Bucknell's Mike Muscala
Dec. 1, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Saturday was the busiest night of the non-League season for Patriot League men's basketball squads, with Bucknell, Lehigh and American all winning with all eight teams in action.
The Bison rallied from a 17-point deficit for a 65-57 win at Columbia, the Mountain Hawks routed Fairleigh Dickinson 102-62 and the Eagles closed strong for a 61-51 win over St. Francis (Pa.). Holy Cross, Colgate, Lafayette, Navy and Army all fell on the road.
Bucknell (7-1) trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half, but battled back and earned a 65-57 victory at Columbia. Mike Muscala had a huge night to lead the way by scoring 29 points and pulling down 19 rebounds. Muscala made 10-of-17 shots from the field and 8-of-10 at the line. The Bison were down 28-11 with 6:40 left in the first half, but got back to within 32-25 at the break. Bucknell continued to climb back in the second half and finally took the lead for good on Muscala's jumper that made it 56-55 with 3:35 left and ignited an 11-2 game-ending run. Muscala had 19 points and 11 rebounds in the second half alone. He joins former Colgate star Adonal Foyle as the only two players in Patriot League history with 1,500 points and 800 rebounds. Joe Willman added 13 points as the Bison won their eighth straight game against an Ivy League opponent.
Lehigh (6-2) gave Head Coach Brett Reed his 100th career victory in impressive fashion as the Mountain Hawks dominated Fairleigh Dickinson 102-62 at Stabler Arena. Lehigh opened up a 46-17 lead by halftime and shot 38-of-60 (63.3%) in the game and 11-of-19 (57.9%) from three-point range. C.J. McCollum led the Mountain Hawks with 23 points in only 24 minutes played, while Stefan Cvrkalj scored 20 off the bench, Gabe Knutson scored 16 and Holden Greiner added 11. Reed became the fastest coach to reach 100 wins in Patriot League history, doing so in his 164th game.
American (3-4) took the lead for good with four minutes to play as part of a 14-2 game-ending run in its 61-51 victory over St. Francis (Pa.). Tony Wroblicky put American up 51-49 and then hit two more shots as the Eagles went on the clinching run. Stephen Lumpkins led the way with 22 points and seven rebounds, while Mike Bersch scored 14 points and Wroblicky added 10.
It was another tight, low-scoring game for Holy Cross (4-4), but this time the Crusaders were on the wrong side of a 48-45 final at Hartford. The Hawks went on an 11-0 second-half run to take the lead and eventually opened up a 42-28 advantage with eight minutes left, but Holy Cross got back to within one at 46-45 with 17.8 seconds left. Justin Burrell had a chance to tie it at the buzzer for the Crusaders, but his three-point attempt was off the mark. Dave Dudzinski led the Crusaders with 13 points and 15 rebounds, while Burrell added 10.
Colgate (3-5) tried to fight back late but could not catch up to regional rival Cornell and fell to the Big Red 70-63 on the road. Cornell used a 15-3 run to open up a 62-50 lead with 6:02 left, and Colgate was not able to get any closer than six points the rest of the way. Murphy Burnatowski led the Raiders with 24 points, while Brandon James had 11 points and 11 rebounds and Luke Roh just missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
LIU-Brooklyn got revenge on Lafayette (2-7) in the teams' second meeting of the season by downing the visiting Leopards 71-60. Lafayette held a 28-25 lead at the half and was up by three with under 12 minutes to play, but LIU-Brooklyn put together an 11-3 run late in the second half to take control.
Navy (4-5) had another stellar defensive effort, but could not hit enough shots itself and fell 51-41 at Tulane. The Mids held the Green Wave to just 27.7% shooting from the field, but saw Tulane hit 21-of-29 at the line to earn the win. Navy fell behind by 10 points at the half and never got closer than five after intermission. Brandon Venturini and Worth Smith led the Mids with 11 points apiece.
Army (3-3) had its lowest point total of the season in a 70-59 loss to Bryant. The Black Knights trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half, and never got closer than seven after intermission. Ella Ellis led the Black Knights with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Patriot League teams are now off until Tuesday.
Recaps and box scores from Saturday's contests are included below.