Dec. 17, 2012
WHAT: Bucknell (9-1) at Saint Francis (Pa.) (0-8)
WHERE: DeGol Arena, Loretto, Pa.
WHEN: Monday, Dec. 17, 7 p.m. ET
LIVE WEBCAST: sfuathletics.com
RADIO: Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM) and SportsJuice.com
LIVE STATS: sfuathletics.com
Complete Game Notes in PDF Format
The Last Meeting
|Saint Francis (Pa.)||42
November 19, 2011
With a Win over Saint Francis, Bucknell Would ...
• ... win its fifth game in a row.
• ... improve to 10-1 for the first time since 1926-27.
• ... improve to 4-1 on the road this season.
• ... improve to 16-12 all-time against the Red Flash.
• ... win in Loretto for the first time since 2006-07 (two straight losses).
• Bucknell improved to 9-1 with a strong performance against La Salle on Saturday, but now they must turn around on short rest and travel to a venue that has been unkind to the Bison through the years. Bucknell is just 5-8 all-time in Loretto, and it has dropped four of its last five games in DeGol Arena. Saint Francis, which is playing for the first time in 11 days, comes in at 0-8, with four of those losses coming to Patriot League teams (Colgate, American, Lafayette, Lehigh).
• The Bison have now joined the 2005-06, 1956-57 and 1939-40 teams as the lone Bucknell squads in the last 84 years to start a season 9-1.
• According to RPIforecast.com, Bucknell’s current RPI is 22.
• Mike Muscala is quite a roll for the Bison. He had a monster 29-point, 19-rebound performance at Columbia on Dec. 1, and then followed that up with 27 points and six boards in a win over Kent State. Muscala came back after the exam break and racked up 18 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three blocks against La Salle. He leads the Bison in most statistical categories, including scoring (18.7), rebounding (11.0), blocks (2.3) and assists (2.5) through 10 games. Muscala ranks 11th nationally in rebounding. Muscala and Duke’s Mason Plumlee are the only two Division I players averaging at least 18 points and 11 rebounds per game.
• Bryson Johnson (12.3), Cameron Ayers (10.9) and Joe Willman (10.3) are also scoring in double figures. Willman is coming off his best game of the year, with 18 points and 12 rebounds in the win over La Salle.
• Freshman guard Ryan Frazier has come on strong in recent games. He has three double-figure scoring games this year, coming against very athletic opponents in Niagara, Kent State and La Salle. Frazier had 11 points, all in the second half, against La Salle on Saturday and is averaging 12.0 ppg over his last two games.
• 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 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, with another senior and junior among the top reserves.
• Saint Francis is playing a Patriot League opponent for the fourth game in a row. Its most recent outing was an 83-67 home loss to Lehigh back on Dec. 8. One game earlier, the Red Flash had a 15-point lead on Lafayette before falling 61-58.
• Umar Shannon, who did not play against Bucknell last season, leads Saint Francis in scoring at 15.3 ppg. Ollie Jackson averages 10.7 ppg and shots 40.0 percent from 3-point range. Stephon Mosely also scores in double figures at an even 10.0 ppg, and he leads the squad in rebounding at 4.4 rpg.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Saint Francis game will not be televised, however a live video webcast will air at sfuathletics.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 sfuathletics.com.
Bucknell vs. Saint Francis Series Notes
• Bucknell has a 15-12 lead in the all-time series, although Saint Francis has won five of the last eight.
• The Bison captured seven of the first nine meetings in a series that dates back to 1927.
• Bucknell is 10-4 against Saint Francis (Pa.) in Lewisburg, but only 5-8 in Loretto.
• Last season these two teams met in Bucknell’s home opener at Sojka Pavilion, and the Bison parlayed an early 16-0 run into a 73-42 victory. Bryan Cohen led the Bison with 15 points, while Mike Muscala had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Joe Willman added 13 points and Cameron Ayers had 10 as the Bison controlled play throughout. They led 37-16 at the half and outrebounded the Red Flash 45-23. Scott Eatherton led Saint Francis with nine points.
• In the last meeting in Loretto in 2010-11, the Red Flash made a last-second defensive stand and held on for a 68-67 win over the Bison. G.W. Boon tied his career high with 24 points and Muscala added 22 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots for the Bison, who overcame a 13-point deficit in the second half but could not finish the comeback. Will Felder led Saint Francis with 21 points, while Anthony Ervin and Mislav Jukic had 10 each.
Bucknell vs. The Northeast Conference
• Bucknell is 43-34 (.558) all-time against the teams that currently comprise the Northeast Conference. The Bison are 15-12 against Saint Francis (Pa.), 12-8 vs. Mount St. Mary’s, 6-3 vs. Robert Morris, 5-2 vs. Saint Francis (N.Y.), 4-7 vs. Wagner, 1-0 vs. Bryant and 0-1 vs. Central Connecticut State. Bucknell has never played Long Island, Monmouth or Fairleigh Dickinson.
Last Time Out
• Bucknell defeated La Salle 74-66 in a battle of one-loss teams Saturday night at Sojka Pavilion. The Bison flipped an 8-6 deficit into a 20-8 lead with a 14-0 run, and they stayed ahead the rest of the way. La Salle, which came in at 6-1 with wins over Villanova and Penn State, cut a 15-point deficit down to three in the second half, but the Bison weathered the run and built the lead back to as many as 14.
• The frontcourt duo of Mike Muscala and Joe Willman had a dominant night. Muscala recorded 18 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three blocked shots, while Willman posted his first double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 boards. Willman went 9-for-13 from the field and was a terror on the offensive glass in one of the best performances of his career.
• While Muscala and Willman handled the load up front, the Bison guards were all strong against La Salle’s intense defensive pressure. No Bucknell guard had more than one turnover, and the team had only nine in the game against a team that came in forcing almost 14 turnovers per game.
• Ryan Hill and Cameron Ayers set the tone early. Hill finished three strong drives to the basket, and Ayers had five points in that 14-0 run. Hill finished with seven points and six rebounds, while Ayers had nine points.
• One game after scoring a career-high 13 points against Kent State, freshman guard Ryan Frazier added 11 more against La Salle, all of them coming in the second half. After the Explorers had pulled within three points, Frazier drove the lane for a 3-point play to help stem the tide. A few minutes later he hit a 3-pointer and then had a sensational 4-point play after being steamrolled by 6-11 center Steve Zack on the left wing. The latter play extended Bucknell’s lead back to 63-49 with 6:01 to play.
• Bucknell outrebounded La Salle 38-31 and had a 16-10 edge on second-chance points. The Bison held the Explorers to 38.7% shooting, and La Salle had only three assists on its 24 field goals.
• The Bison avenged a 78-52 drubbing at the hands of La Salle the previous season in Philadelphia.
Bison Trying to End 9-1 Jinx
• The last four times Bucknell started a season 9-1, it came up short in its attempt to get to 10-1.
• Bucknell was last 10-1 in 1926-27, during the Calvin Coolidge administration.
Bucknell’s Last 9-1 Starts (Game No. 11)
2005-06 (Lost at Santa Clara, 77-68)
1956-57 (Lost at Pittsburgh, 64-49)
1939-40 (Lost to Gettysburg, 33-32)
1927-28 (Lost at Duquesne), 32-30
• Several Bison are chasing significant milestones:
• Mike Muscala needs 387 points to become Bucknell’s all-time leading scorer (Al Leslie had 1,973) and 414 to become the program’s first 2,000-point scorer.
• Muscala needs 175 rebounds to join Hal Danzig as the only players in program history with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
• Muscala needs 64 blocked shots to catch school record-holder Mike Butts, who had 278.
• Bryson Johnson needs 20 3-point field goals to equal Kevin Bettencourt’s Bucknell career record of 294.
• Joe Willman needs 94 points for 1,000 in his career.
• Cameron Ayers needs 246 points for 1,000 in his career.
Who’s Got Next?
• Bucknell is in a stretch of four games in eight days.
• Next up is a Wednesday evening home game against Marist (7 p.m.).
• The Red Foxes are 4-6 on the season, including a 50-33 win over Vanderbilt in Orlando earlier in the year. They blasted Maine 94-69 on Sunday.