What: Army West Point (6-7, 0-1 PL) at Bucknell (9-5, 1-0 PL)
Where: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
When: Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, 7 p.m.
Webcast: Patriot League Network
Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 FM WEGH)
Internet Radio: BucknellBison.com
Live Statistics: BucknellBison.com
Tickets: 570-577-1000 or Buy Online
• COMPLETE GAME NOTES
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (9.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.6 apg)
G: Kimbal Mackenzie (9.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.0 apg)
G: Avi Toomer (1.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg)
F: Zach Thomas (15.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.7 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (14.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.1 bpg)
With a Win over Army West Point, Bucknell Would ...
• ... improve to 10-5 overall, 2-0 in the Patriot League, and 5-1 at home this season.
• ... start 2-0 in Patriot League play for the second year in a row.
• ... defeat the Black Knights for the fifth straight time.
• ... improve to 252-112 all-time in Patriot League regular-season games.
• ... improve to 145-51 all-time at Sojka Pavilion and 101-24 against Patriot League competition.
• Bucknell kicks off the 2017 calendar year Monday night against Army West Point at Sojka Pavilion.
• Bucknell had a successful start to Patriot League play, rallying from 13 points down to pull out a 59-55 victory at Navy on Friday. Kimbal Mackenzie scored 19 of his game-high 22 points in the second half to lead the Bison, who struggled offensively for much of the night but made up for it with strong defense.
• Army West Point also scored 59 points in its conference opener on Friday, but the Black Knights dropped a 66-59 decision at home to Lehigh.
• Bucknell had used the same starting lineup in each of the first 13 games this season, but a foot injury to sophomore guard Nate Jones necessitated a lineup change in the Navy game. Freshman Avi Toomer made his first career start.
• Bucknell went 8-5 against a tough non-conference schedule, including a 4-1 mark at home. This was Bucknell’s most successful pre-conference slate since 2012-13, when the Bison went 13-3 before the start of Patriot League action.
• Bucknell closed the month of November with a four-game winning streak that consisted of victories over Vanderbilt, Norfolk State, Northern Colorado and Richmond. The middle two came in Las Vegas, where the Bison claimed the “Upper Division” title at the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational. The 75-72 victory over Vanderbilt was the team’s first win over a Southeastern Conference team since 2006, when it took down Arkansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It was the first victory over a “major conference” team since 2013-14, when Bucknell won at Penn State.
• Junior forward Zach Thomas leads the team and ranks No. 4 in the Patriot League in scoring at 15.8 points per game. Thomas also ranks second on the team in assists and rebounds from his power forward position. Thomas had 25 points against Manhattan in the season opener, and he has been on triple-double watch on two occasions. He registered 19 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists against Robert Morris on Nov. 16, and he had 16 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, four blocks and three steals the win over Mount St. Mary’s. Thomas had scored in double figures in 15 straight games before being held to five at Navy on Friday, but he came up with two critical buckets in the final three minutes to key Bucknell’s comeback.
• Junior center Nana Foulland had 12 points and 12 rebounds against Navy, and he averages 14.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Foulland ranks in the top eight in the Patriot League in four different statistical categories, including first in blocks (2.1) and second in field-goal percentage (.608)and rebounding. Foulland has six double-doubles this season.
• The Bison were picked to finish third (behind Lehigh and Boston University) in the Patriot League in a preseason poll of the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Foulland was named to the Preseason All-Patriot League Team.
• Army West Point lost head coach Zach Spiker and graduated all five starters, including three all-conference selections, from last year’s team that won 19 games and finished in a tie for fourth place in the Patriot League. First-year head coach Jimmy Allen has his new-look squad playing good basketball. The Black Knights went 6-6 in non-league play with a win over academy rival Air Force along with a handful of close losses. Army has eight players scoring at least five points per game, led by Jordan Fox at 12.5 ppg. Freshman Matt Wilson averages 11.8 points and 5.4 rebounds coming off the bench. The Black Knights rank second in the Patriot League in scoring (76.8) and 3-point percentage (.371).
• Bucknell head coach Nathan Davis and Army head coach Jimmy Allen were both members of Don DeVoe’s coaching staff at Navy from 1998-2002.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Army game will not be televised, however a free webcast will be available on the Patriot League Network at PatriotLeague.TV.
• The game can be heard in the Susquehanna Valley on the radio on Eagle 107 (107.3 WEGH), with Doug Birdsong calling the action. The pregame show begins 30 minutes before tip-off.
• The audio feed is also available online via BucknellBison.com (personal computers) and the official Bucknell Athletics app (iPhone and Android devices).
• Live stats can be found at BucknellBison.com.
• Follow @Bucknell_MBB for in-game updates on Twitter.
Bucknell vs. Army West Point
• The Bison hold a 51-21 lead in a series that dates back to 1929. Bucknell has won the last four meetings, sweeping the season series in both 2015 and 2016.
• Army West Point is the seventh team against which the Bison have posted 50 or more wins, joining Lehigh (101), Lafayette (72), Gettysburg (66), Colgate (62), Delaware (52) and Susquehanna (51).
• The Bison are 29-5 all-time at home against Army.
• Army won the first 10 series showdowns, nine of them coming prior to 1966.
• As Patriot League rivals, Bucknell has won 50 of 61 meetings.
• In Patriot League Tournament action, Bucknell is 7-2 against Army. Seven of those nine postseason meetings have come in the quarterfinals, including Army’s 72-71 win at Sojka Pavilion in 2014, which was its most recent victory over the Bison.
• Last year, Bucknell won 84-76 at West Point exactly one year ago Monday, and the Bison prevailed 94-66 at Sojka Pavilion later in the year. Chris Hass was the story in the first meeting. Hass had an incredible first half, scoring 32 points on 11-for-11 shooting, and he ended up with a career-high 40 points in Bucknell’s win. Nana Foulland had 19 points and nine rebounds in the rematch in Lewisburg.
Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 251-112 (.691) all-time in Patriot League regular-season games, the best record of any league team. The Bison have finished at least .500 in PL play in 22 of the 26 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 five of the last six, after claiming titles in 2015 and 2016 as well.
• Bucknell has won 10 Patriot League regular-season titles in 26 years. No other team has more than five.
• Last year Bucknell made its seventh Patriot League Tournament appearance as the No. 1 seed.
• The Bison went 13-1 in the league in 2011 and 12-2 in both 2012 and 2013, making them 37-5 over those three campaigns. Dating back to mid-2010, Bucknell has won 83 of its last 106 league games.
• Bucknell won Patriot League Tournament titles in 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2013. The Bison have made it to the semifinals 19 times and to the championship game 10 times in the 25-year history of the league.
• The Bison are the only team to go unbeaten in league play in a season (14-0 in 2006).
Last Time Out
• Kimbal Mackenzie logged 22 points and five steals to help Bucknell rally past Navy 59-55 in the Patriot League opener for both teams Friday night at Alumni Hall. Nana Foulland recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds, and the Bison came from 13 down in the second half to beat the Midshipmen for the sixth straight time.
• Bucknell gutted out a victory on a night were points were nearly impossible to come by. The Bison shot just 34% from the field, they made 5 of 20 from the 3-point arc, and they even struggled at the free-throw line (20-35) while forcing Navy into 30 fouls.
• Bucknell missed its final 10 shots of the first half but trailed by just nine at 32-23 at the break. Navy opened the second stanza with a pair of layups to take its largest lead of 13 points at 36-23. After a quick timeout by head coach Nathan Davis, the Bison held the Midshipmen scoreless for more than six minutes and slowly chipped away at the lead.
• Mackenzie was the catalyst of the comeback. He hit three second-half 3-pointers and scored 19 of his 22 points after the break. His six straight points capped a 7-0 run and brought the Bison within 46-45 with 5:50 left. Bucknell came up empty on three chances in a one-possession game, and Navy was able to go back up by five points at 51-46 after two George Kiernan free throws with 3:21 to go. Zach Thomas, the Patriot League’s No. 2 scorer at 16.6 points per game, had not scored to that juncture, but he answered with a critical 3-point play to make it a two-point game with 3:02 left. After a Shawn Anderson baseline jumper, Foulland scored in the paint, and then Thomas put back a miss to tie the game at 53-all — the first tie since 5-5. Stephen Brown, who clinched last year’s Bison win at Alumni Hall with a last-second steal, picked the pocket of Hasan Abdullah and went coast-to-coast for a layup and a 55-53 lead with 1:13 left.
• Bucknell could not put the game away, however, missing 4 of 6 free throws in one stretch. The Midshipmen had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds. Zach Fong missed a 3-pointer, but Anderson was fouled on a scramble for the rebound under the basket. Anderson missed both free throws — Navy was also 2-for-6 at the line in the final minute — and Mackenzie finally iced it with two free throws with seven seconds left.
• Bucknell was terrific defensively for much of the night. The Bison held Navy to 37% shooting and had 10 steals from Navy’s 17 turnovers. The Midshipmen finished 6 of 24 from the arc and 9 of 18 from the foul line.
• Bucknell finished with 16 turnovers, but only four in the second half.
• The Bison won on a night when they led for 3:38 and trailed for 35:14, and they posted their biggest come-from-behind victory of the year.
Numbers Worth Noting
• Bucknell has allowed 81.2 points per game in its five losses and 63.4 ppg in its nine victories.
• Bucknell’s starting frontcourt of Zach Thomas (16.6 ppg) and Nana Foulland (14.5 ppg) have scored 41.4% of the team’s points on the season.
• Bucknell’s transition defense has been strong thus far. The Bison have given up only 41 fastbreak points through 14 games. They went three straight contests (Vanderbilt, Norfolk State, Northern Colorado) without giving up any fastbreak points. Meanwhile, Bucknell has scored 86 fastbreak points on the season.
• Matt O’Reilly has attempted 101 shots during his career at Bucknell. Of those, 96 have come from beyond the 3-point arc. He is 2-for-5 in his career on 2-point shots, with his first make coming against Richmond earlier this season.
• Kimbal Mackenzie is 7-for-12 from 3-point range in his last three games.
• Stephen Brown leads the Bison in +/- with a +79 on the season.
• Brown has played his best basketball of the season over the last six games. Over that span he is averaging 11.2 points, 4.8 assists, and 2.5 steals while shooting 50.0 % (25-50) from the field and 50.0% (7-14) from the 3-point arc.
• Bison opponents have shot 50% or better from the field three times this season, and Bucknell is 0-3 in those games (Wake Forest, Butler, La Salle).
• Bucknell is averaging a solid 1.03 points per possession this season, while opponents are averaging 0.99.
• Bucknell is 60-for-75 (.800) from the foul line in the last five minutes of games this season, but just 135-for-217 (.622) in the first 35 minutes of games. Even Foulland, who is shooting 53.2% from the line on the season, is 15-for-19 (.789) in late-game situations.
• Foulland recorded his 500th career rebound in the Princeton game, and he needs 89 points to reach 1,000. Only 18 players in Bucknell history have recorded 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
Who’s Got Next?
• Following the Army game, Bucknell will play three of its next four on the road. The Bison start that stretch at American on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on the Patriot League Network.
• American started Patriot League play with a 68-66 home loss to Loyola on Friday. The Eagles are 3-9 overall heading into Monday’s game at Colgate.