What: Siena (0-3) at Bucknell (0-4)
Where: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
When: Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, 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
PROMOTIONS & HAPPENINGS:
• Pregame banner ceremony
• First 1,000 fans receive a Bucknell schedule magnet, courtesy of Red Robin
• COMPLETE GAME NOTES
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (14.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 6.5 apg)
G: Kimbal Mackenzie (4.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.8 apg)
F: Bruce Moore (2.5 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 0.3 apg)
F: Zach Thomas (23.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.5 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (17.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.0 apg)
With a Win over Siena, Bucknell Would ...
• ... improve to 1-4 overall and 1-0 at home this season.
• ... defeat the Saints for the first time in five all-time meetings.
• ... win its home opener for the ninth straight year. Bucknell’s last loss in its first home game was on Nov. 18, 2008, 71-68 to Boston University.
• ... avoid its first 0-5 start since 2003-04.
• ... improve to 44-27 under Nathan Davis.
• The Bison are thrilled to be playing at home after enduring four road games in eight days to start the season. Bucknell covered 4,004 miles by ground and air, and played four teams in Monmouth, Arkansas, defending national champion North Carolina and Maryland that combined to win 110 games last season and are currently a combined 11-2.
• Bucknell dropped all four of those games, but three of them came right down to the wire. The Bison fell 79-78 at Monmouth, when the Hawks made two free throws with five seconds remaining in the game. They trailed by only one at North Carolina with 12 minutes to play before the Tar Heels pulled away in the last few minutes to win 93-81. And then on Saturday at Maryland, Bucknell played a near-perfect first half and led 50-35 at the break, but the Terrapins rallied to win 80-78.
• The Bison are shooting 45.2% from the field and 40.2% from 3-point range thus far. They have made double-digit 3-pointers in all four games but have struggled from the free-throw line, hitting at just 57.8%. Bucknell has made 45 3-pointers in four games, compared to just 21 by its opponents.
• Senior Zach Thomas is off to quite a start, averaging 23.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in the first four games of the season. Thomas became the first Bison in 26 years to start a season with three straight 20-point games. Mike Bright was the last to do it in 1991-92. The streak ended when he was held to 17 points at Maryland. Thomas currently leads the Patriot League in both scoring and rebounding.
• In the season-opener at Monmouth, Thomas set personal bests with 31 points and 16 rebounds, including 24 points and 11 boards in the second half. Thomas became the first Bucknell player to record at least 30 points and 15 rebounds in a game since Boakai Lalugba had 30 and 15 against Cornell on Nov. 26, 2001. Thomas followed that game with 24 points and 10 rebounds at Arkansas on Sunday. He was named Patriot League Player of the Week last week.
• Thomas’ fellow seniors, Nana Foulland and Stephen Brown, are also off to fast starts. Foulland is shooting 60.4% from the field and averaging 17.0 ppg, while Brown is coming off a career-high 23-point game at Maryland and is averaging 14.5 ppg and 6.5 apg. The three seniofs have combined for 70.6% 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 Thomas.
• Bucknell has all five starters back from last year’s team that swept the Patriot League regular-season and tournament titles and went to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in program history. The Bison took fourth-seeded West Virginia right to the wire before falling 86-80.
• Like Bucknell, Siena is in search of its first win of 2017-18. The Saints are 0-3, sandwiching road overtime losses at College of Charleston and Lehigh around a 33-point home loss to Florida Gulf Coast. Nico Clareth is coming off a 30-point performance at Lehigh and leads the team in scoring at 17.0 ppg. For the second straight game, Bucknell will face a member of the Huerter family. Kevin Huerter scored 16 points for Maryland against the Bison on Saturday. His older brother, Thomas, is a projected starter averaging 2.0 ppg for Siena.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Siena game will stream live, free of charge, 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 calling the action. The pregame show begins 30 minutes before tip-off.
• Live statistics can be accessed via BucknellBison.com.
• 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.
• Follow @Bucknell_MBB for in-game updates on Twitter.
Last Time Out
• Bucknell gave Maryland all it could handle at the XFINITY Center on Saturday night, building a 15-point halftime lead and taking the game right down to the final shot, but the Terrapins had just enough to outlast the Bison 80-78 before a crowd of 14,841.
• Senior point guard Stephen Brown had a magnificent game for Bucknell, finishing with a career-high 23 points with six rebounds and three assists. Maryland native Zach Thomas tallied 17 points, and Nana Foulland had 15 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.
• Anthony Cowan led Maryland (4-0) with 17 points from his point guard spot, even though Brown limited him to two field goals in seven attempts. Cowan made 12 of 13 at the foul line, including 5 of 6 in the final 24 seconds. Kevin Huerter added 16 points, and Darryl Morsell scored 12 of his 15 in the second half to help spark Maryland’s comeback.
• It was a dream first half for the Bison, who outscored Maryland 35-17 over the final 11 minutes and led 50-35 at the break. Led by 14 points from Brown and 13 from Foulland, the Bison shot 64.5 percent from the field and hit 7 of 10 from the arc in the opening period.
• The game featured a crazy ending. Down five, Brown hit a deep 3-pointer to get it to 80-78 with 0.5 seconds left. On the ensuing inbounds, Morsell shoved Brown to the ground, giving the Bison possession under the Maryland basket. Thomas caught the inbounds pass on the left wing, but his rushed 3-point attempt was off the mark, and would have been waved off as coming just after the buzzer.
Bucknell vs. Siena Series Notes
• This will be the fourth straight season and fifth time overall that Bucknell and Siena have met on the hardwood. The Saints won the previous four clashes, including each of the three in this current series by margins of two, two and three points. Siena won 73-71 in Albany in 2014, 83-81 in overtime in 2015 at Sojka Pavilion, and 71-68 last season in Glens Falls, N.Y.
• On Dec. 27, 1985 the Saints won 83-65 in the first round of the Siena Invitational. Siena went on to beat Cornell to win the tournament, while Bucknell beat East Carolina in the consolation game. Mike Butts led the Bison with 13 points in that 1985 meeting, while former Marist and James Madison head coach and current Maryland assistant Matt Brady had 19 points and seven assists for the Saints. That Siena team was coached by John Griffin, father of current Bison assistant coach John Griffin.
• Last season at the Glens Falls Civic Center, Bucknell came from 11 points down to take the lead down the stretch, but a flurry of free throws in the final minute lifted Siena to a 71-68 victory. Zach Thomas scored 19 points, Stephen Brown had 16 points, six assists and five steals, and Nana Foulland recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Bison. Brett Bisping had 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Nico Clareth came off the bench to score 16 to lead Siena.
• Siena made its first trip to Lewisburg during the 2015-16 season and parlayed a huge rebounding advantage into an 83-81 overtime win. Bisping had 16 points and 16 rebounds, as the Saints outrebounded the Bison 49-26, including 20 offensive rebounds. Javion Ogunyemi led Siena with 24 points, including the winning layup with 2.2 seconds remaining in overtime. Thomas led four Bison in double figures with 20 points.
Bucknell vs. the MAAC
• Bucknell is 49-55 (.471) in 104 all-time games against the teams that currently comprise the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Bison are 30-24 against Rider, 6-4 against Marist, 4-5 vs. Niagara, 4-2 vs. Manhattan, 2-4 vs. Iona, 1-0 vs. St. Peter’s, 2-4 vs. Fairfield, 0-6 vs. Canisius, 0-4 vs. Siena, and 0-2 vs. Monmouth.
• Siena will be the second of two MAAC foes on Bucknell’s schedule this season. The Bison fell 79-78 at Monmouth in the season opener.
Who’s Got Next?
• Bucknell will have another two-day turnaround when Ball State comes to Lewisburg on Wednesday. It will be the third meeting between the two teams, with the others coming in 1971 and 1998. Both of those games came at neutral sites in holiday tournaments.