Dec. 22, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Five Patriot League men’s basketball teams play over the next two days to wrap up the pre-Christmas schedule. The slate provides three opportunities for big wins against Atlantic Coast Conference foes as Bucknell goes to Wake Forest and Colgate is at Syracuse on Monday and Holy Cross visits Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook – @PL_MBB
*Five Patriot League teams play before Christmas, with three at ACC opponents.
*The slate starts tonight at 7 p.m. with Bucknell at Wake Forest (ESPN3) and Colgate at Syracuse (ESPNU).
*Navy also plays for the first time in more than a week when it hosts Towson at 7 p.m. on Patriot League Network.
*Holy Cross is at Pittsburgh (ESPN3) and American goes to Stony Brook in 7 p.m. tip-offs tomorrow.
*Six games are scheduled on Sunday as all squads wind down non-League slates with Patriot League openers on Dec. 31.
*Lehigh defeated Arizona State 84-81 in triple overtime on Saturday evening.
*The Mountain Hawks beat a Pac-12 opponent for the first time.
*Lehigh gave the Patriot League a second win at a Pac-12 team in a week as Army beat USC in OT last Saturday.
*American topped Mount St. Mary’s 46-45 on Saturday as Pee Wee Gardner hit the game-winner with 0.5 seconds left.
*Army won its second straight OT game as the Black Knights held off Maine 72-69.
*Patriot League teams are a combined 26-13 at home, and nine squads are .500 or better on their own court.
Lids Team Sports Patriot League Weekly Awards (Dec. 15-21)
Lids Team Sports Patriot League Player of the Week
TANNER PLOMB, ARMY Jr., F, 6-7, 205; Mukwonago, Wis./East Troy
Plomb came up big in Army’s only game of the week as he scored 20 points and pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds in a 72-69 overtime win against Maine on Sunday. Plomb recorded his second career double-double and fifth 20-point game. He made 8-of-15 shots in the game, none bigger than the game-tying bucket with 1:07 left that evened the score at 60-60 and sent the contest to overtime. Plomb also put the Black Knights up 65-64 in overtime, and assisted on a three-pointer by Mo Williams that put Army ahead for good with 57 seconds to play. Plomb stands sixth in the Patriot League with 13.7 points per game. He is named Lids Team Sports Patriot League Player of the Week for the first time in his career.
Lids Team Sports Patriot League Rookie of the Week
KAHRON ROSS, LEHIGH Fr., G, 5-11, 155; Jonesboro, Ark./Jonesboro
Ross had a school-record 14 assists and 15 points to lead Lehigh to an 84-81 triple overtime win at Arizona State on Saturday. All of the assists came in regulation as Ross broke the previous school mark of 13 set by Mike McKee in 1994. He also knocked down a long jumper to tie the score at 75-75 with nine seconds left in the second OT, and put Lehigh ahead for good with a bucket that made it 79-78 in the third OT. Ross recorded his first career double-double with the top assist mark for a Patriot League player this season. He also posted 10 points and five assists in a loss to Quinnipiac on Thursday and averaged 12.5 points, 9.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.5 rebounds for the week while making 10-of-19 shots from the field. Ross leads the Patriot League and stands 27th in the nation with 5.6 assists per game, which is second among Division I freshmen. Ross is the first player this year to earn a second Lids Team Sports Patriot League Rookie of the Week honor.
PEE WEE GARDNER, AMERICAN Sr., G, 5-9, 165; Houston, Texas/Jack Yates
Gardner hit the game-winning layup with 0.5 seconds left in a 46-45 win over Mount St. Mary’s, and averaged 14.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.5 steals in two wins last week.
CEDRIC HANKERSON, BOSTON UNIVERSITY So., G, 6-5, 190; Miami, Fla./Coral Reef
Hankerson scored 25 points and pulled down seven rebounds in Boston University’s 78-62 loss at Dayton on Saturday.
JUSTIN GOLDSBOROUGH, LEHIGH Jr., F, 6-8, 210; Fort Washington, Md./St. Stephens & St. Agnes
Goldsborough had 10 points and 13 rebounds in Lehigh’s triple OT win at Arizona State, and averaged 9.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in two games last week.
CHRIS HASS, BUCKNELL Jr., G, 6-5, 184; Pellston, Mich./Pellston
Hass had 19 points, shooting 5-of-8 from three-point range, and six rebounds in Bucknell’s 88-65 win over Case Western.
Patriot League Notebook
Lehigh Beats Arizona State in 3OT Thriller
The Patriot League won the season series with the Pac-12 after Lehigh beat Arizona State 84-81 in triple overtime on Saturday. The Mountain Hawks were the second Patriot League sqaud to beat a Pac-12 team in OT as Army won 85-77 at USC last Saturday. Lehigh had a number of stars in the game, with Kahron Ross scoring 15 points and dishing out a school-record 14 assists while Tim Kempton (16 points/11 rebounds) and Justin Goldsborough (10 points/13 rebounds) also recorded double-doubles and Austin Price led the scoring with 18 points. Lehigh has won five of its last six games to improve to 5-5, and has beaten two teams from high-level conferences after also knocking off DePaul (Big East) on Nov. 26.
More Thrilling Wins for Patriot League Squads
It’s been a light two weeks on the schedule with exams in session at Patriot League schools, but that has not stopped a dramatic run of victories for League squads. The last six wins against Division I opponents have all been nail-biters, with this weekend’s slate including American beating Mount St. Mary’s 46-45 on a shot by Pee Wee Gardner with 0.5 seconds left and Army topping Maine 72-69 in overtime in addition to Lehigh’s triple OT win. American won 68-66 at La Salle in OT on Tuesday, while last weekend Army rallied for the 85-77 OT win at USC and Boston University beat Quinnipiac 71-68 on a three-pointer by John Papale in the final seconds. Patriot League teams are 5-0 in overtime for the season.
Three ACC Opponents Among Five Games Before Christmas
Five Patriot League teams play over the next two days to wrap up the pre-Christmas schedule. The slate provides three opportunities for big wins against Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) foes as Bucknell goes to Wake Forest and Colgate is at Syracuse on Monday and Holy Cross visits Pittsburgh on Tuesday. All three games are on the ESPN family of networks, with Bucknell and Holy Cross on ESPN3 and Colgate at Syracuse on ESPNU. Navy plays its final non-League game at home against Towson on Monday on Patriot League Network, while American concludes its non-League schedule at Stony Brook on Tuesday.
Patriot League Teams Getting the Job Done at Home
Patriot League schools were 3-0 at home over the weekend to continue a good run on their own courts this season. The 10 League squads are a combined 26-13 at home this year, and nine teams are at .500 or better. Lafayette (4-0) and American (2-0) are each unbeaten at home, while Army (4-1), Holy Cross (3-1) and Bucknell (3-2) have winning marks.
Lafayette’s Offense Among Best in the Country
Lafayette is ranked in the top 25 in Division I in six different offensive categories, including No. 2 in the nation with a 42.9% mark from three-point range. Lafayette is also 11th in field-goal percentage (50.3%), 17th in free throw percentage (75.1%), 18th in assists per game (16.8), 24th in three-pointers per game (8.5) and 25th in scoring offense (78.0). Lafayette is the only team in the country shooting at least 40 percent from three, 50 percent from the field and 75 percent at the line.
Patriot Leaguers Shooting the Three with Ease
The Patriot League boasts one of its best-ever groups of perimeter shooters as four of the top six spots in the League’s all-time three-point field-goal percentage chart are held down by active players. Lafayette’s Seth Hinrichs (44.3%) and Joey Ptasinski (43.7%) are in the top two spots, while Army’s Kyle Wilson (42.1%) and American’s John Schoof (42.1%) are fifth and sixth, respectively. This season, Ptasinski is fifth in the country in three-point field-goal percentage (55.2%) and stands 21st while Wilson is 31st in three-pointers per game.
More Patriot League in the NCAA Statistical Rankings
Lafayette has the most top-25 spots for a Patriot League school in the NCAA statistical rankings, but the Leopards are not the only school with impressive numbers. American is the only Patriot League team in the top-10 of two categories, as the Eagles are fifth in the nation in scoring defense (52.3) and lead Division I in fewest fouls per game (12.4). Holy Cross stands sixth in the country with 10.2 steals per game, while Army is 24th and leads the Patriot League with 78.2 points per contest. Among the individuals, Army’s Kyle Wilson is 14th and Boston University’s Cedric Hankerson stands 31st in scoring, as the former averages 21.0 points and the latter 19.0 per game. Two Patriot Leaguers are in the top 20 in three-point percentage, three are in the top-30 in free throw percentage and four rank in the top-45 in three-pointers per game, with Bucknell’s Chris Hass appearing in all three categories. The Patriot League also boasts four of the top 10 players in the nation in minutes per game, with American’s Pee Wee Gardner (2nd), John Schoof (4th) and Jesse Reed (5th) in the top five.
Patriot League Play Starting Soon
Each team begins its 18-game League schedule on New Year’s Eve, with the opening matchups featuring Boston University at Holy Cross, Colgate at Lehigh, American at Bucknell, Lafayette at Army and Loyola at Navy.
Defending Champion American Picked to Repeat in Patriot League
American won the 2014 Patriot League men’s basketball title after being picked ninth in the preseason, but the Eagles will not be able to come out of nowhere again as they were picked first in the preseason poll. The Eagles were the first-place selection of 13 voters and finished with 157 points, ahead of Army with five -first-place votes and 141 points. Holy Cross took third with the remaining two first-place votes and 127 points, and was followed in order by Lafayette (109), Bucknell (96), Boston University (82), Lehigh (74), Colgate (50), Loyola Maryland (36) and Navy (28).
15 Patriot League Contests to Be Shown on CBS Sports Network
The Patriot League Men’s Basketball Championship will be televised on CBS Sports Network for the fourth year in a row on Wednesday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m., while CBSSN will also air both semifinal games of the Patriot League Men’s Basketball Tournament on Sunday, March 8 at 2 and 4 p.m. The postseason contests are part of a 15-game schedule of Patriot League men’s basketball on CBS Sports Network. CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers on Verizon FiOS Channel 94 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 643 (1643 in HD) and via satellite on DIRECTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158.
More Television and Broadcast Coverage
The Patriot League has a new television partner for some of its League contests as American Sports Network will broadcast six games during the 2015 schedule. Multiple national outlets will pick up the broadcasts produced by ASN, which include games played on six consecutive Wednesdays at 8 p.m. from Jan. 7-Feb. 11. In addition to the Patriot League coverage on CBSSN and ASN, a handful of schools have regional television packages for non-League and League action. All home games for League schools that are not on CBS Sports Network will also be streamed on Patriot League Network.
AMERICAN American had a thrilling week as the Eagles beat Mount St. Mary’s 46-45 on a buzzer-beater by Pee Wee Gardner on Saturday after topping La Salle 68-66 in overtime on Tuesday… Gardner hit a layup with 0.5 seconds left to send American to the win over Mount St. Mary’s…He led the Eagles with 17 points, while Jesse Reed added 10…On Tuesday, American played a strong overtime session to come away with the win at La Salle…After the Explorers rallied from a 20-point second-half deficit to force OT, American scored the first seven points of the overtime session while holding La Salle scoreless for more than four minutes on the way to the win…All five starters scored in double figures for the Eagles, led by John Schoof with 18 points and Charlie Jones with 16…Gardner played all 85 minutes in the two games last week, and ranks second in the nation in minutes per game with Schoof and Reed fourth and fifth, respectively…The Eagles have a 7-4 record against an all Division I schedule and have played just two home games…They wrap up the non-League slate at Stony Brook on Tuesday.
ARMY Mo Williams scored Army’s last seven points, including a go-ahead three-pointer with 57 seconds left in overtime, to lift the Black Knights to a 72-69 win over Maine on Sunday…Williams went 4-for-4 at the free throw line in the final 20 seconds, each time hitting a pair to build Army’s lead to three points…Tanner Plomb had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Black Knights, and hit the game-tying shot with 1:07 left in regulation…It was Plomb’s second double-double as he postedhis fifth career 20-point game and career-high in rebounding…Army won in overtime for the second straight time after an 85-77 win at USC last Saturday…The Black Knights have won consecutive games in OT for the first time since the 1984-85 season…At 8-2, Army is off to its best start since opening 9-2 in 2009-10, the first season for sixth-year Head Coach Zach Spiker…Army concludes its non-League schedule at home against Coast Guard on Sunday.
BOSTON UNIVERSITY Cedric Hankerson had 25 points while Nathan Dieudonne had a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds for Boston University on Saturday, but Dayton pulled away with a 14-3 stretch to close the game for a 78-62 win at home…Hankerson scored 20 or more points for the fifth time this season, and stands second in the Patriot League and 31st nationally with 19.0 points per game for the year…Dieudonne is second in the League with 7.5 rebounds per contest…Boston University finishes its non-League schedule at home against Wentworth next Monday.
BUCKNELL The Bison won their second straight game as they played a strong second half to beat Case Western Reserve 88-65 at home on Friday… Chris Hass scored 19 points while John Azzinaro added 15, with the duo combining for 10 of the Bison’s 13 three-pointers…The Bison led by two at halftime before scoring 50 second-half points to pull away…Bucknell had 26 assists on its 33 made field goals, and held a 45-31 rebounding advantage…The Bison have won two straight at home, but hit the road to complete non-League play by going to Wake Forest on Monday and Siena on Sunday.
COLGATE Colgate was off last week for exams, and returns to action on Monday at Syracuse…The 7 p.m. contest will be shown on ESPNU…The Raiders played three games in the previous week, and came away with two wins at home…All 13 players scored in an 88-52 rout of Morrisville State on Dec. 9…Austin Tillotson (15), Luke Roh (12) and Damon Sherman-Newsome (11) finished in double figures for the Raiders…Colgate led by 22 points halftime and as many as 37 in the victory…Matt McMullen matched his career high with 18 points to lead Colgate to a 65-44 win at home against Binghamton on Dec. 11..The Raiders led 26-16 at the half and pulled away with a 19-2 second-half run to win for the second time in three days…Roh added 14 points and the Raiders picked up 11 points apiece from Sherman-Newsome and Pat Moore, while Tillotson had a career-high 10 assists in the game…The Raiders almost made it a perfect week, but New Hampshire finished with a 12-2 run to earn a 63-57 win on Dec. 14 in Durham…Sherman-Newsome and Tillotson led the way with 15 points apiece…Colgate will finish its non-League schedule at Columbia on Sunday.
HOLY CROSS The Crusaders struggled in their first action in more than a week as they fell at Canisius 67-48 on Sunday…Holy Cross had a season-high 19 turnovers and was outrebounded 36-25…Cullen Hamilton led the Crusaders with 10 points, while Justin Burrell added nine…Holy cross leads the Patriot League with 10.2 steals and 5.3 blocked shots per game, ranking sixth in the nation in theformer category and 33rd in the latter …The Crusaders conclude their non-League schedule with a trip to Pittsburgh on Tuesday…The 7 p.m. contest will be shown on ESPN3.
LAFAYETTE Lafayette was down by just seven with 11:40 left at Kansas before the No. 10 Jayhawks pulled away for a 96-69 win on Saturday afternoon…Seth Hinrichs led four Leopards in double figures with 15 points, and added team highs of seven rebounds and five assists…Hinrichs stands 10th in the Patriot League in scoring, assists and field-goal percentage, and is the career leader with a44.3% mark from three-point range…The Leopards had their four-game win streak snapped in the loss at Kansas…Lafayette had earned its fourth straight victory and improved to 4-0 at Kirby Sports Center this season with a 91-66 victory over Division III Susquehanna on Tuesday…Lafayette led 58-34 by halftime as 15 players saw action and 13 scored for the Leopards, led by Bryce Scott and Dan Trist with 16 points apiece…The Leopards are in the top 25 nationally in six different categories, including second in Division I in three-point field-goal percentage…Lafayette concludes its non-League slate at home against NJIT on Sunday.
LEHIGH Kahron Ross had 15 points and a school-record 14 assists while Tim Kempton had 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead Lehigh to an 84-81 triple overtime win at Arizona State on Saturday…The Mountain Hawks led by 14 points in the second half, but ASU battled back and tied the score at 64-64 with 53 seconds left…Both teams missed shots in the final 30 seconds as the game went to overtime…Arizona State scored the first four points of the first overtime, but Lehigh had the lastfour and tied the score at 68-68 on a layup by Austin Price with 1:04 left…Again, both teams missed chances to go ahead in the last minute…Lehigh played from behind again in the second overtime, but evened the score at 75-75 on a jumper by Ross with nine seconds to play…The Mountain Hawks took an 81-78 lead on baskets by Ross and Justin Goldsborough in the third overtime, and held on for the win as ASU missed four chances to tie in the final 30 seconds…Goldsborough had 10 points and 13 rebounds to give the Mountain Hawks three players with double-doubles in the game, while Price was the top scorer with 18 points…Lehigh beat its second major conference opponent of the year after also winning at DePaul last month…It was the second straight win for a Patriot League school against a Pac-12 team as Army beat USC in overtime last Saturday…Lehigh has won five of six games, with its four-game win streak snapped in an 80-65 loss at Quinnipiac on Thursday…Corey Schaefer led the Mountain Hakws with 11 points, while Ross had 10 points and five assists…Ross was named Lids Team Sports Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the second time this season on Monday, and leads the League while ranking 27th in the nation with 5.6 assists per game…Lehigh plays its final non-League game at UMBC on Sunday afternoon.
LOYOLA MARYLAND Cam Gregory had another strong outing with 14 points and seven rebounds, but Loyola struggled late and fell 67-52 at Stony Brook on Sunday…Stony Brook held Loyola to one field goal in the final seven minutes and closed the game with an 18-9 stretch…Gregory is averaging 6.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game for the year, with his rebounding mark leading all PatriotLeague freshmen and standing third in the League overall…Loyola plays its last non-League contest when it takes on former MAAC rival Farifield at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Sunday.
NAVY Navy did not see game action last week as the school was taking final exams, but the Mids return to the court with their non-League finale at home against Towson on Monday…Navy is coming off a 53-46 loss at Maryland Eastern Shore in its last contest on Dec. 13…UMES closed the game on a 19-2 run to rally for the win…Brandon Venturini led Navy with 13 points in the game…The Mids weretrying to win consecutive contests after a dominant 84-66 win over VMI at home on Dec. 9…Tilman Dunbar made 8-of-10 shots and 10-of-15 free throws to score a season-high 26 points in the win..Navy led from start to finish, and closed the game on a 22-8 run to pull away for the 18-point margin…Monday’s contest opens a stretch of three of four games at home, with the League opener at Alumni Hall against Loyola on New Year’s Eve.