Bison Men's Basketball Looking for Bounceback at Binghamton Tuesday Night

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Mike Muscala
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG
Mike Muscala
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG

Dec. 5, 2011

WHAT: Bucknell (5-4) at Binghamton (0-6)
WHERE: Events Center, Vestal, N.Y.
WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m. ET
LIVE WEBCAST: bubearcats.com video camera
RADIO: Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM) and SportsJuice.com
LIVE STATS: bubearcats.com
Complete Game Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

With a Win over Binghamton, Bucknell Would ...
• ... snap a two-game losing streak and improve to 6-4 on the season.
• ... improve to 2-4 on the road.
• ... defeat the Bearcats for the second straight year and improve to 3-1 all-time against them.
• ... win its final game heading into the exams break for the second year in a row.

Headlines
• Bucknell travels to Binghamton Tuesday night looking to bounce back from Saturday’s one-sided loss at La Salle. After winning five games in a row, the Bison have now dropped two straight at George Mason and La Salle to fall to 5-4 on the season.
• The Bison are wrapping up their busiest stretch of the season. This will be their sixth game in a 12-day span. Rest is on the way, however, as the Binghamton game will the last before an 11-day layoff for final exams.
Mike Muscala continues to lead the Bison in scoring (12.1), rebounding (8.9) and blocked shots (2.0). He leads the Patriot League in rebounding by a wide margin, and he has four double-doubles in nine games this season. Cameron Ayers has tied Muscala for the team scoring lead at 12.1 ppg. Ayers is averaging 16.5 ppg in his last four games.
• The Bison were unanimously picked as the preseason favorite in the Patriot League by the league’s head coaches and SIDs.
• Bucknell returned four starters and 10 lettermen from last year’s Patriot League championship squad.
• Binghamton is searching for its first victory of the season. The Bearcats are 0-6, with two of the losses coming at home against Patriot League foes Colgate (78-74) and Army (70-50). Their other four losses have come on the road against Cornell (76-61), Fordham (64-49), St. Peter’s (66-43) and Missouri (88-59).

How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Binghamton game will not be televised, however a live webcast will be available at BUbearcats.com (subscription rates apply).
• The game can be heard in the Susquehanna Valley on the radio on Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM), with Doug Birdsong and Terry Conrad describing the action. The pregame show begins 30 minutes before tip-off.
• The audio feed is available online free of charge via BucknellBison.com and SportsJuice.com.
• Live statistics are available at BUbearcats.com.

Bucknell vs. Binghamton
• This will be the fourth all-time meeting between the Bison and Bearcats, with the Bison holding a 2-1 series lead.
• So far, the home team has won every game in the series. In 2008-09, Bucknell defeated the NCAA Tournament-bound Bearcats 63-60 at Sojka Pavilion. A year later, Binghamton returned the favor with a 64-60 victory at the Events Center. In last season’s home opener, the Bison won 66-38 at Sojka Pavilion.
• In last season’s game in Lewisburg, Mike Muscala scored 16 points to lead Bucknell to its most one-sided victory in five seasons. The Bison overcame a slow start with a 23-0 run, holding the Bearcats scoreless for 13 minutes. Defensively, Bucknell held Binghamton to 20.0% shooting in the first half and 24.6% for the game. Greer Wright led the Bearcats with 21 points.
• Two years ago at the Events Center in Binghamton, the Bison struggled offensively throughout the game and fell 64-60. Just two days after scoring 98 points in an overtime loss to Cornell, Bucknell managed only 13 first-half points. Even with one second-half flurry, the Bison could not fully recover from an 18-point deficit. Muscala led the Bison with 14 points, while G.W. Boon hit four 3-pointers for 12 points. Wright led Binghamton with 16 points.

Bucknell vs. The America East
Bucknell is 17-12 (.586) all-time against the current members of the America East. The Bison are 6-2 against UMBC, 4-2 vs. Albany, 2-2 vs. Maine, 2-1 vs. Binghamton, 1-1 vs. Hartford, 2-2 vs. Boston University and 0-2 vs. Vermont.

Last Time Out
• It was all La Salle on Saturday afternoon at Tom Gola Arena, as the Explorers led wire-to-wire and defeated Bucknell 78-52, avenging a 12-point home loss to the Bison from last season.
Joe Willman scored 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting, but the rest of the starting lineup went 5-for-28 from the field.
• Bucknell shot just 32.8% as a team, including a 4-for-17 afternoon at the 3-point arc.
• Freshman Joshea Singleton had a nice game off the bench, totaling eight points, a career-high eight rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot in 21 minutes of action.
Cameron Ayers also scored eight points, giving him 66 in his last four games.
• Bucknell finished with a 38-33 edge on the glass. It was Bucknell’s seventh straight game in which it has outrebounded its opponent.

Stats Worth Noting
• Bucknell has been dominant on the glass of late. After going -15 in rebound margin against Minnesota and Vanderbilt to start the season, the Bison are +67 since then.
• A big part of Bucknell’s rebounding success has been limiting opponents’ second chances. The Bison have held eight of their last nine foes to eight or fewer offensive rebounds. That has been a key strength, as Bucknell is also holding opponents to 39.4% shooting on the season, the best mark in the Patriot League.
• Last Wednesday’s game against George Mason marked the first time this season the Bison lost when outrebounding an opponent. They are now 5-2 in those games.
• The Bison have had more assists than turnovers in five games this season and lead the Patriot League in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2). Individually, Steven Kaspar (2.1) and Bryan Cohen (1.9) rank 1-2 in the Patriot League in that category.
• Ayers is Bucknell’s leader in both minutes played (274) and fewest turnovers (6). Ayers has has just one TO in his last five games.
• Bucknell ranked third in the nation in free-throw shooting last season at 78.8%, but this year the Bison are shooting just 71.3% as a team.
• Bucknell has three players scoring in double digits: Mike Muscala (12.1), Cameron Ayers (12.1) and Joe Willman (10.6). Bryson Johnson had also been in double figures before being held scoreless in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
• Bucknell has gotten a big lift off the bench so far from newcomers Brian Fitzpatrick and Steven Kaspar. Fitzpatrick, a junior forward in his first eligible season after transferring from Penn, is 13-for-21 from the floor and is averaging 4.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in 11.4 minutes per game. Kaspar, a freshman point guard, has not scored much yet, but he leads the team in steals (9) and ranks No. 2 in assists (27).
• Eight Bison have had at least one double-digit scoring game this season, and 10 of the 14 on the roster have done it at least once in his career.
• Kaspar’s seven assists against West Alabama were the most by a Bison freshman since Abe Badmus had eight against Navy in 2003-04.
• Johnson’s 15 3-pointers in the wins over West Alabama and Morehead State were a school record for most threes in consecutive games.

What’s Next?
• After the Binghamton game the Bison will take some time off to focus on final exams. Next up is Richmond on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.
• The Spiders advanced to the Sweet 16 at last year’s NCAA Tournament, finishing 29-8 overall.
• Bucknell and Richmond played a classic game last season, with the Bison prevailing 62-61 on Mike Muscala’s shot at the buzzer.