Lafayette Hosts Bucknell in Patriot League Championship Rematch
Jan. 13, 2012
| LAFAYETTE vs. BUCKNELL
|Date||Saturday, January 14 at 1 p.m. (ET)|
|Location||Easton, Pa. | Kirby Sports Center (3,500)|
|Tickets||Lafayette Athletics Ticket Office | (610) 330-5471 | Email|
|TV|| Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60)
(Gary Laubach, John Leone, Dan Mowdy)
|Radio||WJRH-FM 104.9 (Dick Hammer, Scott Morse)|
|More Coverage||Lafayette News Stand | 2011-12 Lafayette Media Guide|
THE OPENING TIP
* The Lafayette ledger takes a decidedly tougher turn in Patriot League play. In the third conference clash, two of the three remaining unbeaten teams will battle Saturday afternoon when preseason favorite Bucknell comes to Kirby Sports Center. Lafayette has beaten Navy and Army (75-63) while Bucknell claims wins over Army (75-59) and Colgate.
* Lafayette and Bucknell last met in Lewisburg, Pa. on March 11, 2011 in the Patriot League Tournament Final. It's hardly a re-match in 2012, as Lafayette is certainly a different team without graduated seniors Jared Mintz (15.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg), Darion Benbow (5.5, 3,6) and Ben Wheeler (2.4 ppg, 2.2 apg). The Bucknell contingent would likely concur that a new season is a different challenge, dealing with the graduation of all-league point guard Darryl Shazier (8.3 ppg, 5.4 apg) and sixth man G.W. Boon (8.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg).
* Nineteen points on five three-pointers, both career high's from Rob Delaney, led Lafayette to a comfortable 75-63 victory over Army on Wednesday night. Eleven of the 13 players on the Lafayette roster scored in the game. Lafayette hit 14-of-25 three-pointers, while holding Army to 5-of-21 from downtown.
* Preseason All-Patriot League selection Tony Johnson made his long-awaited season debut vs. Army. Johnson, who missed 16 games with a back injury, finished with three points and four assists in 20 minutes.
* Bucknell has won four straight in the series, including all three meetings in 2010-11. Lafayette's last win over Bucknell came on Jan. 20, 2010 in Easton, Pa. Lafayette leads the all-time series 85-63.
* With 1,262 career points and 498 career rebounds, Ryan Willen is looking to become the 13th player in Lafayette basketball history to score 1,000 points and secure 500 rebounds. Last season, Jared Mintz '11 accomplished the feat, finishing his career with 1,245 points and 516 rebounds.
* Senior forward Ryan Willen has scored in double figures in fi ve straight games and in 14 of Lafayette's 17 contests this season.
* The Leopards are 4-0 when hitting 14 or more three-pointers and 4-0 when opponents score 20 or fewer field goals.
ABOUT BUCKNELL: Bucknell was the preseason pick to win the league title and it is off to a 2-0 start. The Bison are 12-6 overall with losses coming to Minnesota, Vanderbilt, George Mason, La Salle, Syracuse and Loyola and marquee wins over Princeton and Richmond.
Four starters return from a 2010-11 squad which went 25-9 overall and 13-1 in league play. The Bison are led by the 2010- 11 league player of the year Mike Muscala. The 6-11 junior center is averaging 14.9 ppg and 9.2 rpg and starts alongside classmate Joe Willman (10.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg).
Senior Bryan Cohen (5.8 ppg,) is one of the most experienced guards in the league and a top defender. Soph. Cameron Ayers is the team's second-leading scorer at 11.8 ppg and has started 18 games. Soph. Ryan Hill has started the last two games while junior Bryson Johnson (10.3 ppg) recently has come off the bench after starting nine contests. Johnson had 17 points vs. Colgate and leads the team with 47 three's.
Bucknell has handled its opponents on the glass by 5.9 rpg while turning it over just 12 times per outing.
The Bison are coached by Dave Paulsen (Williams '87) who is 58-55 in five seasons at Bucknell.