What: Navy (19-10, 10-6 PL) at Bucknell (20-9, 14-2 PL)
Where: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
When: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 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: BucknellBison.com
Tickets: 570-577-1000 or purchase online
- Senior Night (Stephen Brown, Nana Foulland, Zach Thomas to be honored prior to tip-off)
- Halftime recognition of Patriot League champion women's cross country, women's soccer, women's indoor track & field teams
- Fan Appreciation Night
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (14.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.4 apg)
G: Kimbal Mackenzie (7.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.4 apg)
F: Avi Toomer (5.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.2 apg)
F: Zach Thomas (21.1 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 2.4 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (15.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg)
With a Win over Navy, Bucknell Would ...
• ... reach the 21-win mark for the 13th time in school history.
• ... improve to 21-9 overall, 15-2 in the Patriot League and 12-1 at home this season.
• ... win its 14th in the last 15; 17th in the last 19; and 21st in its last 26.
• ... maintain at least a four-game lead in the Patriot League.
• ... win its 10th straight game against the Midshipmen and improve to 18-1 against them since 2010-11.
• ... win its 11th straight against the Midshipmen at Sojka Pavilion.
• ... improve to 64-32 under Nathan Davis.
• ... improve to 105-26 in Patriot League play since the start of the 2010-11 season.
• Since seeing its 10-game winning streak end in overtime at Lehigh on Feb. 5, Bucknell has won another three in a row and has locked up the outright Patriot League title for the fourth year in a row and seventh time in the last eight years.
• This is the first class in Patriot League history to win four straight outright regular-season titles.
• This class has an 82-47 overall record and a 53-14 mark in Patriot League play. They have played in an NCAA Tournament and two NITs thus far.
• This is the second class in school history to feature three 1,000-point scorers. Foulland (1,675), Thomas (1,634) and Brown (1,190) have combined for 4,499 points. They are closing in on the 4,582 points accumulated by the Class of 2013 (Mike Muscala 2,036; Bryson Johnson 1,384; Joe Willman (1,162).
• All three members of the class currently rank in the top 10 in the Patriot League scoring race. They are averaging a combined 50.8 points per game and are accounting for 63.0% of the team’s points this season.
• Dating back to mid-December, the Bison have won 16 of their last 18 games, and they are 20-5 since starting the season with consecutive road losses at Monmouth, Arkansas, North Carolina and Maryland.
• Bucknell has trailed at the half in six of its 14 Patriot League victories. The biggest comeback came on Jan. 31, when the Bison fell behind by 19 with 5:00 left in the first half, cut it to 10 by halftime, then rallied to beat Army West Point 83-71 in overtime. The 19-point deficit was the largest the Bison have overcome in a victory this season.
• The Bison have been getting it done with defense. In Patriot League play, Bucknell is holding opponents to 39.4% shooting from the field and 31.7% from the 3-point arc while yielding only 67.1 points per game and 0.91 points per possession. The Bison are also +5.1 on the glass and are averaging 5.3 blocks per game.
• Zach Thomas is enjoying a monster senior year, averaging 21.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Thomas, who was named to the Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year Award mid-season watch list, is one of five Division I players currently leading his conference in both scoring and rebounding.
PLAYERS LEADING A CONFERENCE IN SCORING AND REBOUNDING
Zach Thomas, Bucknell (PL) 21.1 ppg/9.3 rpg
Deandre Ayton, Arizona (Pac-12) 19.7 ppg/10.9 rpg
Marvin Bagley III, Duke (ACC) 21.2 ppg/11.4 rpg
Jock Landale, Saint Mary’s (WCC) 21.9 ppg/10.4 rpg
Mike Daum, South Dakota State (Summit) 23.5 ppg/9.9 rpg
PATRIOT LEAGUE PLAYERS FINISHING A SEASON AS LEADER IN SCORING AND REBOUNDING
Adonal Foyle, Colgate 1995-96 20.2 ppg/12.6 rpg
Adonal Foyle, Colgate 1996-97 24.4 ppg/13.1 rpg
Kevin Hamilton, Holy Cross 2005-06 17.6 ppg/6.3 rpg
Mike Muscala, Bucknell 2012-13 18.7 ppg/11.1 rpg
Tim Kempton, Lehigh 2016-17 20.4 ppg/10.4 rpg
Zach Thomas, Bucknell 2017-18 21.1 ppg/9.3 rpg
• Thomas has attempted 10 or more free throws in a game 12 times this season. Only counting his made free throws (7.1 per game), Thomas would be the 46th-leading scorer in the Patriot League. Thomas already has broken the school records for made and attempted free throws in a season.
• Thomas has earned six Patriot League Player of the Week honors, giving Bucknell seven this season (Nana Foulland has the other). Thomas has 15 20-point games (including four 30-point games) on the season, headlined by a 38-point, 11-rebound, 7-assist gem at Stony Brook on Nov. 26 and last week’s 36-point, 13-rebound effort at Lehigh. Thomas now ranks 26th nationally in scoring, 34th in rebounding, 11th in defensive rebounding, first in free throw attempts and second in made free throws (through Monday’s games).
• Stephen Brown, a veteran of 112 consecutive starts at point guard, has played some of the best ball of his career in recent weeks, particularly in two Patriot League road wins. Brown scored a career-high 27 points, hitting 7 of 9 from long distance, at Navy, and one game later he tallied 20 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals at Boston University. Brown did not commit a turnover or a foul in either game while scoring 48 points in 57 minutes. Brown is scoring at a 15.2 ppg clip in Patriot League play, the eighth-best mark in the league.
• Bucknell head coach Nathan Davis will be going up against his old team. 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.
• Navy comes to Lewisburg playing very good basketball. The Midshipmen have won four straight and six of their last seven, and they have won six straight road games. Navy has climbed into a tie for second place in the Patriot League with Colgate at 10-6, although the Raiders own the tiebreaker by virtue of a sweep of the season series. The Midshipmen are one win away from their first 20-win season since 1999-2000. Seniors Shawn Anderson (13.7) and Bryce Dulin (10.7) are the team’s top two scorers. Anderson is this week’s Patriot League Player of the Week after posting 20.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 3.5 apg in wins over Lafayette and Boston University.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Navy game will not be televised, however a live webcast will be available 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 BucknellBison.
• Follow @Bucknell_MBB for in-game updates on Twitter.
Last Time Out
• Nana Foulland recorded 21 points and nine rebounds, and Bucknell held Holy Cross without a field goal in overtime to win 68-67 at the Hart Center on Saturday afternoon.
• Bucknell led throughout most of the second half before going cold down the stretch. Holy Cross rallied to take a 65-64 lead on an Austin Butler 3-point play with 2:58 left in regulation, but that would be the Crusaders’ final field goal of the day.
• Foulland’s dunk with 1:17 left put Bucknell back in front before Jehyve Floyd made 1 of 2 free throws to make it 66-66 with 0:49 left. After Foulland’s jump-hook rimmed out, Holy Cross had a final shot, but Patrick Benzan’s step-back jumper was off the mark.
• Thomas broke the deadlock with two free throws with 3:24 left in overtime, and remarkably those would be the winning points. Butler hit 1 of 2 at the line on the next possession to make it 68-67, and the two teams would trade misses the rest of the way. Holy Cross was 0-for-7 from the field in overtime, while Bucknell was 0-for-4.
• After the Crusaders rebounded a Bison miss with 32 seconds left, they tried to run through their set offense but could not get anywhere against the Bison defense. Holy Cross called timeout with seven seconds on the shot clock and 9.1 on the game clock. Benzan momentarily fumbled the ball, and then had to fling a contested shot at the rim. Connor Niego rebounded but did not have time for a put-back as the final buzzer sounded.
• The Bison are now 3-1 in overtime this season, and in all three wins they kept the opponent without a field goal in extra time.
Bucknell vs. Navy
• This will be the 78th all-time meeting between the Bison and Midshipmen, with Bucknell holding a 42-35 edge in the series.
• Bucknell has won nine straight and 17 of the last 18 meetings, including a season sweep in each of the last three seasons. Navy’s last win over the Bison was 62-61 verdict in Annapolis on Jan. 15, 2014.
• The Mids won 12 of 16 from the Bison prior to joining the Patriot League in 1991-92.
• As conference rivals, Bucknell leads 38-23, with the home team winning most of the time. Since Navy joined the league, Bucknell is 25-5 against the Mids at home but is only 13-18 against Navy in Alumni Hall, although the Bison have won seven of their last eight there.
• Bucknell is 5-3 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 five, including a 70-65 decision in last year’s semifinal round.
• Bucknell took three games from Navy last season, including that postseason win at Sojka Pavilion. In that game, Zach Thomas (22 points) and Nana Foulland (18 points) both battled through foul trouble to lead the Bison to victory. Shawn Anderson scored 21 points and Bryce Dulin had 15 for Navy. The teams went a combined 4-for-28 from 3-point distance. Earlier in the season, Bucknell won 59-55 in Annapolis, coming from 13 points down in the second half as Kimbal Mackenzie scored 19 of his 22 points after the break. Anderson had 12 for Navy. At Sojka Pavilion, Bucknell trailed 3-0, then went on a 30-1 run to take a commanding 30-4 lead en route to an 82-60 win. Mackenzie had 18 points and seven assists for the Bison, while Hasan Abdullah led Navy with 18 points.
• Bucknell managed a rare one-sided win at Alumni Hall in this season’s first meeting. Led by a career-high 27 points on 7-for-9 3-point shooting from Stephen Brown, the Bison rolled to an 87-67 verdict. Bryce Dulin led Navy with 14 points.
Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 279-117 (.705) all-time in Patriot League regular-season games, the best record of any league team. The Bison are guaranteed at least a .500 record in PL play for the 24th time in 28 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 are now the first to win four in a row, and they have claimed seven of the last eight.
• Since the start of the 2010-11 season, Bucknell is 104-26 (.800) in Patriot League play.
• Bucknell has won 12 Patriot League regular-season titles in 28 years. No other team has more than five.
• Bucknell will make its ninth Patriot League Tournament appearance as the No. 1 seed.
• 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
• Stephen Brown has scored in double figures in 15 straight games and is 22-for-24 from the foul line in his last eight games.
• Kimbal Mackenzie is 20-for-20 from the foul line this season and has made 29 straight dating back to last year. The school record is 39, by Bo Heiden in 1986-87.
• Zach Thomas has scored in double figures in 79 of his 84 career starts, including all but one this season. Thomas is looking to shake a 1-for-14 slump from 3FG over the last three games.
• Nana Foulland has a blocked shot in 14 straight games and has scored in double figures in 13 straight.
• Bucknell is 25-3 in the month of January under head coach Nathan Davis.
• The Bison are 12-2 this season, 34-3 over the last two seasons, and 48-7 in the Davis era when leading at the half.
• Bucknell is averaging 43.2 points in the second halves of games this season, the 12th-best figure in the country. That figure jumps to 46.2 ppg at home, which ranks seventh in the nation.
• Bucknell leads the Patriot League in scoring offense at 80.6 points per game (42nd nationally), but the Bison have also given up the third-most points (74.6) in the league (241st nationally). The Bison are scoring 1.08 and allowing 1.00 points per possession on the season.
• The Bison are 13-2 when scoring 80 or more points, but 7-7 when scoring fewer than 80. The team’s lone losses when scoring 80 were a 93-81 setback at North Carolina on Nov. 15 and a 92-89 overtime loss at Lehigh on Feb. 5.
• Stephen Brown is averaging 15.2 ppg in Patriot League play. The senior is taking more shots than at any other point in his career. Brown is averaging 10.8 FGA per game this season, more than two attempts above his previous career high of 8.6 last year.
• Nate Sestina has been productive off the bench for the Bison. He is averaging 6.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, but when pro-rated for 40 minutes he is tallying 16.9 ppg and 10.2 rpg.
• Bucknell is shooting 48.4% from the field at home this season and 45.0% on the road, even though it has shot much better from the 3-point arc on the road (34.7% compared to 31.7% at Sojka Pavilion).
• 29.3% of Bucknell’s offensive plays have resulted in free throws, which is the 14th-highest rate in the country. Bucknell’s 712 free-throw attempts are third-most in the nation, trailing only Rider (732) and Niagara (725).
• According to the Hollinger Player Efficiency Rating formula at ESPN.com, Zach Thomas ranks 37th out of all Division I players with a score of 27.19. PER measures the aggregate of a player’s statistical efficiency.
Who’s Got Next?
• Bucknell wraps up the regular season at American on Saturday at 2 p.m. The contest will be streamed on the Patriot League Network at PatriotLeague.tv. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since Dec. 29, when the Bison won 84-55.