No. 5 Army Begins Postseason At No. 4 Bucknell

Tanner Omlid enters his first postseason with a school record 57 steals.

Tanner Omlid enters his first postseason with a school record 57 steals.

March 4, 2014

Army vs. Bucknell Notes (PLT) Get Acrobat Reader

The Last Meeting
Army61
Bucknell73
February 15, 2014
Lewisburg, Pa.
Late Run Pushes Bucknell Past Army, 73-61
For the second straight game, the Army men's basketball team battled back from a second-half deficit to take the lead, but again a late opponent run keyed by clutch three-point shooting was the Black Knights undoing in their 73-61 loss at Bucknell Saturday night at Sojka Pavilion. The loss dropped Army to 12-13 overall and 8-6 in the Patriot League, while the Bison improved to 12-13 and 7-7 in league play.

Date: Mar. 5, 2014
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Lewisburg, Pa.
Venue: Sojka Pavilion
Capacity: 4,000
Series: Bucknell leads, 47-20
Streak: Bucknell W1
The Last Meeting: at Bucknell 73, Army 61 (2/15/14)

ARMY ON THE AIR
Television: None.

Radio: The Army Sports Network will broadcast Wednesday’s quarterfinal. It can be heard in the Hudson Valley on WALL (1340-AM, Middletown) and WEOK (1390-AM, Poughkeepsie). Rich DeMarco will handle the play-by-play.

Web: Wednesday’s game can be viewed free of charge at www.patriotleague.tv. An audio stream of Rich DeMarco’s play-by-play can be heard on Knight Vision via goARMYsports.com. Subscription fees apply.

ARMY PROBABLE STARTERS
G - #11 Dylan Cox (So., 6-4, 185, 9.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg)
G - #55 Tanner Omlid (Fr., 6-3, 215, 6.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg)
F - #21 Kyle Wilson (So., 6-4, 190, 18.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg)
F - #33 Larry Toomey (So., 6-6, 205, 4.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg)
C - #31 Kevin Ferguson (So., 6-10, 200, 9.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg)

TIP-OFF TIDBITS
► The Black Knights begin their quest for their first Patriot League Tournament championship Wednesday night when it travels to Bucknell for the conference quarterfinals. The Black Knights are the fifth seed in the event, while the Bison earned the fourth seed.
► Army ended its regular season with an 87-84 victory over Lafayette. The win was the team’s program-record 10th conference win and marked the first time the Black Knights posted back-to-back winning seasons during Patriot League play. The 2012-13 team went 8-6.
► Army and Bucknell are the only two teams to finish in the top half of the Patriot League in each of the last two seasons. The Bison were the No. 1 seed in last year’s tournament, while the Black Knights earned the No. 4 spot in the eight-team field. This year’s regular-season champion, Boston University, was not in the Patriot League last season, while No. 2 American finished fifth in 2012-13 and No. 3 Holy Cross was seventh a year ago.
► The Black Knights had two players earn Patriot League honors this week. Sophomore Kyle Wilson was a unanimous first-team selection, while plebe Tanner Omlid was named to the all-rookie squad. Wilson was the conference’s top scorer both overall and in leauge play, at 18.2 points per game in both categories. Omlid broke the school record for steals in a season with 57, ranking fourth in the league at 2.0 per game. He is Army’s fifth-leading scorer at 6.0 points per game and is tied for second on the squad with 4.3 rebounds per contest.
► Through the regular season, Wilson’s play has been a tell-tale sign of the Black Knights’ success. In Army’s 14 victories, Wilson is averaging 21.0 points per game, shooting at a 48.9 percent overall clip and draining 52.7 percent of his three-pointers. In the Black Knights’ 15 losses, he is scoring 15.7 points per game hitting 38.6 percent of his shots, including a 37.8 percent accuracy rate from deep. Army is 9-6 in the 15 games in which he has scored at least 20 points, including a 6-3 mark in league play.
Kevin Ferguson earned the final Patriot League Player of the Week honor after averaging 18.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.0 blocked shots per game, including a 20-point, 10-rebounds, six-block effort in a 71-70 loss to BU. In the last four games, Ferguson is averaging 16.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.3 blocked shots. He is shooting 89.7 percent (26-29) in that span.

A WIN OVER BUCKNELL WOULD …
► Put Army in the Patriot League semifinals for the second straight year and fifth time in the last eight seasons.
► Snap the Black Knights’ four-game postseason losing streak against the Bison, all at Sojka Pavilion.
► Be the third straight time Army won its quarterfinal game after winning its regular-season finale.
► Even the Black Knights’ road record at 7-7, tying the most road wins in a season since 1976-77.
► End Army’s six-game road losing streak in the Patriot League Tournament.
► Improve the Black Knights’ record to 2-3 as the No. 5 seed in the Patriot League Tournament.
► Mark the first time Army won at least 15 games in consecutive seaons since 1976-77 and 1977-78.
► Be head coach Zach Spiker’s 68th win at West Point, the fifth most by an Army coach.

THE ARMY-BUCKNELL SERIES
► Bucknell leads the all-time series, 47-20. Since the start of Patriot League play, the Bison are 45-10 versus Army.
► Army’s win in the first meeting this season snapped a seven-game skid in the series.
► Six of Army’s 10 wins in the Patriot League era have come since 2009.
► The Black Knights handed Bucknell its only Patriot League loss of the 2010-11 season, a 90-70 Army win at West Point on Jan. 29, 2011.
► The Bison own a 7-1 lead in Patriot League Tournament competition. Army’s lone win came when the Black Knights hosted the postseason in 1995. No. 7 Army defeated No. 2 Bucknell, 94-78.

INSIDE THE SERIES
First Meeting: 1929 (Army, 35-34)
All-Time Record: Bucknell leads, 47-20
At West Point: Bucknell leads, 18-9 (since 1964-65)
At Bucknell: Bucknell leads, 25-4 (since 1964-65)
At Neutral Site: Bucknell leads, 3-0
Last Army Win: Jan. 19, 2014 (74-67 at Army)
Last Bucknell Win: Feb. 15, 2014 (73-61 at Bucknell)
Series Streak: Bucknell W1
Largest Army Margin: +46 (84-38, 1965-66)
Largest Bucknell Margin: +50 (75-25, 2/22/04)

ABOUT BUCKNELL
► Dave Paulsen is in his sixth season at Bucknell. He has guided the Bison to three straight 25-win seasons, three straight league regular season titles and NCAA berths in 2011 and 2013.
► Bucknell enters the postseason as the hottest team in the Patriot League. After a 5-7 start in the conference, the Bison won their last six regular-season games to earn the right to host the quarterfinals.
► The Bison are led by Patriot League Player of the Year Cameron Ayers. Ayers was second to Army’s Kyle Wilson with a 15.5 points per game overall scoring average and a 16.2 points per game average in Patriot League play.
► In addition to Ayers, sophomore Chris Hass earned All-Patriot League honors, garnering a third-team certificate. Hass is second on the team, scoring 10.9 points per game.
► Ayers (60), Ben Brackney (46) and Hass (44) have combined for 150 of the team’s 188 triples.
► Brian Fitzpatrick is the team’s top rebounder with 5.0 boards per game. Bucknell leads the league with a +3.4 rebounding margin.

DUO EARNS LEAGUE HONORS
Kyle Wilson and Tanner Omlid were recognized by the Patriot League this week. Wilson was a unanimous first-team all-league choice, while Omlid was named to the all-rookie squad.
► Wilson’s first-team selection marks the first time in program history that different players have earned the distinction in consecutive seasons (Ella Ellis, 2013).
► Wilson is only the third Army player to have both Patriot League All-Rookie and first-team All-Patriot League honors on their resume (Mark Lueking, George Tatum).
► Omlid’s selection marks the fourth straight season Army has had at least one player on the conference’s all-rookie squad. The Black Knights are one of only two teams to accomplish that feat. Omlid is the fifth plebe to earn the distinction in the last four years, the most in the conference.

UP NEXT …
The winner of Wednesday’s game will face the winner of the match up between No. 1 Boston University and No. 9 Lafayette. Both teams would play at BU and host the Leopards. Army went 0-2 versus the Terriers and 2-0 against Lafayette.

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