The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

March 2, 2010

Rivals meet again

LEWISBURG -- There is no question Holy Cross, with guys like R.J. Evans, Andrew Keister and Devin Brown on the floor, have some of the most talented players in the entire Patriot League. But, as Bucknell did a year ago, the Crusaders have struggled under a first-year head coach and now the Bison faithful are hoping their long-time Patriot League rivals wait at least one more game to piece things together.

One of the annual rites of spring in the Patriot League -- Bucknell and Holy Cross playing in the conference tournament -- comes to fruition when the Crusaders visit Sojka Pavilion tonight for a nationally televised quarterfinal. Tip-off is set for 7.

Tonight's meeting marks the 13th time in 20 all-time Patriot League tournaments -- and the eighth time in nine years -- the Bison (14-16) and Crusaders (8-21) will hook up in the postseason. The two teams have combined to win six of the last nine league titles and although they never met before the formation of the Patriot League in 1990, this will be their 53rd meeting in the last 20 years.

But the history is just that, history. It will have no effect on tonight's game, which features the second-seeded Bison and seventh-seeded Crusaders, who split games at home this year. The winner gets either Lafayette or Colgate on Sunday.

The Bison come into the tournament surging, winners of eight of 10, including five-point victory over the Crusaders on Valentine's Day where BU led by 20 midway through the second half. Bucknell coach Dave Paulsen, facing the Crusaders in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive season, knows his team will have to put a top effort forward to advance to Sunday's semifinals.

"We are going to have keep playing at a high level because Holy Cross can put five double figure scorers on the floor at the same time," said Paulsen. "They can hurt you a variety of ways. Evans and Brown are big-time scorers. (Andrew) Beinert is shooting around 50 percent from three and Keister is just a load inside."

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