the Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday, and fans can begin buying their tickets to see the games at Bucknell, Lafayette, Lehigh and Army. Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament tickets are available through host schools and cost $12 for adults and $6 for students, children and senior citizens.
All-Access, CBS Sports Network Coverage for Patriot League Tourney
Every Patriot League Tournament game will be shown through either All-Access or CBS Sports Network. The coverage on All-Access includes the quarterfinal round, as well as three of the four final regular-season contests on Saturday. CBS Sports Network has the Army/Lehigh regular-season finale on Saturday, then carries both Patriot League semifinals on March 9 (2 and 4:30 p.m.) as well as the Championship on March 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Bucknell Makes Patriot League History
Bucknell became the first team in Patriot League history to earn three consecutive outright regular-season titles when it knocked off American Wednesday. The Bison are also just the second squad to garner the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament for three years in a row, joining Lafayette (1998-00). Bucknell's five No. 1 seeds are the most in Patriot League annals. On Saturday, Bucknell will aim to become the first team to win at least 12 League games in three straight seasons.
Lafayette Goes for First Top Two Seed Since 2000
With a five-game winning streak, Lafayette has shot up the Patriot League standings and is now one win away from its first top two seed since 2000. The Leopards would be the No. 2 seed with a win over American on Saturday, the first time they have been that high since a run of three straight No. 1 seeds from 1998-00. That was the only time where Lafayette was a top two seed or won 10 Patriot League games, another feat the Leopards can accomplish on Saturday for the fourth time in school history.
Army Continues Best Run in Patriot League Era
The best season in Army's Patriot League history continued as the Black Knights topped Holy Cross on Wednesday. Army guarantees its first winning record in Patriot League play, and extends its best Patriot League win streak to five in a row. The Black Knights will host in the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals for the first time since 2009, and finish as a top-four seed for just the second time in school history. The victory also assured Army of its first non-losing season since 1984-85.
Coach of the Year?
The winners of the Patriot League major awards will be announced on Monday, and the Coach of the Year race has a particularly deep pool of candidates. Bucknell's Dave Paulsen led his team to an unprecedented third-straight regular-season title, Army's Zach Spiker and Lafayette's Fran O'Hanlon have led their schools to unexpected success and Lehigh's Brett Reed has the Mountain Hawks in position for a top seed despite the injury to preseason All-American and Division I leading scorer C.J. McCollum.
Muscala Named Candidate for Two Major National Awards
Bucknell senior center Mike Muscala has been named one of 30 finalists for the Naismith Men's College Player of the Year Award presented by AT&T and also recognized as one of 25 players up for the Lou Henson Award, given by CollegeInsider.com to the Mid-Major Player of the Year. The senior center is putting up 19.4 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.
Muscala is one of a handful of senior stars enjoying strong seasons. Army's Ella Ellis is second in the Patriot League with 17.5 points per game and just crossed the 1,500-point mark. Lafayette's Tony Johnson has been unbelievable the past three weeks and puts up 12.5 points, 4.9 assists and 2.1 steals per game, while American's Stephen Lumpkins is just shy of averaging a double-double with 14.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Bucknell's Joe Willman and Bryson Johnson and Lehigh's Gabe Knutson and C.J. McCollum are all 1,000-point scorers, with the injured McCollum holding the League record with 2,361 points.
Patriot League Games
American Eagles (10-18, 5-8) at Lafayette Leopards (16-14, 9-4)
Kirby Sports Center; Easton, Pa. - Saturday, 12 p.m.
TV: Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60)
*Lafayette goes for the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament when it hosts American on Saturday afternoon.
*The Leopards have not been as high as the No. 2 seed or won 10 Patriot League games since 2000.
*Lafayette also goes in search of its first six-game Patriot League win streak since 2004.
*The Leopards will have to do it against an opponent that has had their number in the past.
*American has won 17 of the past 18 matchups against the Leopards dating back to 2006.
*The Eagles posted a 68-64 win at home against Lafayette on Feb. 2.
*The Eagles have not lost a regular-season game to Lafayette since 2005, a 15-game run in the regular season.
*Lafayette's lone win during the stretch was a memorable one as the Leopards pulled out a 73-71 double overtime victory at American in the Patriot League Tournament semifinals in 2011.
*Lafayette's last three wins over American have come in overtime, as the last time the Leopards beat the Eagles in regulation came in 2003.
*Lafayette will be the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament with a win, and No. 3 with a loss.
*American takes the No. 5 seed in the League tourney with a win or Colgate loss, and falls No. 6 with a loss and Raider win.
Army Black Knights (15-13, 8-5) at Lehigh Mountain Hawks (19-8, 9-4)
Stabler Arena; Bethlehem, Pa. - Saturday, 12 p.m.
TV: CBS Sports Network
*High seeds in the Patriot League Tournament are on the line when Army visits Lehigh on Saturday on CBS Sports Network.
*The winner will be the No. 2 seed in the League tourney if Lafayette loses to American.
*Lehigh would be the No. 3 with a Lafayette win, and No. 4 if it loses to Army and Lafayette also loses.
*Army will be the No. 4 seed unless it beats Lehigh and Lafayette loses to American.
*Lehigh has won the last four meetings in the series, including an 85-76 win at Army on Feb. 3.
*Lehigh has claimed seven of the last eight against Army overall.
*The Mountain Hawks are trying to win 10 Patriot League games for the sixth time overall and third in four seasons.
*Army already has its highest Patriot League win total and longest League winning streak at five.
Bucknell Bison (24-5, 11-2) at Navy Midshipmen (8-21, 2-11)
Alumni Hall; Annapolis, Md. - Saturday, 7 p.m.
*Bucknell visits Navy on Saturday in a preview of Wednesday's quarterfinal contest in Lewisburg.
*The Bison have clinched the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament, while the Mids will be the No. 8.
*Bucknell is trying to become the first team in Patriot League history with three-straight seasons of 12 League wins or more.
*The Bison have a 36-5 record in League action the last three years, and a win would put them behind only their own run from 2005-07 (38-4) as the best three-year stretch in League play.
*Bucknell has won six straight games against the Mids, with a 69-54 triumph at home on Feb. 2.
*Bucknell has already clinched its record third-straight outright Patriot League regular-season title.
*The teams will match up in the League Tournament quarterfinals after a regular-season finale for the second year in a row.
*Navy has not beaten Bucknell since a sweep of the Bison in 2010.
Colgate Raiders (11-19, 5-8) at Holy Cross Crusaders (11-17, 3-10)
Hart Center; Worcester, Mass. - Saturday, 12 p.m.
*Colgate hopes to move up a seed line when it pays a visit to Holy Cross on Saturday.
*The Raiders could become the No. 5 seed with a win and an American loss, but would be No. 6 with a loss or American win.
*Colgate has not finished as high as the No. 5 seed in the Patriot League Tournament since 2008.
*Holy Cross is locked into the No. 7 seed, which it last held in 2010.
*The Raiders posted a 63-45 win over Holy Cross at home on Feb. 2.
*Holy Cross had won the previous three contests, with a sweep of last year's matchups.
*Colgate is trying to sweep the season series for the first time since 2010.
*The Crusaders have a 53-20 lead in the all-time seriers, and 31-18 as Patriot League members.
AMERICAN The Eagles will finish under .500 in Patriot League play for the first time after losing 66-47 at Bucknell on Wednesday...American has already been guaranteed of its first finish among the bottom half of the Patriot League standings, and will be the No. 5 or No. 6 seed in the Patriot League Tournament...American never led against Bucknell, though the Eagles were within eight points with eight minutes to go before the Bison began to put the game away... Tony Wroblicky led the Eagles with 13 points, but no other player scored more than seven...American was 10-of-12 at the free throw line and had only seven turnovers, but could not make enough shots from the field to keep up...The Eagles conclude the regular season at Lafayette on Saturday...They will be the No. 5 seed in the Patriot League Tournament with a win or a Colgate loss, but fall to No. 6 if they lose and Colgate wins.
ARMY The best run in Army's Patriot League history continued as the Black Knights topped Holy Cross by a 69-62 final on Wednesday at Christl Arena...Army guarantees its first winning record in Patriot League play, and extends its best Patriot League win streak to five in a row...The Black Knights will host in the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals for the first time since 2009, and finish as a top-four seed for just the second time in school history...The victory also assured Army of its first non-losing season since 1984-85, and gave it a regular season sweep of the Crusaders for the first time...The Black Knights were once again led by Ella Ellis, who scored 31 points and is closing the regular season with an outstanding run...It was the second time in the last three games where he has scored more than 30 points...Army went ahead for good with just under 10 minutes to play, and pair of key late three-pointers by Ellis got the advantage to six twice in the final five minutes as the Black Knights held on for the 69-62 win...Ellis made all 13 of his free-throw attempts as the Black Knights hit 21-of-27 at the line to win a game where they were just 20-of-57 from the field and 8-of-25 from three-point range.. Army held a 39-29 edge on the boards, overcoming some of the poor shooting by grabbing 15 offensive rebounds...The Black Knights also had 13 assists with just nine turnovers in the game....It is is Army's first five-game winning streak since 2009-10...Army closes out the season with a visit to Lehigh on Saturday on CBS Sports Network....With a win and a Lafayette loss, the Black Knights would be the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament...Army is locked into the No. 4 if Lafayette wins.
BUCKNELL Bucknell became the first team to win three consecutive outright regular-season titles as it put together a late run to pull away from American 66-47 on Wednesday at Sojka Pavilion...The Bison also join Lafayette (1998-00) as the only teams to earn the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament in three straight seasons, and own the all-time League record with a fifth No. 1 seed...Bucknell wins at least 11 Patriot League games for the third season in a row, sixth in the past eight years and ninth overall...It also sweeps the season series with American for the fourth year in a row...Bucknell never trailed in the game, going ahead by as many as 10 points in the first half and holding a 29-20 lead at the break...American got as close as five points in the second half and it was an eight-point game with under eight minutes left before the Bison went on a 12-2 surge to pull away for the 66-47 win...Mike Muscala had 21 points to lead the way, while Cameron Ayers scored 18 and Bryson Johnson had 16... Ayers joined Muscala, Johnson and Joe Willman in the 1,000-point club...The Bison have a quartet of 1,000-point scorers for the first time, and are just the fifth school in the nation to boast that accomplishment this season...Bucknell shot 47.1% from the field at 24-of-61, with Ayers and Johnson combining to go 5-of-8 from downtown and the team making 13-of-14 free throws... The Bison owned a 34-26 edge on the boards and limited the Eagles to 18-of-49 shooting and 1-of-9 from three-point range... The Bucknell senior class of Muscala, Johnson, Willman and Colin Klebon became the winningest class in program history with its 88th victory...The Bison also broke the program record for most wins in a three-year period with 74...Bucknell can become the first team in League history with three-straight 12-win seasons in League play when it visits Navy on Saturday...The teams will meet again in the quarterfinal round at Bucknell on Wednesday.
COLGATE The Raiders saw their four-game Patriot League home win streak come to an end with an 80-67 loss to Lafayette on Wednesday...Colgate fell out of contention to host in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament, and will be either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed in the field...The Raiders led briefly in the first half, but Lafayette closed the period on an 18-5 run for a 41-31 lead at the break...Colgate would get as close as three points four times in the second half, including a 66-63 gap with under five minutes to play, but Lafayette closed the game with a 14-4 run to pull away for the win...Murphy Burnatowski led the Raiders with 24 points, making 9-of-16 shots from the field and 5-of-8 from three-point range...The Raiders will finish in the bottom half of the League standings for the fifth year in a row, but they could reach a No. 5 seed that would be their highest finish since 2008...Colgate claims the No. 5 with a win on Saturday at Holy Cross and an American loss to Lafayette...The Raiders would be the No. 6 with a loss or an American win.
HOLY CROSS Holy Cross dropped a 69-62 final at Army on Wednesday and is now locked into the No. 7 seed in the Patriot League Tournament...The Crusaders led for most of the first half before Army closed with a 16-6 stretch for a 30-28 lead at the break...Holy Cross stayed close throughout the second half, but Army hit big three-pointers down the stretch to hold on...The Crusaders fell for the fourth straight time and ninth in the last 10 contests...It is the first time they have lost 10 games in League play...Phil Beans led the way with 16 points, while Dave Dudzinski scored 15, Justin Burrell had 12 points and seven assists and Jordan Stevens finished with 10....The Crusaders had a solid shooting night at 22-of-46 from the field, but were outrebounded 39-29...Holy Cross plays its home finale on Saturday at Noon when it welcomes Colgate.
LAFAYETTE Lafayette continued its roll by going on the road and earning an 80-67 win at Colgate on Wednesday at Cotterell Court...The Leopards won their fourth-straight League game, their longest run since 2010, and have now won nine Patriot League games in a season for the first time since 2004 and fifth in school history...Lafayette has claimed wins in eight of its last 10 contests after a 1-2 start...The Leopards sweep the Raiders for the third year in a row by winning their seventh-straight over Colgate...On a team with multiple contributors, a group of players stepped up on Wednesday as five scored in double figures for Lafayette...Tony Johnson led the way with 17 points, Seth Hinrichs had 15, Dan Trist scored 14, Joey Ptasinski had 12 and Bryce Scott finished with 10...Lafayette took the lead for good by closing the first half with an 18-5 run for a 41-31 lead at the half...Colgate closed to within three points four times in the second half, but Lafayette scored eight straight points to build a 74-63 lead and the final six to close out the 80-67 win...Lafayette was over 50% from the field at 29-of-56, and hit at an 11-of-20 clip from three-point range...The Leopards also made 11-of-12 free throws and were efficient with 18 assists against only six turnovers...Lafayette aims for the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament when it hosts American on Saturday...The Leopards claim the No. 2 spot with a win, but fall to No. 3 with a loss...Lafayette has not been as high as the No. 2 seed since 2000, when they closed out a run of three straight No. 1 seeds...That also marked the last time the Leopards won 10 Patriot League games, which they are trying to pull off for the fourth time in school history.
LEHIGH Lehigh put an emphatic end to its three-game losing streak, going up by 19 points at halftime on its way to an easy 72-43 win over Navy on Wednesday at Stabler Arena...The Mountain Hawks win a ninth Patriot League game for the sixth time and third in the last four years...Lehigh remains tied for second place in the League standings with Lafayette, though the Leopards own the tiebreaker...The Mountain Hawks sweep Navy for the third year in a row, winning the seventh-straight meeting between the schools...Lehigh never trailed in the game, leading for all but two minutes early in the contest...The score was tight early as the Mountain Hawks were ahead by six nearly 11 minutes into the game, but Lehigh took over the rest of the way...It went on an 8-0 run to build a 24-10 lead, then closed the first half with the last eight points to take a 36-17 lead at the break...Lehigh would lead by at least 20 points for the final 15 minutes and go up by as many as 35 in the 72-43 win...The Mountain Hawks had four players score in double figures, led by B.J. Bailey with 17 points while making 5-of-7 three-pointers...Stefan Cvrklaj added 12 while Holden Greiner scored 11 and Gabe Knutson finished with 10...Lehigh finished 54.1% from the field at 26-of-48, and had 20 assists on its 26 made field goals...The Mountain Hawks held a 30-22 edge on the boards and turned it over only seven times compared to 16 for the Mids...Lehigh limited Navy to 16-of-41 shooting and 5-of-17 from three-point range...With the victory, Lehigh head coach Brett Reed became the winningest coach in school history with 113, breaking a tie with Tony Packer....Lehigh hosts Army on Saturday at Noon on CBS Sports Network, with the Mountain Hawks still able to finish at the No. 2, No. 3 or No. 4 seeds in the Patriot League Tournament...The Mountain Hawks are No. 2 with a win and a Lafayette loss, No. 3 with a Lafayette win and No. 4 with a loss and a Lafayette loss...Lehigh is trying to win 10 Patriot League games for the sixth time and third in the last four years.
NAVY The Mids fell behind early and could not recover in a 72-43 loss at Lehigh on Wednesday night...Navy will be the No. 8 seed in the Patriot League Tournament and visit top-seed Bucknell in the quarterfinal round for the second year in a row on Wednesday...The Mids never led, and saw Lehigh go up by 19 points at halftime and as many as 35 in the second half on its way to the 72-43 final... Worth Smith paced the Mids with 11 points, but no other player had more than six...Navy concludes its regular season at home against Bucknell on Saturday in a preview of next week's Patriot League Tournament matchup.