Patriot League Men's Basketball Gameday: Dec. 4

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Mackey McKnight scored 21 points to lead Lehigh past Fordham.
Mackey McKnight scored 21 points to lead Lehigh past Fordham.

Dec. 4, 2012

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Patriot League teams are a combined 20-4 at home after Bucknell, Lehigh, Army and Lafayette each defended their own turf on Tuesday.

Bucknell went into its exam break with an 8-1 record after defeating Kent State 76-60, while Lehigh won its sixth in a row with an 81-63 triumph over Fordham. Army routed Hudson Valley rival Marist 91-57, and Lafayette rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit for a 61-58 win over St. Francis (Pa.). American was the only team to play on the road, and the Eagles fell at Howard 55-50.

The Bison (8-1) used a big second half to enter a 10-day exam break in style. Bucknell led Kent State 32-31 at the half, but inched ahead further throughout the second half and finally put the game out of reach with a 10-1 run that built the lead to 67-52 with 4:51 to play. Mike Muscala scored 27 points on 12-of-17 shooting and pulled down six rebounds to lead the way, while Ryan Frazier and Bryson Johnson each scored 13. Bucknell shot 29-of-53 (54.7%) from the field and held a 34-22 rebounding advantage. The Bison are 8-1 for the third time since 1940.

Lehigh (7-2) equaled its best record through nine games since 1980-81 by using a team effort to take out Fordham 81-63. All five starters scored in double figures, led by Mackey McKnight with 21 points and Gabe Knutson with 18. C.J. McCollum and Holden Greiner each added 13, while Antony D'Orazio scored 10. The Mountain Hawks shot 50% from the field (29-of-58) and had 24 assists on their 29 made field goals. Lehigh blitzed Fordham in the first half to take a 44-24 lead at the break, and led by at least nine points throughout the second half. Six of Lehigh's seven wins have come by double digits.

Army (4-3) left no question about the top team in the Hudson Valley as senior Ella Ellis led the way and a host of freshmen contributed to the 91-57 rout of Marist. Ellis had 23 points with 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc, while Kyle Toth had 20 and Dylan Cox added 14 for a freshmen class that contributed 60 points in the game. After trailing early, Army roared back to lead by 20 at intermission and held the lead higher than that throughout the second half. Army made 15-of-30 three-pointers, just one make shy of the school record, and held a whopping 53-24 rebounding advantage.

After trailing 41-26 early in the second half, Lafayette (3-7) bounced back and finally took the lead for good in the final two minutes to top St. Francis (Pa.) 61-58. The Leopards used a 16-3 run to cut their deficit to 44-42, and went ahead for good on a pair of free throws by Joey Ptasinski with 1:35 to play. Ptasinski made two more at the line with 14 seconds left for a 59-56 advantage, and St. Francis (Pa.) missed a three-pointer to tie in the closing seconds. Dan Trist led the Leopards with 16 points and Tony Johnson added 12 as Lafayette survived a poor shooting night by making 21-of-24 free throws.

American (3-5) held a small lead for most of the game, but Howard closed the contest on a 12-4 run to beat the Eagles 55-50. Daniel Munoz led the Eagles with 11 points, while Stephen Lumpkins added 10 with eight rebounds. The Eagles were outrebounded 37-23 and only went to the foul line four times.

Three teams are in action on Wednesday, with each going on the road against Northeast Conference opponents as Holy Cross visits Sacred Heart, Navy takes on Monmouth and Colgate plays Quinnipiac.

Recaps and box scores from Tuesday's games are included below.

at Bucknell 76, Kent State 60
Box Score

at Lehigh 81, Fordham 63
Box Score

at Army 91, Marist 57
Box Score

at Lafayette 61, St. Francis (Pa.) 58
Box Score

at Howard 55, American 50
Box Score