Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 11.12.12

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Lehigh senior C.J. McCollum won his 13th career Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award on Monday.
Lehigh senior C.J. McCollum won his 13th career Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award on Monday.

Nov. 12, 2012

Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 11.12.12 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Four Patriot League teams earned their first win of the season on the opening weekend, but none earned more attention than Bucknell beginning the year with a 70-65 victory at Purdue.

The Bison used 18 points from Cameron Ayers and a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double by Mike Muscala to rally from a six-point halftime deficit and top the Boilermakers. It was the first-ever win over a Big Ten opponent for the Bison, and the third for a Patriot League team.

Holy Cross posted an impressive road victory of its own with a 46-45 win at Old Dominion on Friday when Cullen Hamilton hit the game-winning free throw with 8.9 seconds left. The Crusaders won another one-point game on Sunday against Morgan State and went 2-1 at the Liberty Tax Classic over the weekend.

Army and Navy also garnered their first wins as they split weekend contests. The Black Knights beat VMI 80-74 on Sunday after falling to Air Force 76-65 on Saturday at the All-Military Classic, while the Mids dropped Marymount 75-48 Friday and lost 54-49 to Siena in overtime on Sunday as they opened the season at home.

Lehigh fell 99-77 at No. 18/19 Baylor on Friday, but preseason All-American C.J. McCollum lived up to his billing with 36 points in the game. McCollum was named Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week for the 13th time on Monday.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*Three Patriot League teams are in action Monday, all against NEC opponents.
*Lehigh faces Robert Morris in the NIT Season Tip-Off, then plays either host Pittsburgh or Fordham on Tuesday.
*American is at Quinnipiac while Lafayette hosts LIU-Brooklyn.
*Bucknell opens its home schedule against George Mason on Tuesday.
*The Bison defeated Purdue 70-65 Friday for their first win vs. a Big 10 team.
*Lehigh's C.J. McCollum opened the season with 36 points against Baylor on Friday in a 99-77 loss.
*McCollum earned his 13th career Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award on Monday.
*He is up to second in Patriot League history with 2,110 career points.
*Holy Cross went 2-1 at the Liberty Tax Classic in Norfolk, Va.
*The Crusaders posted one-point wins over Old Dominion and Morgan State.
*Army and Navy also each posted their first win of the year.
*Four Patriot League teams play their home openers during the mid-week.
*In addition to Bucknell, Colgate hosts Marist and Holy Cross welcomes Maine on Wednesday and American hosts Mount St. Mary's on Thursday.
*Colgate's Murphy Burnatowski averaged 23.5 points in his first two games for the Raiders over the weekend.
*Holy Cross' Cullen Hamilton won the Patriot League Anaconda Rookie of the Week award on Monday.

Patriot League Anaconda Weekly Awards (Nov. 9-11)

Anaconda Player of the Week
C.J. McCOLLUM, LEHIGH Sr., G, 6-3, 200; Canton, Ohio/Glen Oak
McCollum opens his senior season doing something he has accomplished plenty in his career: winning a Patriot League weekly award. The 6-foot-3 guard takes home his 13th career Player of the Week award, extending his own record, after scoring 36 points in a 99-77 loss to No. 18/19 Baylor on Friday. McCollum also added eight rebounds, three steals and two assists as he tried to keep the Mountain Hawks close with two starters out of the lineup. He had 24 of Lehigh's 41 first-half points to keep the team within 10 at the break. He shot 14-of-32 from the field, setting a Patriot League single-game record for attempts. McCollum came six points from his career high. He is up to 2,110 career points, moving into second in Patriot League history and getting to within 114 of the League record.

Anaconda Rookie of the Week
CULLEN HAMILTON, HOLY CROSS Fr., G, 6-3, 185; Washington, D.C./Potomac (Va.)
Hamilton opened his collegiate career with 15 points in a 46-45 win at Old Dominion on Friday, including the game-winning free throw with 8.9 seconds to play in the contest. He tied for the team lead in scoring and the 15 points were the most for a Holy Cross player in his collegiate debut since R.J. Evans scored the same total in 2008. Hamilton added five points, all at the line, in Holy Cross' 74-73 win over Morgan State on Sunday. He averaged 7.7 points and 2.3 rebounds while making 10-of-13 free throws as Holy Cross went 2-1 for the weekend at the Liberty Tax Classic.

Honorable Mention

MURPHY BURNATOWSKI, COLGATE Sr., F, 6-7, 230; Waterloo, Ont./National Elite Development Academy
Burnatowski averaged 23.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.0 blocks in his first two games in a Colgate uniform as the Raiders fell to Illinois and Marquette over the weekend.

CAMERON AYERS, BUCKNELL Jr., G, 6-5, 205; Blue Bell, Pa./Germantown Academy
Ayers had 18 points and seven rebounds as Bucknell rallied to beat Purdue 70-65 on Friday for its first-ever win against a Big Ten team.

JUSTIN BURRELL, HOLY CROSS So., G, 5-9, 165; Dumfries, Va./Potomac
Burrell, the 2012 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, opened his sophomore season in style by averaging 16.0 points to help Holy Cross to a 2-1 record at the Liberty Tax Classic.

Patriot League Notebook

Beating the Big Ten
The Patriot League has recorded three wins in its history against the Big Ten, but two of those have come within a calendar year. Bucknell opened the season with a 70-65 victory at Purdue on Friday to follow Lafayette's 61-57 win at Penn State on Dec. 7 of last year. The first Patriot League win over a Big Ten team came on Dec. 21, 1992 when Holy Cross topped Northwestern 83-63.

Home Openers Coming this Week
Two Patriot League teams began their home schedules last week as Navy beat Marymount and Lafayette fell to St. Francis (NY) on Friday. This week, the home openers come fast and furious as five more teams play their first home game from Tuesday-Friday. Bucknell welcomes George Mason to Sojka Pavilion on Tuesday, Colgate hosts Marist and Holy Cross welcomes Maine on Wednesday, American hosts Mount St. Mary's on Thursday and Army welcomes Binghamton on Friday. Lafayette also hosts LIU-Brooklyn on Monday and Navy welcomes Binghamton on Wednesday as the majority of games during the mid-week will be played on Patriot League home courts.

Lehigh's McCollum Earns Numerous Preseason Accolades
The preseason honors for Lehigh senior guard C.J. McCollum continued to pour in all the way until the final day before the 2012-13 season, when he was named one of 50 preseason candidates for the Wooden Award on Thursday. McCollum was a first-team preseason All-America selection from the Associated Press, Sporting News and a panel at He was also named a fourth-team preseason All-American by CBS Sports and the Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year along with a host of other accolades and recognition.

McCollum, Muscala Team Up for Additional Honors
Bucknell senior Mike Muscala was not far behind McCollum in the national awards category, with the players appearing on the same list multiple times. Each player was on the 25-man Lute Olson Preseason All-America Team from College Insider, with the duo comprising two of the 10 Mid-Major players on the list. Both players received Mid-Major All-America honors from NBC Sports (McCollum 1st team, Muscala 2nd) and were ranked among the top 100 in all of college basketball by CBS Sports, with McCollum at No. 17 and Muscala at No. 80. CBS Sports also had at each player as among the best in the country at his position. The website called McCollum one of the top Mid-Major players in the nation, and listed Muscala as one of five to watch.

Three Patriot Leaguers Named Senior CLASS Award Candidates
Muscala and McCollum also excel off the court, and it was shown when the pair represented the Patriot League along with Lehigh's Gabe Knutson as Senior CLASS Award candidates. The honor selects student-athletes based on notable achievements in four areas - community, classroom, character and competition. The Patriot League is second to the Big 10 with three candidates, while Lehigh is the only school with multiple student-athletes on the list.

Lehigh, Bucknell Each Ranked in Mid-Major top 25
Led by the superstars and veteran supporting casts, Lehigh and Bucknell were each recognized as top teams in the College Insider Mid-Major Preseason top 25. The Mountain Hawks came in at No. 6 in the ranking, while the Bison were ranked No. 16. In addition, Lehigh starts the season with two points in the Associated Press top 25.

Nine All-League Players Return To The Court in 2012-13
McCollum and Muscala generate the headlines, but they are not the only players back who have made the All-Patriot League Team. Five additional All-League selections return from last year, as Army's Ella Ellis made the first team and Bucknell's Joe Willman and Cameron Ayers, Lehigh's Gabe Knutson and Lafayette's Tony Johnson were all second-team picks. Bucknell has a fourth player with an All-League spot to his credit as Bryson Johnson was named to the second team in 2011. American's Stephen Lumpkins, who missed last season while playing professional baseball, also made the second-team All-League squad in 2011.

Patriot League on CBS Sports Network
The Patriot League and CBS Sports Network unveiled a basketball television schedule for the 2013 season that showcases 13 contests, including the Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship on CBS Sports Network for the second year in a row on Wednesday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. CBS Sports Network will air both semifinal games of the Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 9 at 2:00 and 4:30 p.m. as well as 10 regular-season contests.

Team Notebooks

AMERICAN The Eagles fell 72-36 in their season opener against Minnesota on Friday...Senior Stephen Lumpkins just missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds in his first action since the 2010-11 season... Sophomore guard John Schoof was the Eagles' second-highest scorer with eight points, going a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe...American stays on the road for its next contest as it visits Quinnipiac on Monday...The Eagles open their home schedule on Thursday against another Northeast Conference opponent, Mount St. Mary's.

ARMY The Black Knights split a pair of games to open the season at the All-Military Classic, beating VMI 80-74 in the consolation round on Sunday after falling to Air Force 76-65 on Saturday in the event played at The Citadel...Senior Ella Ellis was the leading scorer in both contests, totaling 19 in the win over the Keydets and 16 in the loss to the Falcons...Ellis is up to 1,072 career points...Josh Herbeck added 11 in the win over VMI...He made a key three-pointer after the Army lead had closed to one with just over four minutes to play...Army had the early advantage against Air Force, but saw the Falcons storm back from a 15-point deficit in the second half...The Black Knights led 47-32 early in the half, but Air Force battled back and went ahead for good with 3:28 left as part of a run of scoring the final 13 points of the game...Herbeck scored 12 points while Kyle Wilson added 10 in his collegiate debut...Army opens its home schedule on Friday against Binghamton.

BUCKNELL The Bison cashed in on their first test of a daunting non-League schedule by going on the road and defeating Purdue 70-65 on Friday...It was Bucknell's first win over a Big Ten opponent, and marked the second straight season that a Patriot League team has knocked off a Big Ten foe... Three players scored in double figures for the Bison, as Cameron Ayers tallied 18 points, Mike Muscala had his 25th career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Bryson Johnson added 14 in the win...Bucknell trailed by six points at the half, but went ahead for good with under five minutes to play and sealed the win with free throws by Johnson and Joe Willman in the final 10 seconds...Ayers played a big role in the second-half comeback with a trio of traditional three-point plays as part of his 10 points in the period...Bucknell will have another challenge on Tuesday when it plays its home opener against George Mason...The Bison fell in a hard-fought 61-57 final to the Patriots last season.

COLGATE The Raiders may have a breakout star in the Patriot League as Murphy Burnatowski had two strong efforts against quality competition in losses to Illinois and Marquette over the weekend...The senior transfer from Maine started out with 23 points on 8-of-14 from the field and 5-of-9 from beyond the arc in a 75-55 loss to the Illini on Friday...He followed it up with a 24-point, 12-rebound double-double on national television as Colgate fell 84-63 to Marquette on Sunday in a game shown on ESPNU...Burnatowski averged 23.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.0 blocks in the games while shooting 16-of-33 from the field...He will make his home debut next as Colgate welcomes Marist to Cotterell Court on Wednesday.

HOLY CROSS The Crusaders played three down-to-the-wire games over the weekend in the Liberty Tax Classic, and came away with two wins as they downed host Old Dominion 46-45 on Friday and Morgan State 74-73 on Sunday...Freshman Cullen Hamilton had an outstanding debut against the Monarchs, sharing team honors with 15 points and hitting the game-winning free throw with 8.9 seconds to play...The 15 points were the most by a Holy Cross player in his debut since R.J. Evans hit the same mark in 2008...Sophomore guard Justin Burrell also scored 15 points in the win, and went on to average 16.0 points in the three games over the weekend...Burrell had a team-high 17 points in a 60-56 loss to Texas-San Antonio on Saturday before totaling 16 in the win over Morgan State on Sunday... Dave Dudzinski hit a pair of free throws with 17 seconds left to break a 70-70 tie after Morgan State had scored 11 straight points to even the score...Burrell iced the win with a pair of free throws with 4.8 seconds left...Dudzinski led the way with 20 points in the game, while Phil Beans added 17 and Burrell had 16...Dudzinski averaged 11.3 points and 8.7 rebounds in the three games...Holy Cross plays just one game this week, opening its home schedule with a contest against Maine on Wednesday.

LAFAYETTE The 500th career game for Head Coach Fran O'Hanlon did not go as planned as Lafayette fell 76-65 to St. Francis (NY) in its season and home opener on Friday...Despite the defeat, three Leopards opened the year with impressive shooting performances...Tony Johnson was 7-of-9 from the field and scored a team-high 17 points, Dan Trist made all seven of his field goal attempts while finishing with 16 points and Seth Hinrichs was 3-for-3 from beyond the arc and 4-of-4 at the line to total 13 points...Lafayette made 17-of-30 shots in the second half, but could not overcome an eight-point halftime deficit...Lafayette stays at home on Monday night for another game against a Northeast Conference opponent when it faces LIU-Brooklyn...The game will be televised through the Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60)...The contest is part of the Barclays Center Classic, and the teams will meet up again in Brooklyn later in the season.

LEHIGH Senior guard C.J. McCollum lived up to his preseason billing on the big stage with 36 points in a 99-77 loss to No. 18/19 Baylor on Friday...McCollum made 14-of-32 shots in the game, setting a Patriot League record for field goal attempts...He also totaled eight rebounds, three steals and two assists...McCollum had 24 of Lehigh's 41 first-half points as the Mountain Hawks were within 10 at the break despite playing without preseason All-Patriot League selection Gabe Knutson and starter B.J. Bailey...Mackey McKnight also chipped in a nice effort with 14 points, six rebounds and six assists...McCollum moves into second place in Patriot League history with 2,110 points, 114 away from the League record...He earned his 13th career Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award on Monday, five ahead of anyone else in League history...Lehigh will play in the NIT Season Tip-Off at Pittsburgh on Monday and Tuesday...The Mountain Hawks face Robert Morris on Monday evening, then take on either Fordham or Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

NAVY The Mids opened the season by breaking a 22-game losing skid with a 75-48 win over Marymount on Friday, then nearly made it a winning streak before fallling to Siena 54-49 in overtime on Sunday...The Mids went on a 19-0 run late in the first half to pull away for good against Marymount...Brandon Venturini led all scorers with 16 points, while Kendall Knorr added 13 and Worth Smith scored 10.... Navy rallied from a six-point deficit in the final minute to force overtime against Siena, but the Saints outscored the Mids 7-2 in the extra session for a 54-49 win in Annapolis...Tilman Dunbar led the Mids with 13 points and five assists, and started his career by averaging 10.5 points, 6.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals in the first two games...He had 11 points and three assists in the second half against Siena as Navy rallied to force overtime...Dunbar had seven assists in the season opener against Marymount, the most by a freshman in a season opener in school history...Navy completes a three-game season-opening homestand when it welcomes Binghamton on Wednesday.