Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 12.27.12

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Holy Cross' Dave Dudzinski won his first Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award on Thursday.
Holy Cross' Dave Dudzinski won his first Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award on Thursday.

Dec. 27, 2012

Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 12.27.12 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Every Patriot League team will play at least once before the New Year as the League schedule approaches shortly after the dawn of 2013.

In a matchup of top 20 teams in the College Mid-Major poll, not to mention a future Patriot League contest, Bucknell plays at Loyola University Maryland on Friday at 7 p.m. The Bison are No. 6 in the Mid-Major rankings, while the Greyhounds stand No. 20. Despite a loss at Princeton on Saturday, Bucknell is still just one victory from becoming the third Patriot League team with 12 non-League wins in the regular season, joining Fordham (1990-91) and Lehigh (2011-12).

Also on Friday at 7 p.m., Navy hosts an Albany team that is No. 24 in the Mid-Major poll and Colgate welcomes Binghamton.

The remaining five Patriot League teams play on Saturday, which includes four games against teams from "Big-Six" conferences. Holy Cross is at Boston College at 2 p.m., Army visits Texas A & M at 5 p.m., American is at No. 6 Kansas at 8 p.m. (ESPN Full Court) and Lafayette heads to Stanford at 10:30 p.m. (Pac 12 Network). Also, Lehigh hosts Bryant at 7 p.m. as the Mountain Hawks go for their ninth win in a row and a 10-2 record.

Colgate hosts New Hampshire on Sunday, while Army completes the 2012 schedule with a visit to Houston Baptist on Monday. Even after six teams lost on Saturday, Patriot League squads are at 51-47 for the year in non-League action.

Patriot League Anaconda Weekly Awards (Dec. 17-23)

Anaconda Player of the Week
DAVE DUDZINSKI, HOLY CROSS Jr., F, 6-9, 227; Elburn, Ill./Kaneland
Dudzinski averaged 26.5 points in two games for the Crusaders last week, including a career-high 31 in a 73-63 victory at San Francisco on Dec. 18. He made 11-of-16 shots and 7-of-8 free throws in the win while also pulling down seven rebounds and blocking two shots. Dudzinski added 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting along with two assists, two blocks and two steals in a 72-65 loss at Harvard on Saturday. He made 18-of-28 shots (69.2%) in the two contests, including 4-of-5 from three-point range, and also hit 13-of-14 (92.9%) from the free throw line. Dudzinski has scored in double figures in 10 straight games and leads the Crusaders while ranking among the Patriot League leaders with 15.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Dudzinski is named Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week for the first time in his career.

Anaconda Rookie of the Week
TILMAN DUNBAR, NAVY Fr., G, 5-10, 153; Woodbridge, Va./Paul VI Catholic
Dunbar claims his third consecutive Patriot League Anaconda Rookie of the Week award for putting up 12 points and two assists in a 55-46 loss to Northern Kentucky on Saturday. He led Navy in scoring for the fifth time this season with his ninth double-figure game of the year. He also led the team in assists for the sixth straight game while committing just one turnover. Dunbar leads the team in scoring (10.8 ppg) and assists (5.5 apg) for the season, and is one of five freshmen nationally to average at least 10 points and five assists per game. His assist average leads the Patriot League, ranks in the top 40 nationally and is the second-best mark in the country among freshmen. It is the first time a student-athlete has won three straight Rookie of the Week honors since Navy's J.J. Avila claimed five in a row in 2010-11.

Honorable Mention

MIKE MUSCALA, BUCKNELL Sr., C, 6-11, 239, Roseville, Minn./Roseville
Muscala averaged 18.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.3 blocks in three games for the Bison, with 26 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks, four assists and three steals in a 71-65 win over Marist on Dec. 19.

GABE KNUTSON, LEHIGH Sr., F, 6-9, Urbandale, Iowa/Waukee
With C.J. McCollum out of the lineup with an injury, Knutson stepped up with 28 points while shooting 10-of-14 from the field and 4-of-5 from three-point range and added four assists in a 90-75 win at North Texas on Dec. 20.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*Bucknell tries to become the third team in Patriot League history to win 12 non-League regular-season games when it visits Loyola (Md.) Friday.
*At 11-2, the Bison have their second-best 13-game record in program history.
*Lehigh is 9-2 for the first time since the 1925-26 season after beating North Texas 90-75 on Dec. 20 despite the absence of C.J. McCollum.
*Lehigh has won eight straight games, its longest streak in the regular season since the aforementioned 1925-26 season.
*Lehigh moved up to No. 4 while Bucknell fell one spot to No. 6 in this week's College Mid-Major top 25.
*Patriot League teams are 51-47 overall, and 46-31 against DI teams outside of the BCS leagues.
*The Patriot League is a combined 40-20 against regional conferences including the Atlantic 10, America East, CAA, Ivy League, MAAC, NEC and MEAC.
*Patriot League teams are a combined 28-7 at home.
*Lehigh's C.J. McCollum stands second in the nation with 24.9 ppg.
*Bucknell's Mike Muscala is third nationally with eight double-doubles.
*Muscala is just 14 points away from the Patriot League career top 10.
*Lehigh leads the nation in three-point field-goal percentage, is second in free-throw percentage and ninth in scoring offense.
*Holy Cross and Navy are both in the top 10 nationally in three-point field-goal percentage defense.

Patriot League Notebook
Bucknell, Lehigh Off to Blistering Starts
Bucknell recorded its best start since the 1907-08 season when it opened at 11-1, and still has its second-best 13-game record in program history with an 11-2 mark following a loss at Princeton on Saturday. A win on Friday at Loyola (Md.) would make Bucknell just the third Patriot League team with 12 non-League victories in the regular season, joining Fordham (1990-91) and Lehigh (2011-12). The Mountain Hawks can still join that group for a second year in a row if they keep up their hot play. Lehigh has its best record through 11 games since the 1925-26 season at 9-2, and its eight-game winning streak is its first of that length in the regular seaosn since that same 1925-26 campaign.

Bison, Mountain Hawks Continue to Shine in Mid-Major Ranks
Lehigh and Bucknell have garnered attention from regional and national outlets since the opening of the season, and it has continued throughout the year. The Mountain Hawks rose to No. 4 in the College Mid-Major top 25 on Monday, the highest mark of the season for a team that has been in the top 10 all year. Bucknell dropped only one place to No. 6 following its loss to Princeton, and the Bison have been in the top 10 since their win over Purdue to open the year on Nov. 9. Both teams have also been regarded as top Mid-Major squads from outlets like CBS Sports and ESPN, and Mike Muscala was named ESPN's Mid-Major Player of the Week last Thursday following his dominant performance against Marist.

Lehigh's McCollum, McKnight Named Cousy Award Candidates
Lehigh men's basketball senior C.J. McCollum and junior Mackey McKnight have been named candidates for the 2013 Bob Cousy Award, as announced by the Basketball Hall of Fame last week. The annual honor, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in men's college basketball. In total, over 80 candidates have been nominated for the award and Lehigh is one of only five schools with multiple candidates. This marks the second straight season McKnight has been named a candidate. It's the first time for McCollum, who can play both shooting guard and point guard. They're the only two Patriot Leaguers among the 85 nominees.

Challenging Games Before Patriot League Play
There are few games remaining before Patriot League action tips off on Jan. 12, but there are some tough contests in that span. On Friday, Bucknell visits Loyola University Maryland and Navy hosts Albany in matchups against teams in the College Mid-Major top 25. The next day American is at No. 6 Kansas, Lafayette goes to Stanford, Army travels to Texas A & M and Holy Cross goes to Boston College. After the New Year, the final Saturday before Patriot League play is a challenging one for the top teams as Bucknell goes to No. 7/9 Missouri and Lehigh is at VCU.

Home Cooking
Patriot League teams are 28-7 on their home courts this year after wins by Lafayette, Bucknell and Army last week. Bucknell leads the way with a 5-0 mark at Sojka Pavilion, while Lehigh is a perfect 4-0 at home and Holy Cross and Army are 3-0. Lafayette is 5-2 at Kirby Sports Center and Navy is 4-1 at Alumni Hall. Colgate plays a pair of home games this weekend, while Navy is at home on Friday and Lehigh welcomes Bryant on Saturday.

Winning Against Regional Foes
Patriot League teams are a combined 51-47 overall in non-League play, and 46-31 against Division I foes outside of the "Big-Six" conferences. The record stands at 40-20 against regional conferences including the Atlantic 10, America East, CAA, Ivy League, MAAC, NEC and MEAC. Most of the mark has come with a 17-8 advantage against the Northeast Conference.

Lehigh's McCollum Breaking Records, Second in Division I in Scoring
Lehigh senior guard C.J. McCollum is at 24.9 points per game for the season, just behind Virginia Tech's Erick Green (25.6) 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.

Bucknell's Muscala a Double-Double Machine
Bucknell senior center Mike Muscala is averaging 18.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, ranking in the top 50 in scoring and ninth in rebounding in Division I. Muscala has eight double-doubles in the first 13 games for the Bison, ranking third in Division I. He moved into second place in Patriot League history in both rebounds and blocked shots last week, and his 1,641 points are within 14 of the Patriot League career top 10.

Team Notebooks

AMERICAN The Eagles dropped a pair of games on the road last week...They were tied at halftime with Hampton on Dec. 18, but could not overcome the Pirates in the second half and fell 72-65 on the road...Hampton held a small lead throughout the period, then finally pulled away with a 12-3 run that built the advantage to 63-52 with under three minutes to go...Stephen Lumpkins had his fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and 15 rebounds, while Marko Vasic also scored 12 and Ausin Carroll added 11...No. 15/21 Georgetown closed the first half on an 11-2 run to take a 40-25 lead at the break over American and went on to beat the Eagles 65-48 on Saturday...Daniel Munoz led the Eagles with 15 points while Lumpkins scored 10...American has another ranked opponent coming up on Saturday as it takes a trip to No. 6 Kansas...The game will be shown through ESPN Full Court.

ARMY The Black Knights rolled past Division III Rosemont with a balanced effort in a 90-48 win at home on Saturday...Josh Herbeck led the way with 19 points and three others scored eight as 16 players got into the scorebooks for the Black Knights...Herbeck's 19 points came in only 19 minutes of playing time...Arrmy held a 55-38 advantage on the boards, with a career-high 10 for freshman point guard Dylan Cox...It matched the highest rebound total for an Army player this season...The Black Knights head to Texas before the New Year, playing at Texas A & M on Saturday and visiting Houston Baptist on Monday.

BUCKNELL Bucknell moved to 11-1 for the first time since 1907-08 by defeating St. Francis (Pa.) 76-49 on Dec. 17 and Marist 71-65 on Dec. 19...Even with a 79-67 loss at Princeton on Saturday, the Bison are still off to their second-best 13-game start in program history...Mike Muscala led the way by averaging 18.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and 3.3 assists in the three games...He was particularly strong against Marist, recording a fantastic game with 26 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks, four assists and three steals... The Bison trailed that game 56-51 with 8:00 left before Muscala scored 6 straight points to give them the lead back...He later hit two big free throws in the final minute to stretch a 2-point lead to 4, part of a 12-for-13 performance from the line. He was named's Player of the Day and Mid-Major Player of the Week after that game...Muscala's surge was part of a 12-2 Bucknell run that turned the game around...Marist got to within two points three times in the final minutes, but the Bison hit 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the win...Joe Willman scored 15 points for Bucknell, while Cameron Ayers added 12 as the Bison improved to 5-0 at home...Previously, Bucknell moved to 10-1 for the first time since the 1926-27 season after a dominating 76-49 victory at St. Francis (Pa.) on Monday...The Bison led from the opening tip, leading 11-2 just over four minutes into the contest and coasting to a 42-19 advantage at halftime...Ayers led the Bison with 13 points, while Muscala, Willman and Bryson Johnson scored 12 apiece...Bucknell saw its six-game winning streak come to an end on Saturday with a 79-67 loss at Princeton... The Tigers went on a 15-4 run to take a 62-47 lead with 5:57 left, and the Bison only got as close as nine the rest of the way...Muscala had his eighth double-double of the year with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Joe Willman scored 15 points and Cameron Ayers added 14...The eight double-doubles stand third among all players in the country...The Bison are at Loyola University Maryland on Friday evening...It is a matchup of teams in the top 20 of the College Mid-Major poll, and also a future Patriot League contest with the Greyhounds set to join the conference next year...Bucknell is trying to become just the third team in Patriot League history to record 12 non-League wins during the regular season...Fordham (1990-91) and Lehigh (2011-12) are the only schools to pull off the feat.

COLGATE Colgate has dropped six straight games after falling 73-61 at St. Francis (NY) on Saturday and 79-45 at Providence on Dec. 18... Colgate led early in the second half on Saturday before St. Francis (NY) went on a 32-13 stretch to take control and go on to the win...Murphy Burnatowski paced the Raiders with 19 points while John Brandenburg scored 12...The Friars pulled away with a 40-17 advantage in the second half...Burnatowski and Damon Sherman-Newsome led Colgate with 11 points apiece...Burnatowski stands fifth in the Patriot League with 16.0 points per game...Colgate has a pair of home games before the New Year as the Raiders welcome Binghamton on Friday and host New Hampshire on Sunday...Colgate plays four games in the next nine days beginning on Friday.

HOLY CROSS Holy Cross made a long road trip pay off with a 73-63 win at San Francisco on Dec. 18...The Crusaders dropped a shorter journey on Saturday as they fell at Harvard 72-65...The Crusaders were led by junior Dave Dudzinski in each game...He scored a career-high 31 points on 11-of-16 shooting to pace the win over San Francisco, and followed it up with 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting in the loss at Harvard...Dudzinski made 18-of-28 field goals (69.2%), 4-5 three-pointers and 13-of-14 free throws (92.9%) in the two games...Against San Francisco, Holy Cross used a 7-1 run late in the first half to build a 43-36 lead at the break, and put together an 8-0 stretch in the second half to extend the advantage to 60-46 with 10 minutes left...San Francisco cut the gap down to 66-59, but the Crusaders held the Dons scoreless for three minutes to hold on for the win...Justin Burrell added 15 points for the Crusaders, who held San Francisco to 5-of-20 shooting from three-point range... The Crusaders were down 52-38 early in the second half at Harvard before scoring 15 straight points to go ahead...Holy Cross still held a 60-59 lead with 5:43 left, but Harvard came back with an 8-2 run to take the advantage back for good...Holy Cross leads the Patriot League and is ninth in the country in three-point field-goal percentage defense at 25.8% for the year...The Crusaders are seventh in the nation at 77.2% from the foul line...Holy Cross is back in action on Saturday when it has another regional road trip, this time to Boston College.

LAFAYETTE Lafayette had a pair of lopsided finals last week, with the Leopards winning one and losing the other...They opened up a 49-26 halftime lead and went up by as many as 30 in the second half to cruise to an 86-62 victory over Division III Arcadia on Dec. 18...Dan Trist and Seth Hinrichs led the Leopards with 14 points apiece, while Bryce Scott scored 10...Twelve players scored in the game for Lafayette, which won its fourth straight home game and improved to 5-2 at Kirby Sports Center this season... No. 13/16 Minnesota went up by 15 points at halftime and built the advantage throughout the second half for a 75-50 win over Lafayette on Saturday... Trist paced the Leopards with 14 points, while Hinrichs had 11 and Joey Ptasinski added 10...Trist made 13-of-16 shots (81.3%) in the two games, and is in the top 40 nationally at 56.8% from the field this season...Lafayette has another tough test on Saturday as it visits Stanford in a game shown on the Pac 12 Network at 10:30 p.m.

LEHIGH Playing without the nation's leading scorer, Lehigh still had little trouble putting up points and blew out North Texas 90-75 on Dec. 20...Lehigh extended its winning streak to eight as the Mountain Hawks improve to 9-2 after 11 games...It marks their best start after 11 games since the 1925-26 season (87 years) while the eight-game winning streak is their longest in the regular season since that same campaign...Lehigh blew the game open in the first half, finishing the period on a 34-12 run to take a 52-33 advantage into the break...The lead rose as high as 21 points as Lehigh was up by double digits throughout the second half on its way to the 15-point win...Gabe Knutson led the way with 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting, while Mackey McKnight totaled 25 points and seven assists...Lehigh had another strong shooting night both overall (32-of-66) and from three-point range (11-of-23) while holding North Texas to 1-of-11 from beyond the arc...The Mountain Hawks played without preseason All-American C.J. McCollum, who missed the first game of his collegiate career with a mild ankle injury... Nearly 60 NBA scouts were in attendance to see McCollum and North Texas' Tony Mitchell, who scored 22 points... McCollum is second in the nation with 24.9 points per game...Lehigh returns to action on Saturday at home against Bryant...The Mountain Hawks are 4-0 at home this year and have an 11-game home winning streak dating back to last season...Ten of those 11 wins have come by double digits.

NAVY Northern Kentucky used an 11-0 run to take a 48-38 lead over Navy with 4:57 left and went on to defeat the Mids 55-46 on Saturday at Alumni Hall...A pair of double-figure scorers led Navy as Tilman Dunbar finished with 12 points and Brandon Venturini scored 11...Dunbar led Navy in scoring for the fifth time during the season and recorded his ninth double-figure scoring game...He leads the team in scoring (10.8 ppg) and assists (5.5 apg), where he also leads the Patriot League, stands in the top 40 nationally and is tied for second among the nation's freshmen...He is one of five freshmen nationally to average 10.0 ppg and 5.0 apg...Dunbar and the Mids are back home on Friday to take on an Albany team that ranks No. 24 in the College Mid-Major poll.