What: Bucknell (7-8, 1-1 PL) at Army West Point (8-5, 1-1 PL)
Where: Christl Arena, West Point, N.Y.
When: Friday, Jan. 4, 2018, 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: GoArmyWestPoint.com
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (12.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 5.1 apg)
G: Jimmy Sotos (6.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.1 apg)
F: Bruce Moore (5.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.4 apg)
F: Zach Thomas (22.9 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 2.3 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (16.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.4 bpg)
With a Win over Army West Point, Bucknell Would ...
• ... win its second straight road game and improve to 8-8 overall, 2-1 in the Patriot League and 3-7 on the road this season.
• ... beat the Black Knights for the eighth straight time and for the fourth straight year at Christl Arena.
• ... improve to 51-31 under Nathan Davis.
• The two highest-scoring teams in the Patriot League clash on Friday night when Bucknell visits Army West Point. The Bison lead the league at 81.9 points per game, while the Black Knights average 80.8. Both teams also shoot a league-best 47.5% from the field.
• Friday’s game marks the start of a pivotal stretch for the Bison, as they will play four of their next five games and six of their next eight on the road.
• Bucknell saw its 15-game home winning streak snapped on Tuesday with an 84-79 loss to Boston University. That streak was tied for the seventh-longest nationally. The Bison came within nine days of going a full calendar year without losing at Sojka Pavilion.
• Bucknell has been playing without two starters in recent weeks. Sophomore Avi Toomer has missed the last 12 games with a leg injury. Junior Kimbal Mackenzie has missed the last eight after undergoing surgery to repair an abdominal muscle tear.
• Zach Thomas is enjoying a monster senior year, averaging 22.9 points and 9.2 rebounds thus far. Thomas has earned four Patriot League Player of the Week honors (including last week), giving Bucknell five of the seven this season (Nana Foulland has the other). Thomas has 10 20-point games (including two 30-point games) on the season, headlined by a 38-point, 11-rebound, 7-assist gem at Stony Brook on Nov. 26. Thomas now ranks 12th nationally in scoring, first in free throw attempts and third in made free throws.
• 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.
• Like Bucknell, Army West Point enters the game at 1-1 in Patriot League play, with the loss coming to Boston University. The Black Knights bounced back with an 86-75 home win over Loyola on Tuesday. Army gets excellent scoring balance, with eight players averaging at least 4.5 points per game. Jordan Fox, who had a 26-point game at Sojka Pavilion last year, leads the way at 16.1 ppg, followed by Matt Wilson (12.4) and reserve Alex King (10.8). Tommy Funk, the older brother of Bucknell recruit Andrew Funk, leads the Patriot League in assists at 6.7 per game.
• Bucknell head coach Nathan Davis and Army second-year 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 West Point game game will not be televised, however the game will stream live 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 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 GoArmyWestPoint.com.
• Follow @Bucknell_MBB for in-game updates on Twitter.
Last Time Out
• Plagued by 19 turnovers — 14 coming in the first half — Bucknell saw its 15-game home winning streak come to an end with an 84-79 loss to Boston University on Tuesday. The Bison struggled for most of the night against the Terriers’ 2-3 zone, shooting just 43.3% overall and 6-for-21 from the 3-point arc. The repeated first-half giveaways helped lead to a tide-turning 18-0 run that put Boston University ahead for good.
• Despite playing while under the weather, Patriot League scoring leader Zach Thomas had another big game with 25 points, 13 rebounds and three steals.
• Bruce Moore was another bright spot for the Bison. The sophomore finished with a career-high 18 points, shooting 5-for-7 overall, 3-for-4 from the 3-point arc, and 5-for-6 from the foul line. Moore also blocked three shots and grabbed five rebounds.
• Bucknell trailed by 11 with two minutes remaining, but made a run to cut it to three with plenty of time (0:59) left. But the Terriers, who entered the game ranked dead last in Division I in free-throw shooting, made 10 in a row at the stripe and the Bison never did have a possession to tie it or take the lead.
Bucknell vs. Army West Point
• The Bison hold a 54-21 lead in a series that dates back to 1929. Bucknell has won the last seven meetings, sweeping the series in each of the last three seasons. That includes a three-game sweep last season, as Bucknell won 78-62 in the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal round.
• Army West Point became the seventh team against which the Bison have posted 50 or more wins, joining Lehigh (102), Lafayette (74), Gettysburg (66), Colgate (64), Delaware (52) and Susquehanna (51).
• The Bison are 31-5 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 53 of 64 meetings.
• In Patriot League Tournament action, Bucknell is 8-2 against Army. Eight of those 10 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.
• Bucknell won all three games last season by at least eight points. In the first meeting at Sojka Pavilion, Bucknell won 84-76 behind 20 points and 12 rebounds from Nana Foulland. All five starters scored in double figures for the Bison, who trailed for only one possession early in the first half. Jordan Fox led Army with 26 points, while Matt Wilson had 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
• In the rematch at West Point on Jan. 28, Bucknell posted its highest scoring total of the season in a 96-75 win. Kimbal Mackenzie scored 23 points, and frontcourt mates Foulland (19) and Zach Thomas (17) combined for 36 on 16-for-22 shooting. It was Bucknell’s highest point total against Army since a 98-72 win in Davis Gym in 1994, Charlie Woollum’s final season as head coach, and it was the team’s top output ever in a game at West Point.
• Bucknell’s Patriot League title run began with a 78-62 quarterfinal win over the Black Knights. Foulland had 13 points, 13 rebounds, six blocks and three steals to lead the Bison to the wire-to-wire win. Stephen Brown added 20 points and six assists, and the Bison held Army to 19% shooting in the first half en route to a commanding 36-18 lead.
Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 266-116 (.696) all-time in Patriot League regular-season games, the best record of any league team. The Bison last season compiled 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 another three in a row and six of the last seven.
• 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.
• Dating back to mid-2010, Bucknell has won 97 of its last 124 league games.
• 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
• Bucknell leads the Patriot League in scoring offense at 81.9 points per game, but the Bison have also given up the most points (81.9) in the league. Through 15 games, the Bison have been outscored 1229-1228 on the season. The Bison are scoring and allowing 1.10 points per possession on the season.
• The Bison are 7-1 when scoring 80 or more points, but 0-7 when scoring fewer than 80. The lone exception to the 80-point rule is a 93-81 loss at North Carolina.
• Bucknell has logged a positive assist-to-turnover ratio in 11 of 15 games this season. Point guard Stephen Brown has 76 assists and only 23 turnovers on the year. He ranks 17th nationally in assist-turnover ratio.
• Nate Sestina has been productive off the bench for the Bison. He is averaging 7.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, but when pro-rated for 40 minutes he is tallying 18.4 ppg and 10.2 rpg.
• Bucknell is shooting 52.4% from the field at home this season, led by Sestina (.724) and Nana Foulland (.688).
• Bucknell is averaging 44.2 points in the second halves of games this season, the 19th-best figure in the country.
• 29.1% of Bucknell’s offensive plays have resulted in free throws, which is the 27th-highest rate in the country.
• Thomas has scored in double figures in 29 games in a row, topping the 20-point mark in 15 of those 29 games. Foulland’s streak of 23 straight game in double digits ended against Boston University, when he was limited to eight points in 18 minutes due to foul trouble.
• Thomas ranks 11th nationally in defensive rebounds per game at 7.8.
• According to the Hollinger Player Efficiency Rating formula at ESPN.com, Thomas ranks 36th out of all Division I players with a score of 29.19. PER measures the aggregate of a player’s statistical efficiency.
2017-18 NCAA LEADERS, POINTS PER GAME
- Trae Young, Oklahoma 29.6
- Kendrick Nunn, Oakland 25.3
- Matt Morgan, Cornell 25.3
- Justin Wright-Foreman, Hofstra 24.4
- Fletcher Magee, Wofford 24.1
- Nick King, Middle Tennessee State 23.8
- Jordan Howard, Central Arkansas 23.6
- Demontrae Jefferson, Texas Southern 23.5
- Jon Elmore, Marshall 23.5
- Chris Clemons, Campbell 23.4
- Bryson Scott, Fort Wayne 22.9
- Zach Thomas, Bucknell 22.9
- Andrew Rowsey, Marquette 22.4
- Matt Scott, Niagara 22.4
- Max Heidegger, UCSB 22.1
Who’s Got Next?
• Bucknell continues its road swing on Monday at Lafayette at 7 p.m.