What: Bucknell (10-8, 4-1 PL) at Colgate (8-8, 3-2 PL)
Where: Cotterell Court, Hamilton, N.Y.
When: Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, 7 p.m. (ET)
TV: CBS Sports Network
Local Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 FM WEGH)
Listen Live: BucknellBison.com and Eagle107.com
Live Stats: GoColgateRaiders.com
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (13.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.8 apg)
G: Jimmy Sotos (6.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.1 apg)
F: Bruce Moore (6.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.8 bpg)
F: Zach Thomas (21.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 2.1 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (16.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.6 bpg)
With a Win over Colgate, Bucknell Would ...
• ... improve to 11-8 overall, 5-1 in the Patriot League and 5-7 on the road this season.
• ... maintain at least a share of first place in the Patriot League.
• ... get to 5-1 after six PL games for the fourth straight year.
• ... win its season-high fourth straight game, seventh in its last eight, and 11th in its last 15.
• ... improve to 3-0 on the road in league play.
• ... improve to 54-31 under Nathan Davis.
• Bucknell goes for a season-best fourth straight victory when it travels to Colgate on Monday on CBS Sports Network. The Bison are coming off a 13-point home win over Lehigh in a rematch of last year’s Patriot League championship game, and they have responded to the Jan. 2 loss to Boston University with three straight wins. Meanwhile the Raiders are 3-2 in league play after falling at Boston University 72-58 on Thursday.
• Bucknell and Boston University enter the weekend tied for the Patriot League lead at 4-1. Colgate, Army and Navy are all one game back at 3-2.
• Bucknell has been playing without two starters for most of the season, but one key backcourt cog returned against Lehigh on Thursday. Junior Kimbal Mackenzie missed 10 games after undergoing surgery to repair an abdominal muscle tear, but the 2017 Third Team All-Patriot League selection played 19 minutes off the bench and contributed eight points and two assists in the win over the Mountain Hawks. Sophomore Avi Toomer has missed the last 15 games with a leg injury and remains out, although he is nearing a return to action. Reserve guard Matt O’Reilly missed the Lehigh game with a foot injury and is out 4-6 weeks.
• Despite the depleted lineup, Bucknell has won six of its last seven games and is 10-4 since starting the season with consecutive road losses at Monmouth, Arkansas, North Carolina and Maryland.
• Zach Thomas is enjoying a monster senior year, averaging 21.4 points and 9.3 rebounds thus far. Thomas, who was named to the Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year Award mid-season watch list this week, is one of three Division I players currently leading his conference in both scoring and rebounding:
PLAYERS LEADING A CONFERENCE IN SCORING AND REBOUNDING
Zach Thomas, Bucknell (PL) 21.4 ppg/9.3 rpg
Marvin Bagley III, Duke (ACC) 22.1 ppg/11.8 rpg
Jock Landale, Saint Mary’s (WCC) 21.2 ppg/10.2 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 22nd nationally in scoring, first in free throw attempts and fifth in made free throws.
2017-18 NCAA LEADERS, FREE THROW ATTEMPTS
- Zach Thomas, Bucknell 163
- Bryson Scott, Fort Wayne 158
- Matt Scott, Niagara 157
- Jon Elmore, Marshall 156
- Trae Young, Oklahoma 148
Bucknell’s three seniors — Stephen Brown, Nana Foulland and Zach Thomas — are averaging 51.3 points per game and have combined for 62.8% of the team’s points this season. All three have now topped the 1,000-point plateau, with Brown the latest to reach the milestone last Monday at Lafayette. With a combined 51 points at Colgate, the trio would become a 4,000-point class.
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.
uColgate is an efficient offensive team with four double-figure scorers (Will Rayman 14.8, Jordan Swopshire 12.9, Jordan Burns 11.7, Sean O’Brien 11.1). The Raiders hit 10.1 3-pointers per game while shooting 37.2% as a team from the arc, and they only commit 11.8 turnovers per game. O’Brien leads the Patriot League in assist-turnover ratio (4.5), just ahead of Bucknell’s Brown.
How to Get the Game
• Bucknell will be making its first appearance of the season on CBS Sports Network. Jason Knapp (play-by-play) and Mo Cassera (color) will call the action from Cotterell Court.
• 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 goColgateRaiders.com.
• Follow @Bucknell_MBB for in-game updates on Twitter.
Last Time Out
• On the night he was honored for reaching 1,000 career points, Stephen Brown scored a career-high-tying 23 points in leading Bucknell to a 78-65 win over Lehigh at Sojka Pavilion.
• Both teams struggled to score early in the contest, with Bucknell and Lehigh combining to make only 22 of their 67 combined field goal attempts in the first half. The Bison took a two-point halftime lead, 28-26, and extended it to 11 with a 10-1 run to start the second half. Highlighting the run were back-to-back dunks by Bruce Moore and Nana Foulland off of nice feeds from Jimmy Sotos and Brown, respectively. The Orange and Blue led by as many as 17 points, and the Mountain Hawks did not get any closer than nine for the remainder of the game.
• Brown, who previously scored 23 points against Maryland earlier this season, used an array of driving layups and mid-range jumpers to carve up the Lehigh defense. He also had five rebounds, two assists and two steals and did not turn the ball over in 32 minutes.
• Zach Thomas added 13 points and a team-high six rebounds, while Foulland added 12 points and three assists in limited action due to foul trouble.
• Bucknell also welcomed back All-Patriot League guard Kimbal Mackenzie, who scored eight points in 19 minutes in his return after a 10-game injury absence.
• Defensively, Bucknell came up with a season-high 10 steals and forced 20 Lehigh turnovers. The Bison limited the Mountain Hawks to 41% shooting on the night and kept leading scorer Lance Tejada (15.6 ppg) to nine points on 3-for-9 shooting. Pat Andree went 4-for-6 from the arc and led the Mountain Hawks with 14 points.
Bucknell vs. Colgate
• This will be the 109th all-time meeting between Bucknell and Colgate in a series that dates back to 1920. The Bison have a 64-44 series lead. The only other opponents that Bucknell has played at least 100 times are Lehigh (170), Lafayette (164), Gettysburg (126) and Penn State (103).
• As Patriot League rivals, Bucknell has won 43 of the 60 meetings, including 22 of 27 in Lewisburg.
• Bucknell is 14-6 in its last 20 games in Hamilton.
• Bucknell entered the 2014-15 season with a 10-game series winning streak over Colgate, but the Raiders swept the Bison for the first time since 1997-98, and then they repeated the feat in 2015-16 to run their win streak over Bucknell to four games. The Bison responded with a season sweep last year, winning 83-69 in Hamilton and 75-58 in Lewisburg.
• Bucknell won last year’s initial meeting at Cotterell Court 83-69 behind a then-career-high-tying 21 points from Stephen Brown. A 26-2 run bridging the halftime break was the difference. The Bison shot 56.0% for the game — 14-for-25 in each half — and went 9-for-18 from the 3-point arc. Will Rayman led Colgate with 19 points, while Sean O’Brien added 15. At Sojka Pavilion later in the season, Bucknell picked up its 20th win behind 17 points from Zach Thomas, 14 points and 12 rebounds from Nana Foulland, and 15 points and seven assists from Brown. Rayman paced Colgate with 15 points, but the Bison had 11 steals and forced 17 Raiders turnovers.
Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 269-116 (.699) 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 leads the Patriot League in scoring offense at 81.6 points per game (45th nationally), but the Bison have also given up the most points (79.7) in the league (322nd nationally). The Bison are scoring 1.09 and allowing 1.06 points per possession on the season.
• The Bison are 9-1 when scoring 80 or more points, but 1-7 when scoring fewer than 80. The lone exceptions to the 80-point rule are a 93-81 loss at North Carolina and Thursday's 78-65 win over Lehigh.
• Bucknell has logged a positive assist-to-turnover ratio in 13 of 18 games this season. Point guard Stephen Brown has 87 assists and only 26 turnovers on the year. He ranks 11th nationally in assist-turnover ratio.
• Brown is averaging 20.3 ppg in his last three games and 15.8 ppg in Patriot League play. The senior is taking more shots than at any other point in his career. Brown is averaging 11.7 FGA per game this season, more than three more attempts above his previous career high of 8.6 last year.
• Freshman Jimmy Sotos has a PL-best 2.4 steals per game in conference play.
• Bruce Moore leads the league in blocked shots (2.0 per game) in PL play.
• Nate Sestina has been productive off the bench for the Bison. He is averaging 6.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, but when pro-rated for 40 minutes he is tallying 17.8 ppg and 10.2 rpg.
• Bucknell is shooting 50.4% from the field at home this season and 44.5% on the road.
• Bucknell is averaging 44.3 points in the second halves of games this season, the 12th-best figure in the country. That figure jumps to 49.4 ppg at home, which is the fifth-highest figure in the country.
• 28.2% of Bucknell’s offensive plays have resulted in free throws, which is the 44th-highest rate in the country.
• Thomas ranks 10th nationally in defensive rebounds per game at 7.9. He is averaging a double-double (18.8 ppg/10.2 rpg) in Patriot League play.
• 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 72-46 overall record and a 46-13 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 3,949 points: Foulland (1,516), Thomas (1,407), Brown (1,026).
• Bucknell was one of only 11 Division I teams that returned at least two 1,000-point scorers at the start of the season.
Who’s Got Next?
• After returning home from Colgate, the Bison must head right back out on the road to face Loyola on Wednesday night. The game will be televised by Stadium TV and will stream on the Patriot League Network at PatriotLeague.tv.