The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 21, 2011

College basketball notebook: Johnson, Ayers honored

LEWISBURG — Bryson Johnson rolled an incredibly efficient week of shooting into his first Patriot League Player of the Week award on Monday.

Johnson, the nation's fourth-most accurate 3-pointer shooter, won his first player of the week award thanks to a monster effort in two Bucknell wins, including a career-high 30 point effort in an overtime win at Lafayette.

Freshman guard Cameron Ayers, clutch in the final 30 ticks on Sunday at Colgate, earned his third Rookie of the Week nod as well.

Johnson scored a career-high 30 points in Bucknell's 74-69 overtime victory at Lafayette on Wednesday. He made his first five 3-pointers and finished 5-for-7 from the arc, 7-for-10 from the field and a perfect 11-for-11 from the foul line. Johnson came back on Sunday and went 4-for-8 from 3-point range and scored 12 points in a 77-69 win at Colgate.

Johnson scored 42 points in two games on just 19 shots from the field. He was 9-of-15 from 3-point range (60 percent) and made all 11 of his foul shots.

By comparison, Holy Cross' Devin Brown needed 38 shots to score 45 points in two games and reigning league Rookie and Player of the Year C.J. McCollum needed 44 shots to score 47 points.

It was also a milestone week for Johnson, who broke the Bucknell single-season record for 3-pointers made on Wednesday. He now has 84 on the season, breaking the old mark of 79, set by Kevin Bettencourt in 2005-06 and John Griffin in 2007-08.

Johnson was a two-time Patriot League Rookie of the Week last season, and now Ayers has captured that honor for the third time.

He was stellar down the stretch Sunday at Colgate, finishing with 14 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the field and 6-for-6 at the foul line. With Bucknell leading by two in the final 30 seconds of the game, Ayers made four straight free throws in 1-and-1 situations and came up with a steal at the defensive end to clinch the victory.

Ayers also logged seven points in 34 turnover-free minutes at Lafayette.

"He certainly doesn't play like a freshman," Bucknell coach Dave Paulsen said on Sunday. "He's got good numbers, but that only tells a quarter of the story. He doesn't turn the ball over, he plays great 'D,' he's poised. You want the ball in his hands, bringing the ball up against pressure, on the road in a close game.

"That says a heck of a lot."

GET YOUR TICKETS: Now that the Bucknell men have locked up home-court advantage throughout the Patriot League Tournament, tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Friday.

The Bison will host a quarterfinal game on Wednesday, March 2 at 7 p.m. at Sojka Pavilion. If they win, the semifinal would be Sunday, March 6 at 7:30, followed by the championship game on Friday, March 11 at 4:45.

The general public may purchase tickets starting Friday at all Campus Box Office locations: at the Weis Center from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; at the CAP Center located on the 1st Floor of the Elaine Langone Center from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; and at the Barnes and Noble at Bucknell University from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (except Sunday hours are 12:30-4 p.m.). All tickets are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Fans are also able to purchase tickets over the phone by calling the Box Office at 570-577-1000, or by going online at

Quarterfinal and semifinal tickets are $12 each for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens. Championship game tickets are $16 and $8. Students must show a valid college ID, or be under 18 years of age.

SOJKA COULD BE CROWDED: The Bucknell women's basketball team could also host Patriot League tournament games this season thanks to its recent surge. The women's tournament moves to a home-site format identical to the men's event this year.

The Bison have won three in a row, all by double figures, to move into a tie for fourth. Bucknell has a big week ahead with road games at Lehigh and Army. Bucknell is tied with Army for fourth, meaning Saturday's showdown at West Point will be huge.

Should Bucknell secure a top-four seed, it would host a quarterfinal game on Saturday, March 5. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens.

ROUGH FINISH: Elizabethtown senior Keith Fogel's career came to a stunning end Saturday when the Blue Jays fell by a point to Arcadia, which was winless in the Commonwealth Conference until the league finale Saturday night.

The Blue Jays needed a victory to reach the league tournament. Instead, they finish the year 16-8.

Fogel finished with six points to cap his career with 1,185 points, making him the 21st leading scorer in school history.

Shikellamy grad Andrew Mantz added four points for E-town.

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