What: Bucknell (20-7, 12-2 PL) at Loyola (13-12, 7-7 PL)
Where: Reitz Arena, Baltimore, Md.
When: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Webcast: Patriot League Network
Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 FM WEGH)
Internet Radio: BucknellBison.com
Live Statistics: LoyolaGreyhounds.com
• COMPLETE GAME NOTES
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (10.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.8 apg)
G: Kimbal Mackenzie (11.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.1 apg)
G: Avi Toomer (3.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 0.7 apg)
F: Zach Thomas (16.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.1 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (14.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.9 bpg)
With a Win over Loyola, Bucknell Would ...
• ... move to 21-7 overall, 13-2 in the Patriot League, and 9-5 on the road this season.
• ... maintain at least a two-game lead in the Patriot League standings with three to play.
• ... be assured of no worse than the No. 3 seed in the Patriot League Tournament.
• ... clinch at least a share of the regular-season title if Navy and Boston University both lose.
• ... win as many as 21 games in a season for the 12th time in school history and fourth time in the last seven years.
• ... defeat the Greyhounds for the ninth straight time and improve to 14-2 all-time against them.
• ... improve to 8-0 all-time at Reitz Arena.
• ... improve to 263-114 all-time in Patriot League regular-season games.
• We’re down to four games remaining in the regular season, and Bucknell will try to protect a two-game lead in the Patriot League over the next 10 days. The Bison have clinched a top-four seed and a Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal home game. A win over Loyola would assure no worse than the No. 3 seed, and the Bison could even clinch a share of the regular-season title with a victory and losses by both Boston University (at Colgate) and Navy (at Lehigh) on Wednesday night.
• Bucknell bounced back from last Wednesday’s loss with a convincing 75-58 win over Colgate at home on Monday. The Bison still have not lost back-to-back games all season (7-0 in games following a loss).
• Bucknell is one of 38 Division I teams with 20 or more wins this season, and the Bison are one of 12 teams leading a conference by two or more games (through Monday’s games).
• Zach Thomas has been red-hot of late. He leads the team and ranks No. 3 in the Patriot League in scoring at 16.0 points per game, and he is averaging 21.3 ppg over his last four games. Thomas, who has been on triple-double watch on a couple of occasions this season, is the only player in the league who ranks in the top 11 in points, rebounds (7th) and assists (11th). Thomas scored 17 points against Colgate on Monday, ending his streak of three straight 20-point games.
• Nana Foulland is 77-for-119 (.647) from the field in his last 12 games and 80-for-126 (.635) in the 14 league games. For the season, his 62.7 FG% ranks 12th nationally. As a team, Bucknell ranks 39th out of 347 Division I teams with a field-goal percentage of 47.7%.
• Foulland on Jan. 18 became the 40th member of the 1,000-point club at Bucknell. Foulland also became the 19th Bison with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds, and he is the 21st Bucknell player to score 1,000 points in his third varsity season. Foulland currently ranks 40th among all active juniors in scoring with 1,106 points.
• Kimbal Mackenzie is averaging 13.4 points per game in Patriot League play, the 11th-best mark in the league. He has four 20-point games this season, three of them coming against PL foes Navy (22), American (24) and Army West Point (23). In two of those games, Mackenzie was the catalyst in big comebacks on the road. He had 19 second-half points to help the Bison rally from 11 points down to beat Navy, and he scored 18 after halftime as Bucknell came from seven points down to defeat American. Mackenzie had a season and career-high 25 in a good home win over Richmond.
• Head coach Nathan Davis is making the most of his deep roster. He has used every healthy player on the roster in each of the 14 Patriot League contests, often using them all in the first half. The last non-injury-related DNP was all the way back in the Princeton game on Dec. 22.
• 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.
• Loyola has dropped its last two games on the road to Navy and Boston University, but that came on the heels of a four-game winning streak. The Greyhounds are one of three teams (along with Holy Cross and Colgate) tied for fifth place in the Patriot League standings. That trio is just one game behind fourth-place Lehigh, so it should be a heated battle for that No. 4 seed, which means a quarterfinal home game in the PL Tournament. Jarred Jones (15.3) and Andre Walker (15.2) rank 4-5 in the league scoring race, but the Bison held that duo to 3-for-21 shooting and eight total points at Sojka Pavilion last month. Cam Gregory averages 9.2 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game. Loyola is one of the league’s top offensive rebounding teams. The Greyhounds get back one-third of their own missed shots. They have also held opponents to 31.6% shooting from the 3-point arc, by far the best mark in the conference.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Loyola game will not be televised, however a live webcast will be available 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 (107.3 WEGH), with Doug Birdsong on the call. The pregame show begins 30 minutes before tip-off.
• The Bucknell 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 LoyolaGreyhounds.com.
• Follow @Bucknell_MBB for in-game updates on Twitter.
Bucknell vs. Loyola
• The Bison and Greyhounds have met 15 times previously, with Bucknell leading 13-2 in the series, including a 7-0 mark at Reitz Arena.
• Bucknell has beaten Loyola eight straight times, including a 7-0 mark as Patriot League rivals.
• Loyola’s last victory in the series was a 72-67 verdict at Sojka Pavilion on Dec. 28, 2012. Bucknell would proceed to go on a 12-game winning streak after that loss.
• The first series meeting came on Jan. 7, 1987 in Lewisburg. The Bison prevailed that day 72-70. A year later Bucknell won 80-60 on Loyola’s home floor.
• Bucknell and Loyola played twice within the 1992-93 season. The Bison won 75-59 in Baltimore, and in late February at Davis Gym the Bison rolled to a 116-85 victory. In the latter game the Bison produced their second-highest point total in program history, led by an incredible 9-for-10 3-point shooting performance by Hall-of-Famer Mike Bright.
• Bucknell took both games from the Greyhounds last season. The Bison won the first meeting 67-58 at Reitz Arena. Nana Foulland led the Bison with 15 points, while Jarred Jones and Franz Rassman scored 14 apiece for Loyola. The rematch at Sojka Pavilion was all Bison, 87-52. Stephen Brown led a balanced scoring attack with 12 points, while Andre Walker had 10 for Loyola.
• Back on Jan. 18 at Sojka Pavilion, Bucknell shot a blistering 72.0% from the field in the first half en route to a 76-63 win over the Greyhounds. Zach Thomas paced the Bison with 18 points (8-10 FG) and 11 rebounds. The Bison led 46-26 at the half and by as many as 28 in the second half. KaVaughn Scott led Loyola with 12 points.
• In the last three meetings, Bucknell has held Loyola to 8-for-52 (.154) accuracy from 3-point range.
Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 262-114 (.697) all-time in Patriot League regular-season games, the best record of any league team. The Bison have clinched 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 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 94 of its last 119 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 26-year history of the league.
• The Bison are the only team to go unbeaten in league play in a season (14-0 in 2006).
• Bucknell’s consistency in league play even predates the Patriot League. Going all the way back to 1975-76, when the Bison played in the East Coast Conference, the team has had only eight seasons with losing conference records out of 42, and never more than two in a row.
Last Time Out
• Zach Thomas scored 17 points, Nana Foulland registered another double-double, and seniors John Azzinaro and D.J. MacLeay provided a big lift off the bench to help Bucknell earn its 20th win of the season, 75-58 over Colgate on Monday night.
• Bucknell was strong in all phases against Colgate. Offensively, the Bison shot well over 50% for most of the night before settling at 49.1% after finishing the game with six straight misses once the outcome was well decided. Bucknell had 17 assists with only 11 turnovers and shot 7-for-19 from the arc and 16-for-20 from the foul line.
• Defensively, Bucknell had as many steals (11) as their own turnovers. The Bison forced 17 Raiders miscues and limited Colgate to 41.7% shooting and just five offensive rebounds.
• Thomas saw his run of three straight 20-point games come to an end, but he led all scorers with 17 to go with three assists and a career-high four steals. Foulland recorded his 10th double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Brown missed only one shot all night (5-6 FG, 3-4 3FG, 2-2 FT) and totaled 15 points and seven assists.
• Bucknell scored 67 of its 75 points while Thomas was on the floor (31 minutes). Thomas was +28 for the game.
• After the Bison got out to a slow start, MacLeay and Azzinaro came off the bench to give the team a spark. Azzinaro went 5-for-7 from the field and scored 12 points in 17 minutes, while MacLeay tallied five points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals in 14 minutes.
Numbers Worth Noting
• Bucknell has allowed 81.0 points per game in its seven losses and 63.1 ppg in its 20 victories.
• Bucknell has posted three of its four biggest comeback victories on the road this season. They overcame deficits of 13 (Navy), 11 (Vanderbilt) and seven (American) to pull out good wins away from home. Bucknell also rallied from eight down to beat Boston University at home.
• Bucknell’s transition defense has been strong thus far. The Bison have given up only 101 fastbreak points through 27 games. They went three straight contests (Vanderbilt, Norfolk State, Northern Colorado) without giving up any fastbreak points. Meanwhile, Bucknell has scored 184 fastbreak points on the season.
• Matt O’Reilly has attempted 131 shots during his career at Bucknell. Of those, 126 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. O’Reilly ranks 13th nationally in 3-point attempts per minute at 0.32.
• Stephen Brown leads the Bison in +/- with a +251 on the season. Zach Thomas is next at +203, followed by Nana Foulland at +181.
• Bison opponents have shot 50% or better from the field only four times this season, and Bucknell is 0-4 in those games (Wake Forest, Butler, La Salle, Lehigh). The Bison are 20-3 when holding opponents under 50%.
• Bucknell is averaging a solid 1.07 points per possession this season, while opponents are averaging 0.96.
• The Bison have shot 50% or better from the field in nine of their last 13 games.
• Bucknell has a +60 rebound margin in its last 12 games. The Bison are 12-0 this season when outrebounding their opponent.
• Kimbal Mackenzie scored in double figures in two of his first 11 games of the season, but now he has 10 or more in the scoring column in 13 of his last 16.
• Mackenzie is 17-for-35 from 3-point range in his last eight games and 37-for-39 from the foul line in his last 13 games.
• D.J. MacLeay averages 14.7 points and a team-high 15.6 rebounds per 40 minutes.
• Brown has 66 assists and 26 turnovers in his last 13 games.
• Bucknell has attempted more free throws than its opponent in 19 of 27 games this season. The Bison are 17-2 in those games.
• Lehigh went 19-for-36 (.528) from 3-point range in the two games against Bucknell this season. In the other 11 Patriot League games, Bucknell’s opponents are 69-for-240 (.288) from the arc.
Who’s Got Next?
• Bucknell heads north to face Boston University on Sunday at noon at Case Gym. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
• The Bison came from behind to defeat Boston University 70-59 on Jan. 21 at Sojka Pavilion.