Jan. 12, 2013
Bucknell 76, Army 55
LEWISBURG, Pa. – Senior Ella Ellis scored a team-high 17 points to become the 12th player in Army history to score 1,300 career points, but the Black Knights (7-9, 0-1 PL) were on the short end of a 76-55 decision at Bucknell (14-3, 1-0 PL) in the Patriot League debut for both teams Saturday night at Sojka Pavilion.
Army led by seven in the early going and held a five-point lead before Bucknell used a 20-2 run midway through the first half to seize control.
Fifteen of Ellis’s points came in the second half. Freshman Larry Toomey reached double figures with 10 points, all in the first half. Rookie Dylan Cox led the team with six rebounds in his first career Patriot League game, while plebe Kevin Ferguson recorded two blocked shots, his second straight multi-block game.
Ellis ranks 12th on Army's career scoring ledger with 1,314 points.
Bucknell’s Mike Muscala led all players with a double-double of 20 points and 13 rebounds. Muscala was 5-for-11 from the field, but knocked down all 10 of his free throw tries. Joe Willman added 18 points, while Cameron Ayeres rounded out the top scorers with 15 markers. Muscala also had a game-high seven assists.
Army shot 37.7 percent to the Bison’s 48.3 percent accuracy rate. Bucknell also held a 36-28 rebounding advantage.
Army scored on its first possession when Toomey knocked down the first of his two first-half three-pointers. The score remained 3-0 until Muscala scored the Bison’s first points three minutes, 49 seconds into the game. Bucknell led 4-3 when Army reeled off eight straight points on three-pointers by Cox and Kyle Toth, along with a jumper by Ellis to take an 11-4 lead with 13:39 left.
Bucknell scored eight of the next 10 points to trim its deficit to one, but Army answered with four straight to push its lead back to five at 17-12 with 10:36 left. Bucknell then went on its decisive run, which included 16 straight points, claiming a 32-19 lead with 2:52 left. Muscala and Willman each scored six points in that span.
Toomey buried another three-pointer to end a five-minute, 14-second scoring drought and pull the Black Knights within 10 points at 32-22 with 2:34 showing on the first-half clock. The Bison were able to stretch their lead back to 12 at 36-24 heading into the locker room.
Toomey led the Black Knights with 10 first-half points, just one short of his career high. Muscala also reached double figures with 10 points in the opening 20 minutes. Army shot a respectable 41.7 percent in the first half, but committed 10 turnovers.
Bucknell scored the first four points of the second half as part of a 13-5 run that opened up a 49-29 lead with 16:44 to go. The Bison pushed their lead to 21 points on two occasions, before a 7-0 Army run that included Ellis’s second three-pointer of the half cut Bucknell’s lead to 53-39 with 11:51 showing on the clock.
The Bison scored the next four points to extend back to an 18-point advantage, but Army put together one more mini-rally to get back to within 14 at 59-45 after a three-pointer by Toth with 9:38 left. Bucknell answered with nine straight points to open up a 23-point lead. The Bison’s margin was never less than 18 for the remainder of the game.
The Black Knights play their first home conference game on Wednesday, Jan. 16 versus Lafayette. Army boasts a 4-1 record on the banks of the Hudson in 2012-13.
Game Notes: Junior Andrew Stire started for the first time this season … Stire replaced Jordan Springer, who missed Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury … Freshman Dylan Cox and senior Ella Ellis are now the only two Army players to appear with the first team in all 16 games … Plebes scored 17 of Army’s first 19 points and 20 of its 24 markers in the first half … sophomore Zach Lord made his collegiate debut … plebe Kyle Weldon played a career-high 10 minutes, grabbing two rebounds and blocking one shot … rookies accounted for 32 of Army’s 55 points … Ellis, Larry Toomey and Kyle Toth wre a combined 6-for-8 from three-point range.