Patriot League Men's Basketball Weekend Preview - 12.27.13

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG BU's D.J. Irving
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
BU's D.J. Irving
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

Dec. 27, 2013

Patriot League Men's Basketball Weekend Preview - 12.27.13 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Each Patriot League team has just one game left before League action begins on Thursday, with five of those squads taking the court this weekend.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*Each Patriot League team has one game left before League play begins on Thursday.
*Lafayette has the first action as it visits Seton Hall on Friday at 8 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.
*Bucknell hosts Fairfield on Saturday at 2 p.m. on Patriot League Network.
*Holy Cross is at Michigan on Big Ten Network on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
*American and Boston University are both on the road on Sunday.
*The other five teams play on Monday, with Army and Colgate at home on Patriot League Network.
*Lehigh has won five consecutive games after a 69-58 win over Quinnipiac on Monday.
*Boston University won 83-77 at Maryland on Saturday for the third Patriot League win vs. the ACC in the last three years.
*It was the seventh League win over a BCS-level opponent since the 2011-12 season.
*Patriot League teams are 51-54 for the season, with a 43-28 mark against the other Mid-Major conferences.
*All 10 teams open League play Thursday, with BU and Loyola at home in their inaugural League contests.

Patriot League Notebook
Wrapping up the Non-League Slate
Each Patriot League team has just one game left before League action begins on Thursday. It starts on Friday with Lafayette at Seton Hall at 8 p.m. on Fox Sports 1. Saturday's slate has Bucknell hosting Fairfield at 2 p.m. on Patriot League Network and Holy Cross at Michigan at 6:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network. American and Boston Univeristy are both on the road Sunday, while the remaining five squads play Monday with Army and Colgate at home on Patriot League Network. Colgate, BU and Lehigih have all clinched winning non-League records, while four others can complete the non-League slate over .500.

Patriot League Play Tips Off Thursday
The League slate features an 18-game schedule for the first time with the additions of Boston University and Loyola Maryland. The Terriers and Greyhounds each open their Patriot League tenure at home on Thursday by welcoming Holy Cross and Navy, respectively. The other Patriot League openers feature defending champion Bucknell hosting American, Lehigh going to Colgate and Army at Lafayette on Thursday.

BU Gets Win at Maryland, Irving Receives Multiple Honors
Boston University took over down the stretch for an 83-77 win at Maryland on Saturday, continuing a good run for Patriot League teams against BCS opponents in recent years. It was the seventh victory for a League squad against a BCS foe in the past three years, and third versus an ACC opponent in that stretch. It was also the second win over a BCS team this year after Bucknell beat Penn State on Nov. 13. D.J. Irving scored 25 points in just 22 minutes to lead the way for the Terriers, and was honored for his outing as the Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week, College Insider.com Lou Henson Player of the Week and the Patriot League Rockin' Refuel Performance of the Week award.

Lehigh Becomes First League Squad to Hit 5 in a Row
Lehigh became the first Patriot League team to win five straight games this season when it topped Quinnipiac 69-58 on Saturday. The Mountain Hawks have a lenghty non-League winning streak for the second year in a row after winning eight straight last season. Seven Patriot League schools have rolled off winning streaks of three or four games this season.

Patriot League Finding Success Against Mid-Major Foes
Patriot League teams have compiled a 43-28 record against teams from conferences that are a part of the College Insider Mid-Major top 25 rankings. The best results have come against the America East (14-2) and MAAC (6-2), with an 11-7 mark against the Northeast Conference. The Patriot League is just under .500 for the season at 51-54, with a 47-54 mark against Division I opponents.

Protecting the Home Court
Patriot League teams are now 25-13 at home for the year, and two squads still have undefeated marks. Navy has opened 4-0 at home for the first time since 2008-09 and has its first four-game home win streak at any point since 2009-10. Lehigh has a 5-0 home record for the second time in three years after beating Quinnipiac on Saturday.

15 Patriot League Contests to Be Shown On CBS Sports Network
The Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship will be televised on CBS Sports Network for the third year in a row on Wednesday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m., while CBSSN will also air both semifinal games of the Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 8 at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. The postseason contests are part of a 15-game schedule of Patriot League men's basketball on CBS Sports Network in 2014 which begins next Sunday when Lehigh hosts Boston University.

Little Leaders
Basketball is supposed to be a big man's game, but don't tell that to the host of players standing 6-foot-0 or under who are putting together a great season in the Patriot League. Colgate's Austin Tillotson is an even 6-foot-0, yet ranks in the top 10 nationally in a category dominated by big men by standing fourth in Division I in field goal percentage at 66.7%. Boston University's Maurice Watson (5-foot-10) is high in a more convential category for a point guard as he stands 12th in the nation with 6.5 assists per game. Lehigh's Mackey McKnight (6-foot-0) is 28th in the nation in assists and part of the Patriot League's 1,000-point and 400-assist clubs, while BU's D.J Irving (6-foot-0), Navy's Tilman Dunbar (5-foot-10) and Lafayette's Nick Lindner (5-foot-10) won Patriot League Anaconda weekly awards recently and are enjoying strong seasons.

Dudzinski Joins 1,000-point Club
Holy Cross' Dave Dudzinski became the fifth active 1,000-point scorer in the Patriot League on Dec. 7, and now has 1,041 points to join Loyola's Dylon Cormier (1,454), Bucknell's Cameron Ayers (1,203), BU's D.J. Irving (1,191) and Lehigh's Mackey McKnight (1,062). Dudzinski is the 92nd 1,000-point scorer in Patriot League history and the 47th in Holy Cross annals.

Cormier, Hinrichs Filling It Up
The Patriot League has two players in the top 40 nationally in scoring, including Loyola senior guard Dylon Cormier at fifth in the country with 24.1 points per game. Lafayette junior Seth Hinrichs is not far behind at 20.2 points per game, good for 30th in the nation. Cormier opened the year with a five-game streak of 20 points or more and has hit the 20-point mark in eight of 10 games, while Hinrichs had a four-game run of at least 20 points this season.

Shooting Success
Patriot League teams are among the national leaders in hitting shots from behind the arc and at the free throw line. Colgate leads the nation in three-pointers per game (11.5) and is second in three-point field-goal percentage (43.7%), while Bucknell (78.4%) and Lafayette (76.5%) rank in the top 10 in Division I in free throw percentage. The Bison were also 12th (42.2%) in three-point percentage, while Lafayette was in the top 50 in three-pointers per game, three-point percentage and field-goal percentage in addition to its mark from the foul line. Colgate's Austin Tillotson stands fourth in field-goal percentage and Lafayette's Bryce Scott is sixth in the nation from the foul line.

Team Notebooks
AMERICAN The Eagles dropped both games on their road trip to California last week...American hung with St. Mary's early before the Gaels pulled away for a 59-44 win on Thursday evening...The Eagles were within four points late in the first half and seven at the break, but St. Mary's went up 18 midway through the second half on the way to the win..The Eagles were down just one with 2:30 to play at San Francisco on Sunday, but the Dons scored six straight points to pull away...John Schoof led the way with a season-high 22 points, while Jesse Reed added 16 and Austin Carroll had 11 off the bench...The Eagles shot just under 50 percent at 24-of-49, but allowed the Dons a clip of bette than 60 percent from the field at 28-of-46...American still leads the Patriot League and ranks in the top 25 nationally in scoring defense at 62.0 points per game...The Eagles continue a five-game road swing at Maryland Eastern Shore on Sunday and at Bucknell and Holy Cross in League play next week.

ARMY Despite a career-high 29 points from Kyle Wilson, Army could not pull off the upset as Rutgers hit a three-pointer in the final seconds for a 75-72 win over the Black Knights on Sunday...Wilson made 10-of-19 shots, 4-of-9 three-pointers and 5-of-6 free throws in his effort...The game featured 10 ties and 19 lead changes...Wilson tied the score at 72-72 on a three-pointer with 34 seconds left before Myles Mack hit the game-winner with three seconds to play...Josh Herbeck added 12 while Tanner Plomb scored 11 for Army, who had a two-game win streak snapped...The Black Knights complete non-League play at home against Coast Guard on Monday before opening Patriot League action with a trip to Lafayette on Thursday and home date against Loyola Maryland on Jan. 5.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY The Terriers got 25 points from senior D.J. Irving and went on to an 83-77 win at Maryland on Saturday afternoon...It was the seventh victory in the past three years for a Patriot League team over an opponent from a BCS conference, and third against an ACC opponent in that span... The Terriers snapped a three-game losing skid and now own seven non-conference regular season wins for the first time since 1993-94...BU beat an ACC foe for the second time in three years after topping cross-town rival Boston College in 2011...Dom Morris added 16 points, while Cedric Hankerson had 14 and Maurice Watson Jr. had 13...After Maryland took a 58-57 lead at the eight-minute mark, BU took control with a 13-3 run to go on to the win...BU is assured of a winning non-conference record for the first time since 2004-05...The Terriers complete their non-League slate at Saint Joseph's on Sunday, and open their Patriot League era at home against Holy Cross Thursday.

BUCKNELL Bucknell saw its two-game win streak snapped with a 69-51 loss at Marist on Friday...The Bison returned to the court for the first time in nearly two weeks and struggled early as Marist took a 16-0 lead...Bucknell never got the margin to single digits, and fell behind by as many as 24 points in the second half...Steven Kaspar led the way with 13 points, while Cameron Ayers scored 10...The Bison wrap up their non-League slate at home against Fairfield on Saturday at 2 p.m. on Patriot League Network...It is just the team's fourth home game and kicks off a three-game homestand with Patriot League matchups against American and Colgate next week.

COLGATE Colgate opened up a three-game homestand with its sixth win in the last eight games in a 79-51 triumph over Division III Ursinus on Sunday...The Raiders used a 13-0 run to lead by 12 points at the break, and put the game away with a 10-0 second-half stretch that put the lead at 20 points or more the rest of the way...Ethan Jacobs and Clayton Graham had 11 points while Murphy Burnatowski scored 10 as the Raiders balanced playing time...Seventeen players saw action and 12 scored for the Raiders...Colgate made nine three-pointers in the game and still leads the nation with 11.5 threes per game for the year...Colgate is also third in Division I in three-point percentage at 43.7%...The Raiders continue a three-game homestand when they welcome Columbia on Monday and Lehigh in the Patriot League opener on Thursday.

HOLY CROSS The Crusaders put an end to a two-game losing skid with convincing 74-55 win at NJIT on Saturday....The Crusaders went ahead for good with an 11-0 run for 32-23 lead at the break, and scored the first 12 of the second half to stretch the overall run to 23-0 and lead 44-23...Malcolm Miller filled the stat sheet with 18 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks, while Eric Green scored 15 and Dave Dudzinski had 14 points in the victory...Holy Cross limited NJIT to 30% shooting (18-of-60) in the game and 2-of-14 from three-point range..Holy Cross fell 83-73 to Canisius in its return to the court on Monday at the Hart Center...The Crusaders were playing for the first time in more than a week after breaking for final exams...Dudzinski finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Miller added 15 and Justin Burrell scored 11...The Crusaders are back in action on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Michigan...The game will be shown on Big Ten Network...Holy Cross opens League play at new member and regional rival Boston University on Thursday.

LAFAYETTE Despite a career-high 35 points from Bryce Scott, Lafayette's comeback bid fell short in a 65-62 loss at St. Francis (Brooklyn) on Thursday...The Leopards trailed by 11 with under seven minutes to play before using a 15-4 run to tie the score at 62-62 on Scott's three-pointer with 21 seconds left...St. Francis' Aleksandar Isailovic hit a three as time expired to give the Terriers the victory...Scott made 10-of-17 shots, 4-of-6 three-pointers and 11-of-12 free throws in his 35-point effort...The Leopards saw their four-game win streak come to an end as they played without leading scorer Seth Hinrichs, who was out with an injury...The Leopards had extended the run to four in a row with a 79-54 triumph over Immaculata on Tuesday...Hinrichs led Lafayette with 19 points, while Joey Ptasinski had 14...Lafayette plays its final non-League game at Seton Hall on Friday at 8 p.m. on Fox Sports 1...The Leopards open League play at home against Army on Thursday.

LEHIGH In its first action in nearly two weeks, Lehigh extended its winning streak to five in a row with a 69-58 triumph over Quinnipiac on Saturday...The five-game run is the longest for a Patriot League team this season...Lehigh also extended its home record to 5-0, opening with that mark at Stabler Arena for the second time in three years...The Mountain Hawks also recorded the 1,000th win in program history...Lehigh led from start to finish, taking a 22-15 edge at the half and extending it as high as 22 after intermission before Quinnipiac trimmed the final margin to 11...Tim Kempton led a balanced scoring effort with 12 points, while Jesse Chuku had 11, Corey Schaefer scored 10 and three others had nine...Lehigh shot just under 50% at 26-of-54 while limiting Quinnipiac to 33% shooting at 22-of-66...The Mountain Hawks also made 6-of-9 three-pointers while Quinnipiac went 0-of-16 from downtown...Lehigh completes its non-League slate at Bryant on Monday, and opens League play by visiting Colgate on Thursday and hosting Boston University on Jan. 5.

LOYOLA MARYLAND Loyola dropped a pair of home games last week as late rallies could not make up deficits...The Greyhounds rallied from a 17-point deficit to tie the score twice in the second half on Thursday, but Stony Brook closed out strong for a 76-69 win..The Greyhounds used a 20-5 run to tie the game at 51-51 with 9:41 to play, and scored six in a row to even it again at 63-63 with 3:16 left...Loyola could never get over the hump, as Stony Brook went on a 9-1 run to take control and go on to the 76-69 win...Dylon Cormier led Loyola with 25 points, including 18 in the second half, while making 16-of-21 free throws in the game...The Greyhounds fell behind 60-24 at halftime against Saint Joseph's on Saturday and could not get back closer than nine points in an 88-77 loss...Cormier had 27 points and 11 rebounds in the loss as he shot 10-of-15 from the field and 6-of-8 at the line...He has scored 20 points or more in eight of Loyola's 10 games this season and had his third double-double of the year on Saturday...With 1,454 points, Cormier is just four away from the school's top 10...He is fifth in the nation with 24.1 points per game...Loyola visits Miami (Fla.) on Monday, then plays its first Patriot League game at home against in-state foe Navy on Thursday night.

NAVY Navy led by seven points with just over eight minutes to play before Northern Kentucky rallied for a 72-65 win at home on Saturday...The Norse went ahead for good on a pair of free throws with 4:08 left, and pushed the lead to four on a three-pointer with 30 seconds left...Brandon Venturini led Navy with 20 points while shooting 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-4 at the line, while Worth Smith had 15 points and Kendall Knorr finished with 13...The Mids shot just under 50% at 23-of-47, but allowed a 51% clip of 25-of-49...Navy completes its non-League slate at UMBC on Monday, a team the Mids defeated by 15 points at home on Nov. 23....The Mids open League play at Loyola Maryland on Thursday, and play their first Patriot League home game on Jan. 5 against Lafayette...It will be Navy's first home game since Dec. 4 as the Mids put a 4-0 mark at Alumni Hall on the line.