Garrison Carr scored 19 of his 24 points in the first half as American downed Columbia 69-56.
The road win gives the Eagles an 8-7 record in non-conference play. AU opens league action Saturday at Lehigh.
Travis Lay added 10, Derrick Mercer 12 and bryce Simon came up just short of a double-double with 9 points and 9 rebounds.
Carr hit 5 of his 6 three-pointers in the first half, helping AU build a 32-24 lead at the break. The margin stayed in double digits for all but a three brief moments in the second half when Columbia managed to get within 9. Box score | AP
Lehigh jumped on Princeton early and never let up in a 68-49 win Sunday over the Tigers.
The Mountain Hawks scored first and never trailed, building a 41-19 halftime lead on a hot shooting hand (14-24, 58.3 percent) in the opening stanza. While Lehigh was pouring it in, Princeton (2-11) was going 7 for 21 (33 percent) in the half.
Zahir Carrington led Lehigh with a career-high 27 points. Carrington was 10 for 15 from the field, 7 for 7 at the foul line. It was the most points by a non-guard for Lehigh since Jay Hipps scored 27 on Colgate in February of 1991. Freshman Rob Keefer also reached double figures for the Hawks with a career-high 16 points.
(Originally posted 8:46 p.m., links added at 8:59 a.m.) Adam May scored 9 of his 12 points in overtime to lift Holy Cross to a come-from-ahead, come-from-behind 67-63 win Saturday at San Francisco.
It was 33-8, Holy Cross, at the intermission after a first half where the Crusaders shot and held San Francisco to 4 for 28 from the field (14.3 percent). The second half, though, was a turnaround. The 'Saders cooled to 6 for 16 (37.5 percent) while the Dons hit 16 of 28 (57.1 percent)m including 5 of 7 from three-point range.
Two of those threes came off the hand of Manny Quezada in the last two minutes, erasing a 6-point HC lead and sending the game to OT.
San Francisco scored the first six points in the OT, then May got it going. May scored 5 in an 8-0 HC run. Then, when the Dons tied it, he hit a jumper to give HC the lead for good. Just to make sure his efforts were not for naught, May scored the final points of the game by going coast-to-coast after a late steal.
The Crusaders played without starting power forward Alex Vander Baan. HC radio attributed his absence to back spasms. Point guard Pat Doherty also left early with what was reported on radio to be an ankle injury.
Colin Cunningham was also injured late in the game. Doherty came in long enough to shoot free throws (missing both) for Cunningham, who was injured while being fouled. Cunningham's injury did not seem serious. He returned later.
Tim Clifford led HC with 17 points. Doherty had 16 when he went down.
(Originally posted 8:22 p.m., links added at 8:57 a.m.) In an ideal world for Bucknell, the game at St. Bonaventure would have served as an ideal tune-up for Patriot League play, finish off a softer opponent after a steady diet of tough to chew tests over the holidays. Instead, the Bison got a tough 65-62 loss and a two-game losing streak.
Like most of the season so far, though, things did not work out the way the Bison (5-0) planned them. Instead of a confidence building win to set the tone into league play, the Bison were dealt a tough-to-swallow close loss in a game they led by eight with 6:30 to play.
The key swing came when a Jason Vegotsky three was waved off for a moving screen call. At the time, Bucknell was up 55-49. It could have been a 9-point lead, with about six minutes to go. Instead, it was a lead that evaporated in a hurry when a St. Bonnie offensive rebound at the other end led to a D'Lancy Carter three-point play that ignited a 10-0 Bonnies run.
There were five lead changes in the final four minutes, the last coming with 19 seconds left, when Michael Lee's layup-and-one made it 64=62, St. Bonaventure. Lee added a free throw with 12 seconds to go, but missed one of two to leave the door open.
John Griffin, who was 0 for 6 from the arc, 0 for 7 for the game, missed a contested, would-be-tying three with 2 seconds left. Griffin also missed an open three on BU's next-to-last possession.
(Originally posted 7:46 p.m., links added at 8:55 a.m.) The road warriors from Lafayette finally hit the wall Saturday in Jackson, Miss., losing 77-53 to Misssissippi State.
It was Lafayette's seventh game of an eight-game road swing that started promisingly with three wins in the first four games. The loss was the third straight since breaking briefly at Christmas with a three-game win streak and an 8-3 record.
Three of the four losses on the road trip have been to major conference sides -- Rutgers and Pitt of the Big East and Miss. State, which plays in the Southeast Conference. This was the first time on this road swing, which ends Wednesday at Princeton, that the Leopards got blown out. It was also the first time their shooting touch abandoned them en mass.
Lafayette shot a season-low 28.1 percent (9-32) in the first half, then rewrote the season superlatives list with an even icier 10 for 40, 25 percent in the second half. Needless to say, the 26.6 percent total was the worst shooting night all season for Lafayette.
The Easton Bombers were held to 6 three-pointers on 25 attempts. The 6 makes and 24 percent shooting from the arc were also season lows for Lafayette. Andrew Brown, the team's top scorer and best three-point shooter, was 1 for 7 from three. Matt Betley, who MSU obviously saw drain six against Pitt, only got two chances. He made one.
Bilal Abdullah, who led Lafayette with 21 points, hit 4 of 9 from the arc. No other Leopard connected. It was the first time since the season opener against Wagner that the 'Pards hit less than 10 threes.
Unlike the Pitt game, whwere Lafayette led at the half, this one got out of control early. Missississippi State led by as many as 20 in the first half and took a 37-25 lead to the break.
The Mids and Longwood were even at intermission. Then the Mids got busy and blew out the visitors from Farmville.
After a 24.1 percent (7-29) first half from the field that included just 2 threes on 11 tries, the Midshipmen found themselves tied at 23-23 when the first half ended. When the second half started, it was a different story.
The Mids, who broke the game open early in the half with a 21-4 run, were even-Steven 50 percent shooters after the break, hitting 14 of 28 from the field, 5 of 10 from Chick and Ruth's.
Greg Sprink finished with his first double-double of the season -- 21 points and 11 boards. Kaleo Kina added 18 and Chris Harris added 18 and dished out 5 assists without turning the ball over. Box score | Examiner
Jarrell Brown scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half of the Black Knight's 70-66 win Saturday over visiting Portland.
Army (7-6) led by five at the half, but saw Portland make enough of a run to take the lead briefly in the second half. Then Brown hit a three with 9:17 to play to spark what proved to be a decisive 12-3 Army run.
The Black Knights were up at least two possessions most of the rest of the way, though 6 of 10 free throw shooting in the final minute opened the door enough to cause a little anxiety for the 714 folks in Christl Arena.
Brown, who reached 20 for the ninth time this season and second game in a row, was 5 for 7 from the field, 4 for 5 from three-point range. Not bad for a guy who didn't take part in the two practices leading up to this game due to a sore foot. It was Brown's 10th straight double figures showing. Box score | Postgame quotes | Times Herald-Record | Oregonian
Free throws proved to be the difference in the Eagles' 68-55 loss Friday night in Providence.
American fell behind by 14 points early and never got closer than 6 after that, falling back to .500 (7-7) with the loss. The win, Brown's second this week against a Patriot League team, gives the Bears an 8-5 mark.
American didn't shoot well -- 21 of 54 (38.9 percent) from the floor, 8 for 22 on threes -- but that would have been enough to win had Brown not gone to the free throw line 17 times more than the Eagles.
Like AU, Brown hit 21 field goals. The Bears had a better percentage (21-50, 42 percent), but only 6 were treys (on 19 attempts). But American was whistled for 22 personals in the game, sending Brown to the line 26 times. The Bears made 20. AU was 5 of 9 at the foul line.
Travis Lay led AU with 12 points. Derrick Mercer added 11 and Brian Gilmore 10.
The four guards in Navy's starting lineup combined for 70 of the Midshipmen's 84 points in an 84-55 pounding Wednesday of winless NJIT (0-16).
NJIT's Nesho Milosevic exposed Navy's inside weakness, with a 25-point, 10-rebound double double. Milosevic was 9 for 11 from the field. But the rest of his team was 13 for 44 (29.5 percent), which was no match for Navy's firepower.
Kaleo Kina led the Mids with 23 points. Greg Sprink added 19, Chris Harris (5 of 6 from the arc) had 18 and Romeo Garcia added 10. As a team, Navy shot 55.6 percent (30-54) from the field, 11 of 23 from three-point range. Box score | AP
Kyle Roemer scored 17 points to lead the Raiders past the Black Bears 70-62.
The Raiders scored first and never trailed. to improve to 8-5 with its second win in a row The eight non-conference wins over Division I opponents are the most for a Colgate team since Adonal Foyle was a junior -- in high school (1992-93).
Tim Pounds (14 points) and Kendall Chones (11) also reached double figures for Colgate. Box score | AP
Seeking to become the second Patriot League team in four seasons to deal nationally ranked Pittsburgh a home loss, Lafayette hit 17 three-pointers Wednesday night. It was not enough.
The Leopards' three-point shooting kept them in the game for a half. In fact, Lafayette was up 41-37 at the break. But as it turned out, Pitt was just getting warmed up with its 55.6 percent (15-27) first half shooting from the field. The Panthers shot a scorching 20 for 25 (80 percent) after the break to win by three touchdowns.
Lafayette finished 24 of 51 from the field (47.1 percent), just 7 of 20 inside the three-point arc. Matt Betley led the Leopards with 20 points, including a perfect 6 for 6 night from three-point range. Andrew Brown (11 points, 3 threes), Bilal Abdullah (14 points, 4 treys) and Paul Cummins (11 points, 3 treys) also reached double figures for Lafayette. Box score | Post-Gazette | Tribune-Review
Bryan White's career-high 23 points were not enough to get Lehigh past Columbia Wednesday night.
White was 9 of 14 from the field and also had 2 steals and a blocked shot. But cold shooting in the second half proved to be the Mountain Hawks downfall.
After leading 34-31 at the break, Lehigh shot just 10 for 30 (33.3 percent) from the field in the second half, 1 of 9 from the three-point arc.
The Lions took the lead midway through the second half with a 10-0 run, then pulled away in the final four minutes.
Columbia followed its 50-percent (13-26) first half with a 12 for 21 (57.1 percent) second half. The Lions shot just one free throw in the first half, but went 15 for 20 at the line in the second. Box score | AP
Holy Cross snapped its two-game losing streak with a 65-62 win Wednesday over Boston University.
Pat Doherty scored a career-high 20 points, including 4 key free throws in the final 15 seconds, to lead HC. The win was the Crusaders' 23rd straight in the Hart Center.
Tim Clifford added 16 points and 8 rebounds before fouling out with 15 seconds left. Colin Cunningham added 16, including 4 threes.
Holy Cross led 21-20 at the half, despite shooting just 6 for 20 (30 percent) in the opening 20 minutes. The Crusaders heated up after intermission, shooting 60.9 percent (14-23) in the second half to finish the game 20 of 43 (46.5 percent). HC was 7 for 16 from the arc, 18 of 24 from the charity stripe.
The good news for Bucknell: Darren Mastropaolo returned to the floor Wednesday night. The bad news: the Bison still struggled to find the basket, losing 53-47 to visiting Ohio University.
Mastropaolo scored 6 points, going 2 for 3 from the field in 18 minutes. It was his first action this season after suffering a torn ACL playing pickup ball over the summer.
The rest of the team did not fare as well shooting the ball. How cold were they? Consider this: Bucknell's 9 second half field goals (on 25 tries, 36 percent) were more than 4 times as many as they made in the first half (2-17, 11.8 percent).
Despite the cold shooting from the field, Bucknell still managed to play to a 16-16 tie at the intermission, thanks to 10 for 12 shooting at the foul line and tough defense that held the Bobcats to 25 percent shooting from the field in the first half (6-24). Ohio was just 1 for 11 from the three-point arc in the half.
The Bison went on to build a 5-point lead in the second half and after surrendering that, came back to go ahead again, 40-39, on a Justin Castleberry layup with 6:34 to play.
Ohio took advantage of back-to-back Bison turnovers quickly push its lead back to 6, but Bucknell did not go away. Trailing 46-44 with 2:23 to play, Castleberry was fouled while taking a three. But the junior guard missed two of three, and at the other end, an Ohio offensive rebound led to a three-pointer by Bert Whittington IV, pushing the lead back to 4. Bucknell went 0 for 4 with a turnover on its next five trips up the floor and never got closer.
Castleberry (11 points) was the only player in double figures for the Bison, who finished 11 of 42 (26.2 percent) from the field, 6 of 19 from three-point range. Whittington's 20 off the bench led Ohio, which shot 57.1 percent (12-21) in the second half to finish 18 for 45 (40 percent) from the field. Whittington had 4 of OU's 5 threes (on 21 tries). Box score | Daily Item
Both teams made 25 field goals, but Sacred Heart made 10 three-pointers to hand the Crusaders a 61-58 setback Sunday.
It was the second loss in as many games for Holy Cross (7-3), which shot the ball well, but allowed Sacred Heart (5-8) to do the same. Both teams were 25 for 48 (52.1 percent) from the field. Holy Cross had an edge at the foul line, hitting 5 of 9 free throws while the Pioneers shot just 2 foul shots and made only 1. But SH was 10 for 23 from the arc, while HC was 3 for 10 from long range.
Tim Clifford had 24 points for Holy Cross, and 7 rebounds, 6 on the offensive glass. The last of those caroms came after Colin Cunningham (10 points) missed a three that would have tied the game with 2 seconds to go.
Clifford got the ball to Adam May, but May's try from the arc was blocked, giving Sacred Heart its fifth win of the season.
Holy Cross held a 27-20 edge on the boards, and had 12 offensive rebounds to 9 for Sacred Heart. But one of those nine proved to be the key down the stretch for Sacred Heart.
After Holy Cross cut the Pioneers' lead to 59-58 on a Cunningham layup with 1:27 to go, the Crusaders got the stop they needed when Chauncey Hardy missed a jumper with 57 seconds left. But SH's Brice Brooks came up with the offensive board, leading to a Drew Shubik bucket with 21 seconds to play that forced HC to go for a three on its last possession.
The Crusaders trailed by as many as 9 in the first half before battling back to take a 29-28 lead at the intermission. HC led by as many as 6 early in the second half, and was still up 49-46 with 8:28 to go when SH went on an 8-1 run to take the lead for good. The game featured five ties and four lead changes, with neither team ever managing to push its advantage to double digits.
For the second game in a row, the Radiers were held under 50 points. This time, though, they managed to score just enough to get the win.
If you look at the box score, you'd have a tough time believing it was close. On the scoreboard, though, Colgate escaped with a 49-46 win after the Wildcats missed two three-pointers in the final 1:03 that could have sent the game to overtime.
Particularly quirky from a statistical viewpoint was the first half, which ended with UNH up 27-24 despite the Raiders holding them to 26.7 percent (8-30) shooting from the field. Colgate didn't exactly shoot the lights out in the half, but it did shoot 39.1 percent (9-23) from the field.
The difference was 5 UNH three-pointers (on 10 attempts) to 3 for Colgate (11 tries) and UNH's 6 for 8 showing at the foul line. Colgate was 3 for 8 on first half free throws.
In front of a Colgate-esque crowd of 703, the Raiders finished 19 of 42 (45.2 percent) from the field, 4 for 16 at the arc and just 7 of 15 at the foul line. New Hampshire shot 25.9 percent from the field (14-54), 7 of 23 from three-point range and 11 of 15 at the charity stripe.
Alex Woodhouse was the only Colgate player in double figures. The springy 6-8 junior scored a career-high 17 points and pulled down 9 rebounds. Woodhouse was 7 for 7 from the field and 3 for 5 at the foul line. His free throw with 3:55 to play was Colgate's only point in the final 6:57, a stretch where they nearly saw a 10-point lead evaporate thanks to 0 for 6 shooting and 3 turnovers.
For 22 minutes, Lafayette was right there. Then Robert Morris got red-hot and shot down the Leopards hopes for a road win.
Lafayette led 35-34 at the intermission after holding RMU to 33.3 percent (13-39) shooting in the first half. And the Leopards were up by four, 43-39, with 18:02 left to play.
Then the Colonials went on a 10-0 run over the next four minutes and went on to an 88-76 win.
All those first half shots must have helped RMU get dialed in. After that 33.3 percent half, the Colonials shot the olights out in the second half, knocking down 20 of 28 (71.4 percent) from the field.
Andrew Brown hit six treys en route to a team-high 24 points for Lafayette. Bilal Abdullah added four more three-pointers and 16 points for the Leopards (8-4), who shot 42.1 percent (24-57) from the field.
Bucknell's 61-57 win over Long Beach State in Saturday's consolation game at Cal's Golden Bear Classic was not pretty. But it was a win, and the way the Bison are struggling of late, that is all that really mattered.
After losing three of its last four coming in, Bison coach Pat Flannery shook up his starting lineup, benching sophomore Patrick Behan in favor of freshman G.W. Boon. Boon responded with a career-high 12 points, but the move hardly solved Bucknell's offensive woes.
The Bison (5-7) shot just 25.8 percent from the field in the first half (8-31) and finished the game 21 for 60 (35 percent). They had scoreless stretches of over five minutes in each half and jacked up 33 shots from the arc (making 11).
But they played good enough defense to pick up the W over the defending Big West champions. Despite the woeful first half shooting, the Bison managed to lead 23-16 at the intermission after holding the 49ers (3-8) to 5 field goals (on 24 attempts, 20.8 percent).
Long Beach shot much better in the second half, going 14 for 28 from the field, including 7 treys (on 12 tries). But Bucknell managed to hang on, thanks in part to junior center Josh Linthicum, who scored 6 of his 9 points in the final 2:38, including a pair of huge putbacks in the final 1:13.
Linthicum finished with 12 rebounds, helping the Bison to a 42-32 advantage on the boards.
John Griffin finished with 15 points to lead the Bison. Justin Castleberry added 12, including a pair of free throws with nine seconds to go that sealed the victory. Box score | Sports Network | AP
For about 11 minutes Saturday afternoon, it looked like American might pull off its second shocker against a D.C. area power team in a week.
Then Georgetown changed its defense and ran away from the Eagles for a 78-51 win.
AU led early, with Garrison Carr and Derrick Mercer combining to go 5 for 5 from the three-point arc to start the game. When Mercer hit his second, with 12:53 to go in the opening half, the Eagles were up 19-13.
Then Georgetown began switching on screens to take away those open looks and picked up its defensive intensity. After Cornelio Guibunda scored against his old teammates to give AU a 21-19 lead with 9:12 to go in the half, Georgetown went on a 10-0 run that, for all intents and purposes, determined the outcome of the game.
AU was 0 for 4 with 4 turnovers during that stretch. The turnovers would be a probolem the rest of the way for American, which turned the ball over 21 times, leading to 27 Georgetown points.
In case AU had any comeback dreams, the Hoyas put the game away with a 17-0 run in the second half. That run capped a 50-15 Georgetown spurt that stretched across both halves.
Mercer finished with 17 points, including 4 of 7 from the arc. Carr had 16, including 5 treys on 7 attempts. The rest of the Eagles went 1 for 9 on three-pointers. AU finished the game 18 for 47 (38.3 percent) from the field.
Greg Sprink and Kaleo Kina combined to score 56 points, including nearly every key basket in Navy's 85-83 win Saturday at St. Francis (NY).
Had there been any kind of a crowd on hand in Brooklyn Heights, we might have tried for some sort of "Navy pair beats full house" headline. But only 278 hardy souls witnessed Sprink's 33-point performance.
It was the most points by a Midshipmen since Dec. 22, 2005, when Sprink put up 34 against Brown. The total was not the most impressive part of Sprink's performance. It wasn't his 11 buckets on 18 shots that made the difference as much as the timing of those makes, especially on three of his four three-pointers (on 9 tries).
Navy took tghe lead nine seconds into the game on a Kina three-pointer and never trailed. Four times St. Francis managed to pull even. Three of those four times, it was Sprink who answered to keep Navy on top.
The two times the Terriers tied the game in the second half, Sprink hit a three to put Navy back in the lead. The last time came after SF tied the game at 68-68 with 4:08 to play. That was when Sprink responded with not one, but two threes, back to back, followed by a layup for a one-man 8-0 run that kept the Mids ahead the rest of the way.
The assist on both those threes came from Kina, who finished with 6 dishes and 6 boards to go with his 23 points. Back in the starting lineup, Kina also had three steals in 38 minutes of action.
St. Francis closed to within 3 at 76-73 with a minute to play, but Navy held the Terriers off by hitting 9 of 10 free throws down the stretch. Sprink was 5 for 6 in that span, Kina 2 for 2.
The win, on the heels of last week's win at Maryland-Eastern Shore, gives Navy (5-8) back-to-back wins for the first time this season. With 0-13 New Jersey Institute of Technology (Jan. 2) and 2-12 Longwood (Jan. 5) both set to visit Annapolis next week, the Mids could be riding a four-game win streak when they open conference play Jan. 11 at Bucknell. Box score | AP
Defense was the key in Lehigh's 56-39 win Friday night over Monmouth.
Coming off a 20-day layoff for finals and the holidays, the Mountain Hawks (6-5) were solid, but hardly stellar on offense, going 20 for 45 (44.4 percent) from the field and turning the ball over 19 times.
The way they played D, it hardly mattered. Sure Monmouth (2-10) is the lowest scoring team in the Northeast Conference, but until Friday night, they had scored fewer than 53 points only once this season (a 76-33 loss at Notre Dame).
The Mountain Hawks held Monmouth to a 5 for 22 showing in the first half (1-2 from three-point range). Monmouth was barely better in the second (8-25), finishing 13 for 47 (27.7 percent) from the field, 4 of 21 from the arc. Monmouth didn't help itself at the free throw line, going 9 for 22 there. Lehigh also dominated the glass, outrebounding Monmouth 43-26.
The 39 points were the fewest Lehigh has allowed a Division I opponent since Feb. 8, 2004, when the Mountain Hawks Patriot League championship team scored a 66-38 win at Navy.
Marquis Hall led Lehigh with 12 points and 5 assists. Freshman Rob Keefer added 11. Bryan White keyed Lehigh's dominance on the boards with 13 rebounds, the last of which was the 500th of his career.
It is becoming more and more apparent with every game, when the jump shots are not falling, Bucknell is not a very good team. And they were not falling Friday night in the Bison's 68-60 loss to North Dakota State in the opening round of Cal's Golden Bear Classic.
The game was really not as close as the final score. Like the Drexel loss that preceded this one, the game was all but over at the half. Bucknell (4-7) trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half and was down 30-16 at the intermission. It was the second game in a row, and the fourth this season, in which the Bison failed to reach the 20-point mark by intermission.
Like in those other games, the primary reason was an inability to knock down the three-point shots this season's edition of the Bison has come to live and die by. When those long balls are dropping, Bucknell can play with anybody, as seen in the tough early season loss at Villanova. When they are not, like Friday night in Berkley, where Bucknell was 0 for 13 from the arc in the first half (and missed its first four three-point tries of the second half), the results are not very pretty.
John Griffin, Bucknell's leading scorer, finished the game with more fouls (and more turnovers) than points. Griffin played 26 minutes before fouling out with 4 points, 4 assists and 5 turnovers. The senior captain was 2 for 10 from the field, 0 for 7 from three-point range.
As a team, Bucknell finished the night shooting 39.7 percent from the field (23-58), 3 for 21 from the arc.
Add in NDSU's BW-squared attack and you have the makings of a game where Bucknell trailed by as many as 26 points in the second half. The deficit was in double digits until a Justin Castleberry three-point play cut it to 9 with 1:08 remaining.
Brett Winkelman, the forward half of NDSU's high-scoring combo, finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds, going 8 for 13 from the field. The other BW -- guard Ben Woodside, had an even bigger offensive night, going 12 for 17 to finish with 31 points.
The silver lining for the Bison was the continued strong play of junior center Josh Linthicum, who posted his second double-double of the season with a career-high 18 points and 11 rebounds. It was Linthicum's third double-figures scoring effort in four games since returning to the starting lineup Dec. 16 at Wake Forest. Linthicum also had 5 blocked shots.
Patrick Behan (10 points) and Castleberry (14) also reached double figures for the Bison, who will face Long Beach State in today's consolation game.
BISON CHIPS: Freshman center Todd O'Brien played a season-low 8 minutes, finishing with 2 points . . . O'Brien made the only shot he took . . . It was the first time in his college career O'Brien did not block a shot . . . NDSU's 68 points were its fewest in a win this season . . . NDSU had averaged 98.5 points in its other six wins . . . It was the fifth time this season Woodside and Winkelman combined for 50 points or more. Box score | The (Fargo) Forum
No Colgate players managed to reach double figures in Sunday's 66-48 loss at Penn State.
Kendall Chones led the Red Raiders with 9 points. Chones was 4 for 12 from the field, which was pretty reflective of the way Colgate shot the ball. As a team, the Raiders, the Patriot League's top shooting team, went 20 for 57 (35.1 percent) from the field. Ranked fourth nationally in three-point shooting percentage coming in, Colgate was 4 for 14 from the arc. The Raiders shot 6 free throws, making 4 and turned the ball over 19 times.
Kyle Roemer, Colgate's leading scorer, was 1 for 9 from the field, 0 for 4 on three-pointers, finishing with 5 points, 13 below his average.
Penn State didn't shoot a whole lot better. The Nittany Lions went 24 for 63 (38.1 percent) from the field, 6 of 18 from the arc. But the Nits were 12 for 18 at the foul line and held a 42-34 edge on the boards, with 16 offensive rebounds.
The Midshipmen made 14 three-pointers in an 85-61 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore.
Kaleo Kina had three of those Navy treys, finishing with 20 points to lead the Midshipmen (4-8). Four came from Chris Harris (15 points) and two more from Greg Sprink (15 points, 9 rebounds).http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif
Holy Cross managed to force overtime, but faltered once it got there in a loss at Siena.
Tim Clifford (26 points) hit a pair of three-pointers in the final 12 seconds of regulation, giving the Crusaders (7-2) a chance to pull out a game in which it trailed most of the afternoon. But once it reached the extra session, Holy Cross went cold, missing its first six shots to allow Siena to pull away for good.
Siena (6-3) jumped to a 75-70 lead. Then, unlike regulation, where it missed three foul shots in the final minute to allow HC to send the game to OT, the Saints made 9 of 10 at the stripe to seal it.
Clifford led four Holy Cross players in double figures. Colin Cunningham and Pat Doherty each added 15 and Alex Vander Baan had 13 for the Crusaders, who went 27 for 62 (43.5 percent) from the field and turned the ball over 17 times.
On a day when the Patriot League's two flagship programs both suffered setbacks, the Eagles sent a message they expect to be reckoned with in conference play by handing Maryland a 67-59 loss.
Using tough defense to hold Maryland to just five field goals (5-24, 20.8 percent) in the first half, the Eagles took a 25-20 lead at the break and never looked back. During one stretch of the half, the Eagles held Maryland without a field goal for a stretch of 10:33.
AU stretched the lead to as many as 12 points in the second half and made 7 of 8 from the free throw line in the final minute after Maryland closed to within 6.
Derrick Mercer led AU with 18 points. Bryce Simon added a career-best 17 and Brian Gilmore finished with 12, going 7 of 8 from the free throw line, 4 for 4 down the stretch.
American's defense held Maryland to 35.8 percent shooting from the field (19-53) and the Eagles outrebounded the Terrapins 40-33.
It was just the second win ever by a Patriot League team over a school from the Atlantic Coast Conference. AU also has the other win, which came against Florida State in 2001. It was the Eagles first win over Maryland since the 1926-27 season, AU's first season of basketball. The Terps had woin 14 in a row over American since then. Box score | Wash. Post | Wash. Moonie | Baltimore Sun (gamer) | Baltimore Sun (notebook) | Examiner
Bison's jump-shooting ways result in a loss at Drexel.
By CHRIS A. COUROGEN Of Hoop Time
One step forward, two steps back.
That must be how Pat Flannery feels about the progress of his basketball team after Saturday evening's 65-53 loss at Drexel.
Just three days after playing perhaps its best offensive half of the season in a win over Cornell, the Bison all but abandoned the inside-out mix that keyed that performance to pursue the jump-shooting perimeter style that is largely responsible for their 4-6 start.
It didn't help any that Bucknell forgot to guard Drexel guard Scott Rodgers much of the first half, or that the Dragons big men were able to bully Bucknell inside. Rodgers, who had never made more than three three-pointers in a single game, had that many in the first half, finishing with 18 points to lead all scorers. A career-26 percent shooter from the arc, Rodgers came into the game averaging 4.3 points per game, with five treys on 20 tries this season.
Rodgers found his stroke in solitude. There was something almost zen-like to the way in a room filled with 2,011 people, the majority of whom were dressed in enough orange to give the appearance of a Bucknell home game, Rodgers repeatedly found himself all alone in the corners for open looks. Given time to square up and set his feet, Rodgers went 5 for 10 from the field in the first half, 3 of 6 from the arc, including back-to-back treys that keyed an 11-3 run midway through the period that pushed Drexel's lead to double digits.
"We shot shots when we were open. Guys knocked them down," said Drexel coach Bruiser Flint.
Well, sort of. Actually, Drexel was hardly outstanding on offense. They shot just 42.9 percent (12-28) in the half. But with the Bison having a can't hit the ocean from a boat sort of half, it was more than enough to build what proved to be an insurmountable 34-15 margin at the intermission.
It was the sixth time this season Bucknell (failed to shoot at least 40 percent from the field. The Bison are 1-5 in thos games.
Give Drexel some credit, The Dragons (6-5) came in on a four-game losing streak, but it had not been the fault of the defense. George Mason is the only team that has shot 50 percent against Drexel, which came into the game holding opponents to 39.1 percent shooting from the field, a mark it bettered by limiting the Bison to an 18 of 53 (34 percent) showing.
That 34 percent figure is misleading. It is inflated by Bucknell's 12 of 24 second half, which was too little, too late to overcome the hole they dug when they went 6 for 29 (20.7 percent) over the first 20 minutes. Almost half of those shots (14) came from the arc. Only two of the made shots were worth three points.
"We didn't make very many shots," said Bison senior John Griffin, who was 3 for 11 (1 for 7 on threes) for 11 points on what was likely his last college game in his hometown of Philly.
It was a half totally devoid of any offensive flow for the Bison, who did not manage to string together even two unanswered field goals the entire half. As close as Bucknell got to a run in the opening stanza came midway through the half, when freshman Todd O'Brien hit the front end of a two-shot foul and Josh Linthicum made a layup three offensive rebounds later. That 3-0 spurt cut Drexel's lead to 14-10 with 10:28 to go in the half. Bucknell managed just two field goals the rest of the half, none in the final 6:56.
"They did a real good job pressuring us," Flannery said. "We got a little frustrated and it affected us a little bit."
From Flannery's vantage point, that frustration came out as rushed shots, most from long range.
"We were perimeter oriented. When we play well, we go inside and out," said Flannery. "We were not patient. We played rushed. We didn't play smart."
All true, but at the same time, it is not as if all those rushed shots were bad looks. A lot were simply missed open looks. Shots simply were not falling, even when they came from 15 feet away without a defender. Bucknell was 1 for 7 at the foul line in the first half.
The Bison tried to make a game of it after the intermission, cutting the lead to single digits on several occasions. But even though they shot better in the second half, they didn't shoot well enough to ever really make Drexel sweat.
The Dragons cooled off a little from the perimeter in the second half, but with O'Brien and Linthicum in foul trouble, Drexel was able to pound the ball inside to 6-9 center Frank Elegar, who scored all of his 16 points in the second half. O'Brien fouled out with 7 points and 5 rebounds in 14 minutes of play. He did manage to keep alive his streak of at least one block in every game. Linthicum, who reached double figures Bucknell's two previous games, had 8 points, 7 rebounds and blocked 2 shots. He was 0 for 1 at the foul line. Elegar went to the line 8 times in the second half, making all 8.
Bucknell's best opportunity to make a game of it came after three Griffin free throws made it a 53-44 game with 6:36 to go. The Bison got defensive stops on two straight trips, giving them two chances to cut the lead more. But they came up empty, despite a pair of Linthicum offensive rebounds on the second of those possessions.
(Originally posted at 12:42 a.m., links added at 7:43 a.m.) Bucknell big man sparks Bison in win over Ivy fave Cornell.
Josh Linthicum insists his benching had nothing to do with it.
"It really doesn't matter if I start or not," said Linthicum after his second career-high scoring night in as many games.. "It's a team effort."
Might be true. Or Linthiucm might be downplaying the impact it had on his game when he lost his starting job for two games early this month.
Maybe a fire was lit under the the 6-11 junior from New Mexico. Or maybe it is just a coincidence that he posted his first career double-double when he got his job back, and followed it last night with a 5 for 5, 12-point effort that keyed Bucknell's 88-75 win over Cornell.
Linthicum started the first five games for the Bison, but lost his spot in the lineup to freshman Todd O'Brien after a series of forgettable performances. His re-emergence could change the perception of the Bison, who looked a lot like a jump-shooting team with no inside presence in the early going this season.
To some extent, Linthicum was the beneficiary of a stellar showing by the Bucknell guards, especially in the first half, when the Bison ran some of the most efficient halfcourt offense you're likely to witness. But Linthicum deserves credit, too. The guards did their job, getting him the ball where he could score, and Linthicum did his part, finishing with a variety of post moves and jump hooks.
Six of his points came in a five minute span of the first half, including back-to-back buckets 50 seconds apart around the nine minute mark of the first half. At that point, it was still a close game, with Bucknell's lead in single digits. After that, 18 of Bucknell's next 27 points came on open threes made possible by the attention Cornell had to Bucknell's newfound inside presence.
"They probably were not ready for it. It opened up lanes we hadn't seen in a while," said John Griffin, who also set a career-high with his game-best 27.
Cornell came in with the lofty national ranking in three-point shooting accuracy, but it was Bucknell who put on the shooting clinic, hitting 11 of 21 from the arc while shooting 54.7 percent (29 of 53) from the field.
It was the kind of showing you want to film to show to kids when you teach halfcourt offense -- solid screens; hard, precise cuts; quick, accurate passes moving the ball with a minimum of bounces. The Bison found the open men and knocked down shots. In the first half, Bucknell recorded an assist on 15 of its 19 field goals and turned the ball over just five times.
"They had a great purpose on the offensive end," said Cornell coach Steve Donohue, whose usually sharpshooting side was held to 38.6 percent (22-57) shooting from the field. Cornell's 25 percent effort (6-24) from the arc was barely half its season average (48 percent).
"We really chopped it up," said Pat Flannery, Bucknell's cooach. "We had seven or eight layups, a bunch of mid-range jumpers, some threes. We had it all over the (shot) chart."
Already up by 11 as the half closed, Bucknell didn't wait for the second half to put Cornell away. Back-to-back threes in the last 45 seconds of the half, including one by Griffin that came from closer to the midcourt circle than the three-point arc, made it 47-30 at the break. The other came from Justin Castleberry, who equaled his career-high with 18 points.
The first half was played at a brisk pace reminiscent of the Charlie Woollum era, though Woollum's Breakin' Bison never showed the offensive patience, or defensive tenacity Flannery's sides play with. The second half was a choppy, poorly officiated free throw shooting contest, devoid of any rhythm or pace thanks to the constant whistles.
The two teams combined to shoot 50 foul shots in the second half, just one fewer than their combined 51 shots from the field. Three players fouled out, five finished with four fouls. Perhaps the best you can say about the second-half officiating is neither side was happy, both with good reason. All told the refs called 52 fouls and managed to completely piss off both coaches.
"The last 10 minutes seemed to take an eternity," said Griffin.
While it was ugly and devoid of entertainment value, it might have played into Bucknell's hands. With no flow, Cornell could never find its stride or get on any kind of run. Bucknell's margin was over 15 points most of the second half. Cornell never got closer than 11 points. The Big Red shot 27 free throws in the second half, knocking down 21. It was enough to keep them from being blown out, but not nearly enough to overcome a big deficit to a team that plays defense like Bucknell does. Especially not when you are going 2 for 17 from the arc in the half.
"Obviously that is a recipe for disaster against a good team like Bucknell," Donahue said.
BISON CHIPS: Bucknell freshman Daryl Shazier hit his first career three-pointer in the first half . . . Shazier was 0 for 12 from the arc coming into the game . . . Bison junior Jason Vegotsky, in his second game back from a foot injury that sidelined him since the start of the season, received a nice ovation when he stepped on to the Sojka Pavilion floor for the first time this season and an even louder round of cheers he knocked down the first shot he had taken this season, a three-pointer during the early 12-0 run that gave Bucknell control all night . . . Linthicum's biggest thrill didn't seem to come on any of his 5 buckets or on the shot he blocked. that moment seemed to come with 6:50 to play in the first half, when Linthicum, in the low post, found O'Brien slicing down the lane for a big dunk . . . Linthicum sported a huge grin after the play and sprinted back on defense . . . Stephen Tyree finished with three steals and 10 rebounds for Bucknell . . . O'brien had 7 points, 7 boards and two blocks . . . the two blocks give O'Brien at least two rejections in eight of his first nine games . . . Bucknell's 87 points is a Sojka Pavilion record . . . The Bison held a 36-31 adavantage in rebounds . . . It was the first time all season Bucknell has out-boarded an opponent. Box score | Daily Item | Sun-Gazette | Ithaca Journal (gamer) | Ithaca Journal (sidebar)
Another second half swoon dooms American's upset bid in Dayton.
American led 23-22 at the half and pushed the lead to 4 at the start of the half when Garrison Carr (career-high 26 points) hit one of his seven three-pointers. It was not enough.
It was the fourth time in five losses this season that American led at the half.
The Eagles managed to get that halftime lead by holding Dayton to nine first half field goals (9-24, 37.5 percent). That defense, and five first half treys, gave AU the lead at the break despite an icy 8 for 21 (38.1 percent) showing from the field.
Bilal Abdullah's double-double sparked the Leopard's in 79-69 overtime win at Towson.
Abdullah put up 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, but his biggest play might have come at the defensive end. It was Abdullah who swatted away Rodney Spruill's potential game-winning three-pointer with 3 seconds to go in regulation, allowing the Leopards to get to overtime.
In the extra session, Abdullah set the tone, burying the first of three Lafayette three-pointers on the Leopards first possession, putting Lafayette up for good.
Four other players reached double figures for Lafayette, which won its second in a row and sixth in its last seven. Lafayette is now 3-0 in OT games.
Matt Betley scored 14, Michael Gruner 13, Ted Detmer 11 and freshman Deirunas Visockas came off the bench for 14 points.
The Leopards won despite shooting a season-low 40.9 percent (27-66) from the field. The 'Pards were 10 for 30 from three-point range and hit 15 of 19 at the foul line. Lafayette shared the ball well, posting 22 assists on 27 field goals.
Towson shot just 39.1 percent (25-64), including 4 of 18 from the arc.
Lafayette won despite being without starters Andrew Brown and Paul Cummins, who sat out nursing injuries. Brown, the team's leading scorer, has been suffering from plantar fasciitis. No word on Cummins' injury. Box score | Baltimore Sun
Colgate was in the game for about two minutes, then it was all Orange, as Syracuse rolled to its 42nd straight win over the Raiders, 87-59.
The Orangemen scored first and never trailed. Colgate managed to tie it at 5-5 on a Kyle Roemer trey with 17:53 to go in the first half. Then Syracuse went on an 11-0 run and that was it.
Colgate cut the lead to 9 on a Roemer jumper, but Arinze Onuaku's free throw pushed it back to double digits for good.
Freshman Mike Venezia, playing his first college game after suffering a preseason knee injury, led Colgate with 11 points. Roamer and Kendall Chones each added 10 for Colgate, which shot 37.3 percent (22-59) from the field. The Raiders came into the game ranked fourth nationally in three-point shooting percentage, but hit just 5 of 17 (29.4 percent) from the arc. 'Gate was outrebounded 45-29 and turned the ball over 21 times.
Three minutes out of 40. That was the difference Monday night in the Midshipmen's 86-76 loss at San Diego State.
With Greg Sprink impressing his friends and family from back home in California with a lights-out shooting display and Chris Harris dropping precision bombs from the arc, Navy played right with the Aztecs most of the game.
The Mids were ahead 37-35 at the half and stretched the lead to 43-35 by scoring the first six points of the second half. Even after SDSU used a 12-2 run to take the lead, the Mids stuck around. It was still tied at 61-61 with 7:55 to play when the Aztecs took off on a 13-0 run that decided the game.
It happened quick; in three seconds less than three minutes actually. It was a stretch where Navy, which shot 49.2 percent (29-59) from the field and hit 15 of 33 threes, went 0 for 5, including three straight misses from the arc. SDSU hit three treys in the same span, and had three offensive rebounds, including two on the three-shot possession that capped the run.
Navy battled, but could not get closer than 9 the rest of the way against an Aztecs side that shot 51.8 percent (29-58) from the field and went to the foul line 30 times (making 23). SDSU held a 39-21 edge on the boards.
Granted Navy's perimeter style of play is not real conducive to getting to the foul line, but you might suspect a little home cooking (we say suspect because, still tired from Sunday's travel odyssey, we dozed off early and missed most of the CSTV broadcast) in a game when the visitors from the opposite coast don't shoot a single free throw in the first half and don't get to the line for the first time until there are less than four minutes left on the clock. The Mids finished 3 for 4 from the line.
Sprink, who came in shooting 32.1 percent from the field, proved the old adage about shooters needing to keep shooting by finishing with 26 points on 11 for 14 shooting, all three misses coming outside the arc (4 for 7). Harris added six threes and 22 points and Kaleo Kina chipped in with 11 for the Mids (3-8).
Demon Deacons switch tactics to put away a pesky Bison side.
(originally posted Sunday, 6:04 p.m., links added at 10:13 a.m.)
By CHRIS A. COUROGEN Of Hoop Time
Take a look at the box score from Bucknell's 72-56 loss at Wake Forest and you might get the impression it was the Demon Deacons' size up front that proved to be the Bison's demise.
Wake finished the game with a 43-39 edge on the boards, with 19 offensive rebounds that led to 21 second chance points. The Demon Deacons also outscored Bucknell 40-15 in the paint.
But it wasn't the trees in Wake's forest that proved to be Bucknell's undoing so much as it was the shrubs.
Dino Gaudio's decision to go to a smaller lineup with the score tied at 45-45 midway through the second halfwas the move that turned the game around. Up until that point, the Bison were hanging around by knocking down enough three-pointers to offset the production Wake was getting inside. From that point on, though, it was a different ballgame.
Bucknell hit 17 of its first 42 shots through the first 29 minutes of the game. That is not a great shooting percentage, but with eight of the 17 makes coming from three-point range, it was good enough to keep Bucknell in the ballgame, especially with Wake shooting at a similar 18 for 44 pace.
The last 11 minutes, the part of the game where Gaudio went to the smaller lineup, was a completely different story. Back to back buckets with Ishmael Smith -- the second from the arc -- started a 10-0 Wake run that decided the outcome. It took only a little over three minutes and just three shots from the field for Wake to take control. And it was the little guys -- 6-0 Smith and 6-2 Jeff Teague (with free throw help from 6-4 L.D. Williams) -- that got it done.
Teague's three capped the run, giving the Deacons a 55-45 edge with 8:21 to play. The freshman from Indianapolis finished with 16 points to lead Wake Forest. Smith and Williams each finished with 11 and Harvey Hale, another 6-2 guard, also reached double figures with 12.
But it was not the offense of the small guys as much as their defense that made the difference. During the decisive run, Bucknell went 0 for 4 from the field, three of the misses from three-point range, two by John Griffin. It was the start of a trend that lasted the rest of the game. From the time Gaudio went small, to the final buzzer, Bucknell went 4 for 15 overall, 1 for 9 from the arc. Griffin, who led the Bison with 16 points, went 1 for 7 from downtown in that stretch.
Part of the problem might have been fatigue. Both Griffin and Castleberry played 29 minutes, much of which was spent handling pressure from Wake's fleet of lightning quick guards when on offense, and the rest of it spent trying to keep up with them on defense.
"It takes a lot of energy chasing them around," said Bucknell coach Pat Flannery. "Eventually it wore us down."
"All my shots felt good," said Griffin. "Some where a little short. Maybe I needed more legs."
There was more to it than just legs, though. When Wake Forest had a bigger lineup on the floor, Griffin, and his backcourt mates, were able to take advantage of screens to get open looks. After the switch, those looks were harder to come by.
"They were using so many ball screens," said Gaudio. "We went smaller and just switched them and it really bothered them."
It was not all negative for the Bison, who fell to 3-5 with the setback. If silver linings are your cup of tea, then Josh Linthicum's 11-point, 11-rebound double-double against Wake's big, athletic front line ought to quench your thirst. With Darren Mastropaolo's return from summer knee surgery uncertain at best, Linthicum's career-afternoon (in both categories) is an encouraging sign with conference play just around the corner.
On the other hand, 6-11 freshman Todd O'Brien, who came off the bench after starting the last two games, was almost a non-factor, going scoreless (which happens when you don't take any shots) with 5 rebounds and one blocked shot. The block gives him at least one in all eight games of his young career, but ended a streak of at least two rejections per game through the first seven games.
Sophomore power forward Patrick Behan also struggled, finishing with 6 points and 4 rebounds on 3 of 8 shooting, most of which came from outside. Other than Linthicum, Bucknell got very little production inside of 10 feet from the basket.
The story of Bucknell's loss at Wake Forest, compiled as it happened, from the airport to the final buzzer.
A little on the saga of the trip to Winston-Salem in a moment.
First let's catch up on the game, where Bucknell leads 11-9 with 14:31 to go on the strength of three three-pointers.
Josh Linthicum and Justin Castleberry back in the starting lineup for Bucknell this afternoon.
Stephen Tyree with two fouls before the first media timeout
Jason Vegotsky checks in for the first time this season shortly before the 14 minute mark.
We could hear the national anthem being played when we walked into the back door media entrance of Joel Coliseum after a trip that was more a combination of frustrating and curious than harrowing.
Here is a little of that saga, written while sitting in BWI waiting for the plane to North Carolina:
9:46 a.m. -- Sitting here at BWI, we are not at all sure if we will make it to this afternoon's Bucknell-Wake Forest game.
When we left Lewisburg Saturday night after taking Team Hoop Time to the Penn State-Bucknell women's game, we wondered if we would make it here as we drove through sleet and freezing rain down a dicey Routes 11&15. Things looked better when we got further south and the wintery stuff turned to just rain.
Back home, a check of the forecast said just rain this morning, and when we awoke to find the weather confirming that prognostication, we figured we'd dodged the storm that threatened to wipe out this trip. Seemed there would be no trouble making from Harrisburg down I-83 to Baltimore, and other than the threat of a bumpy ride due to gusty winds, things looked pretty good.
Even the inability to check the flight's status before leaving this morning (apparently an icy limb fell on the phone lines someplace) didn't seem a concern because the Baltimore weather forecast on Sirius radio said temps there were well above freezing.
What we didn't factor into things was the fact that the plane to Raleigh-Durham was coming from Albany, N.Y. That is why we found the words "weather advisory" and "delayed" posted next to our flight when we arrived at the gate.
The good news, which came around the same time our flight was to leave BWI, was that the plane finally got off the ground in Albany. The not so good news: Our new projected arrival in North Carolina is going to leave about two hours before game time, cutting things mighty close.
A Bucknell alum who coaches high school lacrosse in Durham and was waiting for the same flight said we ought to be able to make it to Winston-Salem in an hour-and-a-half from the airport. Factoring in time getting to the rental car, finding parking at Wake Forest, and getting to my seat. It figures to be mighty close.
Close enough to have us seriously considering bagging the trip and saving the ticket to use towards a postseason getaway with the wife.
10:01 a.m.. -- They just announced our plane should get here around 10:25. They figure 20 minutes or so to get the folks off that one and us on. It's only about an hour flight, but since the biggest part of that is probably the takeoff and the approach, they probably can't make up much time in the air.
10:08 a.m. -- By the way, at last night's womens' game, Daily Item beat writer Tom Housenick confirmed that Bucknell wing Jason vegotsky, who has been out all season with a stress fracture in his foot, is expected to dress this afternoon. No indication how much he might be ready to play, but certainly having him in uniform instead of street clothes has to boost the spirits of Bucknell folks. No word on the return of senior co-captain ROb Thomas, whose return from the torn MCL he suffered in the opener against Albany was projected to take 4 to 6 weeks. Also no update on the status of Darren Mastropaolo's condition as he tries to make it back this season from the torn ACL he suffered in a summer pickup game.
10:14 -- What's up with the chick at the Southwest counter wearing an Eli Manning jersey here in the D.C. suburbs on the day of a Redskins-Giants game. Guarantee you would not want to pull such a stunt in Philly on the day of an Eagles game.
10:17 -- Glancing at the sports page of the Washington Post, we are reminded how slow the part of the season around finals can be. The only D.C. area team to play yesterday was Georgetown, which thumped Radford. Of course that doesn't mean there would be much more coverage of college hoops in the Post if there were more local games. As we have noted at some time or another every season since launching this site, the Post does a horrible job covering Washington-area college basketball.
11:17 a,m. -- We're on the way south, running slightly behind the revised schedule, according to he pilot, after having to slow the plane down while passing through air that pilots call "bumpy" and passengers refer to as "scary as hell." What we will do sometimes to bring you coverage of Patriot League hoops defies both logic and the prefverences of the wife, who by now is used to us heading through all kinds of nasty ass weather to get to games, but still does not approve of it.
We would have started posting this misadventure in the airport, but $9.95 for an hour of wireless hardly fits the Hoop Time budget, which is already stretched by the airfare and rental car costs of the trip. Not that the trip is that expensive. Originally this game was not in our coverage plans. But the combination of a leftover vacation day at the day job, which had to be used by the end of the year, an attractive fare on Southwest, and a flight schedule that at least made it appear possible to fly down in the morn ing and back after the game, made this one a late addition to the slate. That decision, it is worth noting, came shortly after the Villanova game, when this looked a lot more like a potential Patriot League win over an ACC school than it does now.
That is not to discount the possibility of a Bison win. But certainly the way the games since 'Nova have gone does diminish a little of the expectations.
Not sure, will have to double check, but don't think a Patriot League team has ever beaten an ACC team. After Maryland's loss the other day, Holy Cross' visit to Maryland after the holidays is looking like the best possibility of that happening at the moment.
We're about to begin our descent, it's 11:31 and the pilot says we should be on the ground in about 20 minutes. Still looks to be cutting it mighty close to get to Winston-Salem on time.
Had we looked at a map before making these plans, we probably would not have made the trip. Based on road signs seen when we visited Duke a few years ago, we thought Winston-Salem was a lot closer to the airport than it is.
It doesn't help any that we chose Dollar Rent-a-car. Apparently one of the secrets to their low rates is having a single shuttle bus. We stand at the stop outside the airport watching bus after bus for the other companies drive past while we wait.
Thankfully the girl at the counter is quick and efficient. She also gives great directions, more than we can say for the road signs in the Winston-Salem area, which made finding the arena an adventure.
Back to the game: Jeff Teague picks Daryl Shazier's pocket and takes it in for an uncontested layup and a 22-15 Wake lead with 9:23 to go. Wake on a 10-2 run at the moment.
We have no stats monitor here, but Wake is killing the Bison on the boards. One wake bucket came on what had to be its fourth chance of the possession.
Seven-footer Chris McFarland has 6 points already, three of Wake's first four buckets, and the Demon Deacons are getting to the rim on a regular basis.
They just handed out partial box scores that show Wake's edge on the boards at 13-11 with 8:47 left. But Wake has 8 offensive rebounds.
Bucknell at that point -- 5 of 14 from the field, 3 of 8 from the arc. Wake is 10 for 23, 1 for 5 from downtown.
With 7:44 to play in the first half, it is Wake 22, Bucknell 16.
Tyree back on the floor picks up his third personal at the 7:15. Have to wonder why he was even on the floor with two in the first half.
Turnovers hurting the Bison. They have at least 9 with 4:40 to play. Still they are only down 27-23 after a G.W. Boon three and a pull up jumper by Justin Castleberry running the break after a steal.
Another Boon three with 2:52 left caps a 10-0 Bucknell run and puts the Bison up 28-27 with 2:29 to play.
Bison doing a better job on the defensive glass. The latests stats handout, with 3:54 to go in the half, shows the two teams even at 16-16 and Wake still with the 8 offensive boards it had early.
The half ends with a Wake player stealing a pass intended for John Griffin and heaving a three-quarters court shot that turned into a pass to yours truly -- who, truth be told, was wide open on the baseline.
AT THE INTERMISSION: Wake Forest 30, Bucknell 28
some halftime stats: Bucknell shooting 10 for 25 (40 percent), 5-14 from the arc. Wake is 13-33 (39.4 percent), 2-9 from three-point.
Neither team sharp at the foul line, Bison 3-6, Wake 2-6. Rebounds: BU 21 (5 offensive), Wake 20 (8 off).
Leading scorers: Bucknell Linthicum and Castleberry with 5 each. Wake: Teague with 9, McFarland 6
Turnovers: Bucknell 11, Wake 5.
Tyree with three is the only guy in any foul trouble.
Just now getting back to action for the second half after a delay of about 20 minutes due to a failure of the lights here.
That also knocked out our Internet connection
Starting the second half, Linthicum's put back ties it. At the other end, James Johnson hits one of two at the line. Wake got the offensive rebound but Griffin stole the ball back. Griffin hit in the face on the play, stopping action, but he appears to be OK.
Tyree starts the second half on the bench, then checks in for Boon with 16:35 to go.
Behan well defended on the sideline, close to a five second call, bringing Pat Flannery to call a timeout with 15:49 to go and Wake up 37-35.
Todd O'Brien block watch: The BU freshman's streak of at least one block in every game continues with a first half rejection. His streak of every game with multiple blocks still on hold at the moment.
15:34: Bison apparently unaware of the shot clock, let it expire, bringing the first media timeout of the half. It seemed as though they might have not remembered they had already used up some of the clock before Flannery's timeout.
Stats note -- Wake 18 points in the paint in the first half. Continuing to look inside in the second. Seeing Darren Mastropaol on the Bison bench in street clothes makes you wonder about what might be if he had not blown out his knee.
14:42 Wake is on a 9-3 run and the crowd is into it for the first time since the Demon Deacon rode into the arena on his motorcycle in the pregame. A Bison turnover further fuels their enthusiasm, though truth be told, it is still rather limited. This place holds 14,000+, but is probably a little over half full.
12:28: McFarland to the line for two after a horrible call when Griffin stripped the ball. he makes one of two, and Wake gets the offensive board, but the Bison steal it and grffin hits a three at the other end to make ita 1-point game. After a Wake bucket, Boon's three ties it at 45-45 with under 11 minutes to play.
A few questionable calls -- or non-calls -- at the Bison offensive end. Around the 13:20 mark, Daryl Shazier was hammered going to the rack and the refs swallowed the whistles (Griffin got the O rebound, followed, but failed to convert an and-one on the play.)
At the 10:20 mark, Linthicm hammered on his first shot, no call. He did manage to get the rebound and was fouled on his putback attempt. But it was wasted when he missed both shots. Linthicum now 1-4 at the line.
With 8:28 to go, O'Brien's second foul is Bucknell's 7th. Johnson misses the front end, but again Wake gets the rebound of a missed free throw and it results in a Teague three-pointer. Wake now on a 10-0 run.
at the 7:46 mark, it's Wake Forest 55, Bucknell 45
6:39: Griffin fouled going baseline, both teams now in the bonus. He hits both to make it a 57-49 game.
Stats note: as of the 7:45 mark, Bucknell 7 for 20 in the second half. Tyree's fourth personal is Bucknell's 9th with 5:54 to play.
Behan's third 52 seconds later has Wake in the double bonus.
Johnson's putback slam with 4:00 to go keeps the Wake lead at 10, 64-54 and brings a Bucknell timeout.
They pull out Zombie Nation, quickly replacing Rock and Roll Part II as the most overplayed song in sports, to try to get the crowd going. It doesn't work near as well as Johnson's second stright slam, a tomahawk job after a Bison turnover that makes it 66-54 Wake.
Another turnover and a Bison foul will have Wake shooting two after the media timeout with 3:29 to go.
A missed free throw with 3:06 to go is O'Brien's first shot of the game. Linthicum, by the way, is in double figures with 11. Matter of fact, he has a double-double with 11 boards.
Behan putback with 1:48 to go makes it 70-56 with 1:48 as the crowd heads for the doors. He was hammered, but there will be no and one.
By the way, don't for a second think twe're making it sound like the refs are why BU is losing this one. They have given up 19 offensive rebounds and 21 second chance points, and Wake has a 38-14 edge in points in the paint.
Bucknell, as has been the case much of this season, is living and dying by the outside jumper. When you are shooting under 40 percent, even 9 treys are not enough to make up for that.
45.2 seconds to go: not many folks still here to see Grorge Medrano check in.
The biggest difference between the Army team that downed Florida Gulf Coast last night and the Black Knights of a few years ago might boil down to this: The Cadets of old would try to win and fail at it. Last night's team tried to give one away and failed.
As Jim Crews was quick to point out in the postgame, FGCU is not a typical first-year Division I team. They have a mature roster, with a host of seniors, most of whom are transfers from schools in pretty decent conferences like the Big Ten and the MAC.
But they still came to snow-covered West Point 3-6, the three wins all coming against teams with a combined RPI of 918.
So what was Army doing trailing 32-26 at the half?
"We were just awful defensively in transition in the first half. They got five or six threes because we were scrambling around and not finding a man. They did a great job exposing that," said Crews.
FGCU shot 48 percent from the field in the first half (12-25), with 6 of their 12 field goals coming from the arc (6-12). The biggest beneficiary of Army's defensive woes was FGCU's Delvin Franklin, who was 4 for 4 from three-point range in the half, including two of the four threes that fueled FCGU's late 12-2 run that gave them the lead at the break.
It didn't help any that Jarrell Brown, Army's leading scorer, was 1 for 7 from the field in the first half.
The Eagles kept that lead for most of the first eight minutes of the second half and were still even with Army (48-48) with 11:05 to play when the Black Knights went on an 11-0 run that should have put the game away.
But up 59-48 with 7:44 to go, Army let FGCU get right back in the game with an 11-2 run, pulling tow within 2 (61-58) on a Rob Quaintance trey with 4 minutes left.
Army scored just one field goal the rest of the way -- a Cleveland Richards layup with 2:06 on the clock -- and went 3 for 6 from the foul line in the last 4 minutes. But they held FGCU to one field goal and a pair of free throws down the stretch and survived Quaintance's desperation heroics at the end.
With two seconds left, and Army up by 4, Quaintance was foolishly fouled by Army's Mitch McDonald. Quaintance made the first and managed to get his own rebound after intentionally missing the second. But his desperate heave at the buzzer was off the mark, allowing Army to escape with the win.
That final miss was one of 10 missed threes in the second half for FCGU, which followed its 6 for 12 first half with a 10 for 12 second half from the arc. Army held the Eagles to 8 second half field goals (on 30 tries, 26.7 percent).
Said Crews, "That was really great to see the kids respond and have that resiliency. We really dug in during the second half.”
The defense was not all that improved in the second half. Brown, who finished with 12 points, was just 2 for 5 from the field after intermission, but got to the line 6 times, making 5. Brown's streak of double figures games is now at seven, but his streak of 6 straight 20-point performances ended.
After an 11 for 26 (42.3 percent) first half shooting effort, the Black Knights were 14 for 26 (53.8 percent) after the break. Had they shot better at the foul line (10-19 in the second half, 12-22 for the game), it never would have come down to Quaintance's missed shot.
A good sign for Army -- three players reached double figures, led by sophomore Marcus nelson's career-best 14 points. Nelson tied his career assists mark with 7 dishes. Josh Miller (6 for 8 from the field) added 13 for Army. Doug Williams had 10 rebounds for the Black Knights.
It was the first time all season Army had three players reach double figures and the first Army win in a game in which Brown was not the team's leading scorer. It was also Army's first win when Brown did not score at least 20 points.
With six inches of snow falling in West Point, Army offered free admission. Announced attendance was 216, though the Army gameblog suggested far fewer actually were in the stands. The gameblog (link below), by the way, was a first by Army's sports info folks and the first such official effort by any Patriot League school. It's worth the click. Box score | Army gameblog | Postgame quotes | Times Herald-Record | News-Press
A cold-shooting first half put the Black Knights in a hole they could not dig out of against Quinnipiac.
Karl Anderson hit a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left for what proved to be the game-winning points in Quinnipiac's 58-54 win at Army. Anderson's free throws were part of an 8-0 Quinnipiac run at the end of the game that negated Army's second half comeback effort.
Army trailed 28-21 after shooting 7 for 24 (29.2 percent) from the field, 1 of 7 from three-point range, in the first half. But with Jarell Brown heating up after the break, the Black Knights not only got back in the game, but actually took the lead late.
Brown, who scored 15 of his 22 points after the break, hit 4 of his 5 threes in the second half, the last one, which came with 2:47 to go, put Army up by 4.
It also proved to be the last points Army would score. Quinnipiac tied it with buckets by Karl Anderson and DeMario Anderson (no relation). DeMario's tying bucket, with 1:29 to go, gave him 12 points for the game, over 8 below his average.
The two Andersons combined on what proved to be the game-winning play, with Karl grabbing the rebound of a DeMario miss and getting fouled with 10 seconds to go.
Anderson, a Hudson Valley native, also provided the defensive heroics that sealed Army's fate, blocking a Josh Miller runner in the lane with time running out. Evann Baker grabbed the rebound for Quinnipiac and made two free throws to account for the final margin.
Army finished the game 19 for 48 (39.6 percent) from the field, 5 of 14 from three-point range, all five made treys coming from Brown, who posted his sixth 20-point game in a row. Box score | Times Herald Record | Times H-R sidebar
A second half comeback pushes Mountain Hawks back to .500.
Down 11 at the break, Lehigh turned it up a notch at both ends of the floor, overcoming a slow start for a 70-61 win over visiting Harvard.
The Mountain Hawks trailed by as many as 13 in the first half, and went into the locker rooms at halftime on the short end of a 33-22 score after Harvard's Evan Harris drained the Crimson's fourth three of the half, just before the buzzer.
The deficit was a combination effort, Lehigh's 28 percent (7-25) shooting was part of it. The Mountain Hawks went one stretch of over seven minutes without scoring. Harvard's 56 percent (14-25) effort had something to do with it, too.
Lehigh's shooters were dialed in better after the break, knocking down 15 of 29 (51.7 percent) from the field. The Hawks also went 15 of 16 at the foul line in the second half, including 8 for 8 in the final 1:19 to seal it.
The Lehigh defense was better, too, holding Harvard to 9 for 23 (39.1 percent) from the floor after the break, including 2 of 10 threes after making 4 of 9 in the first half.
The Mountain Hawks were still down 10 early in the second half when they put together a 13-2 run to get back in the game. The score was tied twice and the two teams traded the lead four times over the next eight minutes.
Lehigh took the lead for good on a Marquis Hall (17 points, 5 assists) jumper with 7:44 to go and slowly, but steadily pulled away.
Zahir Carrington (14 points) an d Phil Anderson (10) also reached double figures for Lehigh. Bryan White fell a point shy of a double-double with 10 rebounds and 9 points Box score | Morning Call
Their four-game win streak broken at Rutgers, the Leopards get back in the win column by beating Columbia 78-64.
A big road win for the Leopards, who put together that streak at home. Lafayette is now 2-1 on the road this season, 6-3 overall.
Andrew Brown (22 points) led four Leopards in double figures. Paul Cummins (12), Ted Detmer and Bilal Abdullah (11 each) also scored in double digits.
Lafayette, which shot 57.4 percent (31 of 54) from the field, took the lead a little over five minutes after the tip and built the margin to 12 by the half. The lead reached as many as 21 points in the second half. Columbia cut it to 9 once with 4:33 to play, but could get no closer. The Leopards had 22 assists.
The Leopards held Columbia to 20 for 56 shooting from the field (35.7 percent).
Every Leopard stepped onto the hardwood against the Lions with the exception of freshman Jared Mintz, who dressed after sitting out the last five with an ankle injury.
Andrew Brown scored 20 or more points for Lafayette the second time this season at Columbia (22), the first time was when the Littleton, Colo. native scored 21 against Fairleigh Dickinson. <;i> This is the third time this season four Leopards finished with double figures in scoring. The last time that occurred this season was the 98-92 loss against Fairleigh Dickinson on Nov. 16.
Lafayette approached the line eight times against Columbia, the fewest free-throw opportunities this season. The Leopards went 6-for-8 against the Lions.
Lafayette set its previous high field-goal percentage mark against another Ivy League institution, Penn on Nov. 28 with 52.6 percent.
The Leopards are undefeated in afternoon games in 2007-08 season (2-0).
Late game heroics by Brian Gilmore and Garrison Carr helped American avoid blowing another halftime lead in 52-50 win over Jacksonville.
Actually, that is a little misleading. The Eagles (6-4) did cough up the 27-22 advantage they held at the intermission. At one point late in the second half, that 5-point edge turned into a 7-point hole.
Then Carr and Gilmore arrived carrying shovels. With AU trailing 48-41, with 3:41 to play, Carr broke an 0 for 9 game-long slump with a jumper that started a decisive 11-2 end of game run for the Eagles. Carr followed his first make with a steal that led to a pair of free throws to pull AU within 3.
After Bryce Simon hit 1 of 2 at the foul line to make it a 2-point game, Gilmore tied it with a short jumper with 1:33 to go. Jacksoville (3-5) bumped the lead back to 2 on a, Ayron Hardy layup. Then Gilmore found Carr for the last of the game's 10 ties.
Gilmore was not done. With 31 seconds left, he got the ball back for the Eagles by drawing a charge on Jacksonville's Lehmon Colbert. After a timeout, AU ran the clock down to 3 seconds before Carr put up a shot that was blocked by Paul Kohlheim and rebounded by Gilmore. Gilmore, who was fouled on the play, hit both free throws to give Au the win.
Free throws were a key for Au. Jacksonville had two more field goals (19 of 46, 41.3 percent), and four more three-pointers (Jax was 5-13 from the arc). But AU went to the line 10 more times and made 10 more free throws (17 of 21), offsetting Jacsonville's edge from the field. American shot 28.6 percent (17-44) and was just 1 for 11 from the arc.
Carr, AU's leading scorer, finished with 5 points, more than 10 below his average. Carr was 2-12 from the field.
Derrick Mercer led the Eagles with 17 points, including a perfect 7 for 7 at the foul line. Gilmore added 13. Box score | AP
A 14-0 Army run to start the game was more than NJIT could handle.
After that start, the two teams played fairly even. The Black Knights never led by more than 16; NJIT (0-10) never got closer than 9.
Jarrell Brown led Army (4-4) with 23 points, his fifth straight 20-point game. Brown was 11 for 21 from the field, with one trey, and never got to the free throw line. As a team, Army only shot 8 free throws and made just 4.
The Black Knights were 24 of 57 from the field (42.1 percent), 2 of 9 from three-point range. NJIT was 14 for 41 (34.1 percent) from the field, 6 of 17 from the arc and 10 of 21 from the foul line. The Highlanders turned it over 23 times, 16 in the first half.
In his first career start, Dave Buchberger led the Mountain Hawks to a 76-61 win, ending a two-game losing streak.
Before the seasopn, first-year Lehigh coach Brett Reed said Buchberger's defensive skills might earn him some playing time as a sophomore. But it was his offense that stood out against the Sea Wolves. As a freshman, Buchberger only took 11 shots all season. Through the Mountain Hawks' first eight games this season he had taken 15. Against Stony Brook he took 10 and knocked down 8, including 5 three-pointers, finishing with 21 points.
Bryan White, whose jumper 15 seconds into the game gave Lehigh a lead it held the whole way, posted a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double and freshman Rob Keefer added 10 points off the bench.
Lehigh won despite an off shooting night by Marquis Hall, who was 9 for 5 from the field. Hall did contribue other ways, grabbing 6 rebounds and dishing off 10 assists.
Lehigh hit 62 percent of its field goal tries (26-50), including 11 threes. Stony Brook was 19 for 53 from the field (35.8 percent), and shot just 24 percent in the first half, when Lehigh built a 31-20 lead. Box score | Newsday
Colgate's 73-55 win Wednesday at Binghamton was a tale of two halves.
The first half was an even affair that ended with the Raiders (6-3) up 31-29 after a Kyle Roemer layup just before the break. But after Binghamton tied it to open the second half, it was pretty much all Colgate the rest of the way.
The Raiders scored the next five points and pushed the advantage to as many as 17 points.
Colgate actually made one more field goal in the first half (13-29, 44.8 percent), but was much more acccurate after the break, hitting 12 of 19 (63.2 percent). And after shooting just two free throws (1 made) in the first half, the Raiders got to the line 22 times in the second, making 16.
The Raiders also played better D after intermission. After Binghamton shot 12 for 25 from the field in the first, Colgate held them to 9 for 37 (24.3 percent) in the second.
Roemer led Colgate with 21 points. Kendall Chones added 15, Tim Pounds 14 (all in the second half) and Daniel Waddy had 10. Alex Woodhouse had 8 rebounds (sharing team honors with Chones) and a career-high 5 blocks in 19 minutes off the bench. Box score | Press & Sun-Bulletin
Five Lafayette players reached double figures, but it was not enough to keep the Leopards' win streak alive.
Rutgers, which came into the game shooting 27 percent from three-point range, hit 8 treys in the first half, 11 of 25 (44 percent) overall, and outscored the Leopards 90-79.
Lafayette managed to hang with the Scarlett Knights (6-2) much of the evening. After trailing as many as 10 in the first half, Lafayette closed to with 42-39 at the break and scored the first four points after intermission to take a brief lead with 18:06 left.
The Leopards managed to hang around, getting within 7 with an Andrew Brown three with 58 seconds left. Rutgers was 7 for 8 at the free throw line in the final minute to preserve its lead.
Brown led Lafayette with 17 points. Matt Betley posted a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double. Everset Schmidt scored a career-high 14 points. Bilal Abdullah (13) and Paul Cummins (12) also scored in double figures for the 'Pards (5-3), who saw a four-game win streak end.
J.R. Inman led five Rutgers players in double with 26.
Lafayette shot 45.3 percent from the field (29-64), including 10 for 23 from the arc, and hit 11 of 13 free throws. Rutgers was 30 for 65 (46.2 percent) from the field, the extra field goal coming from three-point range (11-25). That three, and eight extra trips to the foul line (19-21) made up the 11-point final margin. Box score | Express-Times | Daily Targum (RU student paper) | Home News Tribune | Star-Ledger
(Originally posted Tues. at 10:38 p.m., links added at 8:17 a.m.) When Tim Clifford is on the floor, Holy Cross is a very good basketball team. Good enough to build enough cushion to survive his absence for 10 minutes of the second half in a 71-66 win at Saint Joe's.
By CHRIS A. COUROGEN OF HOOP TIME
PHILADELPHIA -- It will be a while until Holy Cross plays another basketball game. Last night's matchup at Saint Joseph's was the Crusaders final outing until after finals. But the Crusaders can feel pretty good about themselves for the next 17 days after beating a very good Saint Joseph's by a 71-66 margin.
Tim Clifford and Alex Vander Baan each chipped in 16 points. Kyle Cruze added 13, including a trio of huge second half three-pointers that helped keep the Hawks at bay. Freshman Andrew Beinert added 10 points to give the Crusaders four players in double figures for just the second time all season.
The team shot 50 percent from the field, something it has done just two other times during their 7-1 start. They dished out 22 assists and only turned the ball over 11 times, overall an impressive offensive showing.
Don't let those numbers fool you, though. Holy Cross still won the way it usually does, with lockdown defense.
After the game, Saint Joe's coach Phil Martelli tried shouldering some of the blame, saying he had not prepared his team well enough to attack Holy Cross' 2-3 zone. Truth be told, it was hardly Martelli's fault. He was not the one who went 0 for 11 through the first 15 minutes of the game. It was not Martelli who finished the half 3 for 16 from the field. Certainly he was not the one unable to get the ball inside to All-Atlantic 10 center Ahmad Nivins, who was an offensive non-factor all night.
Credit for much of Saint Joseph's offensive shortcomings is easy to blame, Just put it on the shoulders of the biggest man on the floor -- HC's own senior center, Tim Clifford, who thoroughly outplayed Nivins despite spending a large chunk of the second half on the bench in foul trouble.
Clifford finished the night 8 for 12 from the field, with 7 rebounds, a pair of blocks and a steal. But his biggest contribution shows in Nivins line, where it says the Hawks' star only shot the ball three times, and only made one.
"We were running a 2-3 zone and that is pretty tough on any post man," said Clifford, humbly trying to share the credit with the rest of his team. There are plenty such kudos to spread around, but for the moment, let's concentrate on Clifford, who foiled Bivins all night by keeping a big body on him from behind, with a hand in front of him denying any entry pass the ball.
"I pretty much frustrated him by not letting him get the ball," Clifford said. "If a guy can't tough the ball, he can't score. He can't hurt you."
When Clifford was on the floor, it seemed nobody in a Saint Joe's jersey could hurt Holy Cross in the paint. Up until Clifford picked up his fourth personal with 15:41 to go in the game, on a foul that should have gone against Colin Cunningham, Saint Joe's had scored just one two-point bucket all night. When Clifford sat down, with HC leading by 14, Saint Joe's began attacking the paint. It also started getting some better looks around the arc.
How big is the difference? Ask HC coach Ralph Willard.
"It's huge. Tim takes up so much space. He blocks shots. He changes shots. It also allows us to extend on the perimeter, knowing he is back there if somebody gets beat. When he is in the game, he really extends our defense," Willard said.
If you'd prefer a statistical answer to that question, consider this: While Clifford was on the floor in the second half, Saint Joe's was 8 for 21 from the field. While Clifford was on the bench, they hit 9 of 13.
Clifford was not the only hero. Senior guard Kyle Cruze scored 11 of his 13 in the second half, helping take up some of the offensive slack while Clifford was on the bench. Cruze hit three treys, each seeming to come at crucial moments when the Crusaders needed an answer. Vander Baan also had a pair of big second half threes when Clifford's absence forced HC's offense outside.
The rest of the team helped a little on the defensive end, too. Holy Cross opened the game with a 12-0 run and built the lead to 23-6 before Saint Joe's hit its first field goal of the night, a three by Tasheed Carr. At the half it was 34-21, HC, after the Crusaders held the Hawks to three field goals -- all three-pointers -- in the first 20 minutes. Saint Joe's needed a meaningless three-pointer at the end of the game to avoid shooting below 40 percent for the second time this season. Only Gonzaga, which held the Hawks to 31.7 percent here last week, has defended Saint Joe's better.
Pat Calathes, Saint Joe's 6-10 matchup nightmare at the small forward, finished with 19 points to lead the Hawks, all in the second half, 15 coming during the stretch when Clifford was sitting.
The Eagles' 66-54 win over Howard was the program's 1,000th of all time.
More important to the current generation, it got AU back above .500 at 5-4.
This one was a come-from-behind affair. American trailed by as many as 11 points early before using a 15-0 run to get back in the game. The Eagles took the lead for good on a Brian Gilmore (11 points) free throw with 1:50 to go in the first half and built that edge to 34-30 at the break. Then AU opened the second half with a 10-0 run and never led by less than 9 the rest of the way.
American coach Jeff Jones made a change to his starting lineup, inserting juco transfer Frank Borden at the off guard in place of junior Garrison Carr, the team's leading scoeer. Borden was 1 for 5 with 2 points. carr scored a team-high 17, shooting 6 for 9 with 4 treys on 6 attempts.
Also in double figures for AU were Bryce Simon (10) and Jordan Nichaols (11).
American was 19 for 41 from the field (46.3 percent), 7 for 15 from the arc, and went to the foul line 32 times, making 21. Howard was 21 for 54 (38.9 percent), 6 for 17 threes and 6 for 11 at the charity stripe. Box score | AP
A running courtside account of Holy Cross' big win at Saint Joseph's, posted live, as it happened.
It is almost two hours until tip-off at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.
First on the floor is St. Joe's forward Arvydas Lidzius, getting extra work on his shot. Lidzius started at closer range, with a manager rebounding, working his way around the basket, moving back a few steps and reversing his path. He is now about a foot-and-a-half outside the arc, and hitting at a pretty impressive rate.
The 6-9 senior from Lithuania can use the extra work. He has played in five of six games, averaging 10 minutes, but he has shot the ball just eight times in game action. He is 2 for 3 from three-point range, so HC'd best not forget about him when he is on the floor. Best not to let a driveway shooter get his feet set.
5:25: Holy Cross arrives. The team flew in last night, taking advantage of those Southwestern fares out of Providence. Their return flight leaves around noon tomorrow.
Joining Lidzius on the floor is Rockwell moody, a little used 6-9 sophomore forward. Moody looks springy and athletic, but he plays behind some pretty good upperclassmen. Actually, plays behind is not very accurate. Better to say sits behind. so far this season, he has pleayed seven minutes in four games. If he gets in tonight, it is either very good or very bad nbews for Holy Cross. It definitely won't be a sign the game is close.
5:35: Kyle Cruze first on the floor for HC. Bad news for the Crusaders, the guy rebounding for Cruze is Lawrence Dixon, who is wearing street clothes. HC SID Charles Bare says Dixon is still having problems with his knee. he was dressed for the shootaround this morning, and has dressed for recent games and saw six minutes of action against Yale.
Looking at the A-10 stats: a few comparisons between St. Joe's and Dayton, who HC played last time out.
The Crusaders faced the A-10's top field goal percentage guy, Chris Wright (66.7 pct.) against Dayton. Tonight they face the guy No. 2 in the league, St. Joe's Ahmad Nivins (65.2 pct). St. Joe's Tasheed carr leads the A-10 in assists (7 apg), Dayton's Brian Roberts ( 5 apg) is third.
5:47: The entire HC team now out and going through warmup drills. Dixon appears to be the only injury concern. Everyone else in uniform; nobody particularly heavily taped.
55 Minutes to game time: Holy Cross has had a lot of success against A-10 schools. Since Ralph Willard arrived in Worcester, the 'Saders are 10-4 against the A-10. They are, 0-3 all-time against St. Joe's, including that NIT second round loss here two years ago.
St. Joe's coach Phil Martelli has not been afraid to play Patriot League schools. The Hawks had a two-for-one deal with Bucknell that brought the Bison to Philly twice in the last three seasons, with the Hawks visiting Lewisburg in 2005. They also played a home and home with Lafayette in 2005 and 2006.
This apparently is the start of a series between St. Joe's and HC, according to Ralph Willard's post on coachralph.com. Ralph does not say how many games the deal is for, but said it made sense for the two Jesuit institutions to play. He compared it to the old Fordham series, except "St Joe's is a lot better and Phil doesn't try to pretend the program is something it's not."
31 MIN TO GAME TIME: Bob Fouracre's keys to the game: 1) Shut down the St. Joe's three-point shooters 2) Tim Clifford has to stay out of foul trouble (Bob notes: "When he plays a full game, he averages over 20 points. Holy Cross can't have him sitting on the bench with two fouls five minutes into the game.") 3) Pat Doherty needs to step it up from three-point range, where he is shooting just 14.3 percent this season.
Fouracre also worries about St. Joe's ball movement foiling HC's zone defense.
24 minutes to game time: Noticeably absent from St. Joe's rotation is 6-2 sophomore guard D.J. Rivera, last season's sixth man. Rivera, who averaged over 23 minutes per game as a freshman, is sitting out the fall semester to concentrate on academics. His status for the second semester will be determined at the end of the first.
19 minutes to game time: A not so secret St. Joe's weapon HC needs to be aware of is 6-8 senior forward Rob Ferguson. Ferguson is averaging 9 points per game, fifth on the team. But he has reached double figures in the past two games, including 15 against Penn State last time out. Worth noting, nobody on St. joe's roster has more career double-figures games than Ferguson's 42.
14 minutes to game time: Worst seat in the house? That's easy -- the Saint Joe's pep band is tucked in a corner on the sideline at the end of the bleachers, without enough elevation to see the far end of the floor over the fans seated in the sections to their left. Tough to see them, but they sound real good.
5 minutes to tip: Signs at the entrance to the ticket lobby said this game is sold out. The student section has been full, and loud, for a while now, and with the Hawks entering the floor, they get even louder. Very few splotches of purple in here. Aside from a handful of folks in the sfive rows of bleachers behind the HC bench, less than a dozen other folks sporting HC colors thus far.
1 minute to tip: Is St. Joe's coach popular with the students? From the sound of the Phil Martelli, Phil Martelli chant when he makes his way on to the floor, you'd assume so.
You know you are at a Catholic school when the PA guy pages a lady named Mary Cathleen to the lobby.
If you have never been here, a quick description of the fieldhouse. It is old, small, faded and loud. It is reminiscent in size, age and the steel girders of the arched roof to Bucknell's old Davis Gym. It even has the same hung from the ceiling style backboards. Seating in the upper level is chairback seats with pull out bleachers below. The place badly needs a coat of paint. It will get that, and more (including at least 1,000 new seats) in a renovation project that could be complete for the 2010 season.
15:49 first half: the first media timeout is the second stoppage of the game. Martelli called a quick one around the 17:37 mark after Alex Vander Baan's runner in the lane made it 6-0 Holy Cross.
Tim Clifford with 4 points and a block already. He also has a foul. one of three team fouls for HC in a six second span between the 18:38 and 18:32 marks. St. joe's is 0-2 with 5 turnovers.
11:39 first half: Holy Cross 15, St. Joe's 2. St. Joe's ends HC's 12-0 run with two free throws at the 12:54 mark. The Hawks still without a field goal.
Tim Clifford is a monster so far. The Big Purple Dog with 8 points, the latest two on a tip that was his second offensive rebound of the possession. He kept the ball in HC's hands by grabbing the carom when Eric Meister missed the back end of a two shot foul, then tipped in the miss that followed.
The only negative: Doherty has picked up his second foul and sat down at the 12:54 mark. With him on the bench, St. Joe's is trying trapping pressure against HC. Thus far with little success.
HC 21, SJ 5, 7:55 first half The offensive frustration for St. Joe's is becoming obvious. Ahmad Nivins, unable to get touches with HC packed around him in the zone, is practically begging for the ball, trying to signal his guards to toss an alley-oop his way.
Fouls mounting for the Crusaders. Adam May's second, at the 8:52 mark, is the team's ninth. St. Joes has been in the one and one since the 11:39 mark.
Thus far, HC has taken the crowd right out of the game. Holding the home team without a field goal for over 12 minutes and building a 16-point lead will do that. The Hawks are 0 for 9 from the field, with 7 turnovers. They will shoot some free throws this half, though. Kyle Cruze just became the third HC player with two fouls, and SJ is now in the double bonus, though Tasheed Carr is not taking advantage. He shot two each of the last two SJ trips and is 2 for 4.
HC 27, SJ 9 (3:21 first half) : By the way, Calathes has two fouls for St. Joe's. He has stayed in the game, though. Holy Cross with two shot clock violations thus far. Following the second, carr hit a three-pointer for St. Joe's first field goal. It comes after 15 minutes and 11 missed shots.
Calathes is sitting now. He picked up his third personal with 4:39 to play in the half.
Adam May's backdoor layup makes it 27-9 and brings Martelli to his feet to call another timeout. Key stat: HC leads in reounds 18-7.
HC 34, SJ 21 HALFTIME HC finally reaches the 1 and 1 with 55.7 seconds to go in the half.
Nice momentum play at the end of the half for HC. With SJ having clawed back to within 11, the Hawks press nearly causes a turnover. But Colin Cunningham alertly jumped over two guys battling on the floor for the loose ball, stayed inbounds and got the ball to Clifford in the frontcourt, who fed Vander Baan for an uncontested layup just before the buzzer.
At the half, St. Joe's shooting 18.8 percent, 3 for 16 from the field, all three from the arc. The Hawks took 15 trips to the foul line, made 12. Holy Cross is 12 for 26 (46.2 percent), 2 for 4 from the arc. 8 of 10 at the line.
Two huge stats: Rebounds -- HC 19, SJ 10. Turnovers: HC 5, SJ 8.
Carr has 12 of Saint Joe's 21, including two of its three field goals. Calathes 0-4 for Saint Joe's. Nivins has had just one shot from the field.
For HC: Clifford 4 for 7, 8 points, 4 rebounds -- all on the offensive glass. Vander baan 3 for 5, 6 points. Adam may 2-3, including 1 for 1 on threes - 6 points. Andrew Beinert 7 points.
Points in the paint: HC 16, SJ 0; Pts off turnovers: HC 10, SJ 0; Bench points: HC 15, SJ 0
SECOND HALF HC 37, SJ 26 (18:07 to play: St. Joe's first two-point basket is Nivins' first field goal. It comes at the 18:07 mark and will have Nivins on the line for a three-point play after Clifford was called for his third foul on the play.
Clifford appeared to have his arms straight up and merely stood his ground as a frustrated Nivins tried to bull his way through a double-team to the basket. Might have been with the body.
Two teams opened the half trading threes, Ferguson for SJ, vander Baan for HC. Nivins can't convert the free throw.
HC 43, SJ 29 (15:41 to play) Doherty his third foul at the 17:38 mark.
Then a very bad call with 15:41 to go. Clifford's fourth, called by a ref behind the play. Should have been called on Cunningham, who reached in to stop Nivins from shooting.
Clifford had just scored 6 straight points for HC, giving him 14 for the game.
Team fouls already at 5 for HC,just 1 for St. Joe's.
HC 53, SJ 42 (9:56 to play): With Clifford out, the middle is opening up for SJ. Garrett Willimason scored on back-to-back slashes through the paint and added two free throws after being fouled by Eric Meister on his way to the rack, Meister's third. The free throws cut the lead to 45-36. Team's 6th with 13:11 to play. Team fouls HC 6, SJ 1.
Calathes now heating up, wraps a pair of threes around a Meister jump hook to cut the lead to 9 again. At the other end, beinert puts it back in double digits with a drive down the lane.
Adam May's fourth puts SJ in the bonus with 9:56 to go. SJ still with just two team fouls.
HC 59, SJ 57 (4:14 to go): HC using the three-pointer to maintain its cushion, 5 of 7 from the arc in the second half so far.
HC 64, SJ 55 : Saint Joe's cuts it to 62-53 and is at the line for the second time with a chance to cut it further. Darrin Govens missed the and-one following Cruze's third (team's 8th), but SJ got the rebound and now Calathes has two shots after Beinert's first foul. Calathes hits them both.
Clifford back in at 4:49, answers with an 18-foot jumper at the other end.
Calathes just got his fourth foul.
HC 64, SJ 57 (3:19 to go): Vander Baan backs in for a charge, team's 10th. SJ will shoot two the rest of the way. Hawks still have just 4 team fouls. That could aid HC in running the clock down at the end, since SJ needs to give 3 before it can put the Saders on the line for 1 and 1.
HC 64, SJ 59 (2:26 left): Clifford snuffs Nivins and takes the ball out of his hands at the 3:05 mark, also snuffing the crowd's chants of "The Hawk will never die" momentarily. Crowd back in it after Calathes's putback cuts it to 5
HC 65, SJ 61 (45.5 left): HC finally in the one and one on Calathes fifth personal. He leaves with 19, all in the second half.
Moments earlier, a horrible no call when a SJ defender grabbed Clifford's arm to keep him from finishing after Doherty made a terrific drive and dish play with the shot clock running down.
HC 70, SJ 61 34.1 to go): Just need to make free throws now. Vander baan has just madefour in a row, but Clifford misses the front of a 1 and 1 and SJ scores at the other end to cut it to 70-63, but unless they have a five point play or two up their sleeves, this will be a big, big win for HC.
HOLY CROSS 71, SAINT JOE'S 66: GOOD NIGHT FROM HAWK HILL
(Originally posted Mon. at 9:55 p.m, links added at 7:27 a.m.) Down most of the game, Bucknell put together a late run to get back in the game against LaSalle, then won it with free throws and defense down the stretch.
Things didn't look good in Lewisburg during the first half Monday night, with LaSalle raining threes to build a lead of as many as 16-points before settling for a 39-27 advantage at the intermission.
The Explorers only shoty 42.4 percent from the field in the half, but 9 of their 14 buckets came from behind the arc. Toss in 10 offensive rebounds and 7 Bucknell turnovers and it adds up to a double digit deficit despite Bucknell going 50 percent from the field in the first half.
The Bison made several small runs early in the second half, but could not get over the hump until late. LaSalle's lead was still at 9 when Ruben Guillandeaux made his third trey with 5:23 to play. But that was the last field goal LaSalle would score.
A Stephen Tyree tip and back-to-back threes by John Griffin and Juctin Castleberry made it a one-point game with 3:20 left. A pair of free throws by Yves Mekongo Mbala pushed LaSalle's lead back to 66-63, with 2:15 to play. That was the last time LaSalle scored.
A Todd O'Brien tip made it a one-point game with 43 seconds left, and after a defensive stop, Griffin put the Bison ahead with what proved to be a pair of game-winning free throws with nine seconds remaining. LaSalle had a chance to pull it out, but Guillandeaux's layup with 2 seconds left was off the mark and Castleberry gathered in the rebound.
Griffin led Bucknell with 21 points. Patrick Behan and Catleberry each added 18. Freshman center O'Brien continued his streak of multi-bloick games with three rejections.
The Bison were 16 for 25 from the field in the second half (55.2 percent) to finish the game at 53.1 percent (26-49, 5 of 13 threes). Bucknell held LaSalle to 7 for 25 shooting after the break (28 percent). Five of those seven made shots were threes (5-15). For the game, LaSalle finished 21 of 58 (36.2 percent), 14 for 29 from the arc. Box score | Daily Item | Philly Inquirer
(Originally posted Mon. at 10:46 p.m, links added at 7:23 a.m.) Don't look now, but the team with the second-best record in the league is probably not who you might expect. Lafayette is 5-2 and on a four-game win streak after blasting the New jersey Institute of Technology, 81-56.
Every player who was dressed for the Leopards scored at least one field goal.
The last time the Leopards won four-straight was during the 2003-04 campaign when they rattled off seven-straight from Jan.10-Feb. 1 during a season in which they finished with an 18-10 overall record.
The last time Lafayette started 5-2 was in the 1999-2000 campaign, a season in which the Leopards earned their second-consecutive NCAA Tournament berth.
The last time Lafayette had a 20-plus point win was in an 82-61 win over Army on Jan. 25, 2006.
The 15 steals were a season-high and the most by a Patriot League team this season, surpassing Navy's 14 against Longwood earlier in the year.
The 19 first half points by NJIT were the fewest scored in any half by a Lafayette opponent this season while the 41 first half points scored by the Leopards were the most in an opening half this season.
Jeff Kari's five steals were a career-high.
Freshman Ben Wheeler made his first appearance of the season, playing 20 minutes and finishing with two points, two rebounds and two assists.
Lafayette shot 52.4 percent (11-of-21) from three-point range, the team's highest percentage of the season
NJIT led 2-0, then got blown to Phillipsburg by the Leopards, who pieced together a pair of 13-point runs in the first half, leading by as many as 22. which is where the margin stood at the break. Lafayette quickly built the lead to 35 points, and cruised home, giving the entire bench a nice run. The only guy to play less than 14 minutes was starting point Andrew Brown, who sat down with 9 points after playing 7 minutes
The skeptics will say they'd be far more impressed if those numbers came against better opposition. Still in its Division I infancy, NJIT is admittedly a weak, 0-9 side.
But it is the kind of game Lafayette had to scratch and claw through for wins a year or two ago. Now, a seasoned bunch of upperclassmen, and the first infusions of scholarship talent has Lafayette looking stronger than some expected.
Sure all four wins in the streak came at home, and aside from UMBC, none came against particularly tough foes. It's still four straight, something Lafayette hasn't managed in a long while. The UMBC win is legit and they breezed in the other three.
They have what look to be winnable games on the upcoming eight-game road swing leading up to a conference opener at home against Holy Cross. If Lafayette keeps playing well, that could suddenly be one of the season's big games.
Lafayette is 5-2. A split on the trip is optimistic, but doable. It probably will take winning four out of five against Towson, Mt. St. Mary's, Columbia, Princeton and Robert Morris. The stretch opens Wednesday at Rutgers. Games at Pittsburgh and Mississippi State leave little margin for error in the other five.
It should be fun to watch Fran O'Hanlon's team if they are starting to turn the corner
(Originally posted Mon. at 10:28 p.m, links added at 7:19 a.m.)
Poor shooting doomed any chance Navy might have had of overcoming the early 13-point lead it spotted Mount Saint Mary's in Monday night's 62-58 loss.
You'd have thought somebody opened the big door to Alumni Hall -- the one they call the elephant door -- and left it open. It was that cold. The two teams combined to shoot 30.2 percent from the field (35-116), going 8 for 38 (21 percent) from three-point range.
Navy actually had the better field goal stats -- 18 of 55 (32.7 percent), 4 of 22 from the arc. Mount Saint Mary's finished 17 of 61 (27.9 percent), also with 4 treys (on 16 attempts. The difference came at the foul line, where getting 12 more shots resulted in just enough more points to pull out the four-point win. MSM went 24 for 35 at the free throw line. Navy shot 23 foul shots, making 18.
The Mids were 0 for 7 with 5 turnovers in the first 5:39 of the game, allowing the Mount to build a 13-0 lead before Kaleo Kina hit a jumper to end Navy's drought. navy battled back to within a point, cutting the deficit to 30-29 on a pair of Chris Harris free throws with 1:37 to go in the half. Jason Loughry's jumper with three seconds to go until the break gave MSM a 32-29 lead at the half, Navy never got closer the rest of the way.
Greg Sprink led Navy with 16 points and 9 rebounds, but the 6-5 senior was 0 for 9 from the arc, 5 for 19 overall. Kina added 16 points and 7 boards off the bench and Harris finished with 15.
So far a predicted winter storm has not struck the Hoop Time World Headquarters in Central Pa., but conditions were frigid Saturday for Lehigh at Central Connecticut.
Marquis Hall finished with 13 points. But Lehigh's leading scorer was 3 for 15 from the field in the Mountain Hawks' 65-55 loss to CCSU (2-5). You might see where this one is going.
The Hawks (3-5) shot 21 for 49 from the field, a misleading 42.9 percent. Take away a combined 10 for 14 from Zahir Carrington (13 points) and freshman Rob keefer (12) and the rest of the Lehigh roster was 11 for 35 (31.4 percent).
Lehigh's defense held CCSU to a 19 of 49 night from the field (38 percent), but 9 threes on 20 tries and 18 points from the free throw line -- double what Lehigh earned at the stripe, were the difference. CCSU went 18 for 27 on free throws, Lehigh was perfect, but only shot 9. Box score | Hartford Courant
Three straight losses, two at home, had taken a little of the shine off Colgate's 4-0 start. The Raiders restored a little of the luster with an impressive road win Saturday.
Kyle Roemer scored 18 points for Colgate, which trailed as many as 8 points in the second half before rallying to beat Cornell 76-73. A 9-0 run gave the Raiders a 50-49 lead with 6:58 left. Cornell tied it at 53-53, but Roemer scored 5 straight points to put Colgate ahead for good.
Daniel Waddy with a save in relief of Roemer at the foul line down the stretch. Whether by design, or forced by denial defense on Roemer, it was Waddy's hands on the ball down the stretch, when Cornell was fouling to extend the game. It was a tactic wasted. Waddy knocked down 9 of 10 in the last 31 seconds, finishing with 16 points. Willie Morse with 11 off the bench for the Raiders, who handed Cornell its first home loss in five games this season. Box score | Ithaca Journal | AP
Dayton's best player, quiet all night, made the big noise at the end of the Flyers' 55-53 win over the Crusaders in the DCU Center Saturday night.
Roberts came in averaging 22.4 points per game. He was 2 for 7 with 5 points with 33 seconds to go in the game when he hit a jumper to put Dayton up by 5. Ralph Willard said it was the mortal blow to HC's six-game season-opening win streak.
Tim Clifford, who had 20 points for Holy Cross, hit two threes back to back late in the last 30 seconds, but it the Crusaders could not get off a shot on their final possession. Box score | Springfield News-Sun (gamer) | News-Sun (notebook)
Some calls went against the Bison, but what happened before that is what cost them the game.
BY CHRIS A. COUROGEN Of Hoop Time
If you were among the announced crowd of 3,348 in Sojka Pavilion Saturday night, chances are you left Bucknell's 57-54 loss at the hands of St. Francis (Pa.) wondering just what the heck the refs were thinking at three crucial junctures in the game.
You probably have questions about why they called a foul on Bucknell's Daryl Shazier when Saint Francis' Marquis Ford tripped over his own two feet, 40 feet from the basket, with 32.8 seconds to go in a two-point game. If you know the rule book a little better than the casual fan, you probably are still trying to figure out why no technical was called on the Red Flash's Marquis Ford when he tried to take Chris Berry's place on the foul line with 26 seconds left after St. Francis had gotten an offensive rebound when Ford missed the back end of the two shots he was rewarded for his graceful maneuver. You might also be curious about how, much earlier in the half, St. Francis guard Devin Sweetney ended up with a three-point play after the officials had called him for a charge and waved off the bucket.
Good questions all. Questions that will go unanswered. And questions that ultimately miss the real question, which is how was it that Bucknell (2-4), playing at home against a winless team, happened to be in such a situation, a situation where having a few key calls go against you could cost you the game.
You need to rewind the tape to long before the manic rally in the final 2:12 that brought Bucknell to a point where those two calls involving Ford even mattered. The answers to what cost Bucknell this one lie in how a team that seemed in control at the half came to be down 16 before those frantic final minutes.
Two versions of that story emerged in the postgame. The St. Francis version, told by Red Flash coach Bobby Jones, went like this: "Our defensive pressure and our focus got us an opportunity to get jump-started in the second half."
It wouldn't be fair to not give the Flash a little credit for defense. Teams don't go over 10 minutes without a field goal without the opposition having something to do with it. And that is what happened to Bucknell after freshman center Todd O'Brien, who posted a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double in his first collegiate start, put Bucknell up 32-24 with a putback to open the second half.
O'Brien, whose four blocks made it his sixth straight game with multiple rejections, stretched the lead to 9 when he hit one of two from the foul line 26 seconds later. But between O'Brien's foul shot, and his next bucket, a layup with 8:55 left, the Bison went scoreless, missing 10 straight shots during that crucial 10:22 stretch.
Pat Flannery's version was a little difference. taking nothing away from the Red Flash's defensive effort, Flannery pointed out the Bison were certainly guilty of being accomplices in their own demise. The euphoria of a first half where 50 percent of their shots dropped led to some out of character play in the second half.
"We came out the second half and took some ill-advised shots, some quick shots," Flannery said.
It snowballed when St. Francis hit four straight treys, three by Cale Nelson, to seemingly take control of the game.
"That stretch there in the second half was the ballgame, when they found some guys," Flannery said.
"It seemed like they hit a couple shots and we went into panic mode. We stopped looking inside-out," said Bucknell forward Stephen Tyree.
In reality, the story was a combination of both the St. Francis and Bucknell versions. Certainly the Red Flash defense had something to do with some of those missed shots, and St. Francis also deserves some credit for the six Bucknell turnovers during that stretch. The Bison also jacked up some seemingly ill-advised three-pointers early in the shot clock while squandering the lead.
It is also true the Bison had more than a few good, open looks that just wouldn't drop. By the time the St. Francis lead reached its pinnacle, Bucknell had missed at least four layups and a number of other shots from close range.
"It seems like we are rushing a little bit," said Flannery. "I am trying to get them to relax."
Maybe the opposite approach would work better. Bucknell was at its best when it went into panic mode during the final two minutes of the game. Down by 16, the game seemingly out of reach, the Bison pressed their to within a halfway down, rimmed-out John Griffin three-pointer of sending it to overtime.
After Griffin hit a three with 1:56 to go, cutting the deficit to 56-43, Bucknell applied desperate trapping pressure that resulted in five steals and 11 straight Bucknell points before St. Francis managed to even get the ball across the midcourt stripe again.
When Justin Castleberry hit a pair of free throws to pull Bucknell within two at 56-54 with 1:94 to play, what has seemed impossible less than a minute earlier, now seemed to be about to happen. Especially when Bucknell's pressure on the ensuing inbounds play forced St. Francis to call a timeout to avoid a five-second violation.
After the timeout, St. Francis managed to get the ball in, and after failing to trap the Red Flash right away in the backcourt, Bucknell dropped back to look for a stop in its halfcourt defense. It was a sound strategy for a team that had held the Red Flash to 39.7 percent shooting from the floor on the night, and struggling with Nelson, whose hot hand had gotten St. Francis the lead, having fouled out.
What might have happened had Shazier picked up the loose ball and gone the other way when Ford's right shoelace grabbed his left ankle/ We'll never know. All we know is is Ford made 1 of 2, leaving a three-to-tie as Bucknell's only offensive option. It didn;t help St. Francis got the offensive rebound -- its 19th of the game -- when Ford missed the second shot. Even though Berry eventually found his way to the foul line and missed the front end, keeping the Bison's hopes alive. But it cost six valuable ticks off the clock.
Would the outcome have been different if Ford would have been called for the technical when he tried to take Berry's place at the line? All we know is Griffin, who has been clutch in similar situations so many times for the Bison, had two open looks from the right side of the arc in the final 12 seconds and couldn't connect, allowing the Red Flash to become the first opposing team to win two games in Sojka Pavilion.
The loss is Bucknell's second in a row in Sojka, something that has only happened one other time, last season when the Bison lost to Wake Forest and Northern Iowa in back-to-back home games while starting the season 2-4.
For those hurrying to predict pestilence and doom for the Bison in the wake this one, a little historical perspective. The last time Bucknell lost to St. Francis at home, they went on to a 24-win season that included the upset of Kansas in the NCAA Tournament. Last season's 2-4 start ended in 22 wins and a spot in the Patriot League final.
Flannery is not predicting that sort of success for this year's team. Not yet. But he is not pushing any panic buttons either. The way he figures it, his guys shoot the ball too well for the offensive woes that plagued it in the first half of the Marist loss and much of the second half of this one to continue.
Freshman point guard Daryl Shazier, 2 for 11 against St. Francis in his first BU start, is going to bounce back from what is now a 9 for 32 start to his college career. Shazier shoots the ball to well for his current 0-fer (0-10 on the season) from the three-point arc to continue indefinitely.
"When he makes a couple, they're going to pour in. He is a good shooter," said Flannery.
Ditto for the rest of his squad.
"Some shots go down and it's going to be contagious. It all has to do with confidence," Flannery said.
Posted live from courtside, how it happened, as it happened.
Shake it up baby. that is the song they should have played in the pregame warmups. Bucknell with two new starters in the lineup. Freshmen Todd O'Brien and Daryl Shazier replacing Josh Linthicum and Justin Castleberry.
O'brien pays immediate dividends. In the first 4:17 of the game, he has 2 points -- a dunk to open the scoring -- two assists and one rebound and his defensive presence has already forced Saint Francis players to alter a few shots.
The result is a Bucknell 8-2 lead at the first media timeout.
Linthicum and Castleberry check in at the timeout. Linthicum playing with his left elbow heavily wrapped.
The crowd is pitiful by Bucknell standards. Both student sections only about half full, which is not surprising given the historically bandwagon-jumping nature of the Bucknell students.
The season ticket holder sections on the sides also have lots of empty seats.
Bucknell shooting 6 for 9 thus far. Bison leading 13-9 at the second media timeout with 11:32 to go in the half.
O'Brien now 2 for 2 after a nice 10-foot jumper from the baseline. He has 2 assists, 2 rebounds and would have 3 assists if you could credit him on one for Stephen Tyree's putback after G.W. Boon missed a three on a nice O'Brien kickout.
Before I could finish typing that, O'Brien with a layup for his 6th points.
Bucknell picks up team foul number 7 at the 10:08 mark, putting SF into the bonus early.
O'Brien will be playing a lot of minutes tonight, and not just because he is a more complete player than Linthicum. Linthicum is having a lot of trouble against SF's 6-9 junior Bassitou Dieng, and has picked up three fouls already in very limited first half minutes. Dieng is a handful -- he has 11 points and 5 rebounds already with 3:16 to play in the half.
It's Bison basketball, up 26-23 out of the timeout thanks to a heady play by John Griffin, who drew a charge from Nelson after Nelson had already dished the ball off on a 3 on 2 break. It was Nelson's third foul.
At the third media timeout, with 7:11 to go, Bucknell is up 22-14, thanks in no small part to its defense, which is holding SF to 20 percent (6 of 20) from the field, The Bison shooting 62.5 percent (10 of 16), and the good news, not settling for jumpers. Only four shots from the arc, two made.
What was Cabe Nelson thinking when he tried to challenge O'Brien at the 6:44 mark? Nelson, who is listed at 5-10, but looks like he would have to get a stepladder to look Derrick Mercer in the eyes, had his shot deposited in the second row of the corner bleachers, O'Brien's first block of the game.
Saint Francis with back to back cherry-picking dunks has cut the Bucknell lead to 22-18 with 5:20 to go, bringing Pat Flannery off the bench for a quick timeout.
Boon's first in Bucknell's 10th personal with 1:44 to go. Dieng at the line misses both. He is 1-4 ... to bad there are not enough big guys on the Bison bench to play Hack-a-Shaq defense on him. He goes to the line again 40 seconds later on a questionable call against O'Brien -- his first -- and makes 1 of 2.
At the half, Bucknell 30, Saint Francis 24
First half stats: Bucknell 13 of 26 from the field, 2 for 7 from the arc, 2 for 2 at the foul line. Saint Francis is 10-28 (35.7 percent), 1-9 from three-point range and 3-9 at the foul line. Rebounds are 19-15, Saint Francis, 10 of those on the offensive end. Saint Francis with 9 turnovers, Bucknell 8.
Behan with 8, O'Brien and Tyree with 6 each for Bucknell. Dieng with 12 for SF.
O'Brien's full line: 3 for 5 from the field, 6 points, 2 assists, 5 rebounds and a block. Dieng 12 points and 7 rebounds, 3 offensive. He is 2 for 7 at the foul line.
By the way, chatted with Bucknell's injured Jason Vegotsky prior to the game. The boot is off his injured foot and barring any setbacks, he hopes to be back in action when the Bison travel to Wake Forest Dec. 16. Bucknell's next game is Monday against LaSalle, then they are off for 13 days for finals before the Wake Forest trip.
No word on the progress of Rob Thomas and Darren Mastropaolo.
O'Brien starts the half strong with a bucket,a block and a free throw in the first minute. Should have been credited with a steal, too, but from the stats monitor, it appears they missed it. He picked up his third block around the 15:00 mark.
Bucknell up 33-31 with the ball out of the first media timeout at 14:43.
After a Bucknell turnover, Nelson hits a three with 14:15 to play, giving SF its first lead, 34-33. Bison 1 for 8 in the first 7:22 of the half. 0 for 4 from the arc.
At the media timeout with 11:54 to go, Bucknell still trails 34-33. Neither team has scored since Nelson's trey. Bucknell is now 1 for 11 in the second half.
The only guy who seems to be able to find the bottom of the net is Nelson, who hit back-to-back treys about a minute apart to make it a 40-33 Saint Francis lead with 9:23 to go. Bucknell still with one field goal -- O'Brien's to open the half, since intermission.
O'Brien finally breaks Bucknell's draught with a power layup with 8:53 to play.
With 8:14 to go, the ref signals a charge on SF's Devin Sweetney. Then mysteriously the call is reversed and Sweetney goes to the line to finish a three-point play. SF then gets what we can only call a "very physical steal", leading to a Sweetney layup and a 45-35 Saint Francis lead with 7:30 to play.
Nelson has fouled out with 2:26 to go. It doesn't matter. He has done his damage and the way Bucknell is shooting, the Saint Francis 54-40 lead would probably hold up if they didn't score and played with four guys the rest of the way.
To say this half has been ugly would be a gross understatement. How ugly? Can't put it in numbers. Our stat monitor is frozen at the 7:57 mark, with Bucknell down 10. Says Bucknellian writer Matt Saylor, "I'm fine with it where it is. It reminds me of a happier time.
Perhaps we spoke a little prematurely. Griffin hit a three to ignite an 8-0 run and suddenly O'Brien is on the line for two with the Bison down 56-48 and 1:26 to play. He hit one of two. Then Bucknell stole the inbounds and Castleberry hit a three to make it a four point game.
Another steal and Castleberry is on the line shooting two with 1:04 to play. He makes both and it is a 56-54 game and the crowd is going nuts. How big is that turnaround call on the charge now?
32.8 an utter travesty of a call. Marquis Ford literally trips over his own feet and they call a foul on Shazier. Ford makes one of two and SF gets the offensive board, but Bucknell stays alive when Chris Berry misses the front end.
At the other end, Griffin's three is halfway down when it rims out.
The Bison get another chance when Ford misses the front end of another 1-1 with 10.5 to play, but Griffin's thee is off the mark. Bucknell bench and fans wanted a foul. I didn't get a good look at the play.
FINAL Saint Francis 57, Bucknell 54
Another curious officiating factor: Saint Francis tried to send the wrong guy to the foul line on Berry's free throws, which is supposed to be a technical.
Of course, had the Bison made some of the host of layups they missed, the officials would not have been a factor. Still, we can't help but be reminded of the night we started this whole thing we call Hoop Time.
Greg Sprink only took four shots all night. He only made one. The way Kaleo Kina and Adam Teague played off the Navy bench, though, it hardly mattered.
With their senior leader and leading scorer finding it tough to get things going against Towson, Kina and Teague stepped up big time, leading the Mids to a 73-59 win that snapped Navy's three-game losing streak.
Sure their scoring was important. Kina was 7 for 12 from the field with a pair of threes for a game-high 17 points and Teague hit four from the arc to finish with 12. But it was the rest of their lines that shows how important they were to the Mids (3-6) in this one.
Let's start with rebounds -- 8 each, sharing team honors. Their performance was a big reason why Navy was able to outrebound (39-31) a bigger, more athletic Towson team that came in averaging almost four boards per game more than its opponents.
Also impressive was the unselfish nature of their play. Each of the 10 Midshipmen who played more than a minute got in on the scoring, in no small partt due to Kina (6) and Teague's combined 11 assists.
Of course it is not tough to pick up assists when your team is shooting the ball well, and the Mids were doing just that, especially in the second half. The Mids led from the start, taking a 2-o lead when Ben Biles made a pair of freebies after he was fouled trying to put back a Sprink miss on the opening possession.
Towson (3-3) tied it twice, the last time coming with 4:32 to go in the first half before Navy pulled out to a 34-29 lead at the break. The Mids then put the game away midway through the second half with a 16-4 run that built a double-digit lead that stayed in the teens the rest of the way.
Navy shot the lights out in that second half, hitting 14 of 21 (58.3 percent), including 5 (of eight) threes (62.5 percent). The Mids were 28 of 55 (50.9 percent) for the game, with 8 treys (20 attempts).
The Midsa also played a little defense, holding Towson to 34.5 percent (20-58) shooting from the field, 3 of 14 from three-point range.
(Originally posted Wed. at 10:49 p.m, links added at 7:31 a.m.) Tim "Big Purple Dog" Clifford scored 23 points and set a new school record for blocked shots to lead the Crusaders in a 60-39 spanking of Yale.
Clifford, who finished with 8 rebounds, had 6 blocks, the last of which gave him 154 on his career, breaking the school mark of 153 set by Nate Lufkin. Colin Cunningham, who is emerging as a real scoring threat on the wing for Ralph Willard's squad, posted a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double, the first of his career.
The Crusaders shot 46.7 percent (21=45) from the field, including an efficient 4 of 7 from the arc, and held a 40-30 advantage on the boards. But it was the HC defense that really made the difference. Holy Cross held Yale to 12 of 45 (26.7 percent) from the field (5-16 threes) and forced 18 Bulldogs turnovers.
No Yale player reached double figures.
The win, the 'Saders 22nd straight in the Hart Center, makes Holy Cross 6-0 for the first time since the 1988-89 season.
The Crusaders played without starting power forward Alex Vander Baan, who sat out with a leg injury suffered in practice Sunday. Sophomore Eric Meister made his first career start in Vander Baan's place. Box score | Telegram & Gazette | Yale Daily News
(Originally posted Wed. at 11:00 p.m, links added at 7:23 a.m.) All good things must come to an end. For the Penn Quakers, two of those things came to and end Wednesday night in Easton.
With six players scoring in double figures, including all five starters, Lafayette handed the Quakers an 81-69 defeat, ending Penn's 280game win streak against Patriot League teams. The win, just Lafayette's fourth in 41 games all time against the Quakers, also ended a streak of eight straight Penn wins over the Leopards
Andrew brown led Lafayette with 15 points. Bilal Abdullah added 14 off the bench. Michael Gruner had 13, Paul Cummins 12 and Everset Schmidt and Matt Betley 10 each for the 'Pards (4-2), who shot 52.6 percent (30-57) from the field, including 11 threes on 28 attempts.
(Originally posted Wed. at 10:26 p.m, links added at 7:19 a.m.) It has been a long time since Bucknell sunk to the depths of offensive mediocrity it reached in Wednesday's 55-40 loss to Marist. Especially in its own gym.
For the second straight game, the Bison failed to get out of the teens in the first half, scoring only 17 points in falling behind by 12 at the intermission after missing their first 6 shots en route to a 6 for 28 half. By the time Bucknell scored its first bucket, they were already down 10-0.
Not so long ago, this kind of performance in Sojka Pavilion sent those along press row scurrying through the ooposition sections of the Bucknell media guide in search of superlatives. This time it was the home section that produced tidbits like these:
The 40 points were the fewest Bucknell has scored in a game since a 68-27 loss at Princeton in 1998.
The last time Bucknell scored less than 40 at home was in Jan. of 1951, when they lost 25-15 to Penn State.
The Bison finished the game 16 for 50 (32 percent) from the field, 5 for 19 from three-point range. They managed just six trips to the foul line all night, and even struggled there, making three. Add 18 Bison turnovers to the mix and you have a recipe for that surely left a bad taste in the mouths of the 3129 fans in attendance.
It was an offensive performance so bad that even when they held Marist to 43.5 percent shooting from the field, and just 4 of 17 from the arc, the Bison still were unable to hang close to the Red Foxes, who had just one player reach double figures (Ryan Stilphen - 10 points).
That was one more in double figures than the Bison had. Justin Castleberry , who was 3 for 11 from the field (all three on three-pointers) led Bucknell with 9 points.
The loss snaps a 10-game home win streak for the Bison, who have now lost three in a row after starting the season 2-0. Box score | Daily Item
It's not often you see somebody score 92 points against defensive-minded Lehigh. That's what Quinnipiac did Wednesday night in Stabler Arena, though, handing the Mountain Hawks a 92-88 setback.
Of course it wasn't like the Bobcats (2-3) lit things up -- it took them two overtime periods to reach that 92-point plateau. Lehigh (3-4) held Quinnipiac to 41.7 percent shooting from the field (32-77), 6 of 14 from the arc. But Quinnipiac grabbed 20 offensive rebounds and went 22 for 27 at the foul line, including 6 for 6 in the final 15 seconds of the second extra session.
The game was tied, for the 13th time (19 lead changes) with 28 seconds to go after Marquis Hall hit one of two at the line to make it an 86-86 game. But after Quinnipiac went on top with a pair of Casey Cosgrove free throws with 15 seconds to go, Lehigh turned it over at the other end and was forced to foul. Quinnipiac sealed the win by making all four free throws it shot in the last 8 seconds.
Wasted in the loss were big performances by Marquis Hall, Zahir Carrington and Bryan White. Hall hit 5 threes en route to a career-high 27 points. Carrington also posted a career-high, going 11 for 14 from the floor to finish with 23 points before fouling out with 1:12 to go in regulation.
White grabbed 8 rebounds and scored 14 points, including the first three-pointer of the senior forward's career. White's trey came with 11 seconds to go in the first OT, knotting it at 80-80 and forcing the second OT.
Ed Najac’s posted a 17-point, 15-reboound double-double to lead six Quinnipiac players in double figures. The Bobcats finished with a 53-38 edge on the boards.
Jarrell Brown became the 20th player in Army history to reach 1,000 points, but it was not enough to make a difference in the Black Knights' 70-64 loss at Hartford.
Brown finished with 24 points, including six threes, Josh Miller added 16, all in the second half. But that was not enough to dig the Black Knights out of a 15-point halftime hole.
Army did manage to pull even at 64-64 when Miller hit his 16h point on a jumper with 1:51 to play. But those were the last points Army scored. Hartford did not make another field goal, either. But the Hawks were 6 for 6 from the foul line in the final 51 seconds.
After a rough first half, Army shot 51.6 percent (16-31) in the second, finishing the night 25 for 56, 9 for 27 from the arc, 7 of those treys coming after the break (7-14 in the second half). Army shot just 7 free throws, making 5.
Hartford, on the other hand, went to the line 31 times, making 21. The Hawks were 21 of 49 (42.9 percent) from the field, 7 of 22 on threes.
The good news for Army: Doug Williams, who has been out all season, was in uniform, although he did not play. Andi Cries Walker returned to action for the first time after getting an elbow to the nose in a Nov. 20 loss at Cornell. Walker was 3 for 4 from the field in 12 minutes off the bench. Box score | Hartford Courant
The number three was a recurring theme in the Midshipmen's 75-65 loss at Howard Tuesday night.
Missed three-pointers played a big role in the loss, Navy's third in a row. The Mids led 31-30 after a first half in which they hit 5 treys (out of 15 attempts). But after the break, Navy was 3 for 13 from the arc, the biggest of those 10 misses coming with 32 seconds to play and Howard up by three, 68-65.
That was when Adam Teague, who hit two big threes down the stretch to keep Navy in the game, including one to pull the Mids to within three, could not come up with a third three of the half after freshman Mark Veazey stole and inbounds pass to give Navy a chance to tie.
The Mids trailed by as many as 10 in the second half, thanks in no small part to missing the first seven threes they shot. Greg Sprink broke the ice with 3:38 to play, pulling the Mids within one and Teague connected 37 seconds later to tie it at 59-59.
Howard responded with a 9-2 spurt to build a 68-62 lead, which proved to be enough of a cushion to give the Bison their third win of the season after they hit 5 for 5 from the foul line in the final 28 seconds. The first of those five free throws capped an old-fashioned three-point play after Jevon Smith rebounded Teague's miss and went the length of the court for a layup and one. Smith finished with 16 points, leading four Howard players in double figures.
The Bison shot 49.1 percent (26-53) from the field, including an efficient 4 for 9 from the arc. Howard outrebounded Navy 45-30, but helped the Mids stay in the contest by turning the ball over 20 times.
Sprink led Navy with 18 points. But the Mids senior captain was just 4 for 13 from the field, 1 for 6 from the arc. Sprink, who sat much of the first half after picking up two fouls, scored 16 of his points after the break. Teague hit half of Navy's eight three-pointers to finish with 16 points off the bench.
The Mids shot 31.4 percent (21-61) from the field. Navy opened the second half by making 2 of its first 15 shots, finishing the half 10 of 36 (27.8 percent). Their second half struggles were not just from three-point range. Box score | Washington Post | AP
With Tim Clifford stuck on the bench, Kyle Cruze was Holy Cross' big man Monday night in a 62-60 win over Ohio University.
Cruze only scored 7 points. The rest of his line -- 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 turnovers and 1 steal -- was not all that impressive. But the senior guard was 3 for 3 from the field, and he was the guy that made the shot that mattered most, a driving layup with two seconds left that gave the Crusaders (5-0) their fifth straight win this season and their 21st in a row in the Hart Center.
The game featured six lead changes and seven ties, the last coming with 9 ticks on the clock when OU's Michael Allen hit his only field goal of the game, a three-pointer that made it 60-60, setting the stage for Cruze's heroics.
Clifford was nearly as perfect from the field, going 5 for 6 for 11 points. But the preseason Patriot League player of the year was sitting next to Ralph Willard when the game was on the line, having fouled out for the third time in five games. Clifford played just 22 minutes.
Colin Cunningham and Pat Doherty each scored 12 points for the Crusaders, who went 22 for 44 from the field, 6 for 15 from three-point range. Ohio (2-1) shot 44.4 percent (20-45) from the field and hit 9 of 19 from the arc. Box score | AP | Telegram & Gazette
Notre Dame took the lead the second time it touched the ball and never trailed, handing Colgate its third straight loss, 94-63.
Coming in, it was Notre Dame's frontcourt that was Colgate's biggest concern. But the Irish used snipers from the three-point arc to dominate in this one. Kyle McAlarney led four Irish players in double figures with 25 points, 21 of which came on his 7 three-pointers. As a team, ND (4-2) went 13 for 28 from three-point range.
The Irish shot 46.4 percent (32-69) overall from the field and had a 42-28 edge on the glass, including 18 offensive rebounds.
Kyle Roemer led Colgate (4-3) with 13 points. Daniel Waddy added 10 for the Raiders, who were 21 of 51 (41.2 percent) from the field, 8 of 17 from the arc.
The Mountain Hawks used strong free throw shooting to end a two-game losing streak, downing NJIT 67-58.
Marquis Hall scored 12 points to lead Lehigh. Five of those came from the free throw line, where Hall went 5 for 6, including 3-4 in the final 1:44 to help preserve the win. Hall also had a career-high 8 assists.
No other Lehigh player reached double figures. The Mountain Hawks shot 42.3 percent (22-52) from the field, 6 of 11 at the three-point arc. But the real key was Lehigh's 17 for 23 showing at the foul line. That accounted for 7 of Lehigh's 9 point advantage on the scoreboard.
NJIT had almost identical numbers from the field (21-47 - 44.7 percent, 6-15 at the arc). But the Highlanders (0-6) went just 10 for 20 at the stripe. Lehigh also benefited from 19 NJIT turnovers. Box score | Express-Times | AP
The Eagles took it inside to pick up their second straight win, downing Mount St. Mary's 66-45.
American took its first lead on a Frank Borden jumper 4:28 into the game and never trailed after that. Mount St. Mary's did manage to pull even at 23-23 with 5:00 to go in the first half. But Garrison Carr's layup five seconds later put AU back on top to stay.
For the first time all season, neither of AU's starting guard duo of Carr and Derrick Mercer led the team in scoring. In fact, Mercer was held to 8 points, the first time all season he failed to reach double figures.
Carr finished with 12 points, but hit just 2 of 9 from three-point range. The Eagles (4-3) were just 3 of 15 there as a team.
But American got double-digit scoring efforts from three members of its frontcourt, led by forward Travis Lay, who scored a career-high 17. Lay was 5 for 8 from the field, a perfect 7 for 7 at the foul line and pulled down 7 rebounds, 4 on the offensive end. Brian Gilmore and juco transfer Constantin Motnii each added 10 points off the bench. Motnii led American with 8 rebounds.
The inside dominance was evident on the boards. American outrebounded the Mount (0-4) 45-29. The Eagles' 18 offensive rebounds helped offset a 38.6 percent (22-57) effort from the field. It didn't hurt any to go 19 for 22 at the foul line, either.
Defense was also a key for AU. The Eagles held Mount St. Mary's star guard Chris Vann to 8 points, well below his average of over 20 ppg. The Mount shot 31.4 percent (16-51) as a team, 2 for 11 from the arc. Box score | Frederick Post | AP
Hot shooting and tough defense combined to lift the Leopards past the defending Northeast Conference champs from Central Connecticut Sunday afternoon, 71-54.
Andrew Brown, back in the starting lineup, led the charge for Lafayette (3-2), knocking down 5 threes en route to a game-high 17 points. Two of Brown's threes came during a 15-2 first half run that turned an 18-17 deficit into a 32-30 Lafayette lead. Brown also assisted on a Paul Cummins three during that run, whioh put Lafayette on top for good. Cummins finished with 12 points, including 4 treys.
CCSU (1-4) pulled within three in the second half before Lafayette pulled away to ice the game.
The Leopards were 24 of 49 from the field, including 12 of 25 from three-point range. Defensively they held the Blue Devils to 31.6 percent (18-57) shooting from the field, including 6 treys on 19 tries. Box score | Morning Call | Express-Times | Hartford Courant
It was the kind of night Bucknell followers have worried would come along -- the jump shots were not falling and the Bison were, dropping a 64-55 decision at Wagner.
When their shots are falling, Bucknell's smallish guards can fill it up in a hurry. But when they were not Saturday on Staten Island, it led to a long afternoon for the Bison (2-2). Bucknell went 5 for 27 (18.5 percent) from the field in the first half, 1-11 from three-point range, managing only 13 first half points.
The result was a 16-=point (29-13) halftime hole they were never able to dig out of. It was 17-13 with six minutes to go when Wagner went on a 12-0 run to close the first half. Bucknell bnever got closer than 7 the rest of the way.
Guards John Griffin and Justin Castleberyy were held to a combined 4 of 20 night from the field. As a team, Bucknell was 21 for 61 (34.4 percent), with just 3 three-pointers on 20 attempts. Patrick Behan (17 points) was the only Bison in double figures.
Freshman Todd O'Brien finished with 8 points while posting three blocked shots, his third three-blocks game of the season. Box score | Staten Island Advance
For the second night in a row, the Midshipmen failed to hold a lead in the Palestra, dropping a 71-67 decision to Penn in the consolation game of the Philly Hoop Group Classic.
Friday night the Mids (2-5) led by 15 against Seton Hall, which eventually went on to defeat Virginia for the bracket championship. Saturday it was an 8-point margin that didn't hold up.
Navy led Penn (2-4) by eight in the first half before settling for a 26-23 advantage at the intermission. Penn came out after the break and went on a 14-2 run, but Navy responded with a 12-0 run of its own, and had a 55-54 lead with 3:14 to play. But after Penn's Tyler Bernardini (15 points) hit a jumper to give the Quakers the lead, the Mids turned the ball over their next two trips down the floor. Penn converted both opportunities, builing its lead to 60-55, then held on down the stretch.
The Mids never got closer than 4 the rest of the way, though they had their chances to make it a one-possession game. The best of those chances came with 32 seconds left, when Greg Sprink (22 points) stole an inbounds pass under the Navy basket, but missed a tough reverse layup try with his back to the basket.
Kaleo Kina (12) and Chris Harris (11) joined Sprink in double figures for Navy, which shot 30.6 percent (22-72) from the field and was 5 for 28 from the arc. Penn went 19 for 46 from the field, 3 of 12 from the arc, and had a huge edge at the foul line. The Quakers shot 42 free throws, making 30. Navy only got to the line 23 times, making 18. Navy was whistled for 32 fouls, Penn 20. Box score | Philly Inquirer | Soft Pretzel Logic
The Raiders shot 55.1 percent from the field, but lost for the second straight game, falling 81-76 at home to Dartmouth.
Colgate (4-2) got 26 points from Kyle Roemer and 20 from Kendall Chones, but 16 turnovers and a lack of defense proved to be the difference. While 'Gate was hitting 27 of 49 from the field, including 6 of 14 three-pointers, Dartmouth was also shooting well, connecting on 53.6 of its shots, including 5 of 11 three-point tries. Both teams made 16 free throws -- the difference was that Dartmouth (2-3) only turned the ball over 9 times. Colgate's extra 7 turnovers translated to 7 extra field goal attempts and three more made shots for the Big Green (30-56).
Daniel Waddy (15 points) also reached double figures for Colgate, which lost to Dartmouth for the first time in seven meetings. Box score | AP
The Eagles used a combination of balanced scoring and 26 NJIT turnovers to get back to .500 with a 73-50 road win.
Four players reached double figures for American (3-3), led by Garrison Carr, who scored 9 of his team-high 15 in the first half, helping AU open a 34-18 lead at the break. Also helping fuel that lead were 16 turnovers by winless NJIT (0-5).
The Highlanders actually shot the ball better, percentage-wise, from the field than AU. NJIT hit 47.4 percent of its shots, American 47.3. But thanks to the turnovers, American took 17 more shots than NJIT, finishing 26 of 55, including 8 threes -- five of them by Carr. NJIT was 18 of 38 from the field, 3 of 11 from the arc.
Joining Carr in double figures were Derrick Mercer (10 points, 6 assists), Travis Lay (10) and juco transfer Frank Borden (10), who had his first double figures game as an Eagle. Borden also had 5 steals. Box score | AP
Jarrell Brown's career-high 8 three-pointers lifted the Black Knights over winless Presbyterian, 63-58.
Brown finished with 26 points, his second big game in a row for Army (2-3). He had a career-high 30 Tuesday in a loss to Cornell.
John Moonshower added a career-high 16, shooting 6 for 9 from the field, for Army, which squandered a 13-point first halftime, then came from behind for the win.
The Black Knights were up 28-15 with 5:33 to go in the first half. But the Blue Hose (0-7) closed the half with a 9-2 spurt, then opened the second half with a 12-3 run to take the lead. Presbyterian built its advantage to 41-35 with 11:47 to play.
Army responded with an 18-2 run of its own, going back up by 10. Presbyterian twice cut it to 3 down the stretch, but Army held on despite going just 4 for 8 at the foul line in the final minute.
Despite those missed free throws in the final minute, foul shots were the difference for the Black Knights. Presbyterians was 22 of 45 (48.9 percent) from the field, 7 of 19 from the arc and made 7 of 10 free throws. Army went to the line 15 times, making 10, while shooting 46.8 percent (22 of 47) from the field, including 9 of 20 three-pointers. Box score | AP
The Midshipmen led by as many as 15 points, but could not stop Seton Hall from rallying for a 79-75 win.
Two quick Seton Hall runs did the Mids in. The first came midway through the second half. Navy was holding a 58-55 lead when the Pirates scored 19 unanswered points to take the lead for good. During the 3:47 stretch the Mids went scoreless, Navy was 0 for 5 from the field and turned the ball over 4 times.
The second Seton Hall spurt came late, after the Mids had gotten back to within 1 at 69-68 with 4:24 left to play. Over the next 4:08, Navy managed just one Greg Sprink free throw while Seton Hall outscored them 8-1 to put the game away. The Mids were 0 for 4 from the field, including two possessions where they managed offensive rebounds and second chance shots, and turned it over three times during that late stretch.
Sprink finished with 23 points, but the 6-5 senior was just 7 for 21 from the field. Sprink has struggled the past two games for the Mids, going 12 for 42 (28.6 percent) from the field.
Adam Teague had six threes and 18 points off the bench for Navy. Chris Harris also reached double figures with 11 points before fouling out.
The Mids shot 25 for 66 (35.1 percent) from the field, including 13 of 37 from the arc, and turned the ball over 22 times
Seton Hall was 26 for 64 (40.6 percent) from the arc, with four treys (on 23 attempts). The Pirates went to the foul line 40 times, making 23, Navy was 12 of 19 at the line. Box score | Herald News | Courier News | Star-Ledger
The Mountain Hawks managed to hang around through the first five minutes of the second half, then Maryland switched into a gear Lehigh was unable to match, pulling away for a 72-51 win.
Lehigh trailed by as many as 10 in the first half, but was down just 5 when freshman Rob Keefer (12 points) hit a three at the 15:36 mark of the second half to cut the Terrapins margin to 43-38.
But the Lehigh side of the scoreboard stayed stuck on 38 for the next 7:24 while Maryland was on a 15-0 run. The Hawks never got closer than 17 the rest of the way.
Junior Matt Szalachowski shared Lehigh's team scoring honors with Keefer. Szalachowski's dozen points all came in the first half, when he hit 5 of 6 from the field, including a pair of threes.
Lehigh's Marquis hall was just 2 for 16 from the field, 1 of 5 from the arc and the 5-11 sophomore, who led Lehigh in scoring its first three games, never got to the foul line.
The Mountain Hawks hit just 39.3 percent from the field in the first half, but managed to hang around by hitting 5 of 9 from the arc. In the second half, Maryland took that away, leaving Lehigh to go 2 for 10 from three-point range, 7 of 27 overall, finishing the game 18 for 55 (32.7 percent) from the field.
Two words you will likely hear a lot out of Emmett Davis' mouth the next few Raiders practices; Box out.
Spongey Benjamin's putback with 10 seconds to go gave Marist a 61-60 win in front of 478 fans in Hamilton, handing Colgate its first loss after a 4-0 start.
Benjamin's game-winner negated a Colgate comeback that saw them claw their way out of an 11-point second-half deficit. The game was tied at the half, 31-31, but Marist pushed the lead to 11 early in the second and was still up 48-38 with 7:45 to go before the Raiders put together a 12-0 run, tying it on an Alex Woodhouse dunk and taking the lead when Kyle Roemer hit both free throws after a technical on Marist's Ben Farmer.
The Raiders had two chances to stretch the lead. On the ensuing possession, Roemer, who finished with 15 points but was 4 for 13 from the field, missed a three. And after Marist cut it to one with a Ryan Stilphen free throw, Daniel Waddy missed a three at the Colgate end, setting the stage for Benjamin's heroics. Colgate had one more chance, but Waddy, who finished with 13 points, missed a desperation three at the buzzer. Box score | AP
(Originally posted Tues. at 9:51 p.m, links added at 7:319 a.m.) Billy Lange shook up the Midshipmen's starting lineup and shook out a 71-60 win over Canisius, ending a three-game losing streak.
Brian Richards, a 6-9 junior who toiled on Navy's jayvee squad all of his freshman and most of his sophomore seasons, got his first varsity start and made the most of it. Richards, one of three changes in the first five and one of two players making their first career start, scored 15 points and grabbed a team-high 6 rebounds, five on the offensive glass.
Richards boardwork was a big part of the Navy win. The Mids only shot 39.1 percent from the field (27-69), and made just 4 of 12 from the three-point arc. But Navy held a 42-36 edge on the boards, with 16 of those rebounds on the offensive glass.
Defense had a little to do with it, too. The Mids forced 30 Canisius turnovers. That offset the edge the Golden Griffins had from the floor. Canisius shot better, hitting 45.1 percent from the field. But they only took 51 shots (making 23). Canisius was 7 for 21 at the arc, but just 7 of 14 at the foul line.
In addition to taking 18 more shots from the field, Navy went to the line 19 times, connecting on 13.
Greg Sprink led the scoring for Navy, which broke open a 49-49 tie on a Sprink free throw with 6:56 to go and pulled away from there.
Kaleo Kina, replaced in the starting lineup by 6-4 freshman Romeo Garcia, responded with 10 points and three steals off the bench. The third change in the Navy starting five came at center, where Ben Biles reclaimed his starting spot after having lost it to 6-10 freshman Jeremy Wilson last time out. Box score | Buffalo News | AP
(Originally posted Tues. at 11:12 p.m, links added at 7:59 a.m.) Tim Clifford stayed out of foul trouble and Holy Cross stayed unbeaten, downing Harvard 80-69.
Clifford, who played 31 minutes with just three fouls, scored 22 points to lead the Crusaders (4-0). Alex Bander Baan added 19 points and 8 rebounds for HC, which used a late 10-0 run to seal it after Harvard had battled back from down as many as 15 points to tie the game with 5:56 to play.
Colin Cunningham had a big night for the Crusaders, finishing with 13 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Adam May added 16 points off the bench and Pat Doherty dished out 8 assists.
Harvard shot the ball well, hitting 24 of 47 from the field (51.1 percent), including 6 three-pointers on 16 tries, against the usually stingy Crusaders defense.
(Originally posted Tues. at 10:28 p.m, links added at 7:51 a.m.) The Great Danes shut down Lehigh's Marquis Hall, holding the Mountain Hawks star to a 2 for 7, 5-point night. But it was Albany's shooting that really did Lehigh in.
The Big Dogs (3-1) hit 28 of 55 from the field, including 10 of 16 (62.5 percent) from three-point range. Half of those three-pointers came in the first 10:37 of the game, when Albany went 5 for 5 from the arc to build an 18-point lead. By the half it was 46-22 and Lehigh (2-2) never got close than 15 until the final two minutes, when it hit two treys to make it a 12-point margin at the end.
Zahir Carrington led Lehigh with 14 points in the 22 minutes he played before fouling out. Bryan White added 12 for the Mountain Hawks, whose modest win streak ends at two. Box score | Albany Times Union | AP | Morning Call
(Originally posted Tues. at 10:14 p.m, links added at 7:41 a.m.) Lafayette trailed for all of 48 second of regulation and never led until the game was in overtime. But the Leopards laughed last, handing Maryland-Baltimore County its first setback of the season, 87-84 in overtime.
Andrew Brown, who led all Leopards scorers with 15 points off the bench, hit a jumper with 48 seconds to go in regulation, sending the game into OT after UMBC had led by as many as 13 in the second half. Michael gruner, who finished with 10, then gave the Leopards their first lead with a three-pointer 33 seconds into the extra session. Lafayette went 10 for 10 from the foul line the rest of the way to pick up its second win (2-2) of the season.
Everst Schmidt (14 points) and Jeff Karl (11) were also in double figures for Lafayette. Senior forward Matt Betley chipped in with a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double. Box score | Morning Call | Express Times | AP
(Originally posted Tues. at 10:52 p.m, links added at 7:35 a.m.) It was a tie game with 11:49 to play. Then Army fouls put Cornell into the double bonus and it went downhill for the Black Knights from there in the 83-78 setback.
The Big Red reached the double bonbus with 11:07 to play. Army was still close, trailing by just 60-57 with 10:54 to go. Then Cornell went on an 11-1 run to pull away. Eight of Cornell's points in that decisive run came on free throws.
Army, which was led by Jarell Brown's career-high-tying 30 points, actually outscored Cornell from the field, hitting 30 of 60 field goal attempts, including 7 of 18 fronm the three-point arc. Cornell also shot 50 percent from the field, but it only made 26 field goals, including 10 of 23 threes. But with Army being hit with 31 fouls, Cornell went to the line 38 times, making 31. Army was 11 of 13 from the charity stripe.
Josh Miller added 14 for Army, which lost sophomore center Chris Walker after he was hit in the nose just two minutes into the game.
Brian Kreefer, who played just 2 minutes in Cornell's first two games. posted 21 points off the bench for Cornell, two shy of his career-high 23 scored against Army last season. Box score | Hudson Valley Press | Ithaca Journal | AP
(Originally posted Tues. at 11:26 p.m, links added at 7:19 a.m.) The Eagles found it tough to find the bucket in a 63-54 loss at Morgan State.
The problem was particularly acute in the first half, when AU was just 6 of 26 (23.1 percent) from the field. The only thing that kept the Eagles in the game at the break was free throw shooting; they were 9 for 11 from the line in the half, allowing them to stay with a bucket, 25-23, at the intermission.
American shot a little better in the second half (12-31), finishing the game 18 for 56 (32.1 percent) while Morgan State hit 24 of 48, inckuding 4 of 8 three-point tries. Morgan State blocked 12 AU shots.
Garrison Carr led AU with 18 points. Derrick Mercer added 13. No other AU player had more than 7. Box score | Baltimore Sun
Originally posted Sun. 8:32 p.m., links added at 6:51 a.m.) Bison come up short in latest effort to slay a giant, falling 70-64 at Villanova. BY CHRIS A. COUROGEN OF HOOP TIME
Pat Flannery and Jay Wright were teammates at Bucknell in the 1970s. The two former Bison guards go way back. But don't expect Wright to invite his old buddy to bring his team back to the ski lodge on the Main Line anytime soon. Ditto for any Villanova trips to Lewisburg in the foreseeable future.
After all, Wright coaches a big time basketball power in a big time basketball conference, and big time boys don't like to schedule teams from small time conferences when those small time teams don't understand the show up, pick up your check and go away protocol that comes with games between teams from the Patriot League and the Big East.
So after Flannery's Bison scared the hell out of Wright's No. 24 Wildcats, this will be the last time the old friends meet up on the court for a long while.
"We had everything we could handle tonight," said Wright after his team escaped with a 70-64 win.
Both Wright and Flannery pointed to their friendship as a reason to not renew the series. Unlike, say Al Skinner's decision to drop Holy Cross from Boston College's schedule, both say it is a mutual decision.
"Jay is one of my best friends and we can't talk basketball anymore," said Flannery, who misses being able to talk Xs and Os and bounce ideas off Wright."
"I don't like it. It's really not enjoyable for us," said Wright, shaking his head no when asked if the series would continue.
But have no doubt, if the two were not friends, Flannery would still have a tough time getting Wright to return his phone calls after this one. Especially since Bucknell's performance came with a rotation that included one senior and three freshman on the floor together for long stretches of the game.
By us, Wright meant Flannery and himself. He might also have meant the Villanova fans, who squirmed nervously in their seats until the final moments. Not until Shane Clark hit a pair of free throws to make it a 70-62 game did the Villanova student section summon the confidence to start into the "it's all over chant." By then there were only 17.4 seconds left on the clock.
Students as places like Villanova are used to spending most of the second half singing "Nah, Nah, Hey, Hey" when non-conference visitors come to town, save for those occasional made for TV matchups. Yet here was Bucknell up by 8 at the half and by as many as 9 early in the second half, thanks to a combination of a matchup zone that gave Nova more fits than a Rubic's Cube and a record-setting Bucknell showing from the three-point arc.
The Bison hit 15 threes, breaking a record that had stood since 1993 (14 vs. Loyola of Md.). Leading the way was John Griffin, the team's lone senior, who went 6 for 10 from the arc, finishing with a game-high 22 points.
It didn't surpise Wright, but it did impress him.
"Griffin was just outstanding. He hit some tough shots," said Wright. "He is an impressive kid. We did everything we could to stop him from touching the ball."
Another person not surprised was Griffin's old high school teammate, Villanova's 6-5 Reggie Redding.
"He carried us in high school," said Redding, who became St. Joe's Prep's all-time leading scorer after Griffin graduated. Wright put the bigger Redding on Griffin in the second half, and gave him some help.
Griffin hit five of his treys in the first half, when his 17 points were a big key to Bucklnell building a 35-27 halftime lead. In the second half, when the 'Nova defense paid him a little more attention, he shifted into passing gear, dishing off three of his four assists after the intermission.
Not that he stopped looking for his shot. About the only time Villanova left him open (and then just barely) in the second half came with 3:41 to play, after the Wildcats had clawed out to a 57-54 lead. Griffin promptly buried the three to tie it.
Then came the second of two pivotal stretches in the second half. After Villanova went back up on a three by Scottie Reynolds (18 points). Bucknell twice had a chance to gain possession down by three. The first time, after a Nova miss, Stephen Tyree was bumped out of bounds as he tried to chase down a loose ball near midcourt. The refs swallowed the whistle and Nova got the ball back.
On the ensuing play, Reynolds missed a layup and Bucknell freshman Todd O'Brien swatted the loose ball towards the left corner. Tyree, who appeared to think the ball was off a Villanova player, left the ball go out of bounds, giving the Wildcats yet another chance.
The third time was the charm for Nova, with Reynolds cashing in on a strong move to the hole, taking advantage of O'Brien, who was playing with four fouls. When Patrick Behan missed an open three at the other end, and Villanova answered with a Dante Cunningham dunk for a 64-57 lead with 1:01 to play, all Bucknell could do the rest of the way was hope Villanova would miss free throws.
That didn't happen enough for the Bison to recover. Especially not since Villanova got an offensive rebound after one of the two free throws they missed (out of eight) in the final 43 seconds.
"In the end, we had a little bit bigger, better athletes. That is what it came down to -- a couple of offensive rebounds and a couple loose balls," said Wright.
The bigger was as much a factor as the better, especially late in the second half after the first of those two pivotal stretches we mentioned. That came midway through the final half, when Bucknell picked up five team fouls in a span of 1:02. With 10:36 to go, Bucknell was up by 5 (48-43), with nobody in foul trouble and the team fouls stood at four aside. By the time the clock ticked down to 9:33, Villanova was in the bonus, team fouls stood at eight for Bucknell and five for 'Nova, the Bison lead (thanks to four straight Villanova free throws) was down to one and both Bucknell's big men, Josh Linthicum and Todd O'brien, were in foul trouble with three each.
At that point, Villanova's seemed to smell blood. The Wildcats became more aggressive inside, attacking the heart of Bucknell's 2-3 zone and in short order, Linthicum and O'Brien had picked up their fourth personals, leaving the Bison without any effective size in the post.
"They took over inside there in that stretch," said Flannery. "I looked up with 10 minutes to go and they were already in the one-and-one."
With Linthicum or O'Brien on the floor and able to play aggressive defense, Villanova always had to reckon with a 6-11 presence when it went to the hole. With those two in foul trouble, Flannery actually had to go with 6-8 forward Patrick Behan in the post for a while, with nobody else taller than 6-4 on the floor.
"At least you had a body out there, somebody standing in front of them (before Linthicum and O'Brien's foul trouble)," said Flannery. "When they went in there and we couldn't keep the ball out, it really changed the tempo of the game."
For the first time all season, the Eagles were not outscored in the second half, holding on for a 64-53 home win over Stony Brook.
American held a 33-29 lead at halftime, and looked poised to stage another second half collapse when they let Stony Brook take the lead in the first five minutes after intermission. But the Eagles regrouped, went on a 13-2 run to take control, and then shot 7 of 8 at the foul line to hold on after Stony Brook pulled to within 1 with 1:27 to play.
Garrison Carr led American with 15 points, despite shooting just 3 of 12 from the three-point range. American's 5-9 point guard Derrick Mercer added 11 points while pulling down a team-high 7 rebounds and dishing off 8 assists. Juco transfer Bryce Simon added 15 for the Eagles, who improved to 2-2.
The Eagles held Stony Brook (0-4) to 34 percent shooting from the field (18-53), including 7 for 24 in the second half (29.2). Stony Brook managed just four three-pointers on 12 attempts.
American hit 2 of 49 (40.8 percent) from the field, including 9 of 26 from three-point range. Box score | AP
(Originally posted Sat, at 11:33 p.m., links added at 7:21 a.m.) Tim Clifford scored 22 points and grabbed 6 rebounds to help the Crusaders improve to 3-0 with a 60-52 road win at Hampton.
Clifford was 8 for 13, 6 for 6 at the foul line for the Crusaders, who broke open a 32-32 tie midway through the second half with an 8-0 run to down former HC assistant Kevin Nickelberry's team for the second year in a row. HC held Hampton to 30.6 percent shooting from the field and outrebounded the Pirates 36-29.
Colin Cunningham joined Clifford in double figures with 10 points. Cunningham also grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 5 assists.
(Originally posted Sat, at 11:33 p.m., links added at 7:19 a.m.) A 71-66 win over St. Francis (Pa.) puts the Mountain Hawks above .500 three games into the season for the first time since 2002.
Marquis Hall led the way for Lehigh (2-1) with 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Freshman Rob Keefer added a career-high 12 points and also grabbed 6 boards for the Mountain Hawks, who shot 53.1 percent (26-49) from the field.
Lehigh dominated on the boards, outrebounding St. Francis 34-23. Bryan White had a team-high 13 rebounds for the Hawks, who held St. Francis to 42.6 percent shooting (20-47) from the field. Box score | Altoona Mirror | Morning Call
(Originally posted Sat, at 11:33 p.m., links added at 7:14 a.m.) Colgate coach Emmett Davis was still an undergrad at St. Lawrence, Jimmy Carter was president, Rickey Henderson had just completed his rookie season and Roger Staubach was playing his final season back in 1979. That also was the last time Colgate started a basketball season 4-0 until Saturday night, when they won their fourth in a row, defeating Kennesaw State 81-53 in the final of Kennesaw State's 100 Club Classic.
Kyle Roemer led Colgate with 25 points, earning tournament MVP honors. Tim Pounds had 12 and sophomore Ben Jonson a career-high 15. Pounds and Jonson joined Roemer on the all-tournament team.
The Raiders took their first lead game midway through the first half on an Alex Woodhouse bucket and went on to build a 30-21 edge at the half. The second half was all Colgate. The Raiders, who shot 31 percent from the floor in the first half, caught fire after intermission, hitting at a 57.7 percent clip in the second to finish the game 24 for 54 (44.4 percent). Colgate, which held Kennesaw State to 19 for 51 shooting (37.3 percent) from the field, led by as many as 32 points in the second half. Box score | AP
(Originally posted Sat, at 11:33 p.m., links added at 7:12 a.m.) Navy's 77-67 loss to Texas-San Antonio was billed as a dress rehersal for the Alamodome, which hosts this season's Final Four.
It won't go down, though, as a night the Midshipmen will want to remember. The Midshipmen turned the ball over 27 times and saw their best player limited to 21 minutes of action by foul trouble.
Greg Sprink, the Patriot League's top returning scorer, fouled out with 13 points, which might have translated into a pretty decent night had he been able to play more than 21 minutes. Sprink was not the only one to hear the whistle a lot. Guard Chris Harris also fouled out, lasting only 13 minutes, and Kaleo Kina (10 points) and Clif Colbert (14 off the bench) each finished with four personals.
The Mids were hit with 27 fouls all together. Another 23 were whistled on UTSA. UTSA went to the line 32 times, making 23. That is 11 more makes and 13 more attempts than Navy managed.
The prime beneficiary of the officials' whistles was UTSA freshman Devin Gibson, who scored 14 of his game-high 19 by going 14 of 18 from the chairty stripe. Gibson also had 7 assists and 7 of UTSA's 16 steals. Box score | AP | SA Express-News
Forget those Texas State dancing girls. It was Colgates's Kyle Roemer who was struttin' his stuff in the Raiders' 83-77 win.
Roemer went 7 for 15 from the field, finishing with 24 points to lead Colgate past Texas State and into the finals of Kennesaw State's 100 Club Classic. Why Roemer bothered shooting inside the arc is beyond me. The 6-3 junior from California hit 5 threes on 10 attempts. Inside the arc he shot a lesser percentage, hitting 2 of 5.
Tim Pounds added 19 points for Colgate, which shot 53.8 percent (28-52) from the fgield and outrebounded the Bobcats 47-28.
Junior forward Brandon Bush led Texas State with a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double. The Bobcats hit 23 of 68 (33.8 percent)from the field.
The Raiders will face host Kennesaw State (1-2) in Saturday night's final. Kennesaw State advanced by downing Jacksonville State 80-74 in the other semifinal. Box score | AP
Ouch! This one hurts. Unless the pundits around the Northeast Conference are very wrong about Long Island being the worst team in that league, Army's 64-54 home loss to the Blackbirds raises real questions about the Black Knights.
The biggest question is who is going to carry the scoring load if Jarell Brown has an off night. Josh Miller taking 15 shots to score 14 points is probably not the answer. But that was the alternative for Army against LIU when Brown went 1 for 8, 0 for 4 from the arc and scored just 4 points. Brown, the second leading returning scorer in the Patriot League, has now been held in single digits two of Army's first three games. The Black Knights (1-2) two losses both came in those games.
Kenny Brewer added 14 points off the bench, all in the second half, but it was not enough to get the Black Knights over the hump after they scored only 22 points in the first half and trailed 32-22 at the break. Neither was missing almost half of their free throws (10 for 19, all in the second half).
The Black Knights did manage to claw their way back into the game in the second half, using a 14-1 run to tie it at 44-44 with 7:44 to go. But LIU outscored Army 20-10 the rest of the way.
For the game, Army shot 21 of 55 (38.2 percent) and made just 2 of 13 three-point attempts. LIU was 18 for 55 from the field (32.7 percent), but over half of their buckets were threes (10 for 25 from the arc). LIU also got to the line more often and shot better when they got there, going 18 for 26.
It would be easy to say Army should be better when Doug Williams gets back from his injury. But Williams is not much of an offensive threat and Army did get decent production from its other big man, sophomore Chris Walker. Walker had three blocks, three steals and scored 7 points in 22 minutes. Army might have tried to get the ball to him more (he was 3-4 from the field), but he was only on the floor 22 minutes due to foul trouble.
Folks were in a foul mood Friday night in Easton, where Lafayette's defense was not the only thing that was fairly ridiculous about Fairleigh Dickinson's 98-92 win over the Leopards.
Lafayette never could get over the hump in this one, falling to 1-2 while Fairleigh Dickinson picked up its first win. The Leopards led twice, once in each half, each time by one point. But each time FDU responded with a run. The decisive one came in the second half, when the Leopards went on top 56-55 with 12:09 to go, only to see Fairleigh Dickinson put together a 13-3 spurt to retake the lead. The 'Pards closed it to 4 a few times, but never got back within one possession.
The Knights shot 54.2 percent (26-48) from the field, placing all five starters in double figures, in a game that started late (9 p.m.) and ran long thanks to a combined 76 free throws between the two teams.
As you might expect from the scoreboard, it was Fairleigh Dickinson that got most of the benefit of the 57 fouls called. The Knights made more free throws than the home team took, shooting 46 free throws, making 36. Lafayette, which had three players foul out and a fourth finish with four personals, was 18 for 32 at the line.
Andrew Brown and Bilal Abdullah both moved back into the starting lineup, and both finished with 18 pints, sharing team honors. That was not all they had in common. both fouled out at the 1:48 mark of the second half.
With the Leopards down 7 at that point, Abdullah picked up his fifth after Brown missed a three. Brown followed him to the bench after getting called for a technical. We'd love to tell you what the circumstances ere, but with a late start on a Friday night in the middle of high school football playoffs, no Lehigh Valley papers were on hand.
Matt Betley also fouled out, picking up two of his five in the final 41 seconds when the Leopards were forced to foul in hopes of extending the game. Betley finished with 8 points, 4 assists and 2 steals.http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif
Also in double figures for Lafayette were East Carolina transfer Jeff Karl (10) and 6-3 freshman Dairunas (Jesper who?) Visockas, who hit 4 of 5 from the arc en route to a 15-point performance.
Lafayette was 30 for 68 (44.1 percent) from the field, including 14 treys (on 29 attempts). The Leopards hung in on the boards, with 33 rebounds (FDU had 36), and dished out 22 assists and turned it over just 14 times while forcing 22 FDU turnovers. But the deficit at the free throw line was more than they could overcome.
One thing is beginning to emerge here in the early part of the season: If American expects to have a winning season, it better learn to not fade away. For the third time in three games, AU struggled after intermission, for the second time in those three, it cost them in last night's 60-52 home loss to Fairfield.
Up by 9, 30-21, at the break, American opened the second half by going without a point for over 7 minutes. While Fairfield went on a 14-0 run, the Eagles went 0 for 9 from the field (0-5 three-pointers) with 4 turnovers.
AU righted ship enough to hang around a while longer, and led 43-41 with 8:31 to play. Then Fairfield's Greg Nero put the Stags ahead to stay with an old-fashioned and-one three-point play.
What went wrong? From the box score, a few things stick out. The Eagles perimeter-oriented offense started misfiring. AU was 4 for 7 from the arc while shooting 55 percent in the first half. In the second they shot twice as many threes and made half as many (2 for 14), while shooting 7 for 27 overall.
While Fairfield came out and emphasized going inside in the second half (1 for 8 from the arc in the 1st, just 2 three-point tries - 1 made -- in the second), improving its field goal percentage from 34.8 in the first (8-23) to 48 percent (12-25) in the second.
Attacking the hole brings secondary benefits. After going to the foul line just 4 times (4-4) in the first half, Fairfield shot 20 in the second, making 14. American, on the other hand, was 4 for 6 in the first, 6 for 10 in the second. You think it is mere coincidence that Fairfield scored 8 more points at the foul line and won by 8.
For the third game in a row, Derrick Mercer (17) and Garrison Carr (18, including 4 threes) were in double figures for AU. But nobody else scored more than 5. The post duo of starter Cornelio Guibunda and backup Constantin Motnii took a combined 1 shot, made none, grabbed 4 rebounds and never got to the foul line. The two played a combined 19 minutes. Suffice to say the Eagles need more than that from the center position.
The second half fadeaway is becoming a disturbing trend. In their opening win over St. Francis (pa.), the Eagles were outscored 45-33 in the second half. In that game, a 19-point halftime lead was big enough to hold up.
Tuesday night against Loyola (Md.), American was up 40-33 at the break and ended up losing 71-67. Box score | AP
(Originally posted 12:54 a.m., Links added at 8:26 a.m.) Throughout the preseason, Bucknell coach Pat Flannery kept talking about how this year's Bison had a bunch of guys capable of shooting the ball. More then maybe any of his previous teams, Flannery insisted.
But through the first 50 minutes of the season, Bucknell fans had to wonder if they were watching the same team Flannery was talking about. After all, the Bison made just 2 of 14 three-pointers while shooting under 40 percent from the field in their opening night win over Albany. And through the first 9:55 of Wednesday night's game at Towson, the Bison were 3 for 10 from the field, 1 for 6 from three-point range.
Then John Griffin did what senior captains are supposed to do. Open on the left side of the arc, his team down 17-11 and seemingly out of sync against Towson's 1-3-1 halfcourt trap, Griffin, who was 0 for 4 at the time, drilled a three-pointer to kick start the 18-4 run that turned the tide in Bucknell's 71-57 win.
Griffin was just getting started. A minute later he his another three to cut Towson's lead to 19-17. And after grabbing a rebound on the defensive end, it was Griffin who fed Patrick Behan for Bucknell's third straight three-pointer and a 20-19 lead.
Towson would go back on top on a Junior Hairston dunk, but at the other end, Griffin hit another three, his third in as many shots, giving the Bison a lead they held the rest of the way. By the time Towson scored again, on a Hairston layup with 2 minutes left in the half, Bucknell had added another Behan trey, a Todd O'Brien jump hook and a foul shot by Griffin to build an 8-point, 29-21 lead.
"Once we got in the seams, the 1-3-1 just collapsed. They didn't know where to fill and it left myself and Patrick open," said Griffin.
It is understandable that it took Bucknell a while to figure out how to attack the Towson zone. Even if they had guys like Rob Thomas, Jason Vegotsky and Darren Mastropaolo healthy, it would be tough for the Bison to simulate a group of long, athletic defenders like Towson put on the floor.
Once the Bison figured it out though, they mastered attacking it. And when Bucknell's hot hand from the arc forced Towson to switch back to man-to-man, the Bison began breaking down Towson in the paint. The result, after their slow start, Bucknell shot 52.7 percent (19-36) from the field over the final 30:05. From three-point range, they were even more accurate, draining 9 of 17 (52.9 percent).
"We made some big shots," said Flannery. "It took these guys a little bit of time to get used to not getting the ball touched and flicked."
In the second half, Towson paid more attention to the perimeter in general and Griffin in particular. But that just opened things up for other guys, like Justin Castleberry, who finished with 16 points, all after the break, to match his career high.
"Me going 0 for the half in the first half kind of helped. I wouldn't have guarded me either after that first half," quipped Castleberry. After the first half, people kind of found me. I was open and lucky enough to knock some down."
Towson, on the other hand, never did get around to knocking some down. After the first 10 minutes of the game, Towson never strung together more than 4 unanswered points. They managed that just once, when Tony Durant hit a bucket and a pair of free throws to cut Bucknell's lead to 62-50 with 4:22 to go. Durant finished with 13 points to lead the Tigers, but 11 of those, like that little 4-0 run, were of the too little, too late variety, coming after the outcome was already decided.
Junior Hairston, coming off a 26-point, 21-rebound showing in Towson's opener, put up another double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. But like Durant, he really was not much of a factor. Most of his points came cherry picking on the break and only two of his boards came after the break.
Flannery credited his team's motion offense with helping keep Towson's big men from having big nights.
"They were chasing us all over the place . . . They were working so hard on defense because we were smart on the offensive end . .. It wore them down a little bit," said Flannery.
As the game went on, the sense of frustration on the part of Towson's stable of run and gun athletes was obvious. After being forced to play defense for long stretches each possession against Bucknell's patterns, the Tigers could not find the patience to figure out the Bison's matchup.
"As soon as we shut down some of the lanes and switched defenses on them, going from man back to the matchup, they stopped cutting as hard. They just threw it in to the post and whatever happened down there they would go with," said Griffin.
With the presence of Josh Linthicum and Todd O'Brien in the paint, what happened down there was seldom positive for the Tigers. O'Brien, the 6-11 freshman from New Holland, Pa., had three blocks and Linthicum, a 6-11 junior, rejected another. Linthicum also had two steals, including one he took coast-to-coast for a dunk that gave Bucknell an 11-point lead with 10:48 to play. Towson never got closer than 9 the rest of the way.
"We thought we could take advantage of their posts," said Towson coach Pat Kennedy. "Their big guys are deceptive. They are both 6-11 and if they get their hands up, they can change your shots."
Linthicum finished with 6 points and 9 rebounds, both career highs. O'Brien added 6 points and 5 boards, effectively giving Bucknell double-double production out of the five spot.
Robert Morris used a first half run to take control of the game and another in the second half to put it away, downing the Midshipmen 93-77.
After Navy led early, RMU took the lead for good with a 12-2 run. The Mids kept it close for a while, trailing by just 5 (42-37) at the half. But down by 6 with 13:51, the Mids hit the skids, going 0 for 4 from the field, 0 for 2 from the foul line and turning the ball over 6 times to help Robert Morris (2-0) put together a 12-0 run that cemented the win.
A.J. Jackson scored 22 to lead four RMU players in double figures.
Greg Sprink led Navy with 19. Derek Young had 15 and Scott Brooks added 12 for the Mids (1-2).
Robert Morris shot 44.9 percent from the field (31-69), including 8 treys on 27 tries. They also grabbed the carom on 17 of their own misses, leading to 27 second chance points and a 50-28 margin on the boards. The Colonials domination inside was further evidenced by their 42-28 edge in points in the paint.
Navy was 23 for 58 from the field (39.7 percent), its second straight game shooting under 40 percent. Box score } | Post-Gazette
Marquis Hall scored 5 of his 16 points in the final minute to help Lehigh down St. Peter's 60-56 to record its first win of the Brett Reed era.
Hall was just 3 for 10 from the field, 1 for 5 from three-point range, but he hit 9 of 10 from the foul line, including 3 of 4 in the 24 seconds to preserve the lead he gave the Mountain Hawks with a jumper at the 45-second mark. Hall also had 5 assists and a pair of steals.
Matt Scalachowski added 14 points for Lehigh (1-1), which shot 39.4 percent (18-48) from the floor, 4-12 from the arc.
St. Peter's didn't go easy. The Peacocks actually outscored Lehigh from the field, going 21 of 59 (35.6 percent) from the field, hitting 7 of 18 three-point tries. But the Mountain Hawks went to the line 24 times, making 18, while the Peacocks shot just 11 foul shots, making 7.
Lehigh started slow and trailed by as many as 10 in the first half before battling back to get within 29-28 at the half. A 14-3 Lehigh run gave the Hawks a 47-35 lead midway through the second half. But St. Peter's came back to go up 56-55 on a Wesley Jenkins three with 1:01 to play.
Hall's jumper put lehigh back on top and St. Peter's turned the ball over on its next two possessions, leading to Hall's clinching free throws. Box score | Express-Times | AP
Originally posted Tues. 10:08 p.m., updated at 6:24 a.m. Their best player was a non factor. It didn't matter. Holy Cross still beat Fairfield to improve to 2-0.
Tim Clifford, the preseason Patriot League Player of the Year, lasted just 12 minutes before fouling out with 4 points and 5 turnovers. Holy Cross won anyhow, thanks to an impressive showing at the free throw line. The Crusaders went to the stripe 33 times and made 29, including 20 of 23 in the second half, when they managed only 5 field goals.
Colin Cunningham led the Crusaders with a career-high 17 points. Cunningham was a perfect 10 for 10 at the line. Pat Doherty had just one field goal, but still reached double figures (11 points) after hitting 9 of 10 free throws. Forty-minute man Alex Vander Baan also had 11, including a pair of three-pointers.
Holy Cross shot 43.2 percent (16-37) from the field, including 6 of 15 from the arc. The Crusaders held Fairfield to 40.8 percent (20-49) from the floor, 2 of 11 from three-point range. Fairfield was 12 for 16 at the foul line.
Originally posted Tues. 10:08 p.m., updated at 6:22 a.m. After a scorching first half, the Eagles shots stopped falling in the second half of a 71-67 loss at Loyola Tuesday night.
The Eagles led 40-33 at the break after shooting 63.2 percent (12-19) from the field in the first half. In the second half, though, AU cooled to 40 percent (10-25). At the same time, they stopped getting to the foul line. American shot 16 free throws the first half, making 11, but got to the stripe just 4 times (3 made) after the intermission.
Loyola cooled from the field in the second half, too. The Greyhounds hit 12 of 24 from the field before the break, 9 of 22 (40.9 percent) after. But Loyola turned the tables at the line. After a 3 for 4 first half, the Greyhounds went to the line 25 times in the second, making 17, including 9 of 10 in the final minute to hold off American.
Derrick Mercer led AU with 23 points, 16 in the first half. Garrison Carr added 19, including 5 treys and Travis Lay finished with 10.
Loyola's Gerald Brown led all scorers with 32 points.
Some other key stats: American had 18 turnovers, leading to 22 Loyola points. Loyola won the rebounding battle 31-21. Box score | AP
Originally posted Tues. 10:08 p.m., updated at 6:21 a.m. The Raiders blew out to a 22-point halftime lead and went on to beat Canisius, 61-47, opening at 2-0 for the first time since the 1997-98 season.
Kyle Roemer led Colgate with 16 points despite an off night from the arc (1-7). Tim Pounds added 12 and Daniel Waddy had 10 for Colgate, which went 14 for 25 from the field inj the first half while holding Canisius to 6 field goals (on 26 shots, 23.1 percent).
Colgate finished the night 23-49 (46.9 percent) from the field, 3 for 13 from three-point range. The Raiders were 12 for 17 at the foul line, 10 of 13 in the first half.
Canisius went 14 for 52 (26.9 percent) for the game, 6 for 27 from the arc and 11 for 19 at the stripe. Box score | Buffalo News | AP
(Posted Mon. at 9:23 p.m., updated at 6:57 a.m.) Jarrell Brown got back on track and Army picked up its first win Monday night, knocking off Sacred Heart 64-59.
Brown, who was held to 5 points in the Black Knights' opening loss at Minnesota, went off for 26 points against Sacred Heart, hitting six treys (on 12 tries). Brown also pulled down 6 rebounds, sharing team honors with Corban Bates and helping Army to a 39-28 advantage on the boards.
Kenny Brewer was the only other Black Knight in double figures, scoring 13 points off the bench.
Army shot 44.9 percent from the field while holding Sacred Heart to a 36.2 percent showing.
Senior Doug Williams did not play for the second game in a row. Army's game notes say he has an unspecified leg injury. Box score | Hudson Valley Press