Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 12.10.12

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Holy Cross' Justin Burrell
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
Holy Cross' Justin Burrell
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

Dec. 10, 2012

Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 12.10.12 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- Most Patriot League schools are in exam period over the next week, and the men's basketball teams are hitting the books instead of the court.

Only four games are on the schedule for the next week, beginning with Navy hosting Bryant on Monday. It will be the last game for the Mids before they join six other schools in an exam break.

Army has the latest exam break, as the Black Knights still play at NJIT on Tuesday and host Maine on Friday before their exam period begins.

Bucknell will be the first team to return from the final exam period when it hosts La Salle on Saturday. No other Patriot League teams are back until Dec. 18.

League squads went 3-5 over the weekend, with Lehigh, Holy Cross and Lafayette registering victories. The Mountain Hawks won 83-67 at St. Francis (Pa.) and the Crusaders downed Dartmouth 67-56 on Saturday, while the Leopards got a game-winning three-pointer in the final seconds from freshman Bryce Scott for a 72-70 win over Sacred Heart.

Patriot League teams finished with a 10-7 overall mark last week after going 7-2 from Tuesday-Thursday. Seven different teams recorded victories during the stretch. League squads are 42-38 for the season, and a combined 22-6 at home.

Patriot League Anaconda Weekly Awards (Dec. 3-9)

Anaconda Player of the Week
JUSTIN BURRELL, HOLY CROSS So., G, 5-9, 165; Dumfries, Va./Potomac
Burrell had a fantastic pair of games to lead Holy Cross to two victories, averaging 24.5 points and 4.5 assists in wins over Sacred Heart and Dartmouth. He scored a career-high 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-6 from three-point range, and dished out five assists in an 83-78 win at Sacred Heart on Wednesday. Burrell followed that up with 19 points, the second-highest scoring game of his career, and four assists in a 67-56 triumph over Dartmouth on Saturday. He made 16-of-23 shots for the week (69.6%), including 7-of-9 (77.8%) from three-point range. Burrell also made all 10 of his foul shots, and sits third in the nation at 96.2% from the line for the season. Burrell, the 2011-12 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, is named Anaconda Player of the Week for the first time in his career. It is the first time a Holy Cross student-athlete has won the honor since the 2009-10 season.

Anaconda Rookie of the Week
TILMAN DUNBAR, NAVY Fr., G, 5-10, 153; Woodbridge, Va./Paul VI Catholic
Dunbar continued his outstanding freshman season with 19.0 points and 6.0 assists in two games for the Mids last week. He scored 20 points and dished out seven assists with four rebounds as Navy rallied for an 85-66 win at Monmouth on Wednesday. Dunbar had 16 of his 20 points in the second half to help Navy score 53 points after intermission. Dunbar became the first Navy freshman with 20 points, seven assists and four rebounds in a game, and first Mid to do it at all since 2006. He was nearly as dominant on Friday with 18 points and five assists in a 72-65 loss at Mount St. Mary's. Dunbar shot 14-of-20 (70%) from the field in the two games, making 7-of-10 in each contest. He leads the Mids with 10.5 points and 5.5 assists per game, with the latter mark placing him 41st in the nation and third among all Division I freshmen. Dunbar claims his first Patriot League Anaconda Rookie of the Week award.

Honorable Mention
ELLA ELLIS, ARMY Sr., F, 6-7, 195; Houston, Texas/Eisenhower (USMAPS)
Ellis scored 23 points in a pair of games for the Black Knights last week, shooting 13-of-26 from the field and 10-of-17 from three-point range in a 91-57 win over Marist and 78-70 loss at Penn State.

MIKE MUSCALA, BUCKNELL Sr., C, 6-11, 239; Roseville, Minn./Roseville
Muscala had 27 points on 12-of-17 shooting and pulled down six rebounds in a 76-60 win over Kent State on Tuesday.

C.J. McCOLLUM, LEHIGH Sr., G, 6-3, 200; Canton, Ohio/Glen Oak
McCollum averaged 21.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in a pair of wins for the Mountain Hawks last week, with his 29-point performance at St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday putting him back in the national scoring lead at 24.9 points per game.

STEPHEN LUMPKINS, AMERICAN Sr., F, 6-8, 230; Redwood City, Calif./Juniperro Serra
Lumpkins averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds in three games for the Eagles last week.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*Six of eight Patriot League teams are in their exam break.
*Navy plays its final game before its break on Monday, while Army has contests on both Tuesday and Friday.
*Bucknell is the first team to return to the court on Saturday against La Salle.
*Patriot League teams are 42-38 overall, and 39-25 against DI teams outside of the BCS leagues.
*The Patriot League is a combined 34-15 against regional conferences including the America East, CAA, Ivy League, MAAC, NEC and MEAC.
*Patriot League teams are a combined 22-6 at home.
*Lehigh's C.J. McCollum leads the nation with 24.9 points per game.
*Bucknell's Mike Muscala is sixth in Division I with 11.4 rebounds per game.
*Lafayette is 4-1 in games decided by three points or less or in overtime.
*Lehigh's 83-67 win at St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday was its seventh straight.
*The Mountain Hawks' 8-2 start is their best since 1938-39.
*Holy Cross did not trail in either of its wins last week.
*Lehigh is in the top five nationally in both free throw and three-point percentage and stands 15th in the country with 80.8 points per game.
*Four Patriot League teams are in the top 25 nationally in free throw shooting.
*Holy Cross' Justin Burrell is third in the country at 96.2% from the line.

Patriot League Notebook

Time to Study
Six of the eight Patriot League schools are now in their exam period, with Navy heading there next after it hosts Bryant on Monday. Bucknell became the first team to enter its break with a win over Kent State on Tuesday, and will also be the first to return when it hosts La Salle on Saturday. Holy Cross, Lehigh, Colgate, Lafayette and American played their last game before their exam break over the weekend, with none of the teams back in action until Dec. 18. Army has the latest exam period, as the Black Knights still visit to NJIT on Tuesday and host Maine on Friday before their exam break begins. All eight teams will be off for at least a week while the schools are in the final exam period.

Home Cooking
Patriot League teams are 22-6 on their home courts this year after a split of four games over the weekend. Lehigh leads the way at 4-0 at home, while Bucknell and Holy Cross are 3-0 and Army is 2-0. Lafayette is 4-2, with dramatic victories each coming by three points or less or in overtime. Navy has a 3-1 mark at home, and will try to add to it on Monday against Bryant.

Winning Against Regional Foes
Patriot League teams had another winning week, going a combined 10-7 since Tuesday to bring the League's cumulative mark to 42-38 for the season. Patriot League squads are 39-25 against Division I foes outside of the "Big-Six" conferences, and 34-15 against regional conferences including the America East, CAA, Ivy League, MAAC, NEC and MEAC. Most of the mark has come against the NEC, with the Patriot League clinching the series as it holds a 15-7 advantage with four games to go.

Last-Second Leopards
Lafayette has not been for the faint of heart this season. The Leopards played three games last week, and each came down to the final moments. Lafayette defeated St. Francis (Pa.) 61-58 on Tuesday as a last-second shot to tie was off the mark, then fell to Fairleigh Dickinson 82-80 on Friday on a last-second tip-in. The Leopards saved the best for last, with freshman Bryce Scott draining a three-pointer with two seconds left for a 72-70 win over Sacred Heart on Sunday at home. Lafayette is 4-1 this season in games decided by three points or less or in overtime, with four of those contests coming in the last five games.

Lehigh's McCollum Breaks More Records, Re-Gains Scoring Lead
Lehigh senior guard C.J. McCollum re-claimed the Division I scoring lead on Saturday as his 29-point performance at St. Francis (Pa.) gave him 24.9 points per game for the year. That mark is just ahead of Virginia Tech's Erick Green (24.6) for the top spot in Division I. McCollum has already set the Patriot League career scoring record this year, and his 2,323 points are now 99 ahead of the previous mark. McCollum now has Patriot League career records for field goals made, free throws made and double-figure scoring games.

A Small Man's World
Being 6-foot or taller is not a pre-requisite to success in college basketball, as a pair of Patriot Leaguers showed this week. Holy Cross' Justin Burrell, standing 5-foot-9, averaged 24.5 points and 4.5 assists in two wins for the Crusaders, with a career-high 30 points in an 83-78 win over Sacred Heart on Wednesday. Navy's Tilman Dunbar, towering over Burrell at 5-foot-10, averaged 19.0 points and 6.0 assists in two games for the Mids as his breakout freshman season continued. The two players, who come from less than 10 miles apart in Northern Virginia, were also joined as weekly award winners on Monday as Burrell was named Anaconda Player of the Week and Dunbar took home the Anaconda Rookie of the Week award.

Patriot League Teams, Individual Among the National Leaders
The Patriot League is well-represented on the NCAA statistical leaderboard through Sunday's games. Lehigh is 15th with 80.8 points per game, and also stands second in the nation in free-throw percentage (80.5%) and third in three-point percentage (44.0%). Holy Cross is just behind the Mountain Hawks at fifth in the nation from the foul line, while Bucknell and Lafayette are both in the top 25 as well. American is 11th in the country in three-point percentage, with Army, Lehigh and Colgate all in the top 30 in three-pointers per game. On defense, Navy, Bucknell and Holy Cross are each among the top 50 in the country in scoring by holding their opponents to under 60 points per game.

While McCollum has the top mark in scoring, other Patriot Leaguers are among the individual leaders as well. Bucknell's Mike Muscala is sixth in the nation with 11.4 rebounds per contest, while Holy Cross' Justin Burrell is third from the foul line at 96.2%. Army's Ella Ellis is in the top 30 in both points per game (20.1) and three-pointers per contest (3.0), while Navy's Tilman Dunbar and Lehigh's Mackey McKnight are in the top 50 in assists per game.

Team Notebooks

AMERICAN The Eagles went 1-2 in three games last week, highlighted by a 73-70 win in double overtime at UMBC on Thursday...American tied the score late in regulation and scored the last four points in the second overtime to earn the victory...The Eagles were able to send the game to overtime on a layup by Daniel Munoz with 32 seconds to play...UMBC tied the score in the first overtime in the final minute, and took a 70-69 lead with 3:21 to play in the second overtime...American did not allow another point, with John Schoof hitting the game-winning free throws with 2:06 to play and adding two more with 10 seconds left as American held on for the 73-70 win...Schoof and Munoz led the Eagles with 19 points apiece, while Stephen Lumpkins added 11 points and 10 rebounds...Schoof played all 50 minutes in the game...American also fell 54-42 at home against Columbia on Sunday and 55-50 at Howard on Tuesday...Stephen Lumpkins had 18 points and 12 rebounds in the loss to the Lions, and averaged 13 points and 10 boards in the three games last week...He is just five blocks away from becoming the school's all-time leader...The Eagles are off until Dec. 18 when they return to action at Hampton.

ARMY Ella Ellis continued his scoring binge with 23 points in each of the Black Knights' games last week, a 91-57 win over Marist on Tuesday and a 78-70 loss at Penn State on Saturday...Ellis made 13-of-26 shots in the two games, including 10-of-17 from three-point range...He has scored in double figures in 11 straight games and 40 of the last 41 contests...Ellis is second in the Patriot League and 23rd in the country with 20.1 points per game, and leads the League while ranking in the top 30 nationally with 3.0 three-pointers per contest...In addition to Ellis' 23 points, Kyle Toth had 20 and Dylan Cox added 14 for a freshmen class that contributed 60 points in the rout of Marist...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... Army cut a 15-point deficit to two in the second half at Penn State, but the Nittany Lioins responded with a 16-4 run and led by at least eight the rest of the way...Toth had 13 points and averaged 16.5 points on 60% shooting (12-of-20) last week, which included a 9-of-17 mark from three-point range...Army has two games this week, at NJIT on Tuesday and home for Maine Friday.

BUCKNELL The Bison used a big second half to enter a 10-day exam break in style with a 76-60 win at home against Kent State on Tuesday...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...Muscala had eight points in a 65-second span to build Bucknell's lead from 57-51 to 65-51...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...Bucknell improved to 3-0 at home this season and 102-32 all-time at Sojka Pavilion...Muscala is up to 1,568 points, just nine away from Kevin Bettencourt for fourth in program history...He is sixth in the nation with 11.4 rebounds per contest...The Bison rank in the Division I top 25 in free-throw percentage and field-goal percentage defense, and stand 31st in scoring defense...The Bison return to action at home against La Salle on Saturday to kick off a stretch of four games in eight days before Christmas.

COLGATE Colgate dropped a pair of games last week, falling 67-61 at home against Albany on Saturday after losing 67-56 at Quinnipiac on Wednesday...Slow starts hurt the Raiders in both contests...Albany opened up a 15-point first-half lead and held off Colgate the rest of the way...The Raiders got back to within three points five times in the second half, but Albany hit 6-of-8 free throws in the final 30 seconds to earn the win...Murphy Burnatowski led the Raiders with 13 points, while Mitch Rolls, Pat Moore and Luke Roh each scored nine...Colgate trailed 21-7 in the early minutes at Quinnipiac, and never got closer than the five-point deficit they pulled into at the half...Quinnipiac put the game away with a 10-0 second-half run that stretched the lead to 17...Rolls and Burnatowski led the Raiders with 12 points apiece, while Roh added 10...Colgate enters its exam break on a four-game losing streak, though the Raiders have played just two of their first 10 games at home...Colgate will be back on the road when it returns to action on Dec. 18 at Providence.

HOLY CROSS The Crusaders never trailed in putting up a pair of wins last week, beating Dartmouth 67-56 at home on Saturday after taking down Sacred Heart 83-78 on the road on Wednesday... They made 49.5 percent of their field goals (50 of 101), 47.6 percent of their three-pointers (20 of 42) and 81.1 percent of their free throws (30 of 37) on the week...Burrell had 19 points, Phil Beans had 18 and Dave Dudzinski and Cullen Hamilton each added 10 in the win over Dartmouth...Holy Cross built a 14-point lead early in the second half, then put together a 10-2 run to seal the win after Dartmouth had closed back to within five...Holy Cross hit 10-of-19 shots from three-point range, and 15-of-19 at the foul line...Burrell had a career-high 30 points in the win at Sacred Heart...He made 11-of-15 shots and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc...The sophomore guard averaged 24.5 points, 4.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds in the games while making 16-of-23 shots, 7-of-9 three-pointers and all 10 free throws...He was named Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week for the first time...Burrell is third in the country at the foul line with a 96.2% mark, while the Crusaders are fifth as a team at 78.7%...Holy Cross is also 12th in the country in three-point field goal percentage defense...The Crusaders return to action on Dec. 18 at San Francisco.

LAFAYETTE Lafayette played three games down to the wire against NEC opponents last week, and came out on top twice...The Leopards edged Sacred Heart 72-70 on Sunday at home as freshman Bryce Scott hit the game-winning three-pointer with just two seconds to play...The dramatic win came after a heartbreaking loss on Friday as Fairleigh Dickinson scored at the buzzer for an 82-80 win after the Leopards had rallied from a 14-point deficit...On Tuesday, Lafayette's comeback produced a win as the Leopards rallied from 15 points down to beat St. Francis (Pa.) 61-58...Lafayette trailed 41-26 early in the second half before coming back and going 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...Seth Hinrichs averaged 16.7 points in the three games, with a 27-point outing against Fairleigh Dickinson...Lafayette is 4-1 in games decided by three points or less or in overtime this year...It is back in action on Dec. 18 against Arcaida.

LEHIGH Lehigh has its best record through 10 games since the 1938-39 season (8-2) and has won seven consecutive games after a pair of convincing double-digit victories last week...The Mountain Hawks scored the first 13 points of the game on their way to an 83-67 triumph at St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday...C.J. McCollum finished with 29 points, one shy of his fourth 30-point game of the year...McCollum took back the Division I scoring lead as he bumped his average for the year up to 24.9 points per game...The win extended the Mountain Hawks' streak to 11 vs. Northeast Conference foes, including 5-0 this season...Lehigh also beat Fordham 81-63 at home on Tuesday...Mackey McKnight led the way with 21 points, while Gabe Knutson scored 18...Lehigh is second in the nation in free-throw percentage (80.5%) and third from beyond the arc (44.0%)...The Mountain Hawks are 15th in the country in scoring (80.8 ppg)...McCollum has set Patriot League career records for points, field goals made, free throws made and double-figure scoring games this year..Lehigh has an 11-day exam break before visiting North Texas on Dec. 20.

NAVY The Mids split a pair of road games against NEC foes last week, beating Monmouth 85-66 on Wednesday before falling to Mount St. Mary's 72-65 on Friday...Navy trailed 48-41 with just over 14 minutes left against the Hawks, but connected on 15 of its last 22 field goals while making 14-of-19 free throw attempts in the second half to record its largest margin of victory in a road game since 2007-08...Five players scored in double figures, led by Tilman Dunbar with 20 points and Thurgood Wynn with 19, career highs for both players...The duo scored 29 in the second half alone as Navy held a 53-29 advantage after intermission... Navy fell behind by 14 at the half at Mount St. Mary's, and never could get all the way back after intermission...The Mids got to within 60-58 with 4:45 to play, but saw the Mount score the next nine points to pull away for the win...Four Navy players scored in double figures, with Dunbar again leading the way with 18...The freshman was named Patriot League Anaconda Rookie of the Week for averaging 19.0 points and 6.0 assists in Navy's two contests...He made 7-of-10 shots from the field in both games to finish 14-of-20 (70%) for the week...Dunbar leads Navy with 10.5 points per game and tops the Patriot League while ranking 41st in the country with 5.5 assists per game...Navy plays its final game before a lengthy exam break when it hosts Bryant on Monday.