Patriot League Men's Basketball Weekend Preview - 11.30.12

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Stephen Lumpkins and American open Saturday's action at home against St. Francis (Pa.)
Stephen Lumpkins and American open Saturday's action at home against St. Francis (Pa.)

Nov. 30, 2012

Patriot League Men's Basketball Weekend Preview - 11.30.12 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- All eight Patriot League teams will take the court on Saturday as they look to pad the League's gaudy record against regional foes.

Patriot League teams are a combined 23-5 against regional conferences including the America East, CAA, Ivy League, MAAC, NEC and MEAC, and seven teams from those leagues are on Saturday's schedule.

The contests begin at Noon when American hosts St. Francis (Pa.) on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Army is at Bryant and Navy is at Tulane at 4 p.m. while Lafayette heads to LIU-Brooklyn at 4:30 p.m.

In the evening, Colgate tips off at Cornell at 6 p.m. Lehigh hosts Fairleigh Dickinson, Bucknell is at Columbia and Holy Cross goes to Hartford in games that start at 7 p.m. The slate includes four games against NEC opponents, two against the Ivy League and one versus the America East, with only Navy playing a team from outside the aforementioned leagues.

There will be additional storylines at play in a few of the contests. Lehigh's Brett Reed is going for his 100th career win, and would be the fastest Patriot League coach to hit the mark (164th game). His senior guard, C.J. McCollum, is five made free throws from a Patriot League record. Bucknell senior forward Mike Muscala enters the matchup at Columbia needing seven rebounds to become the second Patriot Leaguer in the 1,500-point/800-rebound club.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*All eight teams are in action on Saturday, witih two at home.
*Patriot League teams are 29-26 overall, and 26-14 against DI teams outside of the BCS leagues.
*The Patriot League is a combined 23-5 against regional conferences including the America East, CAA, Ivy League, MAAC, NEC and MEAC.
*Bucknell won its seventh straight game against an Ivy League team on Tuesday, while Lehigh won its eighth in a row versus an NEC foe.
*Patriot League teams are a combined 14-4 at home, and every team has already won at home at least once.
*Lehigh's Brett Reed is trying to become the fastest coach in Patriot League history to reach 100 career wins on Saturday.
*Lehigh's C.J. McCollum became the first player in the nation with three 30-point games in a 77-66 win over Quinnipiac on Tuesday.
*McCollum leads the country with 26.3 points per game for the year.
*He broke the Patriot League scoring record last week and is up to 2,258 points. *Bucknell's Mike Muscala is seven rebounds away from becoming the second Patriot Leaguer in the 1,500-point/800-rebound club.
*Muscala is 13th in the nation with 11.1 rebounds per game.

Patriot League Notebook

Saturday Special
For the first and only time during the non-League portion of the schedule, all eight teams will play on the same day. The slate on Saturday includes American, Army, Navy and Lafayette playing in the afternoon with Colgate, Lehigh, Bucknell and Holy Cross in the evening. Only the Eagles and Mountain Hawks will play at home.

Winning Against Regional Foes
Patriot League teams have done a solid job in non-League play with a 29-26 record, and it's even more impressive against teams outside of the "Big-Six" conferences. Patriot League squads are 26-14 against Division I foes outside of those top conferences, and a staggering 23-5 against regional conferences including the America East, CAA, Ivy League, MAAC, NEC and MEAC. The latter mark includes a 3-1 record this week, with seven of eight games against foes from the nearby leagues on Saturday.

Home Cooking
Patriot League teams are 14-4 on their home courts this season, and every squad has already won at least once at home. Bucknell, Holy Cross and Lehigh are all 2-0 at home while Army and Colgate have each won their only appearance on their home court. Lafayette and Navy added wins on Wednesday after Bucknell won at home on Tuesday. There will be few chances to add to the total this weekend with just two of Saturday's eight games at home.

Lehigh's Reed Aims to Become Fastest to 100 Wins
Lehigh Head Coach Brett Reed is going for his 100th career victory in his 164th game at the school on Saturday against Fairleigh Dickinson, which would make him the quickest to reach 100 wins at a school in Patriot League history. Holy Cross' Ralph Willard won his 100th game at the school in his 166th contest, while Navy's Don Devoe (173 games), Bucknell's Pat Flannery (180) and Lafayette's Fran O'Hanlon (181) also reached the mark quickly. Reed would become the eighth Patriot League coach from a seventh different school to cross the 100-win mark.

Lehigh's McCollum Sets Patriot League Scoring Mark, Leads Nation in PPG
Lehigh's C.J. McCollum became the Patriot League's all-time leading scorer on Sunday against Sacred Heart, topping the previous mark of 2,224 set by Holy Cross' Rob Feaster (1991-95). He can shatter the old mark with the bulk of the 2012-13 season remaining, and began to do that on Tuesday with 30 points in a 77-66 victory at Quinnipiac to reach 2,258 for his career. McCollum set a career high for points in a half with 25 after intermission, including 14 in the final minutes as Lehigh closed the game with a 16-4 run. He became the first player in the nation to tally three 30-point games, and through Wednesday he leads the country with 26.3 points per game for the year. He has a Patriot League record 97 career double-figure scoring games, and his 579 free throws made are just five away from Feaster's Patriot League record. McCollum is a candidate for both the Wooden Award and Naismith Award as the Division I Player of the Year.

Muscala About to Place His Name Next to Patriot League Great
Bucknell's Mike Muscala is poised to go down as one of the top players in Patriot League history, and he has the statistics to prove it. Muscala is only seven rebounds shy of the 1,500-point, 800-rebound club, a mark which has only been achieved in Patriot League history by Colgate's Adonal Foyle (1994-97). Muscala is up to third in League history in rebounds with 793, and his 1,512 points stand 22nd all-time and are just 65 away from becoming Bucknell's top scorer in the Patriot League era. Muscala is fourth in the Patriot League with 16.1 points per game while leading the way with 11.2 rebounds per contest.

Army's Ellis Not to Be Forgotten
While McCollum and Muscala have garnered most of the headlines in their careers, they are not the only standout seniors in the Patriot League. Army's Ella Ellis sent another reminder of that fact by putting up a career-high 37 points in Army's 86-83 double overtime loss against Yale on Saturday. Ellis had 16 of Army's 17 overtime points, and finished with the highest-scoring game for a Black Knight player against a Division I opponent since Mark Lueking scored 43 against Bucknell on March 4, 1995. Ellis averaged 26.0 points last week while making 13-of-27 shots (48.1%) and 20-of-23 at the line (87.0%) in Army's two games. He is up to 20th in school history with 1,136 points, and tied for sixth with 133 three-pointers.

Team Notebooks

AMERICAN American dropped its third straight contest with a 74-55 loss at Saint Joseph's on Wednesday...The Eagles had a seven-point lead with just over two minutes left in the first half, but the Hawks stormed back with the final 11 points of the period and led by double digits for the final 15 minutes of the game as they pulled away in the second half...Stephen Lumpkins had 18 pionts and seven rebounds to lead four Eagles in double figures as Tony Wroblicky scored 14 points, John Schoof added 12 and Daniel Munoz had 10...The four players accounted for all but one of American's points as the Eagles did not have any scoring off the bench...Lumpkins has joined Mike Muscala (Bucknell) as the only active players in the Patriot League with at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks...The Eagles return home on Saturday to face St. Francis (Pa.)...The game will tip off at 12 p.m. and be shown on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.

ARMY Despite a career-high 37 points from senior Ella Ellis, Army suffered a tough loss as Yale held off the Black Knights 86-83 in double overtime on Saturday...It was a back-and-forth game throughout, with Army coming back from a five-point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation to tie the score on a pair of free throws by Andrew Stire with 23 seconds to play in the game...Ellis hit a pair at the line with 38 seconds left in the first overtime to send it to a second extra session...Yale went ahead for good on a three-pointer with 32 seconds left in the second overtime, and Josh Herbeck missed a three at the buzzer that would have sent the game to another overtime session...Ellis had 16 of Army's 17 overtime points, and finished with the highest-scoring game for a Black Knight player against a Division I opponent since Mark Lueking scored 43 against Bucknell on March 4, 1995...Ellis also led the way with 15 points in a 67-59 win at St. Francis (NY) on Tuesday...The Black Knights turned a one-point lead into a comfortable 12-point margin with a 12-1 second-half run that spanned nearly six minutes...Ellis averaged 26.0 points for the week while making 13-of-27 shots (48.1%) and 20-of-23 at the line (87.0%)...He is up to 20th in school history with 1,136 points, and tied for sixth with 133 three-pointers...Army returns to action at Bryant on Saturday.

BUCKNELL Mike Muscala and Cameron Ayers each had double-doubles to lead Bucknell to a 62-49 win over Dartmouth at home on Tuesday...Ayers had 13 points and 10 rebounds to go with Muscala's 17 points and 11 boards, while Joe Willman also added 13 points and Bryson Johnson scored 10...The score was tied at 35-35 with 13:34 left before the Bison took control with nine straight points on their way to the 13-point win...Bucknell improved to 100-32 in nearly 10 full seasons at Sojka Pavilion...Muscala earned his fifth double-double of the year, good for second in Division I...He also moved within seven rebounds of joining Colgate's Adonal Foyle (1994-97) as the only players in Patriot League history with career totals of 1,500 points and 800 rebounds... The Bison won their seventh straight game against an Ivy League opponent, and face another on Saturday when they pay a visit to Columbia.

COLGATE Colgate had a difficult task as it fell 87-51 at No. 6 Syracuse on Sunday...The Raiders stayed within single digits for the first 14 minutes before the Orange pulled away. John Brandenburg, Murphy Burnatowski and Pat Moore shared team honors with eight points apiece...The Raiders split a pair of road games last week after beating St. Francis (PA) 85-76 on Nov. 21...After Colgate took a double-digit lead early in the second half, St. Franics (Pa.) rallied and the score was tied at 72-72 with under three minutes to play...Damon Sherman-Newsome hit a three-pointer with 2:29 left to put the Raiders ahead for good, and Moore delivered the dagger when his three-pointer with 33 seconds to go made it 80-74 as part of Colgate's 13-4 game-closing run...Moore led all scorers with 25 points, while Burnatowski had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Sherman-Newsome scored 12 as well and Brandon James added 10...Burnatowski (16.1 ppg) and Moore (16.0 ppg) are fourth and sixth, respectively, in scoring in the Patriot League...The Raiders head to regional rival Cornell on Saturday, where the teams will face off for the first time since the 2007-08 season...It is the 124th all-time meeting between the teams.

HOLY CROSS The Crusaders had a tough night offensively in a 61-42 loss at Providence on Wednesday...They were down by 11 points at the half and as many as 30 after intermission before inching back for the 19-point defeat...Dave Dudzinski led the way with 11 points and eight rebounds...While Holy Cross is averaging just 55.4 points per game, it is among the national leaders with a 79.4 free-throw shooting percentage...The Crusaders are also second in the Patriot League and among the national leaders by limiting their opponents to 22% shooting from beyond the arc this season...Holy Cross has held its opposition to 65 points or less in six of seven games this season...It continues a three-game road trip by visiting Hartford on Saturday.

LAFAYETTE The Leopards snapped a five-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 63-60 home win over a Delaware team that made the NIT Season Tip-Off final round last week...Lafayette went up by 20 points in the first minute of the second half, then held on as Delaware inched back throughout the period...Joey Ptasinski hit a pair of free throws with 15 seconds left for a 63-58 lead, and Lafayette held on as Delaware missed a three-pointer to tie at the buzzer...Four Leopards scored in double figures as Dan Trist led the way with 16 points and Ptasinski, Tony Johnson and Seth Hinrichs each scored 13...Lafayette rebounded from a 65-60 loss at Monmouth on Monday...Johnson nearly had a triple-double with 14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, though he also committed eight of the team's 27 turnovers...Hinrichs led the Leopards with 15 points...Lafayette is back in action on Saturday afternoon at LIU-Brooklyn...It is the second time the teams will match up this season after the Leopards recorded a 98-94 overtime win at home on Nov. 12 as part of the Barclays Center Classic.

LEHIGH Lehigh was down 62-61 with just over five minutes to go before C.J. McCollum scored 14 consecutive Mountain Hawk points to lead a 16-4 game-ending run for a 77-66 win at Quinnipiac on Tuesday...The senior guard did not score in the first 9:49 of the contest but still managed to finish with 30 points on 9-of-18 shooting along with nine rebounds and four assists without a turnover... It was McCollum's NCAA-best third 30-point game this season, and he leads the nation with 26.3 points per game...His 25 second-half points marked a career high for points in a half...Gabe Knutson had 17 points and eight boards in the win, while Mackey McKnight added seven points and seven assists...It was Lehigh's eighth straight win over a Northeast Conference opponent, including 3-0 this season...The Mountain Hawks still have three NEC foes on the schedule, beginning with Saturday's home matchup against Fairleigh Dickiknson...McCollum set the Patriot League career scoring record in Sunday's 91-77 win over Sacred Heart, and is up to 2,258 points in his career...He is still chasing the Lehigh career mark of 2,703 held by Daren Queenan...Lehigh has won four consecutive games, with three of those coming by double digits...The Mountain Hawks have topped 70 points in all but one game this year and lead the Patriot League with 77.4 points per game.

NAVY Navy jumped out to a 12-point lead just six minutes into the game and never trailed in a 54-49 win at home against IPFW on Wednesday...The Mids did have their lead cut to one point on three ocassions in the second half, but pulled ahead 40-30 with 7:35 to play after a 9-0 run...IPFW got to within three with 44 seconds left, but Navy held on as Worth Smith sealed the win with a pair of free throws with three seconds to go...Kendall Knorr led Navy with 15 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-3 from three-point range...Brandon Venturini added 11 points and Smith scored 10...At 4-4, the Mids have already surpassed last season's win total...Navy has won its last two contests, and held its opponent to under 55 points in four consecutive games and seven of eight this season...The Mids are allowing a Patriot League-low 53.4 points per game, placing them among the best teams in the nation in scoring defense...Navy heads on the road Saturday to face Tulane, a team that nipped the Mids by two points in Annapolis last season.