Bucknell 65, Arizona 54

Mike Muscala had 20 points and nine rebounds to lead Bucknell to

a 65-54 win over Arizona on Wednesday night in the opening round of

the NIT.

Joe Willman had 15 points and Bryson Johnson added 14 for

Bucknell (25-9), which dominated from the opening tip.

”Going into tonight’s game I was confident,” said Muscala. ”I

made sure to tell the others to be confident as well. Coach

prepared our team for tonight by making sure he kept our team calm

and composed.”

Bucknell held Arizona in check, leading by as many as 13 in the

first half. The Wildcats briefly took at two-point lead in the

second half, but Bucknell held Arizona to 35 percent shooting for

the game.

”The bar is set high and we relish those expectations, we

didn’t want any moral victories,” said Bucknell coach Dave


The Wildcats never appeared fully ready to play, which coach

Sean Miller attributed to coming off a disappointing loss in the

Pac 12 championship game.

”I don’t know if we entered today’s game not really over the

Pac 12 tournament, and if you don’t put that behind you, you will

lose to a really good team, and that’s what happened tonight,”

said Miller.

Solomon Hill led the Wildcats (23-12) with 17 points and nine

rebounds, and senior Jesse Perry added 14 points.

Arizona, which fell to 0-4 all-time in the tournament, hadn’t

made an appearance in the NIT since 1951.

”The NIT should have been an opportunity that we looked forward

to,” said junior Solomon Hill. ”Preparation going into the game

didn’t go as well and smooth as it should have. It happens. There

is good competition out there. We had all the chance, it just

didn’t come down our way.”