What: Saint Francis (Pa.) (1-2) at Bucknell (1-1)
Where: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
When: Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, 7 p.m.
Internet Video: Bison Vision on the Patriot League Network (free)
Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 WEGH)
Internet Radio: BucknellBison.com
Live Statistics: BucknellBison.com
Tickets: 570-577-1000 or buy online
Promotions: Applebee's will be giving out orange and blue pom poms to all fans while supplies last. The first 500 students will get a FREE pair of sunglasses!
With a Win over Saint Francis, Bucknell Would ...
• ... improve to 2-1 on the season.
• ... defeat the Red Flash for the third straight year.
• ... win its home opener for the fifth straight year.
• ... improve to 113-33 all-time at Sojka Pavilion.
• Bucknell opens its 2013-14 home schedule on Saturday night against in-state foe Saint Francis (Pa.). The Bison are off to a strong start this season, following up a close 72-68 loss to Stanford with an impressive 90-80 victory at Penn State on Wednesday. It was Bucknell’s first win over the Nittany Lions since 1976, its first-ever win in the Bryce Jordan Center after 10 straight losses, and its first win anywhere in State College since 1968.
• Prior to the game, Bucknell will unfurl its 2013 Patriot League championship and NCAA Tournament banners.
• Junior guard Stephen Kaspar has turned heads in the first two games. After logging career highs with 12 points, seven rebounds and nine assists against Stanford, he more than doubled his career high with 25 points on 9-for-13 shooting in the win at Penn State. Kaspar is averaging 18.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.5 assists so far while shooting 59.1 FG%.
• This is a “new-look” Bison squad, as three standout players from last year’s NCAA Tournament team have graduated (Mike Muscala, Bryson Johnson, Joe Willman). Three Bucknell players made their first career starts at Stanford (Brian Fitzpatrick, Dom Hoffman, Ben Brackney), and Ryan Frazier started for the first time in his career at Penn State.
• The Bison were picked to finish fourth in the Patriot League in a preseason poll of the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Senior guard Cameron Ayers, who had 19 points at Penn State, was a Preseason All-Patriot League selection.
• Bucknell returns two starters and 11 lettermen from last year’s squad that won a school-record 28 games, captured Patriot League regular-season and tournament titles, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in program history.
• Saint Francis is 1-2 on the season, with the victory coming over a Patriot League program. The Red Flash upended Navy 60-57 on Monday in Loretto. On Wednesday they gave Dayton a stern test before falling 70-56. That game was tied at 54 with four minutes to play. Saint Francis opened the year with an 87-67 loss at Fordham. Earl Brown is the team’s top scorer at 13.3 ppg.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Saint Francis game will not be televised. Online webcast is available free of charge on Bison Vision on the Patriot League Network.
• The game can be heard in the Susquehanna Valley on the radio on Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM), with Doug Birdsong calling the action. The pregame show begins 30 minutes before tip-off.
• The audio feed is available online free of charge via BucknellBison.com.
• Live stats can be accessed at BucknellBison.com.
• The Bison were picked fourth in the Patriot League Preseason Poll of head coaches and sports information directors. Bucknell received 113 points in the poll. Voters are not permitted to consider their own teams or players.
• In addition, senior guard Cameron Ayers was named to the Preseason All-Patriot League Team for the second year in a row.
• Boston University and Loyola Maryland are both in their first year as members of the Patriot League.
Patriot League Preseason Poll
1. Boston University 162 (18 first-place votes)
2. Lafayette 130 (2)
3. Army 115
4. Bucknell 113
5. Loyola 109
6. Lehigh 93
7. Holy Cross 70
8. Colgate 49
9. American 36
10. Navy 23
Bucknell vs. Saint Francis Series Notes
• Bucknell has a 16-12 lead in the all-time series. The Bison have won the last two, although Saint Francis has won five of the last nine.
• The Bison captured seven of the first nine meetings in a series that dates back to 1927.
• Bucknell is 10-4 against Saint Francis (Pa.) in Lewisburg, but only 6-8 in Loretto.
• Last year’s game was all Bucknell, as the Bison sprinted out to a 40-19 haltime lead and won 76-49 at DeGol Arena. Cameron Ayers scored 13 points, and Joe Willman, Mike Muscala and Bryson Johnson tallied 12 each. The bench saw plenty of action in the second half, with Chris Hass scoring seven points and Cory Starkey nabbing six rebounds. Earl Brown led the Red Flash with 12 points.
Bucknell vs. The Northeast Conference
Bucknell is 44-34 (.564) all-time against the teams that currently comprise the Northeast Conference. The Bison are 16-12 against Saint Francis (Pa.), 12-8 vs. Mount St. Mary’s, 6-3 vs. Robert Morris, 5-2 vs. Saint Francis (N.Y.), 4-7 vs. Wagner, 1-0 vs. Bryant and 0-1 vs. Central Connecticut State. Bucknell has never played Fairleigh Dickinson.
Last Time Out
• Bucknell exorcised a few decades worth of demons on Wednesday with a well-played 90-80 win at Penn State. The Bison snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Nittany Lions dating back to 1976. Bucknell had been 0-10 all-time in the Bryce Jordan Center, and it won in State College for the first time since 1968.
• The Bison were terrific at the offensive end of the floor, led by a career-high 25 points from Steven Kaspar. Bucknell shot 60.9% from the floor and made 10 of 15 3-point tries after a 10-for-12 start. The Bison also went 24-for-31 (.774) from the free-throw line, including 11 straight makes in the final 2:37 to ice the game.
• Kaspar scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half, and Cameron Ayers tallied 16 of his 19 in the second half, when the Bison outscored Penn State 54-39. Ayers went 5-for-6 from 3-point range, and Ben Brackney made four straight treys early in the game before finishing 4-for-5. Brackney also hit four straight free throws in the final minute before finishing with a career-high 16 points, and Brian Fitzpatrick also reached a career high with 13 on 4-for-5 shooting.
• Bucknell flipped a five-point deficit into an 11-point lead with a 21-5 run midway through the second half. The play of the night came during that surge, when Kaspar soared through the air to reject Graham Woodward’s 3-point attempt and then chased down the loose ball and scored on a breakaway to give Bucknell a 64-60 lead.
• Led by defensive stalwart Ryan Frazier, Bucknell did a solid job on Penn State star guard Tim Frazier. The All-Big Ten performer had gone 12-for-17 from the foul line and scored 25 points in the Nittany Lions’ season-opening win over Wagner. But against the Bison he did not make a foul shot (0-2) and was limited to 13 points and five turnovers.
• The 90 points are the most Bucknell has ever scored against Penn State in 101 all-time meetings.
• The Bison hit the 90-point mark for the first time since Feb. 11, 2012 against Lafayette and for the first time on the road since a 91-85 overtime win at Colgate on Feb. 6, 2008. The last time they scored 90 in a regulation-time road contest was Feb. 20, 1993 at Lehigh (90-80).
• Bucknell’s 37-game streak without allowing 80 points came to an end. The last team to score 80 on the Bison was Lehigh in the 2012 Patriot League championship game.
• The last time Bucknell allowed 80 points and won the game was an 83-82 double-overtime win over Old Dominion in Dave Paulsen’s first season in 2008-09. The last time Bucknell allowed 80 points and won in regulation was a 98-88 victory over Lehigh on Feb. 19, 1994, which was the last game Charlie Woollum ever coached in Davis Gym.
• Coupled with its win over Purdue last season, the Bison have now beaten a Big Ten team two years in a row.
• The win was No. 100 at Bucknell for Paulsen.
• Steven Kaspar (12, 25), Ben Brackney (13, 16) and Brian Fitzpatrick (10, 13) all set career scoring highs in the opener against Stanford, and then re-set them in game No. 2 at Penn State. Cameron Ayers (11, 19) has also scored in double figures in both games.
• Not to be lost among those top four scorers is sophomore Dom Hoffman, who has tallied eight points in both games so far. Hoffman was 4-4 FG at Penn State and is shooting 66.7% on the season.
• Through two games the Bison are shooting 50.5% from the field, 44.4% from 3-point range and 80.0% from the foul line.
Who’s Got Next?
• Bucknell travels to St. John’s on Tuesday for an 8:30 p.m. tip at Carnesecca Arena. The game will air live on Fox Sports 1.
• This will be the second all-time meeting between the Bison and the Red Storm. The other was a 28-18 St. John’s victory on Feb. 10, 1912.
• St. John’s defeated Wagner 73-57 on Friday to improve to 1-1 on the season. The Red Storm opened with an 86-75 loss to Wisconsin.