What: Bucknell (20-8, 12-3 PL) at Boston University (16-11, 11-4 PL)
Where: Case Gym, Boston, Mass.
When: Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, 12 p.m.
TV: CBS Sports Network
Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 FM WEGH)
Internet Radio: BucknellBison.com
Live Statistics: GoTerriers.com
• COMPLETE GAME NOTES
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (10.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.7 apg)
G: Kimbal Mackenzie (11.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.3 apg)
G: Avi Toomer (3.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.7 apg)
F: Zach Thomas (15.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.2 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (14.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.8 bpg)
With a Win over Boston University, Bucknell Would ...
• ... move to 21-8 overall, 13-3 in the Patriot League, and 9-6 on the road this season.
• ... re-establish a two-game lead in the Patriot League with two to play.
• ... clinch at least a share of the regular-season title.
• ... clinch the No. 1 seed for the Patriot League Tournament if Navy loses to Army on Saturday, or if Lehigh loses to Lafayette on Sunday.
• ... win as many as 21 games in a season for the 12th time in school history and fourth time in the last seven years.
• ... sweep the season series from the Terriers and defeat them for the seventh straight time.
• ... improve to 3-0 all-time at Case Gym.
• ... improve to 263-115 all-time in Patriot League regular-season games.
• After a 78-77 loss at Loyola on Wednesday night, Bucknell’s lead in the Patriot League was reduced to one game over Boston University with three games remaining in the regular season. Now the Bison head to Boston to face the Terriers in a critical swing game on Sunday afternoon. A Bison win would put them up by two games with two to play, and they could even clinch the No. 1 seed for the Patriot League Tournament depending on other results. A Terriers win would create a tie for first place, setting up a wild finish over the final week.
• The Bison have not lost back-to-back games all season and are 7-0 in games following a loss.
• Zach Thomas has been red-hot of late. He leads the team and ranks No. 3 in the Patriot League in scoring at 15.9 points per game, and he is averaging 19.6 ppg over his last five 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).
• Nana Foulland is 85-for-135 (.630) from the field in his last 13 games and 88-for-142 (.620) in the 15 league games. For the season, his 61.9 FG% ranks 15th nationally.
• As a team, Bucknell ranks 35th out of 347 Division I teams with a field-goal percentage of 47.8%. The Bison have shot 50% or better as a team 10 times in Patriot League play and 14 times total this season.
• 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 1,123 points.
• Kimbal Mackenzie is averaging 13.3 points per game in Patriot League play, the 13th-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 15 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 has used only two different starting lineups all season. After 13 straight games with the same starting five, Avi Toomer replaced Nate Jones at the “3” spot when Jones suffered a foot injury. Toomer has started every game since.
• Bucknell has gotten excellent play of late from senior John Azzinaro off the bench. Azzinaro’s minutes have gone up — he played a season-high 26 at Loyola on Wednesday — and he is 12-for-18 from 3-point distance in the last five contests. That includes 4-for-4 showings from the arc against both American and Loyola.
• 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.
• Boston University is riding a league-best four-game winning streak, with the verdicts coming against Lafayette, American, Loyola, and Colgate. The Terriers eked out a 69-68 win at Colgate in their most recent outing on Wednesday. Current Patriot League Player of the Week Just Alston had 21 in that game and has played very well of late. He is averaging 12.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Eric Fanning is the team’s top scorer at 15.0 ppg (16.5 ppg in PL play).
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Boston University game will be televised on CBS Sports Network, with Jason Knapp and Mo Cassara calling the action.
• 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 GoTerriers.com.
• Follow @Bucknell_MBB for in-game updates on Twitter.
Bucknell vs. Boston University
• Bucknell and Boston University have met 12 times previously on the hardwood, and the Bison have a 9-3 lead in the series. Bucknell has won six straight from the Terriers, including a 70-59 win at Sojka Pavilion on Jan. 21.
• In games played in Boston, Bucknell is 2-1 at Agganis Arena and 2-0 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 74-71 in Boston and 80-59 on Senior Day in Lewisburg. The Bison came from 17 points down to win the first meeting, backed by a career-high 21 points from Stephen Brown. Playing without leading scorer Chris Hass, Bucknell trailed 26-9 after a slow start, but Brown went 8-for-10 from the field and had three second-half steals that led to layups to help the Bison chip away at the lead. The game was not decided until John Papale’s 3-pointer rimmed off at the buzzer. Nathan Dieudonne had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Terriers. In the rematch at Sojka, the Bison used a 21-3 second-half run to pull away. Seniors Hass (21 points), Ryan Frazier (16 points) and Dom Hoffman (15 points, 9 rebounds) combined for 52 points. Papale led Boston U. with 11 points.
• The Terriers were not sad to see Hass graduate. Hass averaged 18.2 points and shot 60% (18-30) from 3-point range in five career games against them.
• In this year’s earlier game 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. A big key to the game was Bucknell’s defense on the Terriers’ top two scorers, Eric Fanning and Cedric Hankerson. Fanning, a First Team All-Patriot League selection last season, was shadowed by Bucknell freshmen Toomer and Bruce Moore, and he was held to five points, all on free throws (0-for-7 from the field). Hankerson made a three on his first shot of the night, but the Bison held him to one more field goal the rest of the way as he finished with five points on 2-for-9 shooting.
Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 262-115 (.695) 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 120 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
• Jarred Jones hit a tough go-ahead fadeaway with 45 seconds left, and then he blocked a shot at the other end to help Loyola Maryland defeat Bucknell 78-77 on Wednesday at Reitz Arena. Jones finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds as the Greyhounds snapped an eight-game series losing streak to the Bison, even though Bucknell came from 15 points down to take the lead in second half.
• Nana Foulland led the Bison with 17 points, but he fouled out for the first time all year with 1:33 remaining in a foul-filled contest. Zach Thomas added 13 points, five assists and five steals, John Azzinaro had 12 points off the bench, and Kimbal Mackenzie added 11 and six assists for Bucknell.
• Both teams shot over 50% from the field and lit it up from 3-point range. Bucknell hit 12 of 19 from the arc, while Loyola was 7-for-11.
• The Bison trailed 57-42 early in the second half, then exploded on a 20-2 run. Loyola immediately shot back with a 7-0 spurt.Bucknell twice hit go-ahead 3-pointers in the final minutes. Thomas hit one from the top of the key to make it 69-67 with 4:36 left. Mackenzie later put the Bison on top 74-73 with a left-wing trey with 1:11 to go. Loyola went inside to Jones, who was cut off by Thomas before getting a fadeaway jumper to fall with 45 seconds left. Brown missed a 3-point try, and Loyola was awarded possession after a replay review. Thomas deflected the inbounds pass, and after another lengthy video review, Bucknell got the ball this time. Brown went hard to the basket, but his shot was blocked by Jones. Bucknell fouled Chuck Champion, who hit two free throws with 0:05 left. Loyola then elected to foul with a 3-point lead. After a missed front end of a 1-and-1, Cam Gregory made 1 of 2 at the line to ice the game. Brown then swished a shot from just inside halfcourt to make it a 1-point final.
• Bucknell shot 52.7% from the field for the game, but was just 7-for-16 from the foul line. Loyola shot 54.7% and also struggled at the line, making 13 of 25. This was only the fifth time all season that a Bucknell opponent shot 50% or better, and the Bison are now 0-5 in those games.
• Azzinaro had another terrific night off the bench for the Bison. He was 4-for-4 from 3-point range and is now 12-for-18 over his last five games.
Numbers Worth Noting
• Bucknell has allowed 80.6 points per game in its eight 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 105 fastbreak points through 28 games. They went three straight contests (Vanderbilt, Norfolk State, Northern Colorado) without giving up any fastbreak points. Meanwhile, Bucknell has scored 188 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 +242 on the season. Zach Thomas is next at +204, followed by Nana Foulland at +175.
• Bison opponents have shot 50% or better from the field only five times this season, and Bucknell is 0-5 in those games (Wake Forest, Butler, La Salle, Lehigh, Loyola). 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 0.97.
• The Bison have shot 50% or better from the field in 10 of their last 14 games.
• Bucknell has a +49 rebound margin in its last 13 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 14 of his last 17.
• Mackenzie is 20-for-41 from 3-point range in his last nine games and 37-for-39 from the foul line in his last 14 games.
• D.J. MacLeay averages 15.0 points and a team-high 15.3 rebounds per 40 minutes.
• Brown has 68 assists and 28 turnovers in his last 14 games.
• Bucknell has attempted more free throws than its opponent in 19 of 28 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 13 Patriot League games, Bucknell’s opponents are 76-for-251 (.303) from the arc.
Who’s Got Next?
• Bucknell plays its final two regular-season games at home, starting with Lafayette on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Sojka Pavilion.
• The Bison defeated the Leopards 78-55 in Easton on Jan. 25.