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Lehigh battles Bucknell for Patriot League crown

Lewisburg, PA (Sports Network) - The top two seeds are set to square off in the Patriot League Tournament Championship Game, as the Bucknell Bison play host to the Lehigh Mountain Hawks, with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.

At 25-7, Lehigh actually has a better overall record than Bucknell, but it earned the tournament's No. 2 seed by finishing with an 11-3 mark in the Patriot League. It has been rolling along lately, winning seven straight overall, including easy victories in its first two matchups in this tournament (Colgate and American University). With a win tonight, the Mountain Hawks will capture their third tournament championship, the last coming in 2010 when they defeated the Lafayette in the title tilt.

As the defending Patriot League Tournament champs, Bucknell had yet another solid season this year, going 24-8 and earning the No. 1 seed and homecourt advantage throughout this event by breezing through the league with a 12-2 record. The Bison had seemed unstoppable, going 10-0 in the league before suffering back-to-back losses in mid-February, but they have since rebounded with four straight wins, including triumphs over Navy and Lafayette earlier in the tournament, both by margins of 24 points or more.

Bucknell holds a 94-63-1 series advantage over Lehigh, and the Bison had won four in a row before a Feb. 16 matchup where the Mountain Hawks hit a last- second three-pointer to claim a 56-53 victory.

Lehigh possesses the Patriot League's most potent offense, ranking first with 76.0 ppg while shooting 44.7 percent from the field, and it continued the offensive onslaught in the 19-point victory over American University in the semifinals. The Warhawks shot a scorching 54.2 percent from the floor, including 10-of-23 from the three-point line, en route to their 10th 80-plus point scoring effort on the campaign. C.J. McCollum had yet another monster performance in the win, tallying 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. McCollum was named the Patriot League Player of the Year for the second time in three seasons after leading the league in scoring (21.7 ppg) and steals (2.6), while also averaging 6.6 rpg, 3.5 apg and 1.8 three-pointers per game. Gabe Knutson (11.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Holden Greiner (10.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg) provided ample support for McCollum on offense as well as the glass.

While Lehigh may be the league's highest scoring team, Bucknell holds the top spot in most other categories, including field goal percentage (.466), scoring defense (60.5 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.392), rebounding margin (+6.7), and assists (13.7 apg). The well-rounded attack was put on display in the semifinal game against Lafayette, as the Bison shot 46.6 percent from the floor and a perfect 19-of-19 from the free-throw line, while holding the Leopards to 35.2 percent field goal efficiency. Mike Muscala and Joe Willman both netted 18 points in the win, while Willman also added seven boards, two steals and two blocks. Muscala has arguably been the league's most dominant big man this year, ranking fourth in scoring (16.3 ppg), second in field goal percentage (.503) and blocks (1.6), and first in rebounding (8.8 rpg). Willman chips in 10.8 ppg and 4.9 rpg, and Cameron Ayers adds 10.9 ppg and 45.2 percent three-point shooting to the mix.

03/07 10:35:36 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
Final
PIT 0
CAR 10
 
5:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
7:35pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CIN 7
CHC 2
Final
DET 3
NYY 2
Final
SFG 4
COL 1
Final
BAL 5
TAM 4
Final
NYM 1
ATL 6
Final
CWS 2
CLE 3
Final
KAN 5
MIN 11
Final
HOU 4
TEX 2
9th
ANA 3
OAK 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
MIN
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
BOS
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
PHI
 
7:35pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
DET
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
TEX
 
8:15pm Tonight
STL
CHC
 
9:40pm Tonight
ARI
COL
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
LOS
 
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
WAS
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
MIL
 
Final
SCAR 28
TEXAM 52
Final
LAMON 17
WAKE 10
Final
MISS 35
BSU 13
Final
TULSA 38
TULA 31
 
4th
WASU 38
RUTG 41
 
4th
ARST 45
WEBER 7
 
4th
VANDY 7
TEMPL 34
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCONN
BYU
7:30pm Tonight
WKENT
BGU
7:30pm Tonight
MSU
JVST
9:00pm Tonight
COL
COLST
9:00pm Tonight
HOU
TXSANANTO
10:30pm Tonight
ARZ
UNLV
Final
JAC 14
ATL 24
 
Final
BUF 0
DET 23
 
Final
CIN 35
IND 7
 
Final
GBP 34
KAN 14
 
Final
PHI 37
NYJ 7
 
Final
MIA 14
STL 13
 
Final
PIT 0
CAR 10
 
Final
NYG 16
NEP 13
 
Final
TAM 10
WAS 24
 
Final
NOS 13
BAL 22
 
Final
CLE 33
CHI 13
 
Final
DAL 3
DEN 27
 
Final
TEN 3
MIN 19
 
Final
HOU 13
SFX 40
 
Final
SDC 12
ARI 9
 
Final
OAK 41
SEA 31
 
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
5:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
7:35pm Tonight
NOR
DUR