American Hosts Bucknell on Thursday Evening

American Hosts Bucknell on Thursday Evening

Game #14 •  Bucknell (10-5, 2-0 PL) at American (4-9, 1-1 PL)
Thurs, Jan. 5, 2017 • 7:30 p.m. • Washington, D.C. • Bender Arena (2,500)
All-Time Record: Bucknell, 32-27
Last Meeting: American 66, Bucknell 55 — Feb 3, 2016
Stream: PLN — Dan Laing (PXP), Jeremy Huber (Color), Megan O'Keefe (Sideline)
Live Stats

American Game Notes
Bucknell Game Notes

WASHINGTON — 
The American University men's basketball team returns to Bender Arena on Thursday to host Bucknell at 7:30 p.m. The Eagles are coming off an overtime win at Colgate 67-64 on Monday.

TICKETS: Tickets for this game are still available and start at just $7. Purchase the best seat locations today at AUeagles.com by clicking here. Current undergraduate, graduate, and WCL students are admitted free to all home basketball games in Bender Arena with AU ID.

News, Notes, and Storylines

ALL-TIME SERIES RECORDBucknell owns a 32-27 all-time series lead over the Eagles. AU and Bucknell split last season's games with each team winning on its home court. Delante Jones scored a team-high 18 points in the 69-55 upset on Feb. 3. Bucknell had won the previous four games against the Eagles. 

BREAKING DOWN THE COLGATE WINMark Gasperini recorded his first collegiate double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Sa'eed Nelson and Delante Jones each finished with 12 points. Will Rayman had 15 points for the Raiders but fouled out in the final minute of regulation. Rayman scored 13 of his 15 in the first half. Sean O'Brien led all scorers with 21 points and nearly won the game with one second left for the Raiders. American was set to take the regulation win despite woes at the free throw line. However, Delante Jones missed a pair that would have solidified the win. After a rebound by Jordan Swopshire, the Raiders set a high screen that allowed O'Brien to hit a jumper that bounced in tying the contest at 58-58 with one second left. O'Brien was fouled on the play and missed the potential game-winning free throw to send the game to overtime. In the extra frame, AU jumped out to a five-point lead (64-59) but Colgate tied the game with five straight points by Tom Rivard. AU scored the next three points at the free throw line to secure the win. AU shot 40 percent from the field and got 28 points off the bench. Lonnie Rivera has eight and Charlie Jones had seven with 12 rebounds in 41 minutes.

BUCKNELL SCOUTBucknell had the best non-conference results out of all 10 Patriot League team. The Bison went 8-5 with key wins over Manhattan, Vanderbilt, Richmond, and Fairfield. The Bison have won both Patriot League games to start the season, squeaking by Navy (59-55) and defeating Army West Point by eight (84-76). Zach Thomas leads Bucknell in scoring, averaging 16.0 points per game. Nana Foulland is second in points (14.7) and leads the squad in rebounds 8.5 per game. Guard play has been dependable for second-year head coach Nathan Davis. Stephen Brown and Kimbal Mackenzie are both nearing double-digit scoring and play nearly 30 minutes a night. Brown is at 9.9 points and 4.7 assists per game. Mackenzie is averaging 9.6 points and had a career night against Richmond with 25 points. The Bison average 73.5 points while allowing 70.2.

WHAT IT WILL TAKE FOR AN AU WIN: Last season when American defeated Bucknell, it held the Bison to 37 percent from the field and 0-of-15 from the outside. Bucknell still finished with three players in double figures — Stephen Brown (13), Nana Foulland (11) and Chris Haas (10) — and struggled to out-rebound the Eagles, 33-28. American had four players in double digits led by Delante Jones' 18 points. James Washington had 12. Charlie Jones and Andrija Matic combined for 14 points off the bench and eight rebounds. The Eagles shot 55 percent and made their free throws (19-25). Free throw shooting will be important for American. The Eagles are struggling as a team at the line, shooting 56.8 percent. American will have to play a tough defensive game in order to stymie the Bison offensive attack which averages 73.5 points a night.

KEY MATCHUP: The top matchup for the contest will be Mark Gasperini and Nana Foulland. This will be the first test for Gasperini in the block. In the first two PL games, Gasperini went off with 18 points against Loyola and 15 against Colgate. The 6-10 freshman recorded 15 rebounds during the first week of league play. Foulland has reached double figures in 14 of 15 games this season for the Bison with seven double-doubles.