What: Bucknell (7-3) at Siena (3-7)
Where: Glens Falls (N.Y.) Civic Center
When: Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, 12 p.m.
TV: Time Warner Cable in New York
Webcast: ESPN3 (blacked out in NY) or SienaSaints.com ($)
Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 WEGH FM)
Internet Radio: BucknellBison.com
Live Statistics: SienaSaints.com
• COMPLETE GAME NOTES
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (8.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.6 apg)
G: Kimbal Mackenzie (8.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 2.0 apg)
G: Nate Jones (4.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.3 apg)
F: Zach Thomas (16.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.6 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (15.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.1 bpg)
With a Win over Siena, Bucknell Would ...
• ... win for the sixth time in the last seven games and improve to 8-3 on the season.
• ... defeat the Saints for the first time in four all-time meetings.
• ... improve to 3-0 this season against the MAAC.
• ... up its road record to 3-3 on the season.
• ... win as many as eight non-conference games for the first time since 2012-13 (13).
• After an 11-day break for final exams, Bucknell gets back in action on Saturday afternoon against Siena in Glens Falls, N.Y. The Bison were playing good basketball prior to the break, winning five of their last six, including wins over Vanderbilt and Richmond. Bucknell defeated Fairfield on the road 75-64 in the final game before the break.
• 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 continues to lead the team in scoring at 16.0 points per game, the fourth-best mark in the Patriot League. Thomas is shooting 49.5 FG%, 42.5 3FG% and 82.2 FT% on the season, and he 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 just missed a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists against Robert Morris.
• Junior center Nana Foulland has been hot of late and is now averaging 15.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Foulland ranks in the top eight in the Patriot League in five different statistical categories, including first in blocks (2.1) and field-goal percentage (.660). He also ranks 2nd in rebounding, sixth in scoring and eighth in steals (1.4). Foulland entered the weekend ranked 11th nationally in field-goal percentage.
• A pair of sophomores had breakout games just before the break. Kimbal Mackenzie exploded for a career-high 25 points in the win over Richmond, and then Nate Jones tallied a career-high 15 points — all in the first half — against La Salle.
• 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.
• A year ago, the Bison captured the outright Patriot League regular-season title for the fifth time in the last six years before being upset by Holy Cross in the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals.
• Bucknell has had to replace three starters and four lettermen from last year’s squad, including leading scorer and First Team All-Patriot League selection Chris Hass (17.2 ppg), who is now playing professionally in the Czech Republic. Also graduated are starting off-guard Ryan Frazier (8.2 ppg), who was a member of the Patriot League All-Defensive Team; starting power forward Dom Hoffman (6.2 ppg), and reserve forward Matt Banas (1.1 ppg).
• The two returning starters are the team’s two junior co-captains: Foulland and Brown. Foulland was a Second Team All-Patriot League pick a year ago after posting 11.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Brown was a Third Team All-PL selection, recording 9.2 points and 5.3 assists per game.
• Bucknell has already defeated Manhattan and Fairfield and will be looking to go 3-0 this season against the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Saints were picked second in the MAAC preseason poll and come into Saturday’s game 3-7 overall and 1-1 in the MAAC. Bucknell and Siena have played one common opponent, with both sporting wins over Fairfield. The Saints have five players scoring in double figures, led by Marquis Wright at 16.9 ppg. Brett Bisping nearly averages a double-double with 10.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Siena game will be televised by Time Warner Cable in New York State, and a live webstream will be available through ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. The ESPN3 webcast will be blacked out in New York, however New York residents can tune in online through the SienaSaints.com website.
• The game can be heard in the Susquehanna Valley on the radio on Eagle 107 (107.3 FM WQKX), 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 SienaSaints.com.
• Follow @Bucknell_MBB for in-game updates on Twitter.
Bucknell vs. Siena Series Notes
• This will be just the fourth meeting between Bucknell and Siena. The Saints won the previous three clashes, including a pair of two-point verdicts over the last two seasons. Siena won 73-71 in Albany in 2014 and 83-81 in overtime last year at Sojka Pavilion.
• 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 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.
• Siena made its first trip to Lewisburg last season and parlayed a huge rebounding advantage into an 83-81 overtime win. Brett 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. Zach Thomas led four Bison in double figures with 20 points.
Bucknell vs. the MAAC
• Bucknell is 49-53 (.480) in 102 all-time against the teams that currently comprise the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, including victories earlier this year over Manhattan and Fairfield. 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, 0-3 vs. Siena, and 0-1 vs. Monmouth.
Last Time Out
• On a night when the 3-point shots were not falling, Bucknell turned to its defense, low-post and transition games to turn back Fairfield 75-64 on Dec. 6 at Webster Bank Arena.
• Center Nana Foulland recorded 23 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Bison accrue a 50-24 advantage in points in the paint, and guards Stephen Brown and Kimbal Mackenzie paved the way for 23 fastbreak points. Brown and Mackenzie both finished with nine points and five assists with only one combined turnover, and Brown also pulled down a career-high nine rebounds from his point guard position.
• Matt O’Reilly hit four of Bucknell’s five 3-pointers and scored 12 points off the bench.
• Zach Thomas added 11 points and eight rebounds.
• Defense was a big story in this one for the Bison. Fairfield piled up 101 points in a 10-point victory over Bucknell at Sojka Pavilion last season. The Bison were much stouter at the defensive end this time. They held the Stags to 40.4% shooting, and they came up with 13 steals among Fairfield’s 18 turnovers. This was Fairfield’s lowest-scoring game of the season. Tyler Nelson, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s leading scorer (21.0) who had a 38-point game win a win over Rider the previous week, was held to 12 points in this one.
• Bucknell shot 47.7% overall, despite a 5-for-23 showing from 3-point range. Fairfield was 9-for-21 from the arc after hitting 17 treys against the Bison last season.
• Foulland had his way in the post all night. He was 11-for-15 from the field and tied his career scoring high, set earlier in the year in a home win over Robert Morris. It was his fourth double-double of the season and eighth of his career.
Numbers Worth Noting
• Bucknell has better shooting percentages in all areas in road games than home games this season. At home, the Bison are shooing 44.8% from the field, 32.3% from 3-point range and 66.7% from the foul line. In true road games, they are 47.7% from the field, 34.6% from the arc and 70.4% from the foul line.
• Bucknell has allowed 87.7 points per game in its three losses and 64.4 ppg in its seven victories.
• The Bison have scored at a fairly consistent rate this season. They have totaled between 73-76 points in eight of their 10 games. The only exceptions are an 84-58 win over Norfolk State and an 86-60 loss to Butler.
• Through 10 games, Bucknell’s frontcourt (“4” and “5” positions) is shooting 55.2% from the field, while the guards are shooting 39.0%.
• Bucknell’s starting frontcourt of Zach Thomas (16.0 ppg) and Nana Foulland (15.3 ppg) have scored 42.3% of the team’s points on the season.
• Bucknell’s transition defense has been strong thus far. The Bison have given up only 31 fastbreak points through 10 games. They went three straight contests (Vanderbilt, Norfolk State, Northern Colorado) without giving up any fastbreak points.
• Thomas is 27-31 (.871) from the FT line in his last eight games. He has scored in double figures in 12 straight games dating back to last season.
• Matt O’Reilly has attempted 80 shots during his career at Bucknell. Of those, 77 have come from beyond the 3-point arc. He is 1-for-3 in his career on 2-point shots, with his first make coming against Richmond earlier this season. O’Reilly has attempted seven or more 3-pointers in each of his last five games (14-41).
• Stephen Brown has 25 assists in his last four games after totaling 21 in his first six.
• Bison opponents have shot 50% or better from the field three times this season. Those are Bucknell’s only three losses (Wake Forest, Butler, La Salle).
Who’s Got Next?
• Bucknell will be right back in action on Monday night at home against Mount St. Mary’s.
• The Mount is 1-10 against a brutal non-conference schedule. They played their first nine games on the road, including six against major-conference opponents. Mount St. Mary’s dropped a 90-71 decision to Lehigh in its most recent outing.