Bison fans, come out and support the Military and the Bison in our Military Appreciation Game. pic.twitter.com/8aoo62boAA— Bucknell MBasketball (@Bucknell_MBB) January 10, 2018
What: Lehigh (7-8, 2-2 PL) at Bucknell (9-8, 3-1 PL)
Where: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
When: Thursday, Jan. 10, 2018, 7 p.m. (ET)
TV: Stadium TV (Station List)
Webcast: Patriot League Network
Local Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 FM WEGH)
Listen Live: BucknellBison.com and Eagle107.com
Live Stats: BucknellBison.com
Tickets: 570-577-1000 or purchase online
PROMOTIONS & HAPPENINGS:
- Junior Bison Club free admission
- Military Appreciation Night
- Free admission for all active military, veterans and Gold Star families
- Fans are asked to donate toiletries and various non-perishable items to ship as care packages to soldiers overseas.
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (13.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 5.0 apg)
G: Jimmy Sotos (6.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.1 apg)
F: Bruce Moore (6.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.4 apg)
F: Zach Thomas (21.9 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.2 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (16.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.6 apg)
With a Win over Lehigh, Bucknell Would ...
• ... improve to 10-8 overall, 4-1 in the Patriot League and 6-1 at home this season.
• ... maintain a share of first place in the Patriot League.
• ... win its third straight game, sixth in its last seven, and 10th in its last 14.
• ... improve to 113-26 against Patriot League opponents in Sojka Pavilion.
• ... improve to 53-31 under Nathan Davis.
• It's a rematch of the 2017 Patriot League championship game on Thursday night when Lehigh visits Bucknell. The Bison won that title game 81-65 at Sojka Pavilion after the Mountain Hawks had swept the two games in the regular season.
• Bucknell joins Colgate and Boston University atop the crowded Patriot League standings at 3-1, while Lehigh is one of five teams sitting one game back at 2-2. Colgate and Boston University meet on Thursday in Boston. Eight of the 10 teams are separated by just one game.
• Bucknell has been playing without two starters for most of the season, but one is expected to make his return against Lehigh. Junior Kimbal Mackenzie has missed the last 10 games after undergoing surgery to repair an abdominal muscle tear, but the 2017 Third Team All-Patriot League selection is considered probable for Thursday's contest. Sophomore Avi Toomer has missed the last 14 games with a leg injury and remains out. Reserve guard Matt O'Reilly has been playing through a foot injury for much of the season and is doubtful for Thursday's game vs. Lehigh. Reserve center Nate Sestina missed Friday's game at Army with a hip strain, but returned on Monday at Lafayette.
• Despite the depleted lineup, Bucknell has won five of its last six games and is 9-4 since starting the season with consecutive road losses at Monmouth, Arkansas, North Carolina and Maryland.
• Bucknell is coming off an 80-75 overtime win at Lafayette on Monday, with the three seniors accounting for 64 of the team's 80 points. The Bison trailed by as many as 13 in the first half, and by 12 early in the second. It was the second time during this 5-1 stretch that Bucknell overcame a double-digit second-half deficit. The Bison battled back from 14 points down to beat Richmond on Dec. 19.
• Zach Thomas is enjoying a monster senior year, averaging 21.9 points and 9.5 rebounds thus far. Thomas is one of five Division I players currently leading his conference in both scoring and rebounding:
PLAYERS LEADING A CONFERENCE IN SCORING AND REBOUNDING
Zach Thomas, Bucknell (PL) 21.9 ppg/9.5 rpg
Marvin Bagley III, Duke (ACC) 22.5 ppg/11.5 rpg
Jock Landale, Saint Mary's (WCC) 21.3 ppg/10.2 rpg
Yante Maten, Georgia (SEC) 20.0 ppg/9.4 rpg
Brandon McCoy, UNLV (MWC) 19.3 ppg/10.3 rpg
• Thomas has earned four Patriot League Player of the Week honors, giving Bucknell five this season (Nana Foulland has the other). Thomas has 11 20-point games (including two 30-point games) on the season, headlined by a 38-point, 11-rebound, 7-assist gem at Stony Brook on Nov. 26. Thomas now ranks 19th nationally in scoring, first in free throw attempts and third in made free throws.
2017-18 NCAA LEADERS, FREE THROW ATTEMPTS
- Zach Thomas, Bucknell 158
- Matt Scott, Niagara 157
- Jon Elmore, Marshall 152
- Bryson Scott, Fort Wayne 149
- Trae Young, Oklahoma 137
• The Bison were the unanimous favorite in the Patriot League Preseason Poll of head coaches and sports information directors. Nana Foulland was voted PL Preseason Player of the Year and was joined on the Preseason All-Patriot League Team by Thomas.
• Lehigh comes in at 7-8 overall and 2-2 in the Patriot League. In league play, the Mountain Hawks have beaten Lafayette and Holy Cross while losing to Navy and Boston University, both on the road. Lehigh has been led by its backcourt, with Lance Tejada (15.6), Kahron Ross (12.8) and Kyle Leufroy (11.3) the team's top three scorers.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Lehigh game will be televised on Stadium TV and to outlets across the country, including WSWB-4 in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market. The game will also stream live on the Patriot League Network at PatriotLeague.tv. Matt Martucci (play-by-play), Pat O'Keefe (color), and Morgan Uber (sideline reporter) will call the action.
• The game can be heard in the Susquehanna Valley on the radio on Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM), with Doug Birdsong handling the play-by-play. The pregame show begins 30 minutes before tip-off.
• The audio feed is available online free of charge on personal computers via BucknellBison.com and Eagle107.com. To listen on iPhone and Android devices, download the official Bucknell Athletics app.
• Live statistics can be accessed via BucknellBison.com.
• Follow @Bucknell_MBB for in-game updates on Twitter.
Last Time Out
• Bucknell point guard Stephen Brown picked a great time to go over the 1,000-point mark for his career. He reached the milestone with a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:17 left in overtime, sending the Bison on to an 80-75 win at Lafayette on Monday night at Kirby Sports Center.
• Brown finished with 19 points, 15 coming after halftime, to help the Bison erase a double-digit deficit. Fellow seniors Zach Thomas and Nana Foulland also had big nights, with both topping 20 points in double-doubles. Thomas tallied 25 points and 13 rebounds, while Foulland finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Foulland also reached a milestone, going over 1,500 career points and becoming a top-10 scorer in Bucknell history in the process.
• Bucknell flipped the script in the second half. After an ice-cold shooting stretch in the first half, when they trailed by as many as 13 points, the Bison shot 52% in the second half while holding Lafayette to 35.5%. Bucknell then kept Lafayette without a field goal (0-for-8) in overtime.
• Bucknell seemed poised to win it in regulation, but freshman Alex Petrie (26 points) tossed in a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie it at 70. Petrie had just missed a deep, contested three, but the rebound slammed all the way out to the left corner. Justin Jaworski tracked down the loose ball and got it back to Petrie, who made the most of his second chance as the horn sounded.
• Bucknell shot 38.2% on the night, its second-lowest mark of the season (Saint Joseph's) and finished 6 of 19 at the arc. The Bison committed just six turnovers to match its season low (also Saint Joseph's) and made 22 of 29 at the foul line, including an 8-for-10 performance from Foulland.
• The Bison also kept Matt Klinewski — the Patriot League's No. 2 scorer behind Thomas — in check. He finished with 10 points on 4-for-10 shooting before fouling out in overtime.
• In the final 15 minutes of the game — the last 10 of regulation plus overtime — the Bison held the Leopards to just three field goals, the last of which was the Petrie buzzer-beater.
Bucknell vs. Lehigh
• Bucknell has played more games (169) and won more games (102) against Lehigh than any other school. The Bison have a 102-67 lead in a series that originated in 1902.
• Since the start of Patriot League play in 1990-91, Bucknell holds a 42-21 advantage, including a 23-8 mark at home.
• Lehigh owns the most wins of any team over Bucknell in Sojka Pavilion (7).
• Lehigh is responsible for snapping Bucknell's 35-game home winning streak against Patriot League foes. The Bison had not lost to a conference opponent at Sojka Pavilion in nearly five years, until the Mountain Hawks won 56-54 in Lewisburg on Jan. 30, 2008.
• Lehigh also won the first game ever played in Sojka Pavilion, a 60-56 decision on Jan. 15, 2003. Including that game, Bucknell is 11-7 against the Mountain Hawks in Sojka.
• Bucknell is 6-3 against Lehigh in Patriot League Tournament action, including an 81-65 win in last year's championship game.
• Lehigh swept the regular-season series last season. At Sojka Pavilion, the Bison stormed back from 18 points down in the second half to tie the game, but the Mountain Hawks finished the game on a 16-5 run over the final 5:45 to win 82-71. While Lehigh was 10-for-17 from 3-point range, the Bison hit just 6 of 23. In game two at Stabler Arena on Feb. 8, Bucknell came back from deficits of eight and 12 points to tie the game, but just like in Lewisburg, Lehigh made the final run and prevailed 79-71. Bucknell avenged those losses in the Patriot League title game, stretching out a one-point halftime lead by outscoring the Mountain Hawks 46-31 in the second half.
Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 268-116 (.698) all-time in Patriot League regular-season games, the best record of any league team. The Bison last season compiled at least a .500 record in PL play for the 23rd time in 27 Patriot League seasons.
• Bucknell won three straight outright Patriot League regular-season titles from 2011-13, becoming the first team in league history to accomplish that feat. The Bison have now won another three in a row and six of the last seven.
• Bucknell has won 11 Patriot League regular-season titles in 27 years. No other team has more than five.
• Last year Bucknell made its eighth Patriot League Tournament appearance as the No. 1 seed.
• Dating back to mid-2010, Bucknell has won 98 of its last 125 league games.
• Bucknell won Patriot League Tournament titles in 2005, 2006, 2011, 2013 and 2017. The Bison have made it to the semifinals 20 times and to the championship game 11 times in the 27-year history of the league.
• The Bison are the only team to go unbeaten in league play in a season (14-0 in 2006).
Numbers Worth Noting
• Bucknell has had at least one player grab double-digit rebounds in seven straight games.
• Bucknell leads the Patriot League in scoring offense at 81.8 points per game (36th nationally), but the Bison have also given up the most points (80.6) in the league (313th nationally). The Bison are scoring 1.09 and allowing 1.07 points per possession on the season.
• The Bison are 9-1 when scoring 80 or more points, but 0-7 when scoring fewer than 80. The lone exception to the 80-point rule is a 93-81 loss at North Carolina.
• Bucknell has logged a positive assist-to-turnover ratio in 12 of 17 games this season. Point guard Stephen Brown has 85 assists and only 26 turnovers on the year. He ranks 19th nationally in assist-turnover ratio.
• Nate Sestina has been productive off the bench for the Bison. He is averaging 6.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, but when pro-rated for 40 minutes he is tallying 18.2 ppg and 10.3 rpg.
• Bucknell is shooting 52.4% from the field at home this season, led by Sestina (.724) and Nana Foulland (.688).
• Bucknell is averaging 44.0 points in the second halves of games this season, the 15th-best figure in the country.
• 28.6% of Bucknell's offensive plays have resulted in free throws, which is the 39th-highest rate in the country.
• Thomas ranks 10th nationally in defensive rebounds per game at 7.9.
• According to the Hollinger Player Efficiency Rating formula at ESPN.com, Thomas ranks 49th out of all Division I players with a score of 27.66. PER measures the aggregate of a player's statistical efficiency.
What a Class
• Each member of the Bison senior class has now eclipsed the 1,000-point mark. This is just the second class in team history to accomplish that feat. The other was the Class of 2013, with Mike Muscala (2,036), Bryson Johnson (1,384) and Joe Willman (1,162).
• This group now has a 71-46 overall record and a 45-13 mark in Patriot League play. They have captured regular-season titles all three years so far and have played in an NCAA Tournament and two NITs.
• Brown, Foulland and Thomas have combined for 3,901 points: Foulland (1,504), Thomas (1,394), Brown (1,003).
• Bucknell was one of only 11 Division I teams that returned at least two 1,000-point scorers at the start of the season.
Thomas Trying to Join 20-ppg Club
• Zach Thomas is trying to become the eighth player in school history to average 20 points in a single season. Joe Steiner (1960-61) holds the single-season record at 22.0 points per game.
• The last Bison to average 20 points per game was Chris Simpson (20.5) in 1993-94.
BUCKNELL PLAYERS AVERAGING 20+ POINTS PER GAME IN A SEASON
- Joe Steiner 1960-61 22.0
- Zach Thomas 2017-18 21.9
- Al Leslie 1979-80 20.9
- Chris Simpson 1993-94 20.5
- Jim Wherry 1967-68 20.4
- Patrick King 1991-92 20.3
- Greg Leggett 1989-90 20.2
- Dick Kniffin 1960-61 20.1
Who's Got Next?
uBucknell returns to action on Monday, Jan. 15 at Colgate in a game that will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.