What: #8 Army (13-18, 6-12 PL) at #1 Bucknell (23-8, 15-3 PL)
Where: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
When: Thursday, March 2, 2017, 7 p.m.
Webcast: Patriot League Network and Twitter
Local Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 FM WEGH)
Internet Radio: BucknellBison.com
Live Statistics: BucknellBison.com
Tickets: 570-577-1000 or Buy Online
• COMPLETE GAME NOTES
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (10.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.8 apg)
G: Kimbal Mackenzie (11.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.4 apg)
G: Avi Toomer (3.2 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.8 apg)
F: Zach Thomas (15.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.3 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (14.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.9 bpg)
With a Win over Army West Point, Bucknell Would ...
• ... improve to 24-8 overall and 13-2 at home this season.
• ... advance to the Patriot League Tournament semifinals to face either #4 Navy or #5 Holy Cross.
• ... reach the semifinal round for the 20th time in the 27-year history of the Patriot League.
• ... win as many as 24 games in a season for the seventh time in school history and fourth time in the last seven years.
• ... defeat the Black Knights for the seventh straight time, dating back to Army’s win at Sojka Pavilion in the 2014 PL quarterfinals.
• ... win the 1,400th game in team history.
• Bucknell won the Patriot League regular-season title outright for the third straight year and sixth time in the last seven years. The Bison joined Boston University as the only teams to win 15 league games, and they finished the year with a three-game cushion over Boston U. and Lehigh. Now the slate is wiped clean, as Bucknell looks to defend its No. 1 seed starting with a Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal game against eighth-seeded Army West Point on Thursday night. The Black Knights had a big second half in a 74-58 win over American in a First Round game on Tuesday.
• In Patriot League play, Bucknell outscored its opponents by an average of 12.5 points per game. Each of its last 12 league wins were by double-digit margins, and six of the last eight were by 20 points or more. The Bison had not won three straight games by 20+ points since 1928, but they have had two such streaks this season, including one that is active after winning the final three regular-season games by 20, 30 and 22 points to clinch the title.
• 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.
• Over the last seven seasons, Bucknell is now 90-24 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.
• This is the first time in school history that Bucknell’s men’s and women’s basketball teams captured regular-season conference titles in the same season.
• When looking back on the regular season, the Feb. 19 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 (3rd), rebounds (6th) 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 (9th), 3-point percentage (4th) and free-throw percentage (2nd). In all, Thomas ranks in the top 12 in the Patriot League in eight different statistical categories.
• As a team, Bucknell ranks 27th 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.
• Kimbal Mackenzie averaged 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 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 used every healthy player on the roster in each of the 18 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 8.4 minutes per game.
• 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 Feb. 15 — and he is 17-for-31 (.548) from 3-point distance in the last eight 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.
• Army has won four of its last five games, including Tuesday’s 74-58 home win over American in the PL Tournament first round. One of the wins in that run was an impressive 71-68 verdict at arch-rival Navy, when the Black Knights stormed back from a 25-point deficit. Jordan Fox, who had 23 in the American game on Tuesday and 26 against Bucknell in Lewisburg earlier in the year, leads the team in scoring at 12.6 points per game. Army has a dead-even scoring margin on the season. It has scored 2,262 points and given up 2,262 points (73.0 per game).
• Bucknell head coach Nathan Davis and Army first-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 game will not be televised, however Campus Insiders will be on site to produce an exclusive webcast that will stream live on both the Patriot League Network (PatriotLeague.TV) and Twitter. Matt Martucci and Pat O’Keefe will call 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.
Patriot League Tournament History
Bucknell has an all-time record of 33-22 in 26 Patriot League Tournaments. The Bison have reached the championship game a league-record 10 times, including wins in 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2013, and reached at least the semifinals in 19 of 26 years.
Bison PL Tourney Log
Year Seed Results
1991 4 def. Army 67-49; lost Fordham 82-76
1992 2 def. Army 74-55; def. Holy Cross 86-77; lost Fordham 70-65
1993 1 def. Lehigh 69-65; def. Colgate 75-73; lost Holy Cross 98-73
1994 5 lost Holy Cross 96-91
1995 2 lost Army 94-78
1996 4 def. Lafayette 56-55; lost Colgate 67-61
1997 2 def. Lehigh 84-54; def. Colgate 71-58; lost Navy 76-75
1998 3 def. Holy Cross 60-56; lost Navy 80-61
1999 3 def. Holy Cross 76-52; def. Lehigh 58-50; lost Lafayette 67-63
2000 3 lost Lehigh 73-62
2001 6 def. Colgate 75-68; lost Navy 88-64
2002 3 def. Army 70-59; lost Holy Cross 64-57
2003 5 def. Lehigh 52-47; lost Holy Cross 75-50
2004 4 def. Holy Cross 66-60; lost Lehigh 60-45
2005 2 def. Lafayette 70-34; def. American 53-35; def. Holy Cross 61-57
2006 1 def. Army 59-47; def. American 64-50; def. Holy Cross 74-59
2007 2 def. Navy 62-43; def. Army 68-47; lost Holy Cross 74-66
2008 7 def. Navy 87-86 (3OT); lost Colgate 54-40
2009 7 lost Holy Cross 75-56
2010 2 lost Holy Cross 67-64
2011 1 def. Army 78-51; def. Lehigh 66-64; def. Lafayette 72-57
2012 1 def. Navy 87-63; def. Lafayette 79-52; lost Lehigh 82-77
2013 1 def. Navy 58-42; def. Army 78-70; def. Lafayette 64-56
2014 4 lost 72-71 Army
2015 1 def. Holy Cross 90-83 (OT); lost Lafayette 80-74
2016 1 lost Holy Cross 77-72 (2OT)
2017 1 vs. Army
Bucknell vs. Army West Point
• The Bison hold a 53-21 lead in a series that dates back to 1929. Bucknell has won the last six meetings, sweeping the series in each of the last three seasons.
• Army West Point is the seventh team against which the Bison have posted 50 or more wins, joining Lehigh (101), Lafayette (74), Gettysburg (66), Colgate (64), Delaware (52) and Susquehanna (51).
• The Bison are 30-5 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 52 of 63 meetings.
• In Patriot League Tournament action, Bucknell is 7-2 against Army. Seven of those nine 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.
• Last year, Bucknell won 84-76 at West Point, and the Bison prevailed 94-66 at Sojka Pavilion. Chris Hass was the story in the first meeting. Hass had an incredible first half, scoring 32 points on 11-for-11 shooting, and he ended up with a career-high 40 points in Bucknell’s win. Nana Foulland had 19 points and nine rebounds in the rematch in Lewisburg.
• Earlier this season at Sojka Pavilion, Bucknell won 84-76 behind 20 points and 12 rebounds from 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.
Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 265-115 (.697) all-time in Patriot League regular-season games, the best record of any league team. The Bison 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 on Feb. 19.
• Bucknell has now won 11 Patriot League regular-season titles in 27 years. No other team has more than five.
• This year Bucknell makes 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 97 of its last 123 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
• Bucknell scored 25 straight points as part of a 30-1 run in the early stages of the game, then cruised home from there, winning 82-60 over Navy on Senior Day at Sojka Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.
• Kimbal Mackenzie tallied 18 points and seven assists, and freshman Bruce Moore set career highs with 14 points and seven rebounds to lead the Patriot League regular-season champion Bison.
• Bison seniors John Azzinaro, D.J. MacLeay and Ben Oberfeld all started on Senior Day. Oberfeld, out all season with an injury, came out to take the opening tip.
• Zach Thomas (12) and Nate Sestina (11) also scored in double figures for the Bison, who shot 47.5% for the game, 53.1% in the first half. Bucknell won without the services of all-league center Nana Foulland, who sat out with an injury. Two other all-stars, Thomas and Brown, were limited to 22 and 17 minutes, respectively, due to foul trouble and rest.
• Bucknell held Navy to 29.5% shooting, its best field-goal percentage defense of the season.
All-Patriot League Notes
• Bucknell did well in this year’s All-Patriot League and Academic All-Patriot League voting.
• Four players were named to All-Patriot League Teams, including Nana Foulland, who became the second player in league history to sweep the Patriot League Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors. The other was another Bison center, Mike Muscala, in 2013.
• Foulland and Zach Thomas were both First Team All-Patriot League selections. Stephen Brown was named to the Second Team, and Kimbal Mackenzie was a Third Team honoree.
• Foulland and Brown were both named to the Patriot League All-Defensive Team. Bucknell has now had the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year in seven of the 13 years since the award was instituted in 2005.
• Nathan Davis garnered Patriot League Coach of the Year honors for the second year in a row. Davis’ second straight Patriot League Coach of the Year selection actually gives Bucknell the last three honors, as Dave Paulsen earned the award in his final season in 2015. Davis is the fourth coach to win the honor in back-to-back seasons, joining Paulsen (2011, 2012), Lehigh’s Billy Taylor (2003, 2004) and Lafayette’s Fran O’Hanlon (1998, 1999). Davis and Taylor are the only two to do so in his first two seasons with a team.
• Bucknell has now had at least one first-team all-conference player in 31 of the last 34 seasons, dating back to the team’s tenure in the East Coast Conference.
• Bucknell’s four all-conference selections were its most since 2012, when Mike Muscala, Bryan Cohen, Cameron Ayers and Joe Willman were all honored. The Bison have now garnered at least one first team all-league selection in 31 of the last 34 years, dating back to its days as a member of the East Coast Conference. This was the first time Bucknell had two first-teamers since 2013 (Muscala and Ayers).
• Foulland and Mackenzie were named to the five-man Academic All-Patriot League Team. It was Foulland’s second straight selection. This is the second straight year and fourth time since the inception of the All-Academic Team in 2011 that Bucknell has claimed two of the five spots on the squad.
Numbers Worth Noting
• The Bison have made 48 3-pointers in 102 attempts (.471) over their last four games. Their season 3-point percentage is up to .382, second-best in the league behind Lehigh.
• Bucknell has allowed 80.6 points per game in its eight losses and 63.1 ppg in its 23 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 117 fastbreak points through 31 games. They went three straight contests (Vanderbilt, Norfolk State, Northern Colorado) without giving up any fastbreak points. Meanwhile, Bucknell has scored 211 fastbreak points on the season.
• Matt O’Reilly has attempted 136 shots during his career at Bucknell. Of those, 131 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 +309 on the season. Zach Thomas is next at +270, followed by Nana Foulland at +203.
• This is the first season that Bucknell has had two players recording 100 or more assists since 1991-92 (Russell Peyton 118, Bill Courtney 108). This year Brown has 149 and Thomas 101.
• Thomas needs one more made free throw to crack Bucknell’s single-season top-10 list.
• Thomas is also getting close to 1,000-point watch. He needs 44 more to reach the milestone.
• Thomas (6th, .418), Brown (12th, .390) , Kimbal Mackenzie (10th, .397), and John Azzinaro (14th, .377) all rank among Bucknell’s all-time leaders in career 3-point percentage.
• Azzinaro is 17-for-31 from the arc in his last eight games. He recorded his 100th career 3-pointer last time out vs. Navy.
• 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 17 games.
• Bucknell has a +69 rebound margin in its last 16 games. The Bison are 15-0 this season when outrebounding their opponent.
• 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 16 of his last 20.
• D.J. MacLeay averages 14.0 points and a team-high 14.4 rebounds per 40 minutes.
• Nate Sestina has 18 points (8-11 FG) and 13 rebounds in his last two games.
• Nate Jones is 6-8 3FG in his nine games since returning from injury.
• Azzinaro has hit a 3-pointer in eight straight games.
• Brown has 85 assists and 30 turnovers in his last 17 games. He leads the PL in assist/turnover ratio on the season.
• Bucknell has attempted more free throws than its opponent in 19 of 31 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 87-for-309 (.282) from the arc. In the last three games, opponents are 11-for-48 (.229).
Who’s Got Next?
• Bucknell must win to advance to the Patriot League Tournament semifinals, where it would face either Navy or Holy Cross on Sunday at either noon or 2 p.m. at Sojka Pavilion. The game would be televised on CBS Sports Network.
• A loss would send Bucknell to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).