NCAA BK

Lehigh beats Bucknell 82-77 to win Patriot League

Share This Story

   
 

LEWISBURG, Pa. (AP)

Even the decided advantage of playing the Patriot League tournament championship game at home couldn't help Bucknell on Wednesday night.

Not with Lehigh's Gabe Knutson making a game-saving block and C.J. McCollum seemingly answering every Bison run with a tough shot.

Knutson blocked Cameron Ayers' baseline layup attempt with 7 seconds left and McCollum scored 29 points to help Lehigh hold off Bucknell 82-77 to win the Patriot League tournament.

After Mackey McKnight missed two foul shots, the second-seeded Bison trailed 78-77 and had a chance to take the lead after trailing by 11, but couldn't get the ball into leading scorer Mike Muscala. Ayers drove underneath the basket, where Knutson swatted his shot away.

McCollum and Jordan Hamilton each hit two foul shots in the final 4 seconds, and Lehigh (26-7) began celebrating after clinching its second trip to the NCAA tournament in three seasons.

''I thought the first half we really dug ourselves a hole and gave up too many second-chance points,'' Bucknell coach Dave Paulsen said. ''If that game had gone another minute, I like our chances.''

This win will be especially sweet for Lehigh after beating top seed Bucknell (24-9) on its home floor. Lehigh rarely flinched behind league player of the year McCollum, who hit an array of difficult shots to help withstand Bucknell's second-half rally.

Muscala finished with 30 points and 14 rebounds for Bucknell.

McCollum ''hit some really tough shots down the stretch,'' Paulsen said. ''By the same token, when we came back down, Mike seemed to score every time ... It was like the prize fight we thought it could be.''

Buoyed by a boisterous crowd of 4,267 fans at cozy Sojka Pavilion, the Bison nearly broke through several times - but never held a lead the entire night.

Bryson Johnson hit two 3s within four seconds, including an open trey from the corner with 34.5 seconds left to get within 78-77 and draw ear-piercing screams from the orange-clad fans in the student section dubbed the ''Sojka Psychos.''

McKnight was fouled with 26 seconds left but missed both to set up Bucknell's decisive possession and Knutson's block. Knutson had a good night on the other end, too, with 23 points and seven rebounds.

Both he and McCollum, especially, had answers for the Bison each time it got close. Bucknell tied it at 50 midway through the second half before McCollum hit a fade-away and had two assists in a 9-0 run.

McCollum twisted and turned all over the floor, drawing double teams to leave other teammates open. His fall-away jumper from the baseline proved lethal.

McCollum (four assists, three steals, two blocks) combined with fellow guard McKnight (11 points) to frustrate Bucknell on the perimeter, extending the defense to make it tough for Muscala and jump-shooting forward Joe Willman (10 points, six boards) to get good looks.

Ayers finished with nine points and four rebounds, while Johnson had 11 and shot 3 of 7 from 3-point territory.

Knutson went 6 of 7 from the field for 13 points in the first half, hustling for three offensive rebounds to help Lehigh outscore Bucknell 9-0 in second-chance points.

Lehigh won for the second time this season on Bucknell's home floor. The first victory Feb. 16 ended the Bison's 10-game league winning streak.

On Wednesday night, Lehigh became the first Patriot League team to beat the top seed in the tournament since then-No. 2 seed Bucknell beat Holy Cross 61-57 in 2005.

Tagged: Bucknell, Lehigh, C.J. McCollum, Gabe Knutson, Mike Muscala, Cameron Ayers, Mackey McKnight

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..