March 8, 2013
PL Semifinal Notes
PATRIOT LEAGUE SEMIFINALS - (4) ARMY AT (1) BUCKNELL
The Last Meeting
February 9, 2013
West Point, N.Y.
Black Knights Push Bucknell To Brink
Army's (10-13, 3-5 PL) game-tying attempt at the buzzer was just off the mark, giving Bucknell (20-4, 7-1 PL) a 60-58 win in Patriot League action at Christl Arena Saturday afternoon. The Black Knights trailed by 11 with 8:48 to go, but pulled within a basket on two occasions.
Date: Mar. 9, 2013
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Location: Lewisburg, Pa.
Venue: Sojka Pavilion
Series: Bucknell leads, 45-19
Streak: Bucknell W6
Last Meeting: Feb. 9, 2013 (Bucknell 60, at Army 58)
ARMY ON THE AIR
Television: Saturday’s Patriot League semifinal will be broadcast live b CBS Sports Network. Bob Socci (play-by-play) and former Army great Chris Spatola (analyst) will call the action.
Radio: The Army Sports Network will broadcast the Bucknell game. The game will be heard in the Hudson Valley on WALL (1340-AM, Middletown) and WEOK (1390-AM, Poughkeepsie). Rich DeMarco will handle the play-by-play.
Web: An audio stream will be available at www.goARMYsports.com. Subscription fees apply.
► For the fourth time in the last seven years, Army will participate in the Patriot League semifinals. The fourth-seeded Black Knights will face top-seeded Bucknell. Army’s last semifinal appearance resulted in a one-point loss to No. 1 American in 2009.
► Since a loss to Bucknell on Feb. 9, the Black Knights have won six of their last seven games. Army’s quarterfinal win over fifth-seeded American clinched the program’s first winning season since 1984-85. Army also set program records with eight Patriot League victories and a five-game Patriot League winning streak.
► The Black Knights scored a decisive 65-44 win over American on Wednesday. It was Army’s most lopsided postseason victory in program history, topping a 17-point win over San Francisco in the 1966 NIT. Army’s defensive effort was its best against a Division I opponent since giving up 40 points to Fairleigh Dickinson during the 2009-10 season. Senior Ella Ellis led the way with 16 points, while plebes Larry Toomey and Kevin Ferguson each posted career highs with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Ferguson also tied the school record with five blocked shots.
► Ellis, a unanimous first-team All-Patriot League pick, is the conference’s second-leading scorer at 17.9 points per game. He has been even better offensively in the last five games, averaging 25.4 points per game with three 30-point efforts in that span. Ellis has made at least three three-pointers in each of those five games and is shooting 51.4 percent (19-37) from long distance in that span. His 72 three-pointers this season is a career high and ranks seventh on Army’s single-season list.
► Ferguson has come on in recent weeks, starting 10 of Army’s last 11 games. The Black Knights are 7-3 in his 10 starts. In the last 11 games, Ferguson is averaging 4.7 points and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 55.6 percent from the field. In his first 19 games, he averaged 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds. Ferguson has blocked an Army season record 33 shots, 17 of which have come in the last 11 games.
► Bucknell and Navy were the only teams in the Patriot League to keep Army under the 60-point threshold in conference play. Army was the league’s highest-scoring team at 71.2 points per game in Patriot League action.
A WIN OVER BUCKNELL WOULD …
► Advance Army to the Patriot League Championship Game for the first time in school history.
► Be the first time the Patriot League’s No. 1 seed was defeated in the semifinals.
► Give Army 17 wins for the first time since the 1977-78 squad went 19-9.
► Be Army’s seventh win in the last eight games.
► Mark the first time since Army won two straight postseason games since the 1970 NIT.
► Snap Army’s four-game postseason and six-game overall skid against the Bison.
ARMY PROBABLE STARTERS
G - #10 Kyle Toth (Fr., 6-1, 175, 8.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg -- Patriot League All-Rookie Team member)
G - #11 Dylan Cox (Fr., 6-4, 185, 6.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg -- Tied for 2nd on Army rookie assist list (96))
F - #13 Ella Ellis (Sr., 6-7, 195, 17.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg -- Named first-team All-Patriot League)
F - #21 Kyle Wilson (Fr., 6-4, 190, 12.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg -- Patriot League Rookie of the Year)
C - #31 Kevin Ferguson (Fr., 6-10, 200, 3.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg -- Army record 33 blocks this season)
THE ARMY-BUCKNELL SERIES
► Bucknell leads the all-time series, 45-19. Since the start of Patriot League play, the Bison are 43-9 versus Army.
► In recent seasons, the series has been much closer. Even with the six straight wins, Bucknell’s advantage is just 8-5 over the last five years.
► The Black Knights handed Bucknell its only Patriot League loss of the 2010-11 season, a 90-70 Army win at West Point on Jan. 29, 2011. Since that game, Army is one of only four conference foes to defeat the Bison (Holy Cross, Lehigh, Lafayette).
INSIDE THE SERIES
First Meeting: 1929 (Army, 35-34)
All-Time Record: Bucknell leads, 45-19
At West Point: Bucknell leads, 18-8 (since 1964-65)
At Bucknell: Bucknell leads, 23-4 (since 1964-65)
At Neutral Site: Bucknell leads, 3-0
Last Army Win: Jan. 29, 2011 (90-70 at Army)
Last Bucknell Win: Feb. 9, 2013 (60-58 at At Army)
Series Streak: Bucknell W6
Largest Army Margin: +46 (84-38, 1965-66)
Largest Bucknell Margin: +50 (75-25, 2/22/04)
► Dave Paulsen is in his fifth season at Bucknell. He has guided the Bison to three straight 25-win seasons, three straight Patriot League regular season titles and and NCAA berth in 2011.
► The Bison have won five straight games and nine of their last 10 outings. Bucknell advanced to Saturday’s game with a 58-42 win over Navy. Patriot League Player of the Year Mike Muscala posted a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds. Joe Willman was also in double figures with 10 points. The Bison overcame a 38.6 shooting percentage, holding the Mids to 30.6 percent from the field.
► Muscala was also named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. He leads the conference in scoring (18.9) and rebounding (11.1), and has blocked 76 shots.
► Cameron Ayers was a first-team All-Patriot League selection after averaging 12.4 points per game.
► Bryson Johnson, the conference’s all-time three-point leader is scoring 11.4 points per game and has made a team-high 69 three-pointers. Joe Willman scores 10.2 points per contest.
UP NEXT …
Saturday’s winner will play the winner of the (3) Lehigh at (2) Lafayette semifinal. If Army wins, the Black Knights will be on the road. If the Bison are victorious, they will host the Patriot League title game.