The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Bill Bowman

January 16, 2012

Bill Bowman's column on college sports: Fast break


Where the program goes from here -- a national search will begin at the end of the season -- is still a big question mark, as is the reason(s) behind Fedorjaka's exit in the middle of the season.

n FAST START: The Bucknell men's basketball team, as expected, is out of the gate quickly in Patriot League, winning its first three games by double figures including a rematch of last year's league title game on Saturday at Lafayette.

And while the start is all well and good, Bucknell can really separate itself from the rest of the Patriot League in the next 10 days, starting Wednesday night when it visits Lehigh.

Heading into Wednesday's games, the Bison are the lone unbeaten remaining in the Patriot League, and Lafayette, Lehigh, Holy Cross and American are all 2-1. Bucknell handed the Leopards their lone league loss on Saturday, but if the Bison can win the next three games as well -- certainly no small feat considering the strength of competition -- chances are pretty darn good if someone else is going to win the Patriot League title, they are going to have to so in Sojka Pavilion.

Oh, I forgot to mention, the Bison haven't lost a league game since Holy Cross beat them in the opening round of the PL tournament two years ago. No league foe has won at Sojka in the regular season in more than two years, since Navy won on Jan. 9, 2010 in the PL opener.

See, if Bucknell wins at Lehigh on Wednesday, then against Holy Cross (Saturday) and American (next Wednesday) at home, it would have a two-game lead on the three of the four (it would have a one-game lead on Lafayette, but own the tie-breaker) almost at the turning point in the 14-game league schedule. Sure, the Bison have to visit Holy Cross and American in the second half, but if they can navigate this brutal stretch of games they can make life a lot easier on themselves down the stretch.

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Bill Bowman
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