What: Navy (15-14, 10-7 PL) at Bucknell (22-8, 14-3 PL)
Where: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
When: Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, 12 p.m.
TV: CBS Sports Network
Local Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 FM WEGH)
Internet Radio: BucknellBison.com
Live Statistics: BucknellBison.com
Tickets: 570-577-1000 or Buy Online
Promotions: Senior Day (ceremony starts at 11:45 a.m.); Fan Appreciation Day; Junior Bison Club postgame pizza party/autograph session)
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (10.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.9 apg)
G: John Azzinaro (3.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 0.2 apg)
G: Avi Toomer (3.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.7 apg)
F: D.J. MacLeay (3.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 0.3 apg)
C: Ben Oberfeld (first appearance)
With a Win over Navy, Bucknell Would ...
• ... finish the regular season 23-8 overall, 15-3 in the Patriot League, and 12-2 at home this season.
• ... become the second Patriot League team to win 15 league games in a season (Boston University went 15-3 in 2013-14).
• ... become the third Patriot League team ever, and the first since the 2005-06 Bison, to win the league by at least three games.
• ... win as many as 23 games in a season for the ninth time in school history and fourth time in the last seven years.
• ... defeat the Midshipmen for the seventh straight time and 15th time in the last 16 meetings.
• ... defeat the Mids for the ninth straight time at Sojka Pavilion.
• ... move 150 games over .500 (265-115) all-time in Patriot League regular-season games.
• Bucknell has clinched the outright Patriot League regular-season championship, the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament, and the right to play at home as long as it stays alive in the tourney. Now the Bison close out the regular-season against Navy on Senior Day looking to continue its recent strong play heading into the postseason.
• Coach Nathan Davis will start all three of his seniors on Senior Day. This will be the 14th career start for John Azzinaro, but the first for D.J. MacLeay and Ben Oberfeld. Azzinaro and MacLeay have played very important roles as reserves for the Bison this season, but Senior Day will be especially poignant for Oberfeld. The Minnesota native has not been able to play at all this year due to a history of concussions, but the Navy program has graciously agreed to let “Obie” take an uncontested opening tip, after which he immediately will be replaced in the lineup by Zach Thomas.
• When the Bison captured three consecutive outright (no ties) titles from 2011-13, it was the first time in Patriot League history that any team accomplished that feat. Now they have done it again, claiming outright titles from 2015-17. Bucknell will be the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament for the eighth time.
• As the No. 1 seed, Bucknell will play the winner of the 8 vs. 9 first-round game. Army West Point is locked in as the No. 8 seed and will host that game on Feb. 28. Lafayette and American are vying for the No. 9 spot this weekend.
• Over the last seven seasons, Bucknell is now 89-24 in Patriot League play with six regular-season titles.
• The Bison have not lost back-to-back games all season and are 8-0 in games following a loss.
• Bucknell is one of five teams in the country leading its conference by at least three games. The others are Monmouth (4), Kansas (3), Belmont (3) and Vermont (3).
• When looking back on the regular season, last Sunday’s win at Boston University will be viewed as the turning point. The Bison had a one-game lead over the Terriers going into that game, meaning a loss would have created a tie for first place with two games remaining. Instead, Bucknell turned in its most complete performance of the season, shooting 58.2% on the road in an 86-66 victory that clinched the No. 1 seed.
• Nana Foulland enjoyed one of the best games of his career against Boston University, when he logged 20 points on 9-for-13 shooting, along with six rebounds, six blocked shots and four assists. Foulland limited Terriers center Justin Alston, the reigning Patriot League Player of the Week, to two field goals and six points. Foulland is now 99-for-155 (.639) from the field in his last 15 games and 102-for-162 (.630) in the 17 league games. For the season, his 62.5 FG% ranks 12th nationally.
• Zach Thomas has been red-hot of late, and he has been one of the league’s most versatile players this season. Thomas is the only Patriot League player who ranks in the top 10 in points (2nd), rebounds (7th) and assists (10th), and he is the only player in the league who ranks in the top 10 in all three shooting categories: field-goal percentage (10th), 3-point percentage (1st) and free-throw percentage (3rd). In all, Thomas ranks in the top 12 in the Patriot League in eight different statistical categories.
• As a team, Bucknell ranks 26th out of 347 Division I teams with a field-goal percentage of 48.2%. The Bison have shot 50% or better as a team 11 times in Patriot League play and 15 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 39th among all active Division I juniors in scoring with 1,156 points.
• Kimbal Mackenzie is averaging 13.2 points per game in Patriot League play, the 12th-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 13 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 17 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. Nine players average double-digit minutes and 11 average at least 7.8 minutes per game.
• 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. A third different lineup will be used Saturday for Senior Day.
• 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 last week — and he is 15-for-25 from 3-point distance in the last seven 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.
• Navy comes in at 15-14 overall and 10-7 in the Patriot League The Midshipmen enter the game in sole possession of fourth place in the Patriot League, but they could finish anywhere from third to fifth depending on the results of Saturday’s games. Navy will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak (Lehigh, Army, American). Shawn Anderson leads the team in scoring at 12.1 points per game. Bryce Dulin is next at 9.2, but Dulin’s figure vaults to 10.5 in league play. The Bison will have to keep an eye on Tom Lacey on the glass. Lacey averages 7.8 rebounds per game and is the Patriot League’s top offensive rebounder at 3.2 per game. In fact, Navy is statistically the league’s best rebounding team. They have a +5.5 rebound margin on the season and collect a league-best 36.9% of their own missed shots.
• Bucknell head coach Nathan Davis will be going up against his old team on Saturday. Davis was an assistant coach under Don DeVoe at Navy from 1998-2003. He also spent one season (2008-09) working under current Navy assistant Emmett Davis when Davis was head coach at Colgate.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Navy game will be televised by CBS Sports Network, with Jason Knapp and Mo Cassara describing 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 BucknellBison.com.
• Follow @Bucknell_MBB for in-game updates on Twitter.
Bucknell vs. Navy
• This will be the 75th all-time meeting between the Bison and Midshipmen, with Bucknell holding a narrow 39-35 edge in the series.
• Bucknell has won 14 of the last 15 meetings, including a season sweep in each of the last two seasons.
• The Mids won 12 of 16 from the Bison prior to joining the Patriot League in 1991-92.
• As conference rivals, Bucknell leads 35-23, with the home team winning most of the time. Since Navy joined the league, Bucknell is 23-5 against the Mids at home but is only 12-18 against Navy in Alumni Hall.
• Bucknell is 4-3 all-time against Navy in the Patriot League Tournament, including the Midshipmen’s 76-75 win in the 1997 championship game.
• Bucknell took both games from the Midshipmen last season, one blowout and one that came right down to the wire. In the league opener at Sojka Pavilion, the Bison snapped a seven-game losing streak with an 88-58 rout. Chris Hass led the Bison with 22 points, while Stephen Brown had 18 points and eight assists against a Navy team that entered the game ranked 12th nationally in scoring defense at 59.5 points per game. Shawn Anderson led Navy with 19 points. In the rematch at Alumni Hall in the final game of the regular season, Bucknell prevailed 77-73 to clinch the outright Patriot League regular-season title. Brown’s steal and two clinching free throws in the final seconds preserved the win. Hass led four Bison in double figures with 13 points, and Brown had nine points, six assists and four steals. Zach Fong had 17 off the bench for Navy.
• This will be the first time these two teams have met since all the way back on Dec. 30 in Annapolis. Bucknell squeaked out a 59-55 victory after climbing out of a 13-point hole in the second half. Kimbal Mackenzie led the Bison with 22 points and five steals, with 19 of his points coming in the second half. Anderson paced Navy with 12 points.
Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 264-115 (.697) all-time in Patriot League regular-season games, the best record of any league team. The Bison have compiled 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, after clinching the 2017 title in Boston last week.
• Bucknell has now won 11 Patriot League regular-season titles in 27 years. No other team has more than five.
• This year Bucknell will make its eighth 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 96 of its last 122 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
• Stephen Brown connected on five 3-pointers and Zach Thomas hit four as the Bison tied a school record with 17 made 3-pointers in a 94-64 victory over Lafayette Wednesday evening at Sojka Pavilion. Bucknell broke the school mark with 40 attempted 3-pointers, and also set a team record with eight different players connecting on a trifecta.
• It was the largest margin of victory this year for the Bison, and their 34-point lead in the second half was also a season-high.
• Thomas led Bucknell with 20 points and added seven rebounds and seven assists. Brown finished with 17 points, nine assists and no turnovers, while Nana Foulland was the third Bucknell player in double figures with 13 points on 5 of 7 shooting from the field in only 16 minutes.
• The Bison had 24 assists and only five turnovers in the game.
• The Bison started the game 1-for-6 from the floor and led by just two at 16-14 at the 11-minute mark of the first half. But Foulland’s dunk off a feed from Brown ignited an 8-0 run that later blossomed to 16-2 and then 28-8. Brown swished 3-pointers from the top of the key on consecutive possessions late in the half to put Bucknell in front 44-22.
• Bucknell shot 48.6% overall, hitting season highs for field goal makes (35) and attempts (72). The 24 assists were a season high, and the five turnovers a season low.
Numbers Worth Noting
• The Bison have made 41 3-pointers in 81 attempts (.506) over their last three games. Their season 3-point percentage is up to .383, second-best in the league behind Lehigh.
• Bucknell has allowed 80.6 points per game in its eight losses and 63.2 ppg in its 22 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 115 fastbreak points through 30 games. They went three straight contests (Vanderbilt, Norfolk State, Northern Colorado) without giving up any fastbreak points. Meanwhile, Bucknell has scored 196 fastbreak points on the season.
• Matt O'Reilly has attempted 135 shots during his career at Bucknell. Of those, 130 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 +304 on the season after +31 performance in each of the last two games against Boston University and Lafayette. Zach Thomas is next at +258, followed by Nana Foulland at +203.
• Bucknell has not had a season with two players recording 100 or more assists since 1991-92 (Russell Peyton 118, Bill Courtney 108), but that would happen this season if Thomas can generate one more to join Brown. Thomas is sitting on 99 assists, while Brown has 146.
• Thomas needs two more made free throws to crack Bucknell’s single-season top-10 list.
• Thomas is also getting close to 1,000-point watch. He needs 56 more to reach the milestone.
• Thomas (6th, .424), Brown (10th, .395) , Kimbal Mackenzie (11th, .390), and John Azzinaro (14th, .378) all rank among Bucknell’s all-time leaders in career 3-point percentage.
• Azzinaro is 15-for-25 from the arc in his last seven games. His next 3-pointer will be the 100th of his career.
• 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 22-3 when holding opponents under 50%.
• Bucknell is averaging a solid 1.08 points per possession this season, while opponents are averaging 0.97.
• The Bison have shot 50% or better from the field in 11 of their last 16 games.
• Bucknell is 41-for-81 (.506) from 3-point range in its last three games.
• Bucknell has a +60 rebound margin in its last 15 games. The Bison are 14-0 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 15 of his last 19.
• D.J. MacLeay averages 14.7 points and a team-high 14.8 rebounds per 40 minutes.
• Brown has 82 assists and 29 turnovers in his last 16 games. He leads the PL in assist/turnover ratio on the season.
• Bucknell has attempted more free throws than its opponent in 19 of 30 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 15 Patriot League games, Bucknell’s opponents are 83-for-290 (.286) from the arc.
Who’s Got Next?
• Bucknell will host a Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal game on March 2 at Sojka Pavilion against an opponent to be determined (winner of 8 vs. 9 first-round game).