Top Seeds Advance in Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Kevin Ferguson had a big night to help propel Army to its first Patriot League Tournament win since 2009.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG
Kevin Ferguson had a big night to help propel Army to its first Patriot League Tournament win since 2009.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG

March 6, 2013

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - For the first time since 2006, the top four seeds swept the Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament quarterfinals as Bucknell, Lafayette, Lehigh and Army moved on with wins at home on Wednesday.

Three of the contests were routs, with top-seed Bucknell beating eighth-seed Navy 58-42, second-seed Lafayette tying a Tournament record with 14 three-pointers to roll past seventh-seed Holy Cross 77-54 and fourth-seed Army advancing for the first time since 2009 with a 65-44 win over fifth-seed American.

Defending champion Lehigh had a tougher time, but the third-seed Mountain Hawks rallied in the second half and closed out a 71-64 win over sixth-seed Colgate.

Saturday's semifinals feature a pair of quality matchups as Lehigh visits Lafayette at 2 p.m. followed by the Army at Bucknell contest tipping off at 4:30 p.m. Each of the games will be shown on CBS Sports Network.

Lafayette and Lehigh each moved on to the semifinals for the fourth year in a row, while Bucknell did it for the third straight season. American lost in the quarterfinal round for the first time as a Patriot League member, as the Eagles had won their previous 11 contests.

All four contests were rematches from last year's quarterfinal round, with Bucknell, Lafayette and Lehigh winning again and only Army getting payback from last year' loss.

Patriot League Men's Basketball Quarterfinals

#1 Bucknell 58, #8 Navy 42
Box Score

LEWISBURG, Pa. - Top-seed Bucknell (26-5) took care of business on its home court with an impressive 58-42 win over eighth-seed Navy (8-23) on Wednesday at Sojka Pavilion.

 

 

The Bison improve to 18-5 in the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament, and advance to the semifinals for the third year in a row. Navy falls in the quarterfinal round for the 12th straight season.

It was a memorable night for Bucknell senior center Mike Muscala, who received his awards for Patriot League Player, Defensive Player and Scholar-Athlete of the Year before the game and then broke the Bucknell school record for career scoring on a night where he totaled 15 points and 13 rebounds.

The Bison never trailed in the game, scoring the first six points and holding at least a five-point lead the rest of the way. Bucknell's lead remained steady throughout the first half to land at 26-16 at the break. The Bison pulled away in the second half with an 8-0 run that pushed the lead to 40-23 with 12:51 to go. Bucknell would go up by as many as 23 points on its way to the 58-42 win.

Muscala made 3-of-6 shots and 9-of-10 free throws and finished with his 20th double-double of the season. He broke Al Leslie's 32-year-old Bucknell scoring record of 1,973 points, set from 1977-81. Joe Willman added 10 points. The Bison only went 17-of-44 from the field and 2-of-14 from three-point range, but made up for it by going 22-of-24 at the free throw line. The Bison also held a 36-25 edge on the boards, and limited Navy to 15-of-49 from the field and 3-of-13 from three-point range. Bucknell is 15-3 at home in the Patriot League Tournament, including a 7-1 mark in the quarterfinal round. The Bison beat Navy for the eighth straight time.

Tilman Dunbar led Navy with nine points, while Kendall Knorr added eight and Brandon Venturini scored seven. Navy held the Bison well below their shooting averages, but could not find enough offense to stay in the game. The Mids finish with a five-win improvement from last season.

#4 Army 65, #5 American 44
Box Score

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Fourth-seed Army (16-14) locked up its first winning season in nearly three decades by taking over in the first half and cruising to a 65-44 win over fifth-seed American (10-20) on Wednesday at Christl Arena.

The Black Knights will finish with a winning mark for the first time since the 1984-85 campaign. Army advances out of the quarterfinal round for the first time since 2009, and fourth in the past seven seasons. American loses in the quarterfinals for the first time in its 12th season as a Patriot League member.

Army never trailed in the game, though it was tight early as the Black Knights held a 15-13 lead with 10:38 to play in the first half. Army scored eight straight to build the advantage, then answered an American basket with 13 consecutive points to make it a 21-2 run and take a 36-15 lead with 3:46 to play in the first half. Army led 39-20 at halftime, and went up by as many as 30 in the second half on the way to the 65-44 win.

Ella Ellis led the Black Knights with 16 points, while Larry Toomey scored 13 and Kevin Ferguson finished with 12 and a career-high five blocks. Ellis and Toomey combined to go 6-of-8 from three-point range as the Black Knights shot 9-of-16 from beyond the arc. Army was 8-of-13 from long distance in the first half as it built the lead. Army held a 40-33 edge on the boards, and limited American to 17-of-55 shooting and 1-of-11 from three-point range. Army beat American in the Patriot League Tournament for the first time in five meetings. The 21-point margin was the most lopsided win in Army's postseason history. The 44 points allowed were Army's best effort against a Division I opponent since the 2009-10 season.

Tony Wroblicky led the Eagles with 12 points, while Stephen Lumpkins added 11. While the pair shot 10-of-17 from the field, the rest of the Eagles combined for a 7-of-38 effort in the game. American did not get any scoring off the bench. The Eagles lost their final five games of the season.

#2 Lafayette 77, #7 Holy Cross 54
Box Score

EASTON, Pa. - Second-seed Lafayette (18-14) tied a Patriot League Tournament record with 14 three-pointers on its way to a 77-54 victory over seventh-seed Holy Cross (12-18) on Wednesday at Kirby Sports Center.

The Leopards advance to the semifinal round for the fourth year in a row, doing so for the first time since 1997-00. They also remained perfect at home in the Patriot League Tournament, running their all-time mark at Kirby Sports Center to 7-0. Lafayette eliminated Holy Cross from the Patriot League Tournament for the fourth year in a row, including the third straight season in the quarterfinals.

Both teams came out hot, with the Crusaders holding a 15-12 lead less than five minutes into the game. Lafayette went on a decisive 16-0 run from there, canning four three-pointers and opening up a 28-15 lead with 11:19 to play in the first half. The Leopards led by double digits the rest of the game, taking a 45-31 lead at the break and going up by as many as 29 points in the second half on their way to the 77-54 win.

Tony Johnson continued his outstanding run of late by scoring 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, leading the team with seven rebounds and dishing out five assists. Seth Hinrichs led the way with 20 points while Joey Ptasinski had 11. The Leopards had 20 assists on their 28 field goals, led by Bryce Scott with seven. Lafayette was over 50% at 28-of-54 for the game, and made 14-of-26 shots from three-point range. The Leopards also limited Holy Cross to 18-of-52 shooting in the game and just 11-of-42 after the opening five minutes. Lafayette improved to 13-3 at Kirby Sports Center this season, with 12 wins in the last 13 games.

Dave Dudzinski led Holy Cross with 22 points, while Jordan Stevens and Dee Goens each scored nine. That trio accounted for 15 of the team's 18 field goals as the rest of the Crusaders combined to shoot 3-of-25 for the game. Holy Cross is 12-10 in the quarterfinal round, but has fallen in three straight and four of the last six seasons.

#3 Lehigh 71, #6 Colgate 64
Box Score

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Down by nine in the second half, third-seed Lehigh (21-8) rallied back and came away with a 71-64 win over sixth-seed Colgate (11-21) on Wednesday at Stabler Arena.

Lehigh wins its Patriot League quarterfinal game for the fourth year in a row, and improves to 12-11 all-time in the round. The Mountain Hawks beat Colgate in a quarterfinal for the second year in a row, as the Raiders have dropped their opener in the League tourney for four straight seasons.

Colgate flirted with the upset throughout the evening, taking a 34-30 lead at the half and stretching it out to 44-35 three minutes into the second half. Lehigh stormed back with 10 straight points to grab a 45-44 lead with 14:26 left, and the game was back and forth from there. The Mountain Hawks held a 60-58 lead with under five minutes left before they finally began to put the game away. Gabe Knutson scored four straight points for a 64-58 advantage, and Holden Greiner hit a three to extend the lead to 67-60 with under three minutes to play. Lehigh led by at least five the rest of the way to take the 71-64 win.

Knutson poured in 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting, while B.J. Bailey added 16 and Holden Greiner scored 15. The trio combined to make 18-of-26 shots in the game. Mackey McKnight dished out nine of the team's 19 assists. Lehigh shot over 50% at 25-of-47 for the game, and held Colgate to a 4-of-17 clip from three-point range. Lehigh won its seventh straight home game in the Patriot League Tournament, and improved to 5-3 at home in quarterfinal contests.

Colgate was led by Murphy Burnatowski with 23 points and Chad Johnson scoring 12. The Raiders executed well with 20 assists and only nine turnovers as they hit 29-of-59 shots from the field. Colgate was hurt by its struggles from long range and only going 2-of-3 at the foul line. The Raiders fell to 10-12 in Patriot League quarterfinals with their fourth-straight loss in the round.