Patriot League Men's Basketball Weekend Preview - 11.21.13

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Boston University's Maurice Watson Jr.
Boston University's Maurice Watson Jr.

Nov. 21, 2013

Patriot League Men's Basketball Weekend Preview - 11.21.13 Get Acrobat Reader | Patriot League Men's Basketball Gameday Central: Nov. 22-24

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Eight Patriot League men's basketball teams are in action this weekend, with multiple games for Boston University at the 2K Sports Subregional in Irvine, Calif. and Holy Cross in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Uncasville, Conn.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*Eight Patriot League teams are in action this weekend, with multiple games for two squads.
*Boston University will play contests on three consecutive days in the 2K Sports Classic Subregional in Irvine, Calif.
*Holy Cross has games on Saturday and Sunday as part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Uncasville, Conn.
*Colgate hosts St. Francis (Pa.) and Navy welcomes UMBC in Saturday games on Patriot League Network.
*Lafayette, Bucknell and American are on the road Saturday, with Army at Notre Dame on ESPN3 Sunday at 2 p.m.
*Patriot League teams are a combined 12-4 versus the America East, MAAC, Northeast Conference and Ivy League.
*At least five games this weekend will come against teams from those conferences in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region.
*Loyola Maryland is off to a 4-0 start after rallying for a 93-89 overtime win at UMBC on Wednesday.
*Dylon Cormier scored 34 points in the win, and is third in the nation with 29.8 per game for the season.
*Colgate defeated regional rival Cornell 81-58 in its home opener on Wednesday.
*All 10 Patriot League teams have now played at home, with a combined mark of 8-3 in those games.

Patriot League Notebook
Loyola Comes Back Again to Remain Undefeated
Loyola Maryland has enjoyed a wild ride in its first two weeks as a Patriot League member. The Greyhounds are undefeated at 4-0 with victories where they came back in the second half each time. No win was more dramatic than Wednesday's triumph over UMBC where Loyola erased a 17-point deficit in the second-half and a double-digit margin with under two minutes to go to win 89-83 in overtime. All four of Loyola's victories have come by seven points or less, with a pair in overtime and another by five points.

Cormier Leading the Greyhounds, Among the Top Scorers in Division I
Loyola's success can in part be traced to the great start for senior guard Dylon Cormier, who had 34 points and 11 rebounds in Wednesday's win at UMBC. The 34 points matched his career high set against Cornell on Nov. 10, and the line was identical to that game for points and rebounds as Cormier tallied his second career double-double. He also had 31 points in the season opener at Binghamton on Nov. 8, which at the time was a career-high, and 20 in a win over Fairfield on Saturday. Cormier stands third in the country with 29.8 points per game, and shares the Patriot League lead with 8.0 rebounds per contest.

Boston University, Holy Cross Headline Weekend Schedule
Eight Patriot League teams are in action this weekend, with Boston University and Holy Cross seeing the court multiple times in tournament play. The Terriers will take part in the 2K Sports Classic Subregional in Irvine, Calif., where they will play Eastern Washington on Friday, host school UC Irvine on Saturday and LIU Brooklyn on Sunday. Holy Cross will stay closer to home as it competes in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Uncasville, Conn. against Belmont on Saturday and either Hofstra or Hartford on Sunday. Five of the other teams in action will play on Saturday, including Colgate hosting St. Francis (Pa.) and Navy welcoming UMBC in games shown on Patriot League Network. Lafayette goes to NJIT, Bucknell is at Albany and American heads to Mount St. Mary's to fill out the day's schedule, while Army heads to Notre Dame Sunday in a game shown on ESPN3 at 2 p.m. To follow the action throughout the weekend, go to Patriot League Men's Basketball Gameday Central

Home Sweet Home
Colgate became the last Patriot League team to open its home schedule when it beat regional rival Cornell 81-58 on Wednesday. The Raiders also became the eighth squad to win their home opener after Lehigh, Holy Cross, Boston University, Navy, American, Loyola and Bucknell did so last week. Patriot League teams are a combined 8-3 at home this season. Colgate and Navy will be the first to have a chance to put a second win up on their home court when the play on Saturday.

Regional Rulers
Patriot League teams have fared well so far against opponents from the other Mid-Major conferences in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Region. League squads are a combined 12-4 against the America East, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Northeast Conference and Ivy League. Familiar opponents have yielded good results, as a pair of League squads have already beaten Binghamton, UMBC, Cornell and Fairfield. League squads are 5-0 against the America East and 3-0 versus the MAAC. There are at least five contests against teams from the four conferences on the weekend schedule.

Working Overtime
Part of the record against regional conferences has come from success in the overtime session. Each of the five overtime games this season have been against teams from the four conferences, and Patriot League teams are 4-1 in those games. Loyola already has two overtime wins as it added an 89-83 win at UMBC on Wednesday to its 93-89 victory over Cornell on Nov. 10. American also hit last-second shots in regulation and overtime for a 63-61 win over UMBC last Thursday, while Holy Cross outlasted Sacred Heart 122-118 on Nov. 13 in double OT. Lafayette was the only team to fall, dropping an 81-80 final to Princeton Wednesday. The Patriot League team has come back from a second-half deficit in eight of 16 wins this season, inclduing all four for Loyola.

400-Assist Men
Two players from the preseason All-Patriot League Team are on track to finish with numbers among the League all-time leaders in assists. Lehigh's Mackey McKnight became the 12th player in Patriot League history with 400 career assists on Friday, and is now up to 415 all-time. He's just ahead of Boston University senior DJ Irving at 404 career assists, though Irving's total before this season will not count towards the official Patriot League record book.

Dialing Long Distance
Patriot League teams tend to be proficient from three-point land, and that is no different early in the 2013-14 season. Colgate is fourth in the nation with 12.0 three-pointers per game, while Army (9.0) and Lafayette (8.7) also stand in the NCAA top 50. Bucknell and Colgate are each making over 42% of their shots from beyond the arc to rate in the top 35 in Division I.

Record-Setting Opening Week in the Patriot League
A handful of Patriot League records that had held since the 1990s went down just a week into the season. Holy Cross broke two of them on Nov. 13, 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 Nov. 8.

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.

Boston University, Loyola Maryland Join in 2013-14
Boston University and Loyola University Maryland enter the Patriot League for their first season in 2013-14. It is the first time in more than a decade that the League's make-up changed, dating back to American's entrance in the 2001-02 season. With the Terriers and Greyhounds joing the group, the Patriot League schedule will remain a double round-robin with each team playing 18 League games. The Patriot League schedule begins on Jan. 2.

Team Notebooks
AMERICAN American hung tough with one of the top teams in the country before falling 63-52 at No. 8/8 Ohio State on Wednesday...The Eagles held the lead until under four minutes remained in the first half before Ohio State closed with a 28-23 edge at the break...American was still within 51-44 before Ohio State pulled away for good with a 9-0 run...Jesse Reed led the Eagles with 15 points, while Tony Wroblicky added 14 and Darius Gardner scored 10...It was the first action for the Eagles since a 63-61 overtime win against UMBC gave Head Coach Mike Brennan his first victory on Thursday...Wroblicky leads the Patriot League in blocks while Gardner tops the charts in steals, with each player among the NCAA leaders in his category...American continues its four-game road trip on Saturday when it visits Mount St. Mary's.

ARMY The Black Knights were within five points early in the second half before Delaware went on a 23-5 run to take command in an 89-74 win on Tuesday..Kevin Ferguson had his first double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Dylan Cox and Kyle Wilson also finished with 14 points...Army shot just 2-of-21 from three-point range, and dropped its second straight home game..Ferguson stands second in the Patriot League in both blocked shots (3.3) and field-goal percentage (.650)...Army is back in action when it visits Notre Dame Sunday at 2 p.m. on ESPN3.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY The Terriers have a busy weekend ahead as they play three games in as many days in a pod of the 2K Sports Classic in Irvine, Calif...Boston University opens against Eastern Washington on Friday, faces host UC Irvine on Saturday and takes on LIU Brooklyn on Sunday...LIU Brooklyn is the defending Northeast Conference champion, UC Irvine matches the vote total of the Terriers in the Mid-Major top 25 and Eastern Washington holds a 2-1 record...It will be the first action for the Terriers since a 77-60 loss to then No. 19/20 Connecticut on Sunday...Connecticut closed with a 35-17 stretch after Boston University had taken a lead with a 30-10 run...Boston University led a top-25 opponent in the second half for the first time since 2008...Dom Morris (17.5) and Maurice Watson Jr (15.7) each rank in the top 10 in the Patriot League in scoring, with Watson also leading the League and placing among the NCAA leaders with 6.0 assists and 2.7 steals per game.

BUCKNELL Bucknell was up by as many as nine points in the second half, but St. John's turned it around with an 11-0 run midway through the half to go on to a 67-63 win over the Bison on Tuesday...The run put the Red Storm up 59-51 with 5:01 left, and Bucknell never got closer than four the rest of the way...Cameron Ayers led Bucknell with a career-high 25 points, while Brian Fitzpatrick finished with 12 and Dom Hoffman scored 10...It was the third solid road performance for Bucknell against a major conference opponent this season...The Bison also beat Penn State 90-80 on Nov. 12, and fell at Stanford 72-68 on Nov. 8...The win over the Nittany Lions snapped a 12-game losing streak in the series and was Bucknell's first over Penn State since 1976..Ayers had 19 points in that game and 16 in a 72-50 home win over St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday to earn the Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award on Monday...He has made 12-of-15 three-point attempts in the past three games...Bucknell came in just two spots outside the rankings in the College Mid-Major top 25 on Monday...The Bison complete their week at Albany on Saturday.

COLGATE Colgate opened its home schedule with its biggest win over rival Cornell since 1952 with an 81-58 triumph on Wednesday...The Raiders closed the first half with a 17-7 stretch to go up 38-29 at the break, and scored the first nine points of the second half to pull away for good...Murphy Burnatowski led Colgate with 19 points, Ethan Jacobs had a career-high 15 and four other players added eight...Luke Roh had team highs of six rebounds and six assists to go with his eight points...Roh leads the Patriot League in field-goal percentage by making 11-of-14 shots in Colgate's first three games...Colgate made 29-of-53 shots, 11-of-23 three-pointers and 12-of-14 free throws in the win over Cornell...The Raiders lead the Patriot League and rank fourth in the country with 12.0 three-pointers per game, and are 32nd nationally by making 42.4% of their shots from long range...Colgate is the lone Patriot League team to play at home this weekend as the Raiders welcome St. Francis (Pa.) to Cotterell Court on Saturday at 2 p.m. on Patriot League Network.

HOLY CROSS The Crusaders clamped down defensively for a 63-49 win at Fairfield on Wednesday night...Holy Cross took a 29-22 lead at halftime, and used a late 13-2 run to put the game away...Cullen Hamilton and Malachi Alexander each led the way for Holy Cross with 13 points...Holy Cross held Fairfield to 33.3 percent shooting overall (17-of-51) and 30.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc (7-of-23)...Dave Dudzinski (17.3) and Hamilton (16.3) are each in the top 10 in the Patriot League in scoring, while Alexander (14.0) leads all freshmen and stands 13th overall in the League...The Crusaders are one of two schools with three players in the top 15 on the League scoring chart...Holy Cross has a pair of games this weekend at the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Uncasville, Conn...The Crusaders open on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. against Belmont, a team that just won at North Carolina on Sunday and is ranked fifth in the College Mid-Major top 25 poll...Holy cross will play either Hofstra or Hartford on Sunday evening.

LAFAYETTE The Leopards erased a nine-point deficit with just over four minutes to play in regulation, but Princeton held on for the 81-80 win in overtime on Wednesday...The Leopards fell behind by five points two minutes into the extra session, and were never able to make up the deficit...Lafayette closed regulation on an 11-2 run, tying the score at 68-68 on a bucket by Dan Trist with 18 seconds to play...Seth Hinrichs led Lafayette with a career-high tying 27 points, making 8-of-11 field goals, 2-of-4 from long range and 9-of-10 at the foul line...Trist (19), Bryce Scott (12) and Joey Ptasinski (11) also finished in double figures... Lafayette fell despite making 28-of-48 shots, 6-of-11 three-pointers and 18-of-22 free throws...Hinrichs is second in the Patriot League with 19.3 points per game, while Scott (16.0) stands ninth and Trist (14.7) is 12th...Lafayette is one of two schools with three players in the top 15 in the League...The Leopards go for their first win of the year when they visit NJIT Saturday.

LEHIGH The Mountain Hawks have dropped three consecutive games as they fell 77-58 at Pittsburgh on Wednesday... Lehigh fell behind by 24 points at halftime before holding a five-point edge in the second half...Freshman Tim Kempton had 20 points to lead the way, while Stefan Cvrklaj made all three of his three-pointers to finish with nine...Lehigh has a 1-4 mark, but has played a daunting road slate with games already at Minnesota, Houston and Pittsburgh as well as Fordham...The Mountain Hawks are now off for the rest of the week before they head out to South Dakota for the Legends Classic...Lehigh opens against Texas Southern on Monday, then faces either Howard or host South Dakota State on Tuesday...Mackey McKnight will enter the contests just 19 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

LOYOLA MARYLAND The Greyhounds rallied from a 17-point deficit with under 10 minutes to play to come back for an 89-83 overtime win at UMBC on Wednesday...They were still down 10 with under a minute and a half to play before Eric Laster hit three-pointers on four consecutive possessions to trim the gap to 76-75...Dylon Cormier tied the game at 76-76 on a free throw with 11 seconds left, and UMBC missed a pair at the line that would have won it with three seconds to go...Loyola opened overtime with an 8-2 run and led by at least five points for the final 50 seconds...Cormier matched his career and season-high with 34 points, and also pulled down 11 rebounds for his second double-double...He also had a 34-point, 11-rebound double-double against Cornell in an overtime win on Nov. 10...Cormier leads the Patriot League and is third in all of Division I with 29.8 points per game, and also shares the League lead with 8.0 rebounds per game...Laster tallied a career-best 16 points, Jarred Jones had 14 points and seven rebounds and R.J. Williams tallied 10 points and six assists in the game...Loyola finished the game shooting 50 percent from the field after shooting 55.8 percent in the second half and overtime...Loyola has come back in the second half in each of its four wins this year...The Greyhounds will try to continue their undefeated run on Tuesday when they visit No. 18/18 Connecticut in a game shown on SportsNet New York.

NAVY Virginia led from start to finish in its 67-42 win over Navy on Tuesday...Brandon Venturini was the only Navy player in double figures with 15 points...Navy's two-game win streak came to an end...The Mids had made it two in a row with a convincing 68-50 win at Binghamton on Saturday...Navy opened with an 8-0 lead and stayed ahead the whole way...The Mids limited Binghamton to 13-of-46 shooting and 2-of-19 from three-point range, and had a 40-31 rebounding advantage...Navy is leading the Patriot League by allowing 59.2 points per game...The Mids start a three-game homestand when they welcome UMBC on Saturday at 7 p.m. on Patriot League Network...The homestand continues against Maryland Eastern Shore on Tuesday and The Citadel on Dec. 4.