Bucknell Men's Basketball to Start Three-Year Series with Penn State; 2013-14 Game to be Played at Sojka Pavilion
June 21, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - The last time Penn State visited Bucknell for a men's basketball game, rookie head coach Charlie Woollum and team captain Sam Stettler led the "Breakin' Bisons" to a 69-64 victory in Davis Gym. That was Jan. 14, 1976. But as part of a new three-year series that has been inked between the two Central Pennsylvania programs, the Nittany Lions will return to Lewisburg for the first time in 38 years in 2013-14.
This coming season, Bucknell and Penn State will meet at the Bryce Jordan Center on Friday, Nov. 23 at a time still to be determined. The Nittany Lions will visit Sojka Pavilion in November or December of 2013, and Bucknell will return to State College early in the 2014-15 season.
"Everyone in our program is tremendously excited to get Penn State back on the schedule," said Bucknell head coach Dave Paulsen. "I am very appreciative of Coach Chambers and his willingness to not only resume this storied series, but also to travel to Lewisburg in 2013-14. I think it will be beneficial for both teams from a scheduling standpoint, and it is certainly a win-win for Central Pennsylvania basketball fans, many of whom root for both teams. The Bryce Jordan Center is a terrific place to play, and we are incredibly excited to host Penn State in Sojka Pavilion in what should be a fun night for our great fans."
This year's meeting will be the 100th between Bucknell and Penn State. The Lions have a 75-24 lead in a series that dates all the way back to 1897. Bucknell is 18-18 at home against Penn State but just 6-57 in State College. Since that 1976 Bison victory in Davis Gym, the last 11 games between the two teams have been played in State College, with Penn State winning all 11.
In the most recent meeting on Nov. 21, 2006, Penn State prevailed 63-60 in overtime on a Mike Walker buzzer-beater.
"Bucknell has a terrific basketball tradition and an NCAA Tournament caliber team every year," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "We look forward to the challenge as we continue one of the longest series in our program's history. Bringing back this game will generate great fan support throughout the area and the state of Pennsylvania."
Bucknell returns four starters and 11 lettermen from last season's 25-10 squad. Among the returnees are 2012 First Team All-Patriot League center Mike Muscala and Second Team All-Patriot League picks Cameron Ayers and Joe Willman. Last year the Bison won the Patriot League regular-season title with a 12-2 conference mark. After falling to Lehigh in the Patriot League championship game, Bucknell went on to defeat Arizona 65-54 in the first round of the NIT.
In its first year under Chambers, formerly the head coach at Boston University and an assistant under Bucknell grad Jay Wright at Villanova, Penn State went 12-20 overall and 4-14 in the Big Ten last season. Among the Nittany Lions' returnees next season will be First Team All-Big Ten guard Tim Frazier, who averaged 18.8 points per game to rank second in the league a year ago. Guard Jermaine Marshall also scored in double figures (10.8 ppg) last season, and Penn State will get a boost from the addition of transfer D.J. Newbill, who averaged 9.2 points and 6.2 rebounds as a freshman at Southern Miss two seasons ago.
The remainder of Bucknell's 2012-13 schedule will be announced later this summer.