Lafayette Takes on Bucknell in Semifinal
March 1, 2012
THE OPENING TIP
* The No. 5 seeded Leopards travel to No. 1 Bucknell on Saturday in a Patriot League Tournament Semifinal. The game will be televised live nationally on CBS Sports Network at 4:30 p.m.
* For the third straight season and second time on Holy Cross' home court, Lafayette knocked the Crusaders out of the Patriot League Tournament, winning 84-76 on Wednesday night. The Leopards started the game on a 12-2 run and never trailed. Lafayette shot 64 percent from the floor in the first half and a season-best 59 percent for the game. The Leopards hit a tournament record 68 percent from three (13-for-19).
* Rob Delaney scored a career-high 25 points against the vocal Patriot League Rookie of the Year Justin Burrell. Delaney was 5-for-5 from three and 8-for-9 from the floor with four assists. He was one of three-players in double digits, joining Jim Mower (18) and Ryan Willen (12).
* Ryan Willen moved into seventh place on the career scoring list following his 12 points at Holy Cross and needs just three more to advance to sixth currently occupied by Todd Tripucka '76.
* Lafayette has advanced to the Patriot League Tournament Semifinal game in three straight seasons and has reached the Patriot League Tournament Final the last two seasons. The winner of tonight's game will play either No. 2 Lehigh or No. 3 American on March 7 in the Patriot League Tournament Final.
* Four players have earned Patriot League honors. Senior forward Ryan Willen was named to the All-Patriot League First Team while junior guard Tony Johnson was placed on the Second Team. Seth Hinrichs and Dan Trist were selected to the All-Rookie Team, the first time Lafayette has had two All-Rookie selections. (see page 3 for complete release)
* Ryan Willen has been named the Patriot League Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He is the third Lafayette student-athlete (Mike Farrell '04, Matt Betley '08) to win the award. Willen joins senior guard Rob Delaney on the Academic All-Patriot League. Team.
* Due to injury and looking for the right combinations, Fran O'Hanlon has used nine different lineups.
ABOUT BUCKNELL: Bucknell was the preseason pick to win the league title and followed through, running up a 12-2 league mark and a 23-8 overall record. Bucknell's league losses came at home on a buzzer beater by Lehigh's C.J. McCollum and two nights later in a short turnaround at Holy Cross where the Bison were held to just 10 first-half points.
The Bison are led by the 2010-11 league player of the year Mike Muscala. The 6-11 junior center is averaging 16.2 ppg and 8.9 rpg and shoots 85 percent from the stripe. Muscala, who was an All-Patriot League First-Team honoree in 2012, starts alongside classmate Joe Willman, (10.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg) an All-Patriot League Second-Team selection in 2012.
Senior Bryan Cohen (6.9 ppg,) is one of the most experienced guards in the league and is the three-time Defensive Player of the Year. Soph. Cameron Ayers is the team's second-leading scorer at 10.8 ppg. Soph. Ryan Hill (2.2 ppg) has started 17 games in place of junior Bryson Johnson (9.2 ppg) who has come off the bench.
Bucknell has outrebounded its opponents by 6.5 rpg while turning it over just 12 times per outing.
The Bison are coached by Dave Paulsen (Williams '87) who is 69-57 in four seasons at Bucknell.
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