LEWISBURG, Pa. - The Bucknell men's basketball team claimed its second Patriot League Tournament title in three years on Wednesday as it defeated Lafayette by a 64-56 score in Sojka Pavilion. The Bison, who were led by Mike Muscala's 22nd double-double of the season, earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It will mark the program's sixth NCAA appearance.
The Bison, who have now won four Patriot League Tournament crowns, led by eight at halftime and held that lead in the second half. Muscala posted 20 points and 11 rebounds. Joe Willman added 14 points and eight rebounds, six of which were on the offensive end, while Cameron Ayers had nine points, six rebounds and three assists.
Bucknell (28-5) had a 41-38 lead with just over seven minutes to play and then went on a 14-2 run to open up a 55-40 advantage following a pair of free throws by Ryan Frazier with 2:54 on the clock. The Bison then connected on 7 of 10 free throws down the stretch to clinch the game despite Lafayette's (19-15) efforts to extend the game.
Thanks to 12 offensive rebounds Bucknell posted a 16-8 advantage in second-chance points and outscored the Leopards 28-16 in the paint.
Lafayette had three players reach double figures in points. Bryce Scott had 13 points, Tony Johnson had 11 and Joey Ptasinski had all 15 of his in the second half.
Bucknell will find out its NCAA Tournament opponent and bracket Sunday evening.
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