Nov. 19, 2010
Center Valley, Pa. - Patriot League men's basketball teams have put together a 7-3 mark at home through the first week of the season, but they will all need to pick up their play on the road as none of the eight squads will tip off on their own floor this weekend.
Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 11.19.10
The slate includes two contests against top 10-ranked opponents, both of which will be shown on ESPN3. Colgate heads to No. 1 Duke to take on the Blue Devils on Friday at 8:30 p.m., while Lafayette travels south to face off with No. 6 Villanova on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Navy has the busiest weekend ahead, as the Mids head to Irvine, Calif. for their final three games in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. The Mids will take on host UC Irvine on Friday, Louisiana Tech Saturday and Seattle on Sunday.
Also heading on the road for single games over the weekend are Lehigh, American, Army, Bucknell and Holy Cross.
The defending Patriot League champion Mountain Hawks earned their first win of the season in a 73-57 triumph over Wagner on Monday, and try to make it two in a row over Northeast Conference opponents when they head to Monmouth on Friday night.
The remaining teams all play on Saturday, including American heading to Florida Atlantic for a 1 p.m. tip-off. At 3-0 with wins over Albany and Maryland-Eastern Shore earlier in the week, the Eagles are trying to extend their best start since the 1989-90 season. They also aim to knock off a team that they lost to a year ago for the fourth time in as many games.
Army heads to Bryant on Saturday afternoon for its second straight road game after a dramatic buzzer-beating 63-60 win at NJIT on Thursday night.
Bucknell can even its record at 2-2 with a win on Saturday evening at St. Francis (Pa.), a team that has already lost at American and Lafayette and defeated Colgate at home this season. The Bison earned their first victory in resounding fashion with a 66-38 win in the home opener against Binghamton Wednesday.
Holy Cross has opened 0-2 under first-year Head Coach Milan Brown, and again goes for its first win of the year when it heads to New Hampshire for the second of a five-game road trip.
Patriot League Notebook
American Off to Best Start in Over 20 Years
American won consecutive Patriot League titles in 2008 and 2009, but the Eagles are enjoying more success in the early season than they did in those years or any of their previous 10 Patriot League campaigns. In fact, American is off to a 3-0 start for the first time since the 1989-90 season. It's quite a contrast from last year's 0-7 start, and so far the Eagles are doing it against the same compeition. They have defeated St. Francis (Pa.), Albany and Maryland-Eastern Shore in the first three games, all teams that knocked off the Eagles during the slow start last season. The Eagles have a chance to earn another mark of revenge on Saturday when they visit Florida Atlantic, who won by 12 points in Washington last year.
Moldoveanu Leading the Way
American's early success would not be possible without senior forward Vlad Moldoveanu, who leads the Patriot League with 22.0 points per game and carried the Eagles to two of their three victories. He scored 24 points to help American to a 62-52 win over St. Francis (Pa.) in the season opener on Friday, and put the team on his back in the final minutes of a 65-58 win against Maryland-Eastern Shore on Wednesday. He scored 16 points in the final 4:10 as the Eagles held an 18-11 advantage down the stretch. Moldoveanu hit back-to-back three-pointers for a 53-47 edge with 3:25 to play that put the Eagles in front for good, and put the game away by making five free throws in the final 24 seconds after American's lead had been cut to two. He finished with a season-high 31 points on 9-of-15 shooting including 6-of-7 from three-point range, matching the high for a Patriot League player this season.
Black Knights Provide Drama, Points
Army played games that often slowed to a crawl in past seasons, but you don't have to be a basketball enthusiast to be entertained by the Black Knights this week. On Thursday, Jeremy Hence hit a halfcourt shot at the buzzer to lift Army to a 63-60 win at NJIT. That came after the Black Knights posted their highest point total in a regulation game since 2000-2001 in a 101-87 loss to Central Connecticut State on Monday. Julian Simmons scored 23 points and Ella Ellis tallied 20 in the game, becoming the first Army duo to score at least 20 points in the same game since Jarell Brown (25) and Matt Bell (24) against Lafayette on Feb. 21, 2007. Of course it wasn't all good, as the 101 points allowed was the most for Army since a 101-53 loss to Duke during the 2002-03 season. Army has three of the Patriot League's top six scorers so far in 2010-11, with Hence third (17.3), Simmons fourth (16.7) and Ellis tied for sixth (15.3).
Home Sweet Home
Every Patriot League team has now played at least one home game, and most enjoyed their debut in familiar surroundings. Patriot League squads hold a 7-3 record on their home floor, with the eight teams combining for a 6-2 mark in their home openers. American has a 2-0 record at home, while Lehigh, Bucknell, Navy and Lafayette each won their only appearance and Army is 1-1. Colgate and Holy Cross are the only teams without a home or overall victory. None of the eight squads play at home over the weekend, so they will have to pick up on the League's collective 2-9 mark in road/neutral contests.
Patriot League teams have only played a combined total of 21 games, but there are already three opponents that have faced multiple League foes and they all offer different results. Three Patriot League teams have played St. Francis (Pa.), with Bucknell also visiting the Red Flash on Saturday. So far American and Lafayette pulled off home victories, while Colgate lost on the road. The Raiders are also on the wrong end of the comparative scoring equation against Binghamton, as they fell to the Bearcats at home on Saturday while Bucknell posted a victory in Lewisburg on Wednesday. Army hosts Binghamton on Tuesday. Lafayette fell at Wagner to open the season on Friday, while Lehigh beat the Seahawks in Bethlehem on Monday. Wagner also visits Bucknell on Nov. 29. In addition to those teams, Columbia plays three Patriot League teams by Dec. 1 and also goes to Lafayette in January. No. 6 Villanova, Princeton, Stony Brook, Buffalo, New Hampshire, Penn and NJIT also play multiple Patriot League opponents early in the season.
Tough Tests Ahead
Patriot League teams will play two months worth of games before the first League contests on Jan. 8, and there will be plenty of matchups against top-notch competition during that stretch. There were four games against opponents from BCS-level leagues in the first week alone, includes Navy's loss at No. 25 Texas and Bucknell's defeat at No. 6 Villanova. League squads play 16 games against opponents from BCS-level conferences this season, including this weekend as Colgate heads to No. 1 Duke on Friday night and Lafayette is at No. 6 Villanova on Saturday. Both games will be shown on ESPN3.
Game of Runs for Bison
Bucknell has been on both sides of a huge scoring run in its past two games. The Bison led at Marquette, 57-45, with just over 10 minutes to play and could smell the upset until the Golden Eagles went on a 24-0 run to take control in an eventual 72-61 victory on Sunday. The Bison were on the positive side of a big run on Wednesday, as they turned an 18-12 deficit into a 35-18 lead over Binghamton with a 23-0 run that spanned the first and second half. Bucknell also closed the game on a 28-7 surge to pull away for a 66-38 victory.
Oh So Close for Colgate
Colgate is off to an 0-2 start, but it is just a few buckets away from a 2-0 record heading to No. 1 Duke on Friday night. Colgate had a shot to tie and a shot to win in the final seconds of its season opener against Binghamton, but could not convert and fell 62-60 in Hamilton. Colgate appeared to be on it way to a win at St. Francis (Pa.) holding a 65-58 lead with 2:35 remaining in the contest on Monday, but the Red Flash closed the game on an 11-1 run to upend the Raiders, 69-66. Yaw Gyawu missed a jumper for the lead with 25 seconds left, and Mike Venezia was off on a three-pointer in the final seconds.
Lafayette's Leading Men
Lafayette returned three players that averaged more than 12 points per game last year to its 2010-11 lineup, and they've each taken turns with a performance of 20 points or more through the first three games of the season. Senior Jared Mintz was the first top scorer with 21 points in a 63-58 loss to Wagner on Friday night to open the season. Junior Jim Mower came back with a career-high 31 on 8-of-11 three-point shooting in Sunday's 80-73 loss to Rider. On Wednesday it was junior Ryan Willen's turn, as he scored 26 points and pulled down seven rebounds in a 72-68 win over St. Francis (Pa.). Willen is ffith in the Patriot League with 16.3 points per game, while Mintz and Mower are tied for sixth at 15.3 points per contest.
Holy Cross' Keister, Lehigh's Keefer Named Senior CLASS Award Candidates
Holy Cross' Andrew Keister and Lehigh's Rob Keefer were among two of 30 men's basketball student-athletes nationally who were named to the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award preseason candidate list. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
Patriot League on CBS College Sports Network
For the second straight year, Patriot League regular season and postseason contests will be shown nationally on CBS College Sports Network. The Patriot League and CBS College Sports Network entered into an agreement for the 2011 season that showcases 10 contests, including three Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament games. The Patriot League Tournament coverage begins with a men's quarterfinal game on March 2 at 7 p.m. Both men's basketball semifinal contests will be shown on CBS College Sports Network on March 6, with a tip-off at 5 p.m. followed by a 7:30 p.m.
start. Seven Patriot League men's basketball contests will be broadcast by CBS College Sports Network during the regular season, with the return of the flex schedule on the final two weekends. Patriot League coverage starts on Jan. 16 when Holy Cross visits Bucknell at 2 p.m. In addition, Navy homes games against Bucknell (Jan. 8) and Army (Feb. 19) were picked up by the network. CBS College Sports Network is available through cable operators as well as on DIRECTV Channel 613 and Dish Network Channel 152. The Patriot League Championship game will continue to be shown on ESPN2, and will be played on Friday, March 11 at 4:45 p.m.
More Television Coverage
In addition to the national games shown on CBS College Sports Network and the League Championship on ESPN2, individual schools announced a number of non-League and Patriot League contests that will feature regional coverage or national streaming in the 2010-11 season. A total of 39 games are already scheduled for broadcast in the 2010-11 season, with more likely to be announced in the coming weeks.
Patriot League on the Web
The Patriot League continues to increase its coverage of men's basketball at www.patriotleague.org in the 2010-11 season. A new media central page will be added as a one-stop shop for links to the 2010-11 Patriot League media guide, weekly releases, daily recaps, news articles from around the League and any videos produced by the Patriot League multimedia staff, including content from Patriot League Men's Basketball Media Day and the Patriot League's "Road to the Championship" series.
American The Eagles are off to their best start since 1989-90 as they improved to 3-0 with a 57-44 win at Albany on Monday and a 65-58 triumph over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Wednesday...Defense keyed the road win over Albany, as the Eagles held the Great Danes to just 31.5 percent from the floor...American took the lead in the early minutes and extended it throughout the game...After earning Patriot League Player of the Week honors earlier in the day, Vlad Moldoveanu led the way with 11 points, while Troy Brewer and Stephen Lumpkins each totaled 10...Moldoveanu came to the resuce in American's home victory over UMES, as he scored 16 points in the final 4:10 as the Eagles held an 18-11 advantage down the stretch...Moldoveanu hit back-to-back three-pointers for a 53-47 edge with 3:25 to play that put the Eagles in front for good, and put the game away by making five free throws in the final 24 seconds after American's lead had been cut to two...He finished with a season-high 31 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including 6-of-7 from three-point range...He matched the high for a Patriot League player this season, and leads the League with 22.0 points per game through the first three contests...American will try to extend its hot start to 4-0 when it visits Florida Atlantic on Saturday afternoon...The Eagles lost the matchup by 12 points at home last season, but they also lost to their previous three opponents during last year's 0-7 start and earned revenge this year.
Army The Black Knights earned a dramatic 63-60 win in their road opener at NJIT on Thursday to improve to 2-1 on the season...After surrendering a 60-54 lead with just over two minutes to play, Jeremy Hence hit a halfcourt buzzer-beater for the victory...Hence scored a career-high 19 points, while Ella Ellis was in double figures for a third straight game with 14...On Monday, Army posted its highest point total in a regulation game against a Division I opponent since the 2000-01 season, but it wasn't enough in a 101-87 loss to Central Connecticut State at West Point.. Army's 87 points represented its highest offensive output versus a Division I team in a game decided in regulation since a 95-89 loss to Navy in 2001...Julian Simmons scored 23 points and Ellis tallied 20, becoming first Army duo to score at least 20 points in the same game since Jarell Brown (25) and Matt Bell (24) against Lafayette on Feb. 21, 2007...Army led by 10 points in the first half, fell behind by 11 in the second half and then came back to tie the score at 74-74 before CCSU pulled away with a 25-6 run... The Blue Devils' 101 points were the most scored versus Army since a 101-53 loss to Duke during the 2002-03 season...Army plays at Bryant on Saturday...The Black Knights won the matchup by six points at home last season.
Bucknell The Bison earned their first victory of the season, using a 23-0 run that spanned the first and second halves to pull away for an easy 66-38 win over Binghamton in the home opener in Lewisburg...It was the largest margin of victory under third-year Head Coach Dave Paulsen... Bucknell scored the final 13 points of the first half to take a 25-18 lead at the break, and extended the run to 23-0 with the first 10 points of the second half...After Binghamton closed the gap to seven points with 12 minutes to go, Bucknell finished the game on a 28-7 run to coast to victory...The Bison held Binghamton to just 24.6 percent shooting, including a 6-for-30 clip in the first half... Mike Muscala led Bucknell with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Bryson Johnson scored 10...Bucknell will try to even its record at 2-2 when it visits St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday...The Bison are already the fourth Patriot League team to play the Red Flash, who lost at American (Friday) and Lafayette (Wednesday) while beating Colgate at home (Monday)...Bucknell defeated St. Francis (Pa.) by 12 points at home last season.
Colgate The Raiders have lost their first two games by a combined total of five points after surrendering a seven-point lead with 2:35 remaining in a 69-66 loss at St. Francis (Pa.)...The Raiders held a 65-58 advantage, but the Red Flash closed the game on an 11-1 run...Mike Venezia scored 19 points while Yaw Gyawu added 18 to lead the Raiders...Gyawu is third in the Patriot League with 19.0 points per game for the season...Colgate continues its four-game road trip with the toughest opponent possible, as the Raiders head to Durham, North Carolina to take on No. 1 Duke on Friday at 8:30 p.m....The game will be shown on ESPN3.
Holy Cross The Crusaders fell to 0-2 under first-year Head Coach Milan Brown with a 72-49 loss at Harvard on Wednesday... The Crimson took the lead in the early going and went up by as many as 33 points in the second half...R.J. Evans led the Crusaders with 13 points...Freshman Dave Dudzinski had eight points and five rebounds...The Crusaders continue their five-game road trip when they visit New Hampshire on Saturday evening.
Lafayette The Leopards earned their first victory of the season with a 72-68 triumph over St. Francis (Pa.) in their home opener on Wednesday night... Lafayette never trailed, opening the game with an 11-2 run and building its lead as high as 18 points with 7:24 left before St. Francis (Pa.) got as close as four points in the final minutes...Jared Mintz hit a pair of foul shots with 44 seconds left to build the lead back to six, and another with nine seconds to play for a five-point advantage... After teammates Mintz and Jim Mower had strong outings in the first two games of the year, Ryan Willen took his turn as the go-to guy by scoring 26 points and seven rebounds...Willen is tied for fifth in the Patriot League with 16.3 points per game for the season... Mintz tallied 14 points and eight rebounds in the game...The Leopards were the third Patriot League team to play St. Francis (Pa.), and the second to beat the Red Flash after American earned a home win on Friday...Lafayette plays its next two games on the road in Philadelphia, beginning with a daunting trip to No. 6 Villanova on Saturday night...The game will be shown on ESPN3 at 7 p.m...16th-year Lafayette Head Coach Fran O'Hanlon graduated from Villanova in 1970.
Lehigh The Mountain Hawks won their home opener in convincing fashion, pulling away in the second half for a 73-57 triumph over Wagner on Monday night... Lehigh built a 40-35 lead at halftime and pulled away in the second half while holding the Seahawks to 22 points after the break...It was a bounce-back performance for Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year C.J. McCollum, who recorded his fourth-career double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds...Fellow sophomore Gabe Knutson nearly gave the Mountain Hawks a pair of double-doubles by finishing with 13 points and nine rebounds...He leads the Patriot League with 7.0 rebounds per game in the early going...Rob Keefer added 10 points, making all three of his field goal attempts and all four of his free throws...Lehigh is at Monmouth on Friday night, a team the Mountain Hawks beat 86-74 when they faced off in Bethlehem last season.
Navy The Mids used an 11-0 run midway through the second half to open their home schedule with their first win of the year, 74-62 over Neumann on Tuesday night... The Mids trailed by one point with 13:37 to go in the back-and-forth game, but took control with the 11-0 run over the next three minutes...Navy held at least a six-point lead after that point, and was up by 10 or more for the final 5:49...Greg Brown led the way with career highs of 18 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double...Jordan Sugars added 16, while freshman J.J. Avila had six points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and two steals...Navy finishes play in the 2K Sports Classic with three games in Irvine, Calif. over the weekend....The Mids open up against host UC Irvine on Friday at 10:30 p.m., then play Louisiana Tech on Saturday and Seattle on Sunday to wrap up the weekend.