Ayers scored seven of Bucknell's first 13 points and his transition 3-pointer from the left wing seven minutes into the game gave him 1,001 career points.
It was an impressive feat for Ayers, who spent the majority of the game chasing American 3-point threat John Schoof through multiple screens. Schoof, who is second in the nation in 3-point percentage, got off just six shots and finished with seven points. His only 3 came when Ayers was on the bench.
"The story was Cam's defense on Schoof," said Paulsen. "For him to go 7-for-9, three assists and no turnovers while chasing Schoof around was a terrific job."
Muscala continued his chase at Leslie in the second half. He scored Bucknell's first four points of the half to push the lead to 11. After American cut the lead to nine with less than eight minutes to play, Bucknell went on a 12-2 run to pull away. Muscala, who was named one of 30 finalists for the Naismith Award on Tuesday, enters Saturday's finale at Navy with 1,962 points, just 11 shy of tying Leslie's mark.