College Basketball

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Lafayette (19-14) at Bucknell (27-5)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 13, 7:30 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Sojka Pavilion (4,000) -- Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Lafayette 14-3, Bucknell 13-1. Away Record: Lafayette 5-11, Bucknell 12-4. Neutral Record: Lafayette 0-0, Bucknell 2-0. Conference Record: Lafayette 11-4, Bucknell 12-2. Series Record: Lafayette leads, 86-67.

GAMES NOTES: The top-seed Bucknell Bison will try to make up for a letdown in last year's title game when it faces the second-seed Lafayette Leopards for the Patriot League championship at Sojka Pavilion.

Lafayette had a pretty easy time through the first two rounds of the tournament with double-digit victories over seventh-seed Holy Cross (77-54) and third-seed and defending champion Lehigh (82-69). Going back to the regular season the Leopards have won seven-straight games as they go for their first Patriot League title since 2000 when it won back-to-back crowns.

Bucknell took down eight-seed Navy and four-seed Army in its first two rounds of the tournament. Those victories extended the Bison's winning streak to six games after they rolled to 25 wins in the regular season and a 12-2 mark in league action. Bucknell has been in the title game in two straight seasons but lost, 82-77, to Lehigh a year ago.

These teams actually met up in this round of the tournament during the 2010 season when Bucknell earned its third conference crown. During this campaign these teams split their two matchups, while Lafayette owns an 86-67 all-time series lead.

Tony Johnson poured in 24 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists to lead the Jaguars over Lehigh in the second round. Johnson's efforts on the boards helped the Jaguars earn a 35-25 edge in rebounds, while they got 20 points off turnovers and 17 points on second chance opportunities.

Johnson (13.4 ppg, 4.8 apg) is one of three double-figure scorers for the Jaguars and has done so by shooting an impressive 55.7 percent from the field. That is the best field goal percentage among players in the Patriot League as is Johnson's work in creating steals (1.9 pg). Seth Hinrichs (14.7 ppg) and Dan Trist (12.6 ppg) are each able to carry the offense at times with the trio combining for 55 points on 18-of-33 shooting in the win over Lehigh. Hinrichs is also in the top five players in the league in field goal percentage (.538) for the Jaguars who are the second best shooting team in the league (.459).

Patriot League Player of the Year Mike Muscala was at it again in the Bison's second-round victory. Muscala had 21 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, while blocking three shots to lead the Bison to the title game. Cameron Ayes added 19 points for Bucknell which held Army to just 38 percent shooting.

Muscala (19.0 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 2.5 bpg) has been sensational all season and dominated in the paint. The 6-foot-11 forward now has a NCAA-leading 21 double-doubles this season after leading the Patriot League in points, rebounds and blocks during the regular season. Ayers (12.6 ppg) has been a strong second option as he shoots 47.9 percent from the field, while Bryson Johnson (11.4 ppg) and Joe Willman (10.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg) are also consistent contributors. Bucknell is a very strong defensive squad ranking seventh nationally in opponent field-goal percentage (.377), while ranking among the top 20 in points allowed (59.4 pg).

Bucknell absolutely dominated in the Patriot League this season but one team they did have some issues with was Lafayette. The Jaguars will certainly present a challenge for the Bison but in the end their defensive ability along Muscala in the paint will carry them to the crown.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bucknell 70, Lafayette 64

03/13 11:12:38 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CLE 6
TOR 4
Final
DET 2
ANA 1
Final
NYM 4
ATL 3
Final
MIA 3
SEA 2
Final
PIT 2
MIL 3
Final
WAS 3
STL 2
Final
TAM 1
NYY 5
Final
KAN 3
MIN 8
Final
CHC 2
CIN 8
Final
TEX 2
CWS 16
Final
OAK 4
HOU 1
Final
LOS 4
ARI 1
Final
COL 9
PHI 10
Final
SDP 3
SFG 4
Final
BOS 6
BAL 5
11:05am Today
BOS
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
ANA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
STL
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
ARI
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
SDP
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
SFG
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
TEX
 
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
HOU
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
SAN 90
DAL 85
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
Final
CHI 93
WAS 102
Final
HOU 120
POR 122
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
GSW
Final
NYR 2
PHI 4
Final
BOS 4
DET 1
Final
MON 3
TAM 2
Final
SJS 7
LOS 2
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
COL
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
PIT
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
STL
9:30pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR