In a rout of St. Francis (Pa.) on Nov. 19, Bryson Johnson, the Bucknell men's basketball team's sharp-shooting guard from Nova Scotia, finished 1-for-9 from the field, missing seven shots in a row. Now those numbers occasionally pop up for even the best shooters, it just seemed like it never happened for Johnson.
As a sophomore for the Bison, he hit a school record 99 3-pointers and was seventh nationally in percentage, hitting 99-of-217 from distance, a staggering 45 percent.
Johnson followed his 1-for-9 with a 1-for-4 against Princeton, attempting -- and missing -- just two 3s in the opener of the Legends Classic on Friday. But shooters shoot, even if they are slumping, and Johnson shot his way out of it over the weekend. In a rout of Alabama State in the middle game of the tournament, Johnson hit a Sojka Pavilion-record nine 3s on his way to 27 points. He followed that up with six more on Sunday in a tough win over 2010 NCAA tourney team Morehead State, giving him 15 3s in his last two games.
Despite the slow start, Johnson is still hitting better than 42 percent from range.
DOMINANT REBOUNDER: In the preseason, Bucknell men's coach Dave Paulsen said the way junior center Mike Muscala could take his game to the next level was to become a dominant rebounder.
Through seven games the junior from Minnesota seems to have done just that. Muscala is averaging nearly nine boards a game so far this year, double any of his teammates. The reigning Patriot League Player of the Year has had three double-doubles in Bucknell's first seven games, including a dominating 25-point, 12-rebound performance against Princeton on Friday, another NCAA tourney team from a year ago.
He leads the Patriot League in rebounding as well as both offensive and defensive rebounds.
SCHELLER HONORED: After leading the Lycoming College women's basketball team to a pair of wins, including one on the road against 2011 Freedom Conference runners-up Misericordia, junior Rachael Scheller was named Commonwealth Conference Player of the Week for the first time on Monday.
Scheller, a Shikellamy graduate, averaged 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in a pair of wins. She led the team with 17 points and hit 7-of-7 from the line to ice a 61-50 win over Misericordia on Tuesday and then added 13 points, six assists and a career-high six steals against Penn State-Altoona, leading the team to a 59-42 win.
Scheller is the first Warrior to earn the conference's weekly award since Kaitlyn Ober picked up the honor in January. The Warriors have earned six Commonwealth Conference Player of the Week nods since joining the league in 2007-08.
LAYOFF: Following a tough one-point loss in the 100th all-time meeting against Lycoming last Tuesday, the Susquehanna men's basketball team is 0-2 with a pair of losses by a combined five points.
Now coach Frank Marcinek's Crusaders have to be battling some rust. After opening the season on Nov. 15 against New Jersey City, SU has played just two games in two weeks before heading to Division II Clarion tonight. The big layoff is because while the Susquehanna women hosted their annual tip-off tournament, the SU men did not.
The good news is the schedule cranks up now with three games in the next week and six before Christmas.
DUAL RESULTS: Former Valley PIAA wrestling champions Nathaniel Brown and Spencer Myers combined to go 5-1 individually at the Northeast Duals on Saturday.
Lehigh opened the day by downing Arizona State 24-10 before taking down Purdue 32-9. The Mountain Hawks benefitted from three forfeit wins in closing out the day with a 27-17 win over North Carolina.
Brown, out of Lewisburg, went 3-0 with two decisions and a forfeit for the Mountain Hawks. He beat Arizona State's Eric Starks 5-1 in sudden victory and then toppled Purdue's Andy Wiseman 4-1. Brown is now 8-2.
Maryland, No. 12 nationally, improved to 6-0 by winning 25 of 30 matches as the Terps picked up wins over No. 21 Central Michigan, Bucknell and Northern Iowa. It is the first time in program history the Terps went undefeated at the Northeast Duals.
Myers, a Selinsgrove graduate ranked sixth in the country, beat Bucknell's Joe Stolfi 4-2, then earned a 15-5 major decision over Northern Iowa's Blayne Beale before dropping a 2-1 decision to No. 15 Peter Sturgeon of Central Michigan in the finale.
Bucknell went 0-3, falling to Maryland, Eastern Michigan and Northern Iowa. The Bison host Michigan State, coach Dan Wirsberger's alma mater, on Saturday night at Davis Gymnasium. Admission is free for the dual.