Crusaders Fall 74-72 At Bucknell

Josh Jones

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell's Mike Muscala hit a 20-foot jump shot from the right corner with 1.4 seconds remaining, to give the Bison a 74-72 victory over  the Holy Cross men's basketball team at Sojka Pavilion. The Crusaders were led by junior guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) and senior forward Josh Jones with 14 points each. Holy Cross falls to 3-14 overall and 2-1 in the Patriot League with the loss, while the Bison improve to 12-7 overall and 3-0 in the conference.

Bucknell started the game hot, making nine of its first 15 shots from the field to take an early 25-15 lead. The Bison eventually went up by 11 points (34-23) with 6:20 left in the first half, before Holy Cross used a 9-2 run to trim the margin to four points (36-32). Senior center Andrew Keister (Galloway, N.J.) scored six points during that spurt. Bucknell came back to close out the half with a 7-2 run of its own, to take a 43-34 advantage into the locker room.

The Bison scored seven of the first nine points in the second half, increasing their lead to 14 points (50-36) with 17:26 left to play. Bucknell was still up by 11 (53-42) at the 13:13-mark, when Brown hit back-to-back three-pointers to trim the margin to five points. The Crusaders were able to make it a one-point game several times in the final nine minutes, before finally tying the score at 72-72 with 28.2 seconds remaining on a pair of free throws by Jones. But Muscala then hit the game winning shot in the closing seconds to give Bucknell the victory.

Keister finished the game with 13 points and four rebounds, while junior guard Mike Cavataio (Forest Hills, N.Y.) added 12 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Muscala led the Bison with game-highs of 23 points and 13 rebounds.

The Crusaders return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 19, when they travel to Navy for a 7:00 p.m. game.