What: Colgate (14-10, 9-4 PL) at Bucknell (17-9, 11-2 PL)
Where: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
When: Monday, Feb. 12, 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: BucknellBison.com
Tickets: 570-577-1000 or purchase online
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (13.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.6 apg)
G: Kimbal Mackenzie (7.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.4 apg)
F: Bruce Moore (5.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.8 bpg)
F: Zach Thomas (21.8 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.3 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (15.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.8 bpg)
With a Win over Colgate, Bucknell Would ...
• ... improve to 18-9 overall, 12-2 in the Patriot League and 10-1 at home this season.
• ... regain a three-game lead in the Patriot League.
• ... win its fifth straight home game.
• ... win its 14th in the last 16, and 18th in its last 23.
• ... sweep the season series from the Raiders for the second year in a row.
• ... improve to 61-32 under Nathan Davis.
• ... improve to 102-26 in Patriot League play since the start of the 2010-11 season.
• ... improve to 117-26 against Patriot League foes in Sojka Pavilion.
• Bucknell returns to action for the first time since last Monday’s overtime loss at Lehigh, which ended the Bison’s 10-game winning streak and seven-game road winning streak. The overall winning streak was the 10th-longest in the country at the time and the 12th-longest in school history. The road winning streak was one shy of the school record, set in 1974-75, and was the third-longest in the country.
• Bucknell’s loss on Monday, coupled with Colgate’s win over Boston University, reduced Bucknell’s Patriot League lead to two games over the Raiders with five to play. The Terriers now sit alone in third place at 8-5.
• Despite last week’s setback in Bethlehem, Bucknell has still been red-hot of late. Dating back to mid-December, the Bison have won 13 of their last 15 games, and they are 17-5 since starting the season with consecutive road losses at Monmouth, Arkansas, North Carolina and Maryland.
• Bucknell has trailed at the half in four of its 11 Patriot League victories. The most recent comeback on Jan. 31, when the Bison fell behind by 19 with 5:00 left in the first half, cut it to 10 by halftime, then rallied to beat Army West Point 83-71 in overtime. The 19-point deficit was the largest the Bison have overcome in a victory this season.
• The Bison have been getting it done with defense. In Patriot League play, Bucknell is holding opponents to 40.0% shooting from the field and 32.6% from the 3-point arc while yielding only 68.5 points per game and 0.92 points per possession. The Bison are also +4.6 on the glass and are averaging 5.2 blocks per game.
• Stephen Brown, a veteran of 109 consecutive starts at point guard, has played some of the best ball of his career in recent weeks, particularly in two recent road wins. Brown scored a career-high 27 points, hitting 7 of 9 from long distance, at Navy, and he tallied 20 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals at Boston University. Brown did not commit a turnover or a foul in either game while scoring 48 points in 57 minutes. Brown is scoring at a 15.2 ppg clip in Patriot League play, the eighth-best mark in the league.
• Zach Thomas is enjoying a monster senior year, averaging 21.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Thomas, who was named to the Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year Award mid-season watch list, is one of four Division I players currently leading his conference in both scoring and rebounding:
PLAYERS LEADING A CONFERENCE IN SCORING AND REBOUNDING
Zach Thomas, Bucknell (PL) 21.8 ppg/9.5 rpg
Marvin Bagley III, Duke (ACC) 21.2 ppg/11.4 rpg
Jock Landale, Saint Mary’s (WCC) 22.7 ppg/10.7 rpg
Mike Daum, South Dakota State (Summit) 23.1 ppg/9.9 rpg
• Thomas has earned six Patriot League Player of the Week honors, giving Bucknell seven this season (Nana Foulland has the other). Thomas has 15 20-point games (including four 30-point games) on the season, headlined by a 38-point, 11-rebound, 7-assist gem at Stony Brook on Nov. 26 and last week’s 36-point, 13-rebound effort at Lehigh. Thomas now ranks 16th nationally in scoring, 32nd in rebounding, seventh in defensive rebounding, first in both free throw attempts and made free throws (through Thursday’s games).
• Thomas has attempted 10 or more free throws in a game 12 times this season. Only counting his made free throws (7.3 per game), Thomas would be the 47th-leading scorer in the Patriot League. Thomas already ranks in the top five on Bucknell’s single-season charts for made and attempted free throws.
• Bucknell’s three seniors — Stephen Brown, Nana Foulland and Zach Thomas — all rank in the top 10 in the Patriot League scoring race. They are averaging a combined 51.2 points per game and are accounting for 63.1% of the team’s points this season.
• 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 Zach Thomas.
• Colgate has won six of its last seven games and now sits alone in second place in the Patriot League at 9-4, two games behind Bucknell. The Raiders have an efficient and balanced offense, with four players scoring in double figures. Will Rayman leads the squad with 13.9 points per game, followed by Jordan Swopshire (12.6), Jordan Burns (12.4) and Sean O’Brien (11.0). Colgate shoots 45.0% from the field and 37.1% from the 3-point arc, and it leads the Patriot League with a +1.67 turnover margin.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Colgate game will be televised by CBS Sports Network. John Sadak and Mo Cassara will call the action from Sojka Pavilion.
• 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
• Zach Thomas recorded 36 points and 13 rebounds, giving him a school-record-tying four 30-point games on the season, but Lehigh held off Bucknell 92-89 in overtime on Monday night at Stabler Arena. The Bison saw their 10-game winning streak come to an end
• Playing for the fourth time in the last eight days, Bucknell had a shot to win it at the end of regulation and a shot to tie it at the end of overtime, but neither fell. The Bison struggled shooting the ball for most of the night, finishing at 38% and 2-for-9 in overtime, but they used good free-throw shooting and their transition game to stay in it.
• Thomas, the national leader in free throws made and attempted, went 14-for-15 from the line and 9-for-20 from the field. He fell two shy of his career scoring high, while recording his 12th double-double of the season. Nana Foulland also had a double-double with 14 points and 13 boards. Kimbal Mackenzie had 18 points, and Stephen Brown tallied 13 points and five assists.
• Lehigh went 11-for-21 from 3-point range, none bigger than the two Lance Tejada hit in overtime. Tejada, who ranks third nationally in 3-point percentage, was 3-for-4 from the arc en route to 17 points. Pat Andree was 5-for-6 from deep and scored 24, and Jordan Cohen scored 21, including 6-for-6 from the foul line in the last 28 seconds of overtime.
Bucknell vs. Colgate
• This will be the 110th all-time meeting between Bucknell and Colgate in a series that dates back to 1920. The Bison have a 65-44 series lead. The only other opponents that Bucknell has played at least 100 times are Lehigh (171), Lafayette (165), Gettysburg (126) and Penn State (103).
• As Patriot League rivals, Bucknell has won 44 of the 61 meetings, including 22 of 27 in Lewisburg.
• Bucknell is 15-6 in its last 21 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.
• Earlier this season, Zach Thomas recorded 17 points and 15 rebounds, Nana Foulland also had a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards, and Bucknell rallied from nine points down to beat Colgate 63-51 in a defensive struggle at Cotterell Court. The Bison held the Raiders to 27.1% shooting on its home floor and limited dangerous scorers Will Rayman (14.8 ppg) and Jordan Burns (11.7 ppg) to a combined 1-for-22 shooting. Bucknell also controlled the glass, outrebounding the Raiders 48-33.
Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 276-117 (.702) all-time in Patriot League regular-season games, the best record of any league team. The Bison are guaranteed at least a .500 record in PL play for the 24th time in 28 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.
• Since the start of the 2010-11 season, Bucknell is 101-26 (.795) in Patriot League play.
• 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.
• 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
• Zach Thomas has scored in double figures in 76 of his 81 career starts, including all but one this season.
• Bucknell is 25-3 in the month of January under head coach Nathan Davis.
• The Bison are 11-2 this season, 33-3 over the last two seasons, and 47-7 in the Davis era when leading at the half. uBucknell is averaging 43.3 points in the second halves of games this season, the 15th-best figure in the country. That figure jumps to 46.0 ppg at home, which ranks 11th in the nation.
• Bucknell leads the Patriot League in scoring offense at 81.2 points per game (37th nationally), but the Bison have also given up the second-most points (76.2) in the league (273rd nationally). The Bison are scoring 1.09 and allowing 1.02 points per possession on the season.
• The Bison are 12-2 when scoring 80 or more points, but 5-7 when scoring fewer than 80. The team’s lone losses when scoring 80 were a 93-81 setback at North Carolina on Nov. 15 and a 92-89 overtime loss at Lehigh on Feb. 5.
• Stephen Brown is averaging 16.3 ppg in his last 11 games and 15.2 ppg in Patriot League play. The senior is taking more shots than at any other point in his career. Brown is averaging 11.1 FGA per game this season, nearly three more attempts above his previous career high of 8.6 last year.
• Nate Sestina has been productive off the bench for the Bison. He is averaging 6.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, but when pro-rated for 40 minutes he is tallying 16.5 ppg and 10.2 rpg.
• Bucknell is shooting 48.6% from the field at home this season and 45.3% on the road, even though it has shot much better from the 3-point arc on the road (35.5% compared to 32.1% at Sojka Pavilion).
• 28.5% of Bucknell’s offensive plays have resulted in free throws, which is the 24th-highest rate in the country. Bucknell’s 624 free-throw attempts are third-most in the nation.
• According to the Hollinger Player Efficiency Rating formula at ESPN.com, Zach Thomas ranks 25th out of all Division I players with a score of 28.43. 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 79-47 overall record and a 53-14 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 4,295 points: Foulland (1,625), Thomas (1,589), Brown (1,144).
• 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?
• Bucknell has a quick turnaround before hosting Loyola on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Bison will be looking for the season sweep of the Greyhounds after winning 78-70 in Baltimore on Jan. 17.