Jan. 15, 2013
WHAT: Bucknell (14-3, 1-0 PL) at Colgate (6-11, 0-1 PL)
WHERE: Cotterell Court, Hamilton, N.Y.
WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 7 p.m. ET
TV: Time Warner (Central NY)
WEBCAST: Bison Vision and Patriot League All-Access
RADIO: Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM) and SportsJuice.com
LIVE STATS: GoColgateRaiders.com
Complete Game Notes in PDF Format
The Last Meeting
February 8, 2012
Stout Defense Lifts Bison Men to 11th Straight Win, 66-50 at Colgate
Bryan Cohen scored 12 points and Bucknell overcame a rare cold shooting night with some terrific defense en route to a 66-50 win at Colgate on Wednesday night at Cotterell Court. The Bison sailed to their 11th straight win and 19th in a row in conference play, but most importantly they improved to 9-0 in the Patriot League and maintained a two-game lead in the standings.
With a Win over Colgate, Bucknell Would ...
... improve to 15-3 on the season, which would equal the second-best 18-game start in program history (the 1983-84 team started 16-2).
... defeat the Raiders for the seventh straight time and improve to 59-40 all-time against them.
... improve to 7-3 in road games and 9-3 away from home this season.
... win for the fourth straight year at Cotterell Court.
Bucknell opened up Patriot League play with a 76-55 win over Army on Saturday, and now the Bison look for a 2-0 start on Wednesday at Colgate. The Bison are 14-3 overall, with the only losses coming on the road against No. 12 Missouri, Princeton and Penn State.
Colgate dropped its Patriot League opener at home against American, 72-63, on Saturday.
Through Monday's games, Bucknell is tied for 13th nationally with 14 victories. Bucknell's six road wins are second-most in the nation, trailing only Stony Brook with seven.
At 14-3, Bucknell has equalled its second-best record after 17 games. The Bison were 15-2 in 1983-84.
Bucknell became the first Patriot League team ever to record 13 regular-season non-league victories.
Bucknell in the rankings:
Associated Press Poll: NR
USA Today Coaches' Poll: RV
CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll: 3
ESPN.com Mid-Major Poll: 4
RPI (from RPIforecast.com): 46
Ken Pomeroy computer ranking: 40
Jeff Sagarin computer ranking: 41
The Bison have been outstanding defensively this season. Opponents are averaging only 58.9 points per game, and Bucknell has held 13 of its last 15 foes under 40% shooting.
Joe Willman enters the Colgate game on 1,000-point watch. He needs just six points to reach that milestone.
Mike Muscala is in the midst of an outstanding senior year for the Bison, and he has garnered frequent national mentions throughout the season. An All-America and NBA Draft candidate, Muscala leads the Bison in scoring (19.4), rebounding (11.0), assists (2.9), blocks (2.5) and FG% (.546).
Muscala earned his fourth Patriot League Player of the Week citation of the season on Monday after posting 20 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks in the win over Army.
There are only two players in all of Division I basketball who are leading his team in points, rebounds, assists and blocked shots. They are Muscala and Princeton's Ian Hummer, who recently squared off at Jadwin Gym. Muscala is the only player in the country averaging at least 19.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.
Cameron Ayers (11.9), Bryson Johnson (11.2) and Willman (11.2) are also scoring in double figures for the Bison, who average 69.2 ppg.
The Bison opened the campaign with wins over Purdue and George Mason, and then swept Niagara, New Mexico State and West Alabama at the Niagara Subregional of the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Wounded Warrior Project. Bucknell won all three of those games by double figures and improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2005-06. The first loss of the season came at Penn State on Nov. 23.
The Bison were picked to finish second in the Patriot League behind Lehigh in a preseason poll of the league's head coaches and sports information directors. Senior center Mike Muscala and junior guard Cameron Ayers were both Preseason All-Patriot League selections.
Bucknell returned four starters and 11 lettermen from last year's 25-10 squad. The lone graduated starter was 6'5" guard Bryan Cohen, who won each of the last three Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year awards. Despite that loss, the experienced Bison start three seniors and two juniors. Bucknell's starting five has a combined 517 career games played.
Colgate comes in with a 6-11 overall record. The Raiders had won 3 of 4 entering Patriot League play before falling to American. The Raiders are 3-1 at home this season.
Murphy Burnatowski, in his first year at Colgate after transferring from Maine, is one of the league's top newcomers. He is averaging 17.3 points and 6.2 rebounds to lead the team.
How to Get the Game
The Bucknell-Colgate game will be televised in Central New York on Time Warner Cable. In addition, a live webcast will air on Bison Vision via BucknellBison.com and Patriot League All-Access via PatriotLeague.com (subscription rates apply).
The game can be heard in the Susquehanna Valley on the radio on Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM), with Doug Birdsong and Terry Conrad describing the action. The pregame show begins 30 minutes before tip-off.
The audio feed is available online free of charge via BucknellBison.com and SportsJuice.com.
Live statistics are available at GoColgateRaiders.com.
Bucknell vs. Colgate
This will be the 99th all-time meeting between Bucknell and Colgate in a series that dates back to 1920. The Bison have a 58-40 series lead.
As Patriot League rivals, Bucknell has won 37 of the 50 meetings, including 19 of 22 in Lewisburg.
Bucknell is 9-1 against Colgate at Sojka Pavilion. The Raiders won there in the arena's inaugural season (2002-03), but since then the Bison have won nine in a row, including a 70-57 verdict last year.
Bucknell is 11-4 in its last 15 games in Hamilton.
Bucknell has won six straight over Colgate, sweeping the season series in each of the last three seasons.
Last year, the Bison won 70-57 at home behind 17 points from Bryson Johnson, and 66-50 in Hamilton buoyed by 11 points each from Joe Willman and Mike Muscala.
Patriot League Success
The Bison are 201-94 (.681) in Patriot League regular-season games, the best record of any league team. They have finished at least .500 in PL play in 18 of 22 seasons.
Bucknell has won the last two Patriot League regular-season titles, and it is trying to become the first team to win three outright titles in a row.
The Bison went 13-1 in the league in 2011 and 12-2 last year, making them 25-3 over those two seasons. Dating back to 2010, Bucknell has won 34 of its last 39 league games.
Bucknell won Patriot League Tournament titles in 2005, 2006 and 2011. The Bison have made it to the semifinals 17 times and to the championship game nine times in the 22-year history of the league.
The Bison are the only team to go unbeaten in league play in a season (14-0 in 2006).
Last Time Out
Bucknell got out to a slow start against Army on Saturday, trailing by as many as seven points early, but a 20-2 run late in the first half sent the Bison on their way to a 76-55 win at Sojka Pavilion.
Mike Muscala was on triple-double pace before being subbed out for good with the Bison leading by 23 points with 7:38 to play. Muscala finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks in only 26 minutes. He went 10-for-10 from the foul line and tied his season high for assists.
Joe Willman and Cameron Ayers also had big games. Willman went 8-for-12 from the floor and scored 18 points. Ayers was 6-for-10 overall and 3-for-3 from 3-point range en route to 15 points.
The Bison had assists on 19 of 28 baskets and turned the ball over nine times, four coming on charging fouls.
Defensively, Bucknell forced 15 turnovers and held Army to 37.7% shooting.
Starting off on the Right Foot
Bucknell's 14-3 start is tied for second-best in program history. The 1983-84 team was 15-2 after 16 games.
If Bucknell can defeat Colgate to get to 15-3, it would also equal the second-best 18-game start in program history. The 1983-84 team started 16-2.
Bucknell became the first team in Patriot League history to record 13 non-league wins in a regular season. Fordham (1990-91) and Lehigh (2011-12) previously won 12.
Several Bison are chasing significant milestones:
Mike Muscala needs 245 points to become Bucknell's all-time leading scorer (Al Leslie had 1,973) and 272 to become the program's first 2,000-point scorer. If Bucknell plays the minimum number of games it could possibly play the rest of the way (14), Muscala would have to average 17.5 points to catch Leslie.
Muscala needs 98 rebounds to join Hal Danzig as the only players in program history with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
Muscala needs 44 blocked shots to catch school record-holder Mike Butts, who had 278.
Bryson Johnson needs six 3-point field goals to equal Kevin Bettencourt's Bucknell career record of 294.
Joe Willman needs 6 points for 1,000 in his career.
Cameron Ayers needs 153 points for 1,000 in his career.
Who's Got Next?
Bucknell returns home to face Lafayette on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Sojka Pavilion.
The Bucknell Men's Basketball Team will be hosting their Annual Coaches vs. Cancer game on Saturday. Coaches vs. Cancer is a national organization that is run by the American Cancer Society as well as the NABC to help raise money and cancer awareness. Players, coaches and volunteers will be selling Coaches vs. Cancer merchandise on Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. in the Elaine Langone Center Mall, and again on Saturday at Sojka Pavilion prior to the Bucknell-Lafayette game. In addition, both coaching staffs will be wearing sneakers with their suits during the game.