Nov. 30, 2012
WHAT: Bucknell (6-1) at Columbia (4-3)
WHERE: Levien Gymnasium, New York, N.Y.
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m. ET
LIVE WEBCAST: GoColumbiaSports.com
RADIO: Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM) and SportsJuice.com
LIVE STATS: GoColumbiaSports.com
Complete Game Notes in PDF Format
With a Win over Columbia, Bucknell Would ...
• ... improve to 7-1 for the first time since 2005-06.
• ... win its eighth straight game against the Ivy League.
• ... improve to 3-2 against the Lions.
• ... win at Levien Gymnasium for the first time.
• ... improve to 3-1 on the road this season.
• Bucknell puts a 6-1 record on the line Saturday night against Columbia in New York City. The Bison bounced back from a disappointing loss at Penn State with a 62-49 home victory over Dartmouth on Tuesday. The Lions come in with a 4-3 record, including a 1-1 mark at home. Columbia fell 70-61 at LIU-Brooklyn on Wednesday.
• Mike Muscala leads the Bison in scoring (16.1) and rebounding (11.1) through seven games. Muscala ranks 12th nationally in rebounding and second in the nation in double-doubles with five. Muscala is one of 27 Division I players averaging more than 10 rebounds per game. Bryson Johnson (13.6) and Cameron Ayers (11.9) are also scoring in double figures.
• Bucknell is looking to get its offense back on track after struggling in the last two games against Penn State and Dartmouth. The Bison averaged 59.5 points while shooting 37.6% from the floor and 23.1% from 3-point range in those two contests.
• Defensively, the Bison lead the Patriot League in field-goal percentage defense (.364) and rank No. 2 in scoring defense (57.4).
• 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 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 squad. The lone graduated starter is 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, with another senior and junior among the top reserves.
• Columbia has four players averaging in double figures, led by Brian Barbour and Grant Mullins at 12.7 ppg. Alex Rosenberg (10.7) and Mark Cisco (10.4) also score in double digits. The Lions are a good 3-point and free-throw shooting team, and they have outrebounded their opponents on the season. Columbia opened up 4-1, but has since lost two straight to San Francisco and LIU-Brooklyn.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Columbia game will not be televised, however a live video webcast will air at GoColumbiaLions.com (subscription fees 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 GoColumbiaLions.com.
Bucknell vs. Columbia Series Notes
• Bucknell and Columbia have met four times previously, with each team winning twice.
• The first two meetings were neutral-site games as part of in-season tournaments. On Nov. 26, 1994, Columbia defeated Bucknell 63-58 in the consolation game of the Pepsi/Marist Classic. That was the second game of coach Pat Flannery’s tenure at Bucknell. On Nov. 29, 2002, the Bison beat the Lions 61-47 in the first round of the Red Auerbach Colonial Classic in Washington, D.C. The Bison went on to drop a three-point game to host George Washington in the championship the following day.
• In the last meeting in New York City in 2009-10, the Bison made their first appearance at Levien Gymnasium and saw their three-game winning streak come to an end at the hands of Noruwa Agho and the hot-shooting Lions. Columbia finished 13-for-18 from 3-point range, including Agho’s 7-for-8 effort, and the Lions prevailed 73-59. Patrick Behan led the Bison with 15 points. The Bison led by eight points with 10:14 to play, but they would not make another field goal until the final seconds and were outscored 30-8 down the stretch.
• Columbia made its first trip to Lewisburg exactly two years ago to the day, and the Bison won 73-68 at Sojka Pavilion. Darryl Shazier led Bucknell that night with 15 points, while then-freshman Cameron Ayers had 14 and Joe Willman 13 points and seven rebounds. Steve Frankoski paced Columbia with 12 points, all coming from 3-point range.
Bucknell vs. The Ivy League
• Bucknell is 45-44 (.506) all-time against the Ivy League after beating Dartmouth on Tuesday. The Bison have played 47 games against Cornell, but only 41 combined against the other seven Ivy teams. In addition to its 24-23 record against Cornell, Bucknell is 4-2 against Yale, 3-1 vs. Brown, 3-4 vs. Penn, 4-1 vs. Dartmouth, 4-10 vs. Princeton, 2-2 vs. Columbia and 1-1 vs. Harvard.
• The Bison have won seven straight games against Ivy League foes and are 7-1 against the Ivy League since the start of the 2010-11 season. Bucknell will play Princeton and Cornell later this year.
Last Time Out
• Bucknell was chilly from the field for the second straight game, but used outstanding interior defense and free-throw shooting to pull away from Dartmouth 62-49 on Tuesday at Sojka Pavilion.
• The Bison shot just 36.4% from the floor and made only one 3-pointer in eight attempts, but they outscored Dartmouth 29-6 from the foul line.
• Dartmouth hit 11 of 27 3-point attempts (.407), but the Big Green managed only five 2-point field goals in 26 attempts (.192).
• Mike Muscala and Cameron Ayers both registered double-doubles for Bucknell. Muscala recorded 17 points and 11 rebounds, and he became the eighth player in program history to surpass the 1,500-point barrier. Ayers scored 13 points and equaled his career high with 10 rebounds.
• Joe Willman had his best all-around game of the season, totaling 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots. The three blocks matched his career high.
• Bryson Johnson made it four Bison in double digits with 10 points. Johnson hit the team’s only 3-pointer of the night. His three free throws with less than a second remaining gave Bucknell a 25-24 halftime lead.
• Bucknell outrebounded Dartmouth 37-26 and held the Big Green to just six points in the paint.
• Several Bison are chasing significant milestones:
• Mike Muscala needs 461 points to become Bucknell’s all-time leading scorer (Al Leslie had 1,973) and 488 to become the program’s first 2,000-point scorer.
• Muscala needs seven rebounds for 800 in his career. He would join former Colgate star Adonal Foyle as the only Patriot League players with 1,500 points and 800 rebounds, and he would join Bob Barry and Mike Bright as the only Bucknell players ever to hit the 1,500/800 milestone.
• Muscala needs 207 rebounds to join Hal Danzig as the only players in program history with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
• Muscala needs 70 blocked shots to catch school record-holder Mike Butts, who had 278.
• Bryson Johnson needs 26 3-point field goals to equal Kevin Bettencourt’s Bucknell career record of 294.
• Joe Willman needs 133 points for 1,000 in his career.
• Cameron Ayers needs 272 points for 1,000 in his career.
Who’s Got Next?
• Bucknell has one more game before breaking for final exams, that coming on Tuesday at home against Kent State.
• This will be the first-ever meeting between the Bison and the Golden Flashes.
• Kent State is off to a 5-2 start after finishing 21-12 a year ago. The Golden Flashes have won three in a row over Bethune-Cookman, Nebraska and Youngstown State, and they host Princeton on Saturday before traveling to Lewisburg.