Feb. 12, 2013
WHAT: Colgate (9-16, 3-5 PL) at Bucknell (20-4, 7-1 PL)
WHERE: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m. ET
LIVE WEBCAST: Bison Vision
RADIO: Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM) and SportsJuice.com
LIVE STATS: GameTracker
Complete Game Notes in PDF Format
The Last Meeting
January 16, 2013
Bucknell Men Grind Out 73-59 Win at Colgate
Mike Muscala had another big night with 25 points, 10 rebounds, seven blocks and four assists, and brand new 1,000-point scorer Joe Willman made some clutch plays down the stretch to lift Bucknell to a hard-fought 73-59 road win over Colgate on Wednesday night at Cotterell Court. The Bison improved to 15-3 overall and 2-0 in the Patriot League, while Colgate dropped to 6-11, 0-2.
With a Win over Colgate, Bucknell Would ...
• ... improve to 8-1 in the Patriot League and maintain at least a share of the league lead.
• ... improve to 21-4 on the season, which would mark the second-best 25-game start in program history (the 1983-84 team started 22-3).
• ... win its fifth game in a row.
• ... equal the 10th-most wins in a season in program history.
• ... complete a season sweep of the Raiders and extend its series winning streak to eight.
• ... improve to 9-1 at home this season.
• ... improve to 107-33 overall and 73-15 against league competition all-time at Sojka Pavilion.
• Bucknell goes for a season sweep of Colgate on Wednesday night at Sojka Pavilion in the 100th all-time meeting between the two teams. The Bison pulled away in the second half to defeat the Raiders 73-59 in Hamilton, N.Y., on Jan. 16.
• The Bison come into the game tied for the Patriot League lead with Lehigh, which hosts American on Wednesday night. Lafayette is alone in third place at 5-3. Following Wednesday’s game, Bucknell has back-to-back road games against Lafayette on Lehigh on Saturday and Monday.
• Through Monday’s games, Bucknell is tied for 7th nationally with 20 victories.
• Bucknell in the rankings:
Associated Press Poll: NR
USA Today Coaches’ Poll: NR
CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll: 8
ESPN.com Mid-Major Poll: 7
RPI (from RPIforecast.com): 55
Ken Pomeroy computer ranking: 60
Jeff Sagarin computer ranking: 77
• Bryson Johnson and Mike Muscala were both named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team last week, and Muscala was just named one of 10 national finalists for the Senior CLASS Award. Johnson and Muscala both made the Dean’s List in the fall semester, and they grabbed two of the five All-District spots. They are both now eligible for the national Academic All-America ballot.
• The Bison have been outstanding defensively this season. Opponents are averaging only 58.4 points per game, and Bucknell has held 18 of its last 22 foes under 40% shooting.
• In the last two games, Bryson Johnson has broken the Bucknell and Patriot League career records for career 3-pointers. He now has 303 in his career.
• 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 (18.7), rebounding (11.4), assists (2.8), blocks (2.8) and FG% (.513). He leads the league in scoring, rebounding and blocks and ranks in the top 40 nationally in each of those categories (3rd reb., 33rd pts., 17th blk.).
• Muscala is the only player in the country averaging at least 18 points and 11 rebounds per game. And there are only three players in all of Division I basketball who are leading his team in points, rebounds, assists and blocked shots. They are Muscala, Princeton’s Ian Hummer and Towson’s Jarelle Benimon. Benimon and Muscala are tied for the national lead with 17 double-doubles apiece.
• Muscala is on 1,000-rebound watch. He comes in to the Colgate game with 989 career boards. With 11 more he will become just the second player in both Bucknell and Patriot League history to record 1,000 rebounds, and he would also join the exclusive 1,000-point, 1,000-rebound club.
• Cameron Ayers (12.2), Bryson Johnson (11.6) and Joe Willman (10.9) are also scoring in double figures for the Bison, who average 67.8 ppg. Johnson was named Bison Athlete of the Week on Monday after his 17-point, 8-rebound, 6-assist performance in the win over Army.
• 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 only other setbacks have come at the hands of Princeton, Missouri and Lehigh.
• 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 552 career games played.
• Colgate capped a 3-1 stretch with a 63-45 drubbing of Holy Cross on Feb. 2, but since then the Raiders have dropped back-to-back games to NJIT (77-58) and American (70-55). At 3-5 in the league, the Raiders are tied for fifth place with Army, one game behind fourth-place American.
• Colgate has one of the league’s top newcomers in Maine transfer Murphy Burnatowski. The Canadian is the league’s second-leading scorer behind Muscala at 16.8 ppg. Burnatowski has 55 3-pointers on the season. Pat Moore (10.0) also scores in double figures.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Colgate game will not be televised, however a live webcast will be available on Bison Vison via BucknellBison.com.
• 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 stats are available on GameTracker via BucknellBison.com.
Bucknell vs. Colgate
• This will be the 100th all-time meeting between Bucknell and Colgate in a series that dates back to 1920. The Bison have a 59-40 series lead. Earlier this year, Bucknell and Penn State met for the 100th time. The only other opponents that Bucknell has played at least 100 times are Lehigh (159), Lafayette (152) and Gettysburg (126).
• As Patriot League rivals, Bucknell has won 38 of the 51 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 12-4 in its last 16 games in Hamilton, including at 73-59 win there on Jan. 16.
• Bucknell has won seven straight over Colgate, sweeping the season series in each of the last three seasons. No active Bucknell player has ever lost to Colgate. The Raiders last win over the Bison was 68-57 decision at Cotterell Court on Feb. 4, 2009.
• 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.
• In the earlier meeting this season, Muscala had a monster game with 25 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, seven blocked shots and two steals. Johnson added 15 points and Cameron Ayers had 14. Murphy Burnatowski led Colgate with 17, and Damon Sherman-Newsome had 13 off the bench.
Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 207-95 (.685) all-time 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 (and are guaranteed at least a .500 finish this year).
• 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 mid-2010, Bucknell has won 40 of its last 46 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
• Cameron Ayers scored 19 points and Bryson Johnson added 17 to lead the Bison past Army 60-58 at Christl Arena on Saturday. Ayers and Johnson were huge down the stretch, combining for Bucknell’s final 16 points of the day.
• Johnson offered a lesson in persistence. He started the game 0-for-8 from the floor and 0-for-6 from 3-point range, but he made his last four shots of the game, including three critical 3-pointers in the final 10:38 of a close game. Even while he was struggling with his shot, Johnson tied his career high with eight rebounds and set a new personal best with six assists.
• Mike Muscala had a rare off night, finishing 3-for-12 from the floor, but he still managed his 17th double-double of the year with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
• Both teams shot under 30% in the first half, and the Bison led 25-21 at the break. Bucknell then shot 50.0% in the second half and built a lead of as many as 11 points after Johnson’s 3-pointer with 8:46 to play. Army came back and pulled within two points and had a shot to tie it at the buzzer, but Dylan Cox’s 17-footer was off the mark as time expired.
• Defensively, the Bison held Army to 38.2% shooting. The Black Knights came in averaging 73.5 points per game, but the Bison kept them more than 15 points under their average.
• Ayers equalled his career high with eight made field goals. He scored eight of the team’s last 11 points and his trey with 2:16 left stretched a three-point lead up to six, and those proved to be the winning points.
• Several Bison are chasing significant milestones:
• Mike Muscala needs 125 points to become Bucknell’s all-time leading scorer (Al Leslie had 1,973) and 152 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 (7), Muscala would have to average 17.9 points to catch Leslie.
• Muscala needs 11 rebounds to join Hal Danzig as the only players in program history with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
• Muscala needs 20 blocked shots to catch school record-holder Mike Butts, who had 278.
• Cameron Ayers needs 62 points for 1,000 in his career.
Stats of Note
• Bucknell has attempted only 299 3-point field goals this season, by far the fewest in the Patriot League. Only 23.8% of the team’s field-goal attempts have been from beyond the arc. Every other Patriot League team is over 33% • Bryson Johnson (53) and Cameron Ayers (35) have combined for 88 of Bucknell’s 107 made 3-pointers (.822).
• After going 11-for-24 from the free-throw line at American on Jan. 30, the Bison have bounced back to make 29 of 35 (.829) in the two games since then.
• Bucknell’s top four scorers — Mike Muscala, Ayers, Johnson and Joe Willman — have combined for 78.8% of the team’s points this season (1,282 of 1,627).
• Bucknell has posted a higher field-goal percentage than its opponent in all but four games this season (Purdue, Princeton, Missouri, American).
• Bucknell commits only 14.7 fouls per game, the 12th-fewest in the country. The Bison have attempted 123 more free throws than their opponents.
• The Bison rank fourth nationally in turnovers per game at 10.0, but they are actually -0.7 in turnover margin on the season. Bucknell opponents turn the ball over only 9.3 times per game.
• Bucknell is coming off its first-ever back-to-back 25-win seasons, and now the Bison have made it three straight 20-win campaigns. This is the second time in program history that the team has produced three straight 20-win seasons. The other stretch was 2004-05 (24), 2005-06 (27) and 2006-07 (22).
• The program record for victories in consecutive years is 51, set in 2004-05 (24) and 2005-06 (27).
• The program record for wins over a three-year span is 73, set from 2004-07 (24, 27, 22). The current squad needs three more wins to equal that mark.
Who’s Got Next?
• Bucknell has a pivotal 55-hour stretch coming up with back-to-back road games against third-place Lafayette and co-leader Lehigh on Saturday and Monday.
• The Lafayette game is set for Saturday at 2 p.m. Bucknell topped the Leopards 66-51 in Lewisburg on Jan. 19.
• The Bison and Mountain Hawks square off Monday at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Lehigh edged the Bucknell 65-62 in Sojka Pavilion on Jan. 23. This is a rematch of the 2012 Patriot League championship game.