Holy Cross' Dave Dudzinski
Nov. 15, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Three teams face ranked opponents and three more play home openers to highlight the Patriot League men's basketball weekend schedule after six squads picked up victories during the week.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*Patriot League teams have gone 6-2 in their action this week, and 5-1 in home contests.
*Lehigh, Holy Cross, Boston University, Navy and American all won their home openers during the week.
*Bucknell beat Penn State for the first time since 1976 with a 90-80 victory on Wednesday.
*Army opens its home schedule Friday, while Bucknell and Loyola Maryland do so on Saturday.
*Every home game this season, except those on CBS Sports Network, will be shown on Patriot League Network.
*Three Patriot League teams play top-25 opponents over the weekend.
*Boston University is off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2001, while Loyola is 2-0 for the first time since 2005.
*Holy Cross set Patriot League records for points (122) and free throws made (45) in its double OT win over Sacred Heart.
*Loyola's Dylon Cormier averaged 32.5 points in two games last week and was named Anaconda Player of the Week.
*Cormier is the first Greyhound player with consecutive 30-point games to start a season.
*Holy Cross' Dave Dudzinski (25.5) and Cullen Hamilton (22.0) are also averaging over 20 points per game.
Patriot League Notebook
Home Sweet Home
Patriot League teams have begun to play their home openers this week, and they have enjoyed the friendly confines with a 5-1 start at home. Lehigh began the home schedule with a 92-78 win over Rider on Tuesday, with Lafayette falling 90-81 to Robert Morris that evening. All three Patriot League teams at home won on Wednesday, with Holy Cross' 122-118 double overtime thriller against Sacred Heart, Boston University topping UMass Lowell 91-65 and Navy beating Goucher 98-47. American pulled off a dramatic 63-61 overtime win against UMBC in its home opener Thursdsay, giving Head Coach Mike Brennan his first win. The home openers continue on Friday with Army welcoming NJIT and Saturday when Bucknell hosts St. Francis (Pa.) and Loyola Maryland welcomes Fairfield. All home games, both in non-League and Patriot League play, will be streamed live for free on Patriot League Network with the exception of the games scheduled for CBS Sports Network.
Bucknell Beats Penn State for First Time Since 1976
The 2013-14 Bucknell team has already accomplished something that its League champion predecessor did not: winning at Penn State. The Bison beat Penn State for the first time since 1976 by holding a 54-39 edge in the second half of a 90-80 win on Wednesday. They had lost 12 straight overall to the Nittany Lions. Head Coach Dave Paulsen won his 100th game at Bucknell, doing so in his 166th game at the school. He became the second-fastest coach to reach 100 wins at a Patriot League school, just one game behind Lehigh's Brett Reed last season. The victory marked the third straight season for a Patriot League team beating a Big Ten opponent, and second year in a row for Bucknell after a win at Purdue last season.
Loyola Maryland, Boston University Off to 2-0 Starts
Welcome to the Patriot League, Boston University and Loyola Maryland. Both teams have started the season at 2-0, with the Terriers doing so for the first time since 2001 and the Greyhounds hitting the mark for the first time since 2005. Boston University won its home opener 91-65 against UMass Lowell on Wednesday after beating Northeastern on Sunday, while Loyola Maryland won over the weekend at Binghamton and Cornell. Both teams have challenges ahead to get to 3-0 this weekend as Loyola hosts Fairfield on Saturday (PLN, MASN, SNY) and Boston University is at No. 19/20 Connecticut on Sunday (ESPNU
Ranked Foes on the Slate This Weekend
There were plenty of challenging road contests on the opening weekend, but none came against ranked opponents. That will change for the upcoming weekend as three Patriot League teams visit top 25 foes. It starts on Friday when Holy Cross goes to No. 11/12 North Carolina at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. The next day Colgate makes the trip to No. 7/9 Syracuse at 4:30 p.m., while on Sunday Boston University plays at No. 19/20 Connecticut at Noon on ESPNU. Lehigh also has a pair of road trips as it goes to Fordham on Friday (SNY, A10 Network) and Houston on Sunday afternoon (ESPN3).
Record-Setting Opening Week in the Patriot League
It's less than one week into the season, and a handful of Patriot League records that had held since the 1990s have already gone down. Holy Cross broke two of them on Wednesday, scoring the most points (122) and making the most free throws (45) in a single-game in League history. The Crusaders had held the single-game points mark at 116 since 1992, while the previous free throw mark of 41 had been set in 1992 and 1994. Holy Cross and Sacred Heart also had the most combined points in League history at 240, surpassing a 110-108 win for Bucknell over Colgate in 1994. Army also got in on the action, setting a League record with 44 three-point attempts in it season opener against Air Force on Friday to break the previous standard of 42 set back in 1998.
The Next Patriot League Star?
With four-year stars CJ McCollum and Mike Muscala departed, there is an opening for the next star player to emerge in the Patriot League. A few have thrown their name into the ring this season. Loyola's Dylon Cormier averaged 32.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals in two wins for the Greyhounds last week, taking home the first Patriot League Anaconda Player o the Week award of the season. He has some competition this week, as Holy Cross' Dave Dudzinski totaled 26 points and 15 rebounds in a win over Sacred Heart, Bucknell's Steven Kaspar had 25 points in the win at Penn State and BU's Maurice Watson continued his fast start with 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the win over UMass Lowell. American's Darius Gardner has made quite an impact in his first two games with the Eagles as well, averaging 18.0 points, 5.0 assists and 3.5 steals after putting up 22 points, nine rebounds, six steals and four assists in a win over UMBC on Thursday.
Lehigh Getting Contributions From its Youth
In addition to replacing McCollum, Lehigh entered the year having to make up for the loss of All-Leaguers Holden Greiner and Gabe Knutson, too. The Mountain Hawks looked like they would be just fine on Tuesday as a host of new players contributed to a win over Rider. Austin Price led Lehigh with 21 points, and has 36 in his first two collegiate games. Jesse Chuku had 18 points and Tim Kempton scored 16 in their second game with the Mountain Hawks, and Chuku is third in the League with 9.0 rebounds per contest. The holdover looks good too, as Mackey McKnight had his first career double-double with 14 points and 10 assists and did not commit any turnovers.
Two players from the preseason All-Patriot League Team are on track to finish with numbers among the League all-time leaders in assists. Though his first three years will not count towards the League record book, Boston University senior DJ Irving is up to 402 career assists, reaching a mark that only 11 players in League history have achieved. McKnight is the next to get there at Lehigh as the senior reached the 398-assists mark with his 10 dimes on Tuesday.
Three games have gone to overtime in the opening week, and the Patriot League has emerged with a victory each time. After Loyola Maryland beat Cornell 93-89 on Sunday, Holy Cross outlasted Sacred Heart 122-118 on Wednesday and American hit last-second shots in regulation and overtime for a 63-61 win over UMBC on Thursday. In six of the 10 victories this season, the Patriot League team has come back from a second-half deficit.
15 Patriot League Contests to Be Shown On CBS Sports Network
The Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship will be televised on CBS Sports Network for the third year in a row on Wednesday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m., while CBSSN will also air both semifinal games of the Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 8 at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. The postseason contests are part of a 15-game schedule of Patriot League men's basketball on CBS Sports Network in 2014.
AMERICAN American Head Coach Mike Brennan got a memorable first win on Thursday evening as the host Eagles ended regulation on a 10-3 run and went on to a 63-61 overtime win against UMBC...The 10-3 run was capped when Darius Gardner hit a jumper to even the score at 55-55 with one second left...There was more drama in overtime, as Jesse Reed's basket with one second to play gave the Eagles a 63-61 win...Gardner filled the stat sheet with 22 points, nine rebounds, six steals and four assists..He is averaging 18.0 points, 5.0 assists and a League-high 3.5 steals through the first two games...John Schoof scored 15 points, while Kyle Kager had his first double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Tony Wroblicky pulled down 12 boards...American heads on the road for its next four games, beginning with a trip to No. 9/10 Ohio State on Wednesday.
ARMY The Black Knights split their contests at the All-Military Classic, losing to Air Force 79-68 on Friday before topping The Citadel 84-69 on Saturday...Army fired 75 three-point attempts in the two games, including a Patriot League record 44 in the loss to Air Force...Kyle Wilson averaged 15.0 points in the two contests, with his eighth-career 20-point game in the win over The Citadel...In addition to Wilson with 20 points, 10 other players scored five or more in the victory...Army jumped out to a 49-36 lead at halftime and cruised to the 15-point win..Freshman Tanner Omlid began his collegiate career with 18 points in the loss to Air Force...Army plays its home opener on Friday at 7 p.m. on Patriot League Network when the Black Knights welcome NJIT.
BOSTON UNIVERSITY Dom Morris had a career-high 27 points to lead the Terriers to an easy 91-65 win over UMass Lowell in BU's home opener on Wednesday...The Terriers begin the season at 2-0 for the first time since 2000-01...Maurice Watson filled the stat sheet with 18 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals...The Terriers shot 25-of-39 from the field in the first half as they built a 64-35 lead at the break...BU came just four points shy of the Patriot League record for points in a half, and set a school record for points in a first half...The Terriers had 23 assists and 12 turnovers while forcing 22 turnovers in the game...BU is off to the fast start after also posting a 72-69 win over Northeastern on Sunday...Boston University closed on a 10-2 run to earn the win...John Papale hit a three-pointer followed by three free throws to turn a 67-62 deficit into a 68-67 lead...Watson Jr. pushed it to 70-67 on a layup with 45 seconds left, and DJ Irving hit a pair of free throws to help seal the win in the final seconds...Watson Jr. led the way with 16 points as well as five assists and four rebounds...BU hit 18-of-20 free throws and had just 10 turnovers while forcing 17 by Northeastern...The Terriers next visit No. 19/20 Connecticut on Sunday at Noon on ESPNU.
BUCKNELL The Bison beat Penn State for the first time since 1976 by holding a 54-39 edge in the second half of a 90-80 win on Wednesday...They had lost 12 straight overall to the Nittany Lions...Steven Kaspar had a career-high 25 points, while Cameron Ayers had 16 of his 19 in the second half...The Bison made 28-of-46 shots and 10-of-15 three-pointers in the game and hit their final 11 free throws to seal the win...Head Coach Dave Paulsen won his 100th game at Bucknell, doing so in his 166th game at the school...He became the second-fastest coach to reach 100 wins at a Patriot League school, just one game behind Lehigh's Brett Reed last season...Bucknell won on the road against Penn State for the first time since 1968...The Bison have been very impressive early in the season after also losing a tight 72-68 final at Stanford on Friday...Four Bison scored in double figures, with Steven Kaspar notching 12 points, nine assists and seven rebounds...The defending League champion Bison make their Sojka Pavilion debut on Saturday at 7 p.m. against St. Francis (Pa.) on Patriot League Network.
COLGATE The Raiders led Atlantic Coast Conference foe Wake Forest by eight points in the second half before falling 89-78 in the season opener on Friday... Six Raiders scored in double figures, led by Pat Moore with 17 and Austin Tillotson with 14 and nine assists in his Colgate debut...Ethan Jacobs also had a solid Colgate debut with 11 points and seven rebounds, while Murphy Burnatowski (13), Damon Sherman-Newsome (12) and Luke Roh (11) also scored in double figures...Colgate plays another ACC opponent when it makes the short trip to No. 7/9 Syracuse on Saturday afternoon...The Raiders do not open their home schedule until Wednesday when they welcome Cornell.
HOLY CROSS Holy Cross set a Patriot League record for points as it outlasted Sacred Heart 122-118 in double overtime on Wednesday at the Hart Center...The Crusaders broke the mark of 116 that they had set in 1992..Holy Cross also set a League record with 45 free throws, breaking a mark of 41 that had not been reached since 1994...Cullen Hamilton scored a career-high 35 points in the win, while Dave Dudzinski had 26 points and a career-high tying 15 rebounds...Freshman forward Malachi Alexander put up 23 points and 13 rebounds...Dudzinski rebounded a missed foul shot and converted a three-point play with three seconds left in regulation to tie the score at 98-98...Hamilton put the Crusaders ahead for good in the second overtime when his three-pointer with 1:09 left broke a 113-113 tie...The 240 combined points also set a Patriot League record...Holy Cross bounced back from an 82-72 loss in its opener against Harvard on Sunday...The Crusaders have a daunting task on Friday when they visit No. 11/12 North Carolina at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.
LAFAYETTE The Leopards led by eight points with eight minutes to play before Robert Morris closed on a 30-13 stretch to earn a 90-81 win in Easton on Tuesday...Bryce Scott led the Leopards with a career-high 25 points, while Dan Trist (18), Seth Hinrichs (16) and Joey Ptasinski (13) also scored in double figures...Trist also pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds for his first double-double...Lafayette made 18-of-20 free throws but hit just 9-of-30 three-pointers...It was the second time in as many games that the Leopards lost a second-half lead, as they were up six at Villanova on Friday before falling 75-59..Hinrichs led the way with 15 points in the game...The Leopards are off until Wednesday when they visit Princeton.
LEHIGH The Mountain Hawks opened with an 18-2 lead, went up by 19 points at halftime and led by double digits for the entire second half of a 92-78 home-opening win against Rider on Tuesday...Austin Price led Lehigh with 21 points, and has 36 in his first two collegiate games...Mackey McKnight had his first career double-double with 14 points and 10 assists and did not commit any turnovers...McKnight is up to 12th in Patriot League history with 398 career assists...Jesse Chuku had 18 points and Tim Kempton scored 16 in their second game with the Mountain Hawks...Lehigh shot 30-of-51 for the game and 14-of-23 from three-point range, and had its highest point total in a home opener since 1994.. The strong first half against Rider built on a solid second half at Minnesota on Friday where the Mountain Hawks played the Gophers to a 44-44 draw in an 81-62 loss...McKnight had 18 points in that contest while Price scored 15...Lehigh still has two more games this week, visiting Fordham on Friday (SNY, 7 p.m.) and Houston on Sunday (ESPN3, 2 p.m.)
LOYOLA MARYLAND The Greyhounds posted the fastest start in the Patriot League with a pair of road victories over the weekend...Loyola held off Binghamton 79-74 on Friday night, and fought off Cornell for a 93-89 overtime win on Sunday...Senior guard Dylon Cormier led the way, scoring a career-high 31 points on Friday before topping it with 34 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double on Sunday... Cormier became the first Greyhound player to open the season with consecutive 30-point games, and the first to do it at any point of the year since Andre Collins went for 34, 36 and 39 in three-straight games (all on the road at VMI, Delaware and Providence) from December 29, 2005-January 3, 2006...Loyola is off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2005-2006 when the Greyhounds won their first five games...G.G. Smith is the first Loyola head coach to win his first two games in the position since the late Skip Prosser did so in 1993-1994....Jarred Jones had the two most productive offensive games of his young career to start the season as the sophomore had 22 points in the win over Binghamton and 13 in the victory over Cornell, with seven rebounds in each game...Last season, Jones played in 33 games and averaged 2.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in 11.0 minutes per game...Loyola will have to wait until Saturday to take its crack at 3-0 when the Greyhounds host former conference foe Fairfield at 8 p.m. in a matchup that will be televised on MASN and SNY and also available on Patriot League Network.
NAVY The Mids earned their first win of the year in their home opener with a 98-47 rout of Goucher on Wednesday...Navy blew the game out early as it led 54-21 at halftime...Brandon Venturini led the way with 16 points, while Worth Smith and Edward Alade each scored 14...Seventeen players saw action for Navy, with none going more than 17 minutes...The Mids rebounded from a tough 60-57 loss to St. Francis (Pa.) on Monday...Navy tied the game for a 16th time on Will Kelly basket with 1:14 left before the Red Flash made the winning three-point play18 seconds later...Navy misfired on its opportunities to tie the score in the final minute...Worth Smith led Navy with 16 points, while Kelly had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds...Navy finishes a week of three games when it visits Binghamton on Saturday at 2 p.m.