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Bucknell 64, Lafayette 56

The SportsXchange

Bucknell won its second consecutive Patriot League title, beating visiting Lafayette 64-56 Wednesday night at the Sojka Pavilion in Lewisburg, Pa.

The victory gives the Bison an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. It's the second time Bucknell has won back-to-back Patriot League championships.

The Bison (28-5) broke the school's single-season record for victories in a season. They received a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds from senior center Mike Muscala, and 14 points and eight rebounds from Joe Willman.

Muscala was named MVP of the Patriot League tournament.

Lafayette (19-15) had its seven-game winning streak halted. Joey Ptasinski led the Leopards with 15 points, Bryce Scott had 13, and Tony Johnson added 11. Lafayette is 0-15 at Bucknell's Sojka Pavilion.

With 6:30 left to play, Lafayette drew within 43-40 before Bucknell responded with a 12-0 tear to pull away.

Bucknell took a 26-18 lead into halftime. The Bison outmuscled Lafayette in the paint over the first 20 minutes, scoring 10 points inside and outrebounding the Leopards, 22-17, and more important, 8-4, on the offensive boards.

Eight minutes into the game, Bucknell trailed 10-8 before surging ahead with an 18-8 run to close the half. A Ben Brackney 3-pointer with 9:48 left in the half gave the Bison a 13-10 lead, and the Leopards never led again.

Bucknell wound up with a 36-33 rebounding edge.

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