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Patriot League Men’s Basketball Release – 2.24.16

Feb. 24, 2016

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CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Bucknell can claim the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Men’s Basketball Tournament on Wednesday with a win at Lafayette coupled with a Lehigh loss at Colgate.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook@PL_MBB
*Bucknell won a big matchup with Boston University on Sunday to take control of the race in the Patriot League.
*The Bison won 80-59 at home and have secured at least the No. 2 seed in the League Tournament.
*Bucknell can earn its second-straight regular-season title and fifth in the past six years with a win at Lafayette Wednesday.
*The Bison can also lock up the No. 1 seed in the League tourney with a win and a Lehigh loss at Colgate.
*A victory at Colgate would secure at least the No. 2 seed for the Mountain Hawks.
*Bucknell and Lehigh have clinched quarterfinal home games, while Boston U and Army also have first-round byes.
*The Black Knights secured their first-round bye with an 80-71 win at Boston University on Tuesday night.
*BU stands in third place at 10-7 in the PL, while Colgate and Navy are both 9-7 and Army West Point follows at 9-8.
*Navy heads to American while Loyola hosts Holy Cross on Wednesday, with the Eagles and Greyhounds both 7-9 in the PL.
*Lehigh is tied for the third-longest win streak in the country at seven in a row heading into Wednesday’s contests.<br.*Navy and Army each have 11 road wins for the year, tied for the third-most in the nation.

Patriot League Notebook

Bucknell Clinches Quarterfinal Home Game, Gets Closer to Regular-Season Title
The race for the Patriot League regular-season crown could have been very jumbled if Bucknell lost at home against Boston University on Sunday, but instead the Bison took care of business with an 80-59 victory to solidify their spot at the top of the standings. Bucknell became the first team to secure a home game in the quarterfinal round of the League Tournament, and will be at least the No. 2 seed in the tourney. The Bison can claim the No. 1 seed on Wednesday with a win at Lafayette coupled with a Lehigh loss at Colgate. A win would guarantee at least a share of the regular-season title for the Bison, which would mark their second straight and fifth in the past six seasons.

Lehigh Strengthens Position, Keeps Rolling with Home Victory
Lehigh remains in contention for the top seed in the Patirot League Tournament, and would be the No. 2 seed with a victory either at Colgate on Wednesday or at Army West Point on Saturday. While a pack of teams behind them are keeping the pressure on the Mountain Hawks, Lehigh has things looking up after beating Lafayette 73-61 at home on Sunday for its seventh-consecutive victory to improve to 11-5 in the Patriot League. The Mountain Hawks are tied for the third-longest active win streak in the nation, and have clinched a home game in the quarterfinals of the League Tournament.

Middle of the Pack Fighting for Position
While Bucknell has at least a top-two seed in the Patriot League Tournament and Lehigh is a quarterfinal host, the next group of teams in the standings are trying to move up and improve their spots as well. Boston University is in third place at 10-7 in League action,and has secured a first-round bye along with Bucknell, Lehigh and Army West Point, which knocked off the Terriers on Tuesday. Colgate and Navy are both at 9-7 as they are tied for fourth, while Army West Point comes in at 9-8 and Loyola is tied with American at 7-9. While the Raiders host Lehigh on Wednesday, the Mids will go to American and Loyola hosts Holy Cross in other action on the night.

Patriot League Tournament
The Patriot League Tournament will be played entirely at home sites and begins with the first round on March 1, followed by quarterfinals two days later, semifinals on March 6 and championship on March 9. Bucknell has clinched a home quarterfinal game and top-two seed in the League Tournament, while Lehigh is also a quarterfinal host and both Army West Point and Boston University are assured of first-round byes along with Lehigh and Bucknell. The first two rounds of the Patriot League Tournament will be shown on Patriot League Network, while the semifinals on March 6 at Noon and 2 p.m. and the championship on March 9 at 7:30 p.m. are on CBS Sports Network.

Weekday Matchups
The home team is looking for the season sweep in two of the four matchups on Wednesday. American aims for its second in three years against Navy and Loyola looks to pull it off for the first time in its three-year Patriot League era against Holy Cross. For the teams looking to pull off sweeps on the road, Bucknell aims to do it against Lafayette and Lehigh to Colgate for the first time since 2012.

Three OT Buzzer-Beaters Highlight Wild Weekend
The Patriot League was the home of drama over the weekend as three overtime games were decided in shots in the final seconds. The most widely shown clip was Colgate’s Austin Tillotson drilling a buzzer-beater from halfcourt for a 93-90 overtime win against Loyola on Sunday, with the play landing at No. 1 on the ESPN SportsCenter top 10. One day prior, Army West Point’s Kevin Ferguson had a putback with 0.7 seconds left for an 80-78 win in double overtime at Navy. The only shot that came with more than a second left was by American freshman Delante Jones, but he also had the only one of the group that took his team from a loss to a win as his bucket with 2.3 seconds left gave the Eagles a 71-70 OT win at Holy Cross. With the three outcomes, there have now been 28 of 80 Patriot League games this season decided by five points or less or in overtime, with 48 games total within a 10-point margin.

Road Play Makes the Difference in League Standings
Though Bucknell pulled out a big home win against Boston University on Sunday, it is still the road success that has defined most of the top six teams in the Patriot League standings. Navy has the top road mark in League action at 6-2, followed by Bucknell and Lehigh at 5-2, Army West Point at 6-3 and Boston University at 5-4. Colgate (3-5) is the only team in the top six that is under .500 on the road in League play as the group holds a 30-18 road record in League action. Home teams have a slight overall edge for the season with a 43-38 record. Navy and Army are among the leaders nationally in overall road victories for the season at 11, which is tied for third in the country.

Sweeps, Splits Nearly Even
Three of the five completed series over the weekend ended in a sweep, and the difference between sweeps and splits in League action in negligible with 17 of the former and 19 of the latter this season. Of the matchups that have been split, nine of the 19 featured the road squad winning both contests.

Army West Point Seniors Leaving Mark in Patriot League Record Book
Army West Point features a senior starting five that is leaving a lasting legacy within the Patriot League record book. Kyle Wilson stands sixth in League history with 1,957 career points, while Tanner Plomb (1,291) is also part of the 1,000-point club and Kevin Ferguson (1,013) joined the group on Tuesday. Dylan Cox (996) is nearing 1,000 points and would make Army the first team in Patriot League history with four players in the same class at the milestone. Ferguson is the Patriot League’s all-time leader in field-goal percentage (62.9) by a wide margin and fifth with 195 blocks, while Cox’s total of 465 assists is three from the Patriot League top 10.

ASN, CBSSN Coverage for Final Week of Regular Season
The final week of the Patriot League regular season will feature a pair of contests televised to a wide audience. The Army West Point-Boston University contest was carried by American Sports Network on multiple outlets on Tuesday, and now. the regular-season concludes with another flex game on CBS Sports Network as Army West Point is on again, this time hosting Lehigh on Saturday at Noon. CBSSN will then showcase both semifinals and the championship of the Patriot League Tournament in March, and all games that are not on CBS Sports Network are available with free live streaming on Patriot League Network.

Team Notebooks

AMERICAN The Eagles jumped up to a tie for seventh place in the Patriot League with a pair ofone-point overtime victories last week, winning 71-70 at Holy Cross on Sunday after a 60-59 victoryagainst Lafayette on Wednesday…Delante Jones scored in the lane with 2.3 seconds remaining to liftAmerican to the win at Holy Cross after the Crusaders had gone ahead with 16 seconds to go… JesseReed led American with 18 points as the Eagles won their eighth straight against Holy Cross and sweptthe Crusaders for the third season in a row…Marko Vasic scored the final four points in the last minuteof regulation against Lafayette to even the score at 53-53, and Charlie Jones had the heroics in overtime by first evening the score at 59-59 on a three-pointer with 55 seconds left and then winning it on a free throw with two seconds to go…Reed also led the way in the contest with 15 points…American concludes regular-season action with two home games this week, welcoming Navy on Wednesday and Loyola on Saturday.

ARMY WEST POINT It was just over two weeks ago that Army West Point sat at 4-8 in the Patriot League, but the Black Knights have won five games since and clinched a bye through the first round of the League Tournament by winning 80-71 at Boston University on Tuesday…Army won for the sixth time in seven games as it took over down the stretch…The Black Knights trailed 61-60 with underseven minutes to go before Kevin Ferguson, Tanner Plomb and Dylan Cox scored on consecutive trips for a 66-61 advantage, and the Black Knights would twice answer BU after the Terriers got within threepoints. BU cut the gap to 74-70 with under 30 seconds to go, but Army hit all six of its free throws down the stretch to seal the win…Ferguson continued his outstanding play with 18 points and 15 rebounds for his seventh consecutive double-double…He also went over 1,000 points in his career during the contest….Plomb also had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Kyle Wilson added 15…The Black Knights limited BU to 11-of-39 shooting in the second half as the teams split the season series…Army closes its regular season at home against Lehigh on Saturday at Noon on CBS Sports Network.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY Boston University fell in its second straight game as Army pulled away late for an 80-71 win at Case Gym on Tuesday…The Terriers were up 61-60 with under seven minutes to go, but Army scored six straight points and held off BU down the stretch… Eric Fanning led BU with 20 points while Cheddi Mosely added 18 and Eric Johnson scored 12, with Nick Havenerpulling down a career-high 15 rebounds…The Terriers have clinched a first-round bye in thePatirot League Tournament, and will aim for a home game in the quarterfinal round when theyhost Holy Cross to close the regular season on Saturday.

BUCKNELL Bucknell rolled to a pair of home wins last week to lock up at least the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament and close in on its fifth regular-season title in the past six seasons…Bucknell posted an 80-59 win against Boston University in a first-place showdown on Sunday as a trio of seniors combined for 52 points in their final regular-season home game… Chris Hass scored 21 points, Ryan Frazier added 16 and Dom Hoffman had a career-high 15 to lead the Bison, whoscored the final 11 points of the first half to go up 36-27 at the break and used a 14-0 second-halfrun to pull away…Bucknell had previously stopped a two-game slide with an 87-52 win at home against Loyola on Wednesday…The Bison went on a 20-4 run to close the first half for a 36-25 lead at the break, and opened the second half with a 13-4 stretch to put the game away…Bucknell can claim at least a share of the regular-season title with one more win, and earn the top seed in the League Tournament with a win on Wednesday at Lafayette combined with either a Boston University win or Lehigh loss…Bucknell closes the regular season at Navy on Wednesday.

COLGATE After Loyola’s Andre Walker hit a three-pointer to tie the score, Colgate’s Austin Tillotson dribbled to halfcourt and nailed a shot as time expired to send the Raiders to a 93-90 overtime win at home against the Greyhounds on Sunday…Colgate joined Navy in a tie for fourth place in the Patriot League at 9-7…Tillotson’s shot was selected as the top play of the night on ESPN’s SportsCenter…Colgate had sent the game to overtime when Sean O’Brien tied it at 79-79 with 31 seconds to go… Tillotson led five Colgate players in double figures with 20 points while adding eight assists, with O’Brien and Alex Ramon each scoring 18 points and Tom Rivard adding 17…Tillotson was coming off a career-high 28 points in a 71-68 loss at Boston University on Wednesday…The Raiders stayed close throughout, but BU hit key shots down the stretch to earn the win…Colgate looks to finish in the top four in the Patriot League standings and secure a home game for the League Tournament quarterfinals as it hosts Lehigh on Wednesday and visits Lafayette on Saturday.

HOLY CROSS The Crusaders suffered three tough losses last week, capped by the closest of all as American pulled out a 71-70 win in Worcester in overtime on Sunday…Holy Cross had sent the game to overtime after trailing by as many as 13 points in the second half and nine with under seven minutes to go, and took the lead with 16 seconds left on Eric Green’s steal and layup…But American came down and got the winning shot with 2.3 seconds to go for the victory… Karl Charles (17), Robert Champion (14), Thompson (13) and Malachi Alexander (12) all scored in double figures for Holy Cross…The Crusaders also lost a pair of close road games last week, falling 72-68 at Army West Point on Wednesday and 64-59 at Lehigh on Monday…Holy Cross came back from an 11-point second-half deficit at Army to take a one-point lead, but the Black Knights answered with a 9-2 run to earn the win…Alexander and Cullen Hamilton each scored 17 points…Holy Cross led 49-41 with under eight minutes left at Lehigh before the Mountain Hawks took control with an 18-0 run…Champion scored 25 points and made 7-of-11 three-pointers…Holy Cross finishes its regular season on the road, going to Loyola on Wednesday and Boston University on Saturday.

LAFAYETTE Lafayette lost a pair of road games last week, falling 60-59 in overtime at American on Wednesday and 73-61 at rival Lehigh on Sunday…American scored the last four points in regulation to force the overtime, then had the last four in OT to earn the win in the final seconds…Matt Klinewski led Lafayette with 18 points while Zach Rufer added 14…The Leopards fell behind Lehigh midway through the first half and never got closer than six after intermission… Bryce Scott (13), MontyBoykins (12) and Nick Lindner (11) all scored in double figures for Lafayette, which dropped its 11thgame in a row and will play as the No. 10 seed in the Patriot League Tournament…The Leopards wrap up the regular season with a pair of home games, welcoming first-place Bucknell on Wednesday and Colgate on Saturday.

LEHIGH The Mountain Hawks won all three of their contests last week, and are tied for the third-longest winning streak in the nation at seven in a row to improve to 11-5 in the Patriot League and in sole possession of second place in the standings…Lehigh won 73-61 at home against Lafayette onSunday, taking the lead midway through the second half and holding a steady advantage afterintermission… Tim Kempton and Kahron Ross each had double-doubles for Lehigh, with the formertotaling 16 points and 15 rebounds and the latter notching 11 points and 12 assists…Ross had 24 points and Jesse Chuku added 22 with the pair combining to shoot 10-of-11 from three-point range to help Lehigh to a 77-74 win at Navy on Wednesday…Lehigh started the week with a 64-59 win at home against Holy Cross on Monday…The Mountain Hawks trailed 49-41 with under eight minutes to play before scoring 18 straight points to take control… Austin Price led Lehigh with 20 points while Ross scored 17 and Kempton had 15 points and 12 rebounds…The Mountain Hawks need one more win to clinch the No. 2 seed in the League Tournament, and can still be the No. 1…Lehigh does still have work to do though as it has a tough week ahead on the road by going to Colgate on Wednesday and Army West Point on Saturday.

LOYOLA MARYLAND Loyola dropped its fourth straight game on Sunday, doing so in heartbreaking fashion as Colgate hit a halfcourt shot at the buzzer for a 93-90 win in overtime…The Greyhounds had rallied to tie the score as Andre Walker hit a three-pointer with 2.9 seconds to go before the winning bucket by the Raiders…Eric Laster led Loyola with 26 points and Walker added 22 as the Greyhounds shot 35-of-59 for the game…Loyola had previously fallen 87-52 at Bucknell on Wednesday…The Greyhounds will look to get back in the win column when they play their regular-season home finale on Wednesday against Holy Cross before heading to American on Saturday.

NAVY Navy took a pair of tough home losses last week, losing 80-78 in double overtime against Army West Point on Saturday after falling 77-74 to Lehigh on Wednesday…Navy held a 13-point lead against Army with eight minutes to play and was still ahead by five with under 30 seconds left, but the Black Knights hit a pair of three-pointers to tie the score…The Mids missed shots to win at the end of both regulation and the first overtime, and evened the score at 78-78 with four straight points in thesecond OT before Army got the game-winner with 0.7 seconds left… Shawn Anderson led Navy with20 points while Tilman Dunbar and Jace Hogan scored 16 apiece and Will Kelly notched a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds….Anderson and Kelly had 16 each against Lehigh on Wednesday, but the Mountain Hawks took control with a late 16-5 run and Navy fell despite shooting over percent from the field at 28-of-54 for the game…The Mids, one of the top road teams in the nation, play at American on Wednesday before hosting the regular-season finale vs. Bucknell on Saturday.

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