The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

College Sports

February 5, 2012

Bucknell Basketball: Bison pull away late

LEWISBURG -- When teams have built the resumé that the Bucknell University men's squad has, there is no doubt the Bison have to be ready for an opponent's best shot in Patriot League play.

"We are going to see everybody's best effort," Bucknell coach Dave Paulsen said.

That's exactly what Army brought to Sojka Pavilion on Saturday night, its best effort, as the Black Knights were within one possession of the Bison with less than 10 minutes left. However over the final 10 minutes, Bucknell showed the Black Knights that their best effort still wasn't enough to knock the Bison from the ranks of the undefeated in the Patriot League.

Bucknell used a late 21-6 run to put away Army in a closer than it looked 81-68 victory.

"I thought our guys gave a tremendous effort -- through 35 minutes this was a one-possession game," Army coach Zach Spiker said. "Did you guys ever see the movie Groundhog Day? That's what this feels like. It seems like we've been good, but not good enough against them lately."

Bucknell, which has won a nation-best 18 consecutive conference games and 10 in a row overall, improves to 18-6 overall, 8-0 in the Patriot League. The Black Knights drop to 10-13, 3-5.

Saturday night's contest was a physical battle with 44 personal fouls called in the game, 31 coming in the second half. The second half featured bodies flying and even some body parts as Bucknell guard Cameron Ayers lost a tooth late in the second half from an elbow.

However that didn't stop the Bison. Bucknell led by eight at halftime, but managed only one field goal in the first seven minutes of the second half. That allowed the Black Knights to tie the game at 44-44 with 13:55 left in the game. That started a six-minute stretch where Army stayed within one possession of Bucknell, but the key was the Black Knights never were able to take the lead.

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