What: #4 Navy (16-15, 10-8 PL) at #1 Bucknell (24-8, 15-3 PL)
Where: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
When: Sunday, March 5, 2017, 2 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
• COMPLETE GAME NOTES
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (11.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.8 apg)
G: Kimbal Mackenzie (11.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.4 apg)
G: Avi Toomer (3.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.8 apg)
F: Zach Thomas (15.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.3 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (14.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.1 bpg)
With a Win over Navy, Bucknell Would ...
• ... win its fifth game in a row and improve to 25-8 overall and 14-2 at home this season.
... advance to the Patriot League championship game to face either #2 Boston University or #3 Lehigh.
• ... reach the Patriot League final for the 11th time overall and first time since 2013.
• ... tie the school record with 14 home victories in a season. The Bison also won 14 home games in 1992-93, 2005-06, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13.
• ... win as many as 25 games in a season for the fifth time in school history and fourth time in the last seven years.
• ... defeat the Midshipmen for the eighth straight time. It would also be Bucknell’s fifth straight postseason win over the Mids.
• ... improve to 154-52 all-time at Sojka Pavilion, including a 110-25 mark against Patriot League rivals.
• 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 ever to win 15 league games, and they finished the year with a three-game cushion over Boston U. and Lehigh.
• Bucknell began the postseason with a convincing 78-62 win over eighth-seeded Army West Point on Thursday night. The Bison raced out to an 11-0 lead and never looked back, and they have advanced to the semifinals for the 20th time in the 27-year history of the Patriot League.
• The Bison now host fourth-seeded Navy, which won a 49-42 defensive struggle over No. 5 Holy Cross in the quarterfinal round. The Bison and Midshipmen have squared off seven times previously in PL Tournament action. Navy won the first three postseason meetings, including the 1997 final, but Bucknell has won the last four.
• This will be the third time Bucknell has played both Army and Navy in the same postseason. The Bison beat Navy and Army as a prelude to the 2013 championship-game win over Lafayette. Bucknell also swept the academies in 2007, before falling to Holy Cross in the final.
• Against Patriot League foes (including the postseason), Bucknell has outscored its opponents by an average of 12.7 points per game. Each of its last 13 wins have been by double-digit margins, and six of the last nine were by 20 points or more. The Bison had not won three straight games by 20+ points since 1928, but they had two such streaks this season, including one to end the regular season. All told, Bucknell has won 19 games by double-digit spreads this season, a new school record, and they rank 35th nationally with an average score margin of +8.7 on the season.
• 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 is 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.
• Patriot League Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year 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 104-for-164 (.634) from the field in his last 16 games. For the season, his 62.2 FG% ranks 14th 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 one of two players in the league (along with teammate Kimbal Mackenzie) who ranks in the top 10 in all three shooting categories: field-goal percentage (9th), 3-point percentage (2nd) and free-throw percentage (2nd). In all, Thomas ranks in the top 15 in the Patriot League in eight different statistical categories.
• As a team, Bucknell ranks 30th out of 347 Division I teams with a field-goal percentage of 48.1%. The Bison have shot 50% or better as a team 11 times in Patriot League play and 15 times total this season.
• 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 18-for-33 (.545) from 3-point distance in the last nine 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 closed out the regular season on a four-game losing streak, including an 82-60 setback at Sojka Pavilion last Saturday in the finale. But the Midshipmen held onto their top-four seed, and they won a quarterfinal home game 49-42 over Holy Cross on Thursday night. Second Team All-Patriot League selection Shawn Anderson leads the team in scoring at 11.9 points per game.
• This will be a matchup of the Patriot League’s highest-scoring team (Bucknell at 76.2 ppg) against the second-best defensive team (Navy at 64.0 ppg). The Midshipmen are by far the league’s most active offensive rebounding team — they rebound 37.1% of their own missed shots — but the Bison did a good job on the defensive glass in last week’s meeting, holding Navy to 10 offensive rebounds on 50 misses.
• 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 live on the CBS Sports Network. Jason Knapp will handle the play-by-play duties, joined by color analyst Doug Gottlieb.
• 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 34-22 in 27 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 20 of 27 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 def. Army 78-62; vs. Navy
Bucknell vs. Navy
• This will be the 76th all-time meeting between the Bison and Midshipmen, with Bucknell holding a 40-35 edge in the series.
• Bucknell has won seven straight and 15 of the last 16 meetings, including a season sweep in each of the last three seasons.
• The Mids won 12 of 16 from the Bison prior to joining the Patriot League in 1991-92.
• As conference rivals, Bucknell leads 36-23, with the home team winning most of the time. Since Navy joined the league, Bucknell is 24-5 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. Navy won the first three postseason clashes, but the Bison have won the last four.
• Bucknell and Navy bookended the Patriot League regular season, meeting in the first and last games of the year.
• 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. Shawn Anderson paced Navy with 12 points.
• Last Saturday on Senior Day at Sojka Pavilion, Navy jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but 10 minutes later the Bison led 30-4. They scored 25 points in a row in what became a 30-1 run, and then cruised to an 82-60 victory. Mackenzie led the Bison with 18 points and seven assists, giving him 40 points in the two meetings with Navy this season. Hasan Abdullah scored 18 to lead Navy.
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 20 times and to the championship game 10 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).
• 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
• Patriot League Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Nana Foulland recorded 13 points, 13 rebounds, six blocks and three steals to lead top-seeded Bucknell to a wire-to-wire victory, 78-62 over No. 8 Army West Point on Thursday night in the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals at Sojka Pavilion.
• Foulland set the tone with a monster rejection in the opening minute of the game, and the Bison would hold the Black Knights to 19.4% shooting en route to a 36-18 halftime lead. Bucknell then led by double figures the entire second half.
• It was the 1,400th victory in program history, and it gave the Bison 24 wins in a season for the seventh time.
• Point guard Stephen Brown led all scorers with 20 points to go with six assists. Zach Thomas added 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals, and Kimbal Mackenzie hit three big second-half 3-pointers while finishing with 13 points.
• Army’s lone double-figure scorer was its leading point-producer on the season, Jordan Fox, who tallied 16 on 5-for-17 shooting.
• Nothing came easily for the Black Knights in the opening 20 minutes, as Bucknell held them to 6-for-31 shooting, including an 0-for-10 mark from 3-point distance. Army warmed up after the break, hitting 10 of its first 13 shots. But the Bison were also 10-for-13 over the same span, and they never let the margin get closer than 13.
• Bucknell shot 46.2% for the game and went 12-for-30 (.400) from 3-point range. Army finished at 35.5% overall, 6-for-20 (.300) from the arc. The Bison had 18 assists on 30 field goals and had as many steals (11) as turnovers.
Numbers Worth Noting
• The Bison have made 60 3-pointers in 132 attempts (.455) over their last five games, an average of 12 made threes per game over that span. Their season 3-point percentage is up to .383, second-best in the league behind Lehigh.
• Bucknell has blown away the school record for made threes in a season. The Bison currently have 267. The previous mark was 234 set by the 2010-11 squad.
• Bucknell has 2,438 points this season, which is 72 shy of the school record of 2,510, set in 1988-89. The Bison also need only 21 made field goals to break that mark of 880, also held by the 1988-89 team.
• Bucknell has allowed 80.6 points per game in its eight losses and 63.1 ppg in its 24 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 119 fastbreak points through 32 games. They went three straight contests (Vanderbilt, Norfolk State, Northern Colorado) without giving up any fastbreak points. Meanwhile, Bucknell has scored 213 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 +339 on the season, and he has been +30 or better in three of his last four games (he is +97 in those four games). In the most recent game vs. Army West Point, Brown played 33 minutes and was on the floor for 76 of the team’s 78 points.
• 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 155 and Thomas 106.
• Thomas needs one more made free throw to crack Bucknell’s single-season top-10 list.
• Thomas is also on 1,000-point watch. He needs 30 more to reach the milestone.
• Thomas (6th, .418), Kimbal Mackenzie (10th, .398), Brown (11th, .395) , and John Azzinaro (14th, .378) all rank among Bucknell’s all-time leaders in career 3-point percentage.
• Azzinaro is 18-for-33 from the arc in his last eight games.
• 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 0.95.
• The Bison have shot 50% or better from the field in 11 of their last 18 games.
• Bucknell has a +65 rebound margin in its last 17 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 17 of his last 21.
• D.J. MacLeay averages 14.0 points and a team-high 14.3 rebounds per 40 minutes.
• Nate Jones is 6-9 3FG in his 10 games since returning from injury.
• Azzinaro has hit a 3-pointer in nine straight games.
• Brown has 91 assists and 32 turnovers in his last 18 games. He leads the PL in assist/turnover ratio (2.6) on the season.
• Bucknell has attempted more free throws than its opponent in 19 of 32 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 16 games against Patriot League competition (including postseason), Bucknell’s opponents are 93-for-329 (.283) from the arc. In the last four games, opponents are 17-for-68 (.250).
Who’s Got Next?
• A Bucknell win would mean in a berth in the Patriot League title game Wednesday night at Sojka Pavilion. The game would be televised on CBS Sports Network.
• A loss would send Bucknell to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).