Bucknell Men's Basketball Postseason Odyssey Stops at Colgate Sunday

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Darryl Shazier hit a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer the last time Bucknell traveled to Colgate.
Darryl Shazier hit a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer the last time Bucknell traveled to Colgate.

March 7, 2008

WHAT: #7 Bucknell (12-18, 6-8 PL) vs. #3 Colgate (17-13, 7-7 PL)
WHERE: Cotterell Court, Hamilton, N.Y.
WHEN: Sunday, March 9, 2008, 2 p.m.
RADIO: Eagle 107 and SportsJuice.com
LIVE VIDEO: Patriot League All-Access

Probable Starters

G, 11 John Griffin, Sr., 13.4 ppg
G, 13 Darryl Shazier, Fr., 3.2 ppg
F, 15 Stephen Tyree, So., 7.1 ppg
F, 31 Patrick Behan, So., 6.5 ppg
C, 1 Darren Mastropaolo, Sr., 7.7 ppg

G, 32 Daniel Waddy, Sr., 8.2 ppg
G, 13 Kyle Roemer, Jr., 15.9 ppg
F, 4 Kendall Chones, Sr., 12.0 ppg
F, 22 Tim Pounds, Sr., 6.4 ppg
C, 2 Alex Woodhouse, Jr., 6.1 ppg

With a Victory over Colgate, Bucknell Would ...
-- ... improve to 13-18 overall.
-- ... play either No. 1 American or No. 5 Army on the road in the championship game on Friday.
-- ... advance to the Patriot League Tournament final for the fourth straight year and eighth time overall.
-- ... defeat the Raiders for the ninth straight time overall and fifth straight time at Cotterell Court.
-- ... improve to 4-1 against the Raiders in the postseason.
-- ... defeat the Raiders three times in a season for the second time ever (1993).



About the Game
Looking to carry along the momentum of Wednesday's remarkable triple-overtime win in Annapolis, seventh-seeded Bucknell travels to No. 3 Colgate Sunday afternoon. Down 17 points with 15 minutes to play, the Bison rallied to force overtime, then won it on John Griffin's 40-foot bank shot at the final buzzer of triple OT. The game was somewhat reminiscent of Bucknell's victory at Colgate on Feb. 6, when Darryl Shazier hit a 3-pointer as time expired to send it to overtime, and the Bison prevailed 91-85 to defeat the Raiders for the second time in 11 days. Colgate lost another overtime game at Army just three days later, but since then the Raiders have been perhaps the Patriot League's best team. Including its 76-74 victory over Lafayette in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, Colgate has won five straight and six of its last seven. Kyle Roemer, who scored 32 points against the Leopards last time out, leads the team in scoring at 15.9 points per game, while Kendall Chones averages 12.0 points and 5.4 rebounds.

How to Get the Game
The Bucknell-Colgate game will not be televised, however live video can be purchased through the Patriot League All-Access package. The game can be heard locally on Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM), with Doug Birdsong and Doug Byerly on the call. The pregame show begins 30 minutes before tip-off. The audio feed is available free of charge via BucknellBison.com and SportsJuice.com. Also, the game will air live on Sirius Satellite Radio (ch. 153), with Frank Santore on the call.

Bucknell vs. Colgate
This will be the 90th all-time meeting between Bucknell and Colgate in a series that dates back to 1920. The Bison have a 51-38 series lead and have beaten the Raiders eight straight times. As Patriot League rivals, Bucknell has won 30 of the 41 meetings, including 11 of 18 in Hamilton. Pat Flannery is 22-9 all-time against Colgate.

Bucknell vs. Colgate in the Postseason
Bucknell and Colgate have met only four times in 17 previous Patriot League Tournaments, with the Bison capturing three of those four meetings. The two teams last met in the postseason in 2001, when Bucknell won 75-68 in a first-round game as a No. 6 seed. The Bison also won in the 1993 and 1997 semifinals, while Colgate won in the 1996 semis.

Bucknell vs. Colgate Earlier This Season
-- Back on Jan. 26 at Sojka Pavilion, Bucknell raced out to a 23-0 lead then held off a spirited Colgate rally in a 65-61 victory at Sojka Pavilion. Colgate pulled within two points with 11 minutes to play but could never tie or take the lead. The Bison went back up by as many as 14 with 5:43 left but could not put the game away at the free-throw line. They went 2-for-7 and missed three front ends of 1-and-1s in the final 1:11, but the Raiders never had a possession in the final minute where it could shoot for the tie or the lead. Justin Castleberry led Bucknell with 22 points, while Willie Morse came off the bench to score 19 for Colgate.
-- On Feb. 6 at Cotterell Court, John Griffin canned a career-high 31 poionts, Stephen Tyree had 16 points and nine rebounds (all after halftime), and Bucknell parlayed Darryl Shazier's 3-point buzzer-beater at the end of regulation into a dramatic 91-85 victory. The Bison trailed by as many as 11 in the second half and by eight with 2:29 to play. After Shazier's tying shot from the left corner, the lead changed hands on the first 10 baskets of the overtime period before Bucknell took control.

Numbers to Watch
Some interesting statistics from this season's two Bucknell-Colgate matchups:
-- Bucknell shot 50.4% from the floor, 43.6% from 3-point range and 71.4% from the foul line against Colgate this season. On the other hand, Colgate shot 43.2% from the floor, 30.2% from the arc and 66.0% from the line.
-- John Griffin was Bucknell's top scorer against Colgate with 41 points, 31 coming in the second meeting. Justin Castleberry averaged 16.0 ppg and Stephen Tyree 11.0 ppg.
-- G.W. Boon enjoyed playing Colgate, scoring eight points in both games while making 4 of 9 3-pointers.
-- In the first meeting of the season Colgate outrebounded Bucknell 44-25, including 21 offensive rebounds. In the second meeting, the Bison held a 39-29 edge on the glass, holding the Raiders to eight offensive boards.
-- Five different Raiders averaged in double figures against the Bison this season, led by Kendall Chones and Willie Morse at 12.0 ppg. Kyle Roemer averaged 11.0 ppg (almost five below his season average), while Mike Venezia and Daniel Waddy averaged 10.5 ppg.

Last Time Out
John Griffin's "shot heard `round the Patriot League" will surely be permanently etched into Bucknell basketball lore. Just after T.J. Topercer put back a Chris Harris miss to give Navy an 86-84 lead with 3.9 seconds left in the third overtime period, Griffin took the inbounds from Justin Castleberry, dribbled around one defender and let it fly from just inside halfcourt. The 40-footer banked in, and Bucknell, which trailed by 17 with 15:42 to play, had a stunning Patriot League Tournament upset of the No. 2 seed. For a complete recap and boxscore, please see Page 40.

More from the Navy Game
-- The contest was the longest in Patriot League Tournament history, and it equalled the longest in school history. Bucknell's only other triple-overtime game came on Dec. 10, 1970, a 73-71 loss to Lehigh.
-- The Bison trailed 45-28 with 15:42 remaining, then held Navy without a field goal for eight minutes. Patrick Behan scored three straight buckets to ignite a 17-1 run. Bucknell finally tied it at 50-50 on Darren Mastropaolo's layup with 5:57 left, but the Bison did not take their first lead until Todd O'Brien scored to open the first overtime period.
-- Down 59-54 with 1:36 left in regulatoin, O'Brien scored the final five points, the last two coming on a layup off a John Griffin feed with two seconds remaining. The freshman also blocked a Greg Sprink shot just before hitting his own game-tying bucket. He finished with 12 points, six rebounds, four blocks and three steals.
-- Griffin had eight points at the end of regulation, but he finished with 21, his seventh 20-point game of the season. Griffin was 5-for-7 from 3-point range, including a go-ahead trey in the second overtime, a tying triple with 1:11 left in the third OT, and of course the miraculous game-winner at the final buzzer.
-- Freshman G.W. Boon hit one of the biggest shots of the night for Bucknell, a game-tying 3-pointer with 0:41 left in the third overtime, coming just seconds after Chris Harris had put Navy ahead with a three. Boon finished with seven points, four rebounds and a career-high four assists.
-- The third member of the freshman class, Darryl Shazier, scored a career-high nine points to go with four steals and two assists.
-- Stephen Tyree and Darren Mastropaolo both battled foul trouble throughout, and eventually both fouled out, but both had big moments. Mastropaolo finished with 10 points and six rebounds, while Tyree had six points, four boards and six assists.
-- After two straight scoreless games, Justin Castleberry re-found his offensive aggressiveness. He shot only 2-for-11 from the field, but got to the free-throw line eight times (making six), scored 12 points, grabbed a career-high seven rebounds and dished out four assists.
-- Navy senior Greg Sprink, the Patriot League Player of the Year, scored a career-high 37 points. He had 24 in the first half, matching Bucknell's team total. He fouled out with 34 seconds left in the second overtime, however.
-- Bucknell shot over 50% from the field after halftime, while Navy shot 35.5% for the game. The Midshipmen attempted a whopping 40 3-pointers, making 13.

Griffin Breaks Pair of Records
Lost in the aftermath of John Griffin's buzzer-beater were the two school records he achieved on Wednesday. Griffin played in his 126th career game, breaking the school record set by Chris McNaughton last season. Griffin has never missed a game in four years. Griffin's five 3-pointers at Navy give him 79 on the season, tying Kevin Bettencourt's school mark set in 2005-06.

Griffin at His Best Against The Best
In five games this season against the Patriot League's top two teams, American and Navy, John Griffin made 22 of 34 3-point attempts (.647). He also shot extremely well against four of the top teams on Bucknell's non-conference schedule. Against Villanova, Wake Forest, Old Dominion and Cornell, Griffin shot 45.2% (19-42) from the arc.

Lucky 7?
This is Bucknell's first experience as a No. 7 seed in the Patriot League Tournament. Its previous low seed was a 6 in 2001, when it upset No. 3 Colgate in the first round. The Bison are now 3-1 when wearing dark jerseys in the first round. A first-round win from a No. 7 seed was not unprecendented. In fact, Bucknell was on the other end of one of those upsets when it lost to No. 7 Army at West Point in coach Pat Flannery's Patriot League Tournament debut in 1995. Other 7 seeds to win in the first round were Lafayette in 1994 (83-65 over Fordham), Army in 1996 (64-58 over Navy) and Lehigh in 1999 (53-45 over Navy). No 7 seed has ever gone on to the championship game, however.

Who's Got Next?
The winner of the Bucknell-Colgate game will play the winner of Sunday's other semifinal matchup between No. 1 American and No. 5 Army. The higher-seeded team will host the Patriot League championship game on Friday at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN2.