By William Bowman
The Daily Item
LEWISBURG -- Mike Muscala inched closer to Bucknell's all-time scoring mark, teammate Cameron Ayers became the fourth active BU player to surpass the 1,000-point mark and the Bison pulled away from American for a 66-47 win at Sojka Pavilion on Wednesday night.
Oh, and the Bison became the first team in Patriot League history to win three consecutive regular-season titles.
So, really, it was a typical night in Lewisburg.
Ayers scored 13 of his 18 points in the first half and Muscala and classmate Bryson Johnson each scored 13 after intermission as the Bison (24-5, 11-2 PL) used a late surge to put the Eagles (10-18, 5-8) away.
The victory assured Bucknell of the top seed for the upcoming Patriot League tournament, which means as long as the Bison keep winning, they will play at Sojka, where they are 11-1 this year and 39-5 over the past three seasons. The Bison close the regular season on Saturday at Navy, and then will host the Midshipmen again in the league quarterfinals on March 6.
"We are all focused on winning the conference tournament and going to the NCAA tournament; we are all aware of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow," said BU coach Dave Paulsen. "But they can take a deep breath to reflect on the colors of the rainbow. Winning the regular season is the more impressive feat. It doesn't turn as many heads, but it speaks to consistency over the course of a long season."
The Bison needed a Muscala putback in the final second to beat American in Washington, D.C., last month. Wednesday night was a different story as the Bison led from the start. Muscala, who entered the game 32 points shy of Al Leslie's Bucknell record of 1,973 points, scored on a left-handed hook shot 20 seconds into the game as Bucknell roared out to an 8-1 lead.