Nov. 16, 2012
Patriot League Men's Basketball Weekend Preview - 11.16.12
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- Patriot League teams went 8-1 from Monday-Thursday, including a 6-0 mark at home. If the winning is going to continue over the weekend, it will have to come on the road.
Bucknell, Colgate and Lafayette all continue their early-season tournaments with multiple games over the weekend. The Bison lead the way with three contests at their 2K Sports Classic Subregional in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Bucknell plays host Niagara on Friday, New Mexico State on Saturday and West Alabama on Sunday as it tries to continue its strong early play.
Colgate and Lafayette each play a pair of games as part of their events. The Raiders are in a mainland regional of the EA Sports Maui Invitational, as they take on host Elon on Saturday and then face either Coppin State or Florida Atlantic on Sunday. The Leopards play two games on the road as part of the Barclays Center Classic, taking on No. 3 Kentucky on Friday and Morehead State Sunday.
Army plays its home opener against Binghamton on Friday afternoon, trying to extend the run of success for League squads at home this season. Patriot League teams are 7-2 at home this year, and all six squads that have played at home have won at least once. Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross and American won home openers in the past three days. Navy also plays at UAB on Sunday, while Lehigh, Holy Cross and American are off for the weekend.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*The Patriot League is one of four conferences in the country where every team has recorded a win over a Division I opponent.
*The ACC, Big Ten and SEC are the only other leagues to pull it off.
*Patriot League teams are 13-9 overall, and 8-1 this week.
*That includes an 11-4 mark against DI teams outside of the BCS leagues.
*Patriot League teams are a combined 7-2 at home, and all six teams who have played on their own court have at least one win.
*Four teams won their home opener from Tuesday-Thursday.
*The Patriot League is 4-0 against the Northeast Conference this week.
*Bucknell has the busiest weekend ahead with three games as part of the 2K Sports Classic in Niagara Falls, NY.
*Colgate and Lafayette each play twice, while Army and Navy are also in action.
*Lehigh's C.J. McCollum was named a Naismith Award candidate on Tuesday.
*He is up to second in Patriot League history with 2,146 career points.
*Holy Cross has three wins of three points or less in its first four games.
*Bucknell's Mike Muscala is averaging a double-double of 15.0 points and 12.5 reboudns through the first two games.
*Lafayette's Dan Trist is second in the Patriot League with 23.0 points per game, and has made 21-of-25 shots from the field in two contests.
*American's Stephen Lumpkins is averaging 16.3 points and 8.7 rebounds in his return after sitting out the 2011-12 season.
Patriot League Notebook
Four Patriot League teams have opened their home schedules this week, and all four have posted victories. After Bucknell beat George Mason 61-56 on Tuesday, Colgate topped Marist 74-60 and Holy Cross held off Maine 57-54 on Wednesday in home openers and American knocked off Mount St. Mary's 62-57 on Thursday. Also, Lafayette beat LIU-Brooklyn 98-94 in overtime on Monday and Navy routed Binghamton 75-52 Wednesday as Patriot League teams are 6-0 at home this week and 7-2 for the season. Army welcomes Binghamton for its home opener on Friday, while Lehigh will be the last team to open its home slate when it takes on Fairfield as part of the NIT Season Tip-Off on Monday.
What a Week!
Patriot League teams are 8-1 for the first four days this week, with the only loss coming for Lehigh against perennial NCAA Tournament contender Pittsburgh on Tuesday. All teams in action have won one game, as Lehigh, Lafayette and American topped opponents from the Northeast Conference on Monday, Bucknell beat George Mason Tuesday and Colgate, Holy Cross and Navy all won at home on Wednesday. American wrapped up the mid-week action with a win over Mount St. Mary's on Thursday.
Everyone In the Win Column
Colgate became the last Patriot League team to earn its first win on Wednesday, while that victory coupled with Navy's triumph over Binghamton put the League in elite company early in the year. Heading into the weekend,, the Patriot League is one of only four conferences in the nation where every team hae a win over a Division I opponent. The only other leagues in that company are the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big Ten and Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Patriot League is one of eight conferences where every team has a win overall, including non-Division I opponents.
Bucknell Off To Fast Start Against Strong Opponents
Bucknell has started the season with a pair of five-points wins against perennial NCAA Tournament contenders. The Bison topped Purdue 70-65 on the road on Friday, then opened their home schedule with a 61-56 win over George Mason on Tuesday. The victory over Purdue was the first for Bucknell over a Big Ten opponent, and third for a Patriot League team. Two of those have come within a calendar year as Lafayette posted a 61-57 win at Penn State on Dec. 7 of last year. Tuesday night's win puts the Patriot League at 2-0 against opponents from the Colonial Athletic Association this season.
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. McCollum added a spot as a Naismith Award candidate on Tuesday. He was a first-team preseason All-America selection from the Associated Press, Sporting News and a panel at ESPN.com. 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 MidMajorMadness.com called McCollum one of the top Mid-Major players in the nation, and listed Muscala as one of five to watch. Both student-athletes were also named Senior CLASS Award candidates along with Lehigh's Gabe Knutson.
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 come in at No. 6 in the latest ranking on Monday, while the Bison move up a spot to No. 15. Bucknell also garnered votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll on Monday following its season-opening win against Purdue.
AMERICAN Every Patriot League team has won a game this week as American continued the run of success in home openers with a 62-57 triumph over Mount St. Mary's on Thursday at Bender Arena...Daniel Munoz made a pair of free throws to give American a 59-57 lead with 13 seconds left, and after a turnover he sealed the win with a pair at the line with four seconds to play...Stephen Lumpkins led the way with a 21-point, 11-rebound double-double, making 7-of-8 shots from the field and 7-of-9 at the line...Mike Bersch came off the bench to score 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc...The Eagles made 50 percent from the field (18-of-36) and three-point line (6-of-12) and held a 34-19 rebounding edge to overcome 23 turnovers...The Eagles are back in action on Monday at home against San Francisco.
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 are off to an impressive 2-0 start with a 61-56 win at home against George Mason on Tuesday following a 70-65 win in their season opener at Purdue on Friday...Bucknell got 16 points and 15 rebounds from Mike Muscala in the victory over George Mason, while Bryson Johnson totaled 16 points while making 4-of-7 three-pointers...Bucknell used a 15-4 run to open a 48-35 lead with 8:56 to play, and got a key three-pointer by Cameron Ayers with 2:21 left and a pair of free throws from Muscala with eight seconds to go to seal the win after George Mason missed a three-pointer to tie...The win over Purdue was Bucknell's first over a Big Ten opponent, and marked the second straight season that a Patriot League team has knocked off a Big Ten foe...Muscala is averaging 15.0 points and a Patriot League-best 12.5 rebounds through the first two games, and he is up to 26 career double-doubles after doing so in each contest...Bucknell has a busy weekend as it ventures to Niagara Falls, N.Y. as part of the 2K Sports Classic...The Bison take on host Niagara on Friday, New Mexico State, a 2012 NCAA Tournament team, on Saturday and Division II West Alabama on Sunday.
COLGATE The Raiders put all eight Patriot League teams in the win column with a 74-60 triumph over Marist in the home opener at Cotterell Court on Wednesday.. Senior Brandon James led the way with 25 points, while Pat Moore added 15 points and Murphy Burnatowski scored 12...Colgate led by as many as 19 points in the first half and never let the advantage slip below nine while going on to the 74-60 win...Burnatowski averaged 23.5 points in two games over the weekend and is third in the Patriot League with 19.7 points per game for the year...Colgate completes its early-season play in the EA Sports Maui Invitational over the weekend as it plays games on the mainland in Elon, N.C...The Raiders will open up against host Elon on Saturday, then play either Coppin State or Florida Atlantic on Sunday.
HOLY CROSS The Crusaders opened their home slate with another close win as they got a pair of key buckets down the stretch from Phil Beans and beat Maine 57-54 on Wednesday at the Hart Center... Holy Cross won for the third time in four games to start the year, with each victory coming by three points or less...Beans scored a career-high 19 points, and gave Holy Cross the lead for good with a steal and layup for a 52-50 advantage with four minutes left...He followed it up with a three-pointer for a 55-50 edge with 3:16 left as the Crusaders went on to the 57-54 win...Jordan Stevens had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Dave Dudzinski just missed one with 10 points and nine boards...Holy Cross had previously posted a pair of one-point wins over the weekend at the Liberty Tax Classic, where they beat host Old Dominion 46-45 on Friday and Morgan State 74-73 on Sunday...The Crusaders are now off for a week until they return to action at St. John's on Wednesday...The game will be shown on SportsNet New York at 7:30 p.m.
LAFAYETTE Sophomores Dan Trist and Seth Hinrichs combined for 50 points as the Leopards won a shootout with LIU-Brooklyn 98-94 in overtime on Monday...Trist had a career-high 30 on 14-of-18 shooting while Hinrichs added 20 as the Leopards made 34-of-64 shots and 8-of-16 three-pointers...The Leopards held a small lead throughout the overtime, icing the win on a pair of free throws by Hinrichs with 19 seconds to play...Tony Johnson had 16 points and Joey Ptasinski added 12, with the quartet of top scorers combining to shoot 29-of-41 from the field...Trist has been an outstanding 21-of-25 from the field in Lafayette's first two games...The Leopards play three challenging road games in a five-day span as part of the Barclays Center Classic...Lafayette is at No. 3 Kentucky on Friday (Fox Sports South), heads to Morehead State on Sunday and visits Maryland next Tuesday.
LEHIGH Lehigh had a chance to make it to the NIT Season Tip-Off championship round at Madison Square Garden, but could not keep up in the second half as Pittsburgh pulled away for a 78-53 win at home in a game shown on ESPNU Tuesday...Lehigh was within 35-32 early in the second half before the Panthers blew the game open with a 28-7 stretch...C.J. McCollum led the Mountain Hawks with 17 points...Gabe Knutson added 12 points, but no other Lehigh player scored more than five...Lehigh advanced to the matchup with the Panthers by routing Robert Morris 89-60 on Monday...McCollum had 19 points to lead the way as five players scored in double figures...Lehigh will host an NIT Season Tip-Off bracket next week, facing Fairfield on Monday and Penn on Tuesday with both games tippiing at 8:30 p.m.
NAVY Tilman Dunbar had 16 points and 11 assists to lead Navy to an easy 75-52 win over Binghamton on Wednesday...The 11 assists tied a school record by a freshman, last accomplished in 1995...Navy closed the first half with a 12-2 run to take a 37-26 lead at the break, then outscored Binghamton 25-7 in the final 10 minutes of the game to pull away for the 75-52 win...Worth Smith added 13 points in the win, while Thurgood Wynn scored 11...Navy won its 1,300th game all-time and now stands with a 1,300-942 record in its 106th season of basketball...The Mids also snapped a 23-game losing streak to Division opposition with the win over Binghamton...Navy held its third straight opponent to under 55 points to start the season...The Mids begin their first road trip of the year on Sunday when they visit UAB.