What: Boston University (5-7, 1-0 PL) at Bucknell (7-7, 1-0 PL)
Where: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
When: Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, 7 p.m. (ET)
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
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (12.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 5.2 apg)
G: Jimmy Sotos (6.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.1 apg)
F: Bruce Moore (4.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.3 apg)
F: Zach Thomas (22.7 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.4 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (17.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.4 apg)
With a Win over Boston University, Bucknell Would ...
• ... win its season-high fourth straight game and improve to 8-7 overall and 6-0 at home this season.
• ... win its 16th straight home game dating back to last season.
• ... beat the Terriers for the eighth straight time.
• ... improve to 51-30 under Nathan Davis.
• ... improve to 161-52 overall and 113-25 against Patriot League opponents at Sojka Pavilion.
• The top two teams in the Patriot League preseason poll meet at Sojka Pavilion on Tuesday to kick off the 2018 calendar year. Bucknell and Boston University both started Patriot League play with victories, and both figure to be contenders in the league title chase despite dealing with significant injuries thus far.
• Bucknell’s 15-game home winning streak is tied for seventh-longest nationally.
ACTIVE HOME-COURT WINNING STREAKS
- Cincinnati 33
- SMU 32
- Florida State 27
- Texas Southern 23
- Vermont 16
- Bucknell 15
UC Davis 15
- Kentucky 14
- Duke 13
Michigan State 13
South Dakota State 13
Northern Kentucky 13
• After closing the non-league slate with wins over Atlantic 10 foes Richmond and La Salle, Bucknell got out to a strong start in Patriot League play with an 84-55 rout of American on Friday at Sojka Pavilion. Dominant performances from Nana Foulland (26 points, 11 rebounds, 11-15 FG) and Zach Thomas (27 points, 9 rebounds, 12-12 FG) paved the way.
• Bucknell has been playing without two starters in recent weeks. Sophomore Avi Toomer has missed the last 11 games with a leg injury. Junior Kimbal Mackenzie has missed the last seven after undergoing surgery to repair an abdominal muscle tear.
• Senior center Nana Foulland has been nearly unstoppable in recent games. In home victories over La Salle and American last week, he totaled 56 points on 23-for-30 (.767) shooting from the field. He scored a career-high 30 points in the La Salle game and has topped the 20-point mark in three of his last four outings. In five home games this season, Foulland is shooting an even 70% from the floor (42-60).
• Zach Thomas is also enjoying a monster senior year, averaging 22.7 points and 8.9 rebounds thus far. Thomas has earned four Patriot League Player of the Week honors (including last week), giving Bucknell five of the seven this season (Nana Foulland has the other). Thomas has nine 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 13th nationally in scoring, third in free throw attempts and fifth in made free throws.
• 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.
• Boston University topped Army 90-82 at Case Gym in the Patriot League opener on Friday, led by 33 points from Cedric Hankerson. The Terriers went 4-7 in non-league play, with wins over Maine, Wheaton, New Hampshire and Bethune-Cookman. Hankerson leads the team in scoring at 14.8 points per game, followed by Max Mahoney at 11.3 ppg. Boston University leads the Patriot League in steals (7.1) and turnover margin (+1.33) on the season.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Boston University game game will not be televised, however the game will stream live on the Patriot League Network at PatriotLeague.tv.
• 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
• Led by another dominant performance from its two frontcourt stars, the Bucknell men’s basketball team kicked off Patriot League play with a resounding 84-55 win over American on Friday night at Sojka Pavilion. Seniors Nana Foulland (26 points, 11 rebounds) and Zach Thomas (27 points, nine rebounds) combined to score 53 points in 53 minutes, making 21 of their 27 field goal attempts as the Bison won their 15th straight home game.
• Bucknell, which is 5-0 at home this season, shot 58.9% and held American to 35.1% shooting while outrebounding the Eagles by a 44-32 margin.
• It was just a four-point game at 26-22 with five minutes left in the first half, but the Bison broke it open with a 15-2 run surrounding halftime. They went on to lead by as many as 35 in the second half and cruised home from there.
• The inside duo of Foulland and Thomas led the Bison to a 54-28 advantage in points-in-the-paint. Bucknell struggled from the outside, making only 4 of 16 from 3-point range, but dominated on two-point shots, making 29 of 40 (.725).
• After committing seven first-half turnovers, the Bison had only three miscues in the second stanza and finished with 17 assists and 10 turnovers. They also blocked a season-high seven shots while giving up a season-low 55 points.
• The Eagles shot just 5-for-24 from 3-point range and didn’t help themselves at the foul line, making just 10 of 25.
Bucknell vs. Boston University
• Bucknell and Boston University have met 13 times previously in men’s basketball, and the Bison have a 10-3 lead in the series. Bucknell has won seven straight from the Terriers, the last three by double-digit margins.
• Bucknell is 4-2 at home in the series, 5-1 on the road and 1-0 at neutral sites. In games played in Boston, Bucknell is 2-1 at Agganis Arena and 3-0 at Case Gym.
• The two teams met for the first time at the 2005 Cable Car Classic at Santa Clara. The Bison won that one 63-57.
• Bucknell swept the Terriers last season, winning 70-59 in Lewisburg and 86-66 in Boston. The latter game clinched the Patriot League regular-season title for the Bison.
• In last year’s first meeting between the two teams, Bucknell outscored the Terriers 24-7 over the game’s final 7:22 to rally for the 70-59 victory. Nana Foulland scored a career-high-tying 23 points to go along with six rebounds and four blocks. Foulland made 11 of his 15 field goal attempts, including 10 of his last 11 after a 1-for-4 start. Justin Alston paced Boston University with 20 points, while Kyle Foreman tallied 11 points, seven assists and three steals. In the rematch at Case Gym, Foulland had 20 points, six rebounds, four assists and six blocks in Bucknell’s 86-66 victory. Kimbal Mackenzie added 17 points and Zach Thomas had 15 points and seven rebounds. Foreman led the Terriers with 16 points.
• In six career games against Boston University, Foulland is shooting 60.7% from the field while averaging 14.7 ppg. He was 20-for-28 in the two games last season.
• Point guard Stephen Brown has also saved some of his best games for the Terriers. In his career against Boston University, Brown has averaged 11.2 points per game while shooting 66.7% (22-33) from the field and 55.6% (5-9) from 3-point range.
Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 266-115 (.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 97 of its last 123 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 82.1 points per game, but the Bison have also given up the most points (81.8) in the league. The Bison are scoring 1.10 points per possession on the season while allowing 1.09.
• The Bison are 7-1 when scoring 80 or more points, but 0-6 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 every game this season except Arkansas, VCU and La Salle. Point guard Stephen Brown has 73 assists and only 21 turnovers on the year. He ranks 14th nationally in assist-turnover ratio.
• Nate Sestina has been productive off the bench for the Bison. He is averaging 6.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, but when pro-rated for 40 minutes he is tallying 17.8 ppg and 9.9 rpg.
• Bucknell is averaging 43.9 points in the second halves of games this season, the 23rd-best figure in the country.
• 28.9% of Bucknell’s offensive plays have resulted in free throws, which is the 29th-highest rate in the country.
• Thomas has scored in double figures in 28 games in a row, topping the 20-point mark in 14 of those 28 games. Foulland has reached double figures in 23 straight contests.
• Thomas ranks 11th nationally is defensive rebounds per game at 7.6.
• According to the Hollinger Player Efficiency Rating formula at ESPN.com, Thomas ranks 34th out of all Division I players with a score of 29.63. PER measures the aggregate of a player’s statistical efficiency.
Who’s Got Next?
• Bucknell will play four of its next five games on the road, starting Friday, Jan. 5 at Army West Point.