HAMILTON, N.Y. - Bryan Cohen scored 12 points and Bucknell overcame a rare cold shooting night with some terrific defense en route to a 66-50 win at Colgate on Wednesday night at Cotterell Court. The Bison sailed to their 11th straight win and 19th in a row in conference play, but most importantly they improved to 9-0 in the Patriot League and maintained a two-game lead in the standings.
Now 19-6 overall, the Bison also got 11 points each from Mike Muscala and Joe Willman, but their defense was the story of the night. Bucknell held Colgate to 14 field goals and 25.9 percent shooting. The Raiders were shooting under 20 percent until tossing in four field goals in the last four minutes, and 27 of their 50 points came in the final 11:22, after Bucknell had given the starting five the rest of the night off. No Colgate player scored more than seven points, and the Colgate starting lineup was held to just 19 points.
Bucknell was able to give its starters an early break after building a lead up over 20 points six minutes into the second half. The reserves also fared well, maintaining the comfortable lead. All three freshmen were on the floor together for most of the last 11 minutes, and Joshea Singleton provided the highlight of the night with an incredible flying dunk on top of a Colgate defender. Senior Enoch Andoh also played well, scoring six points while making both of his field goal attempts.
The Bison got out to a great start, hitting eight of their first 11 shots from the field en route to a 20-8 lead. Muscala got Bucknell going with a layup and a 3-point play on the first two possessions of the night. After a couple of Colgate buckets, Cameron Ayers hit a 3-pointer, Cohen made two free throws and Willman hit a turnaround jumper to make it 12-4.
Steven Kaspar's driving layup from the left baseline gave Bucknell its first 10-point lead of the night at 16-6. Leading 20-8 after a Muscala layup, Colgate scored six straight on a Sterling Melville 3-point play and a Brandon James banked-in trey from the top of the key.
But the Bison allowed only a free throw in the final 8:14 of the half, and despite their own shooting struggles were able to stretch the lead up to 26-15 at the half. After the 8-for-11 start, Bucknell finished the half in a 2-for-14 drought, but defensively the Bison held Colgate to 5-for-28 (.179) shooting.
Nick Pascale opened the second half with a 3-point play for Colgate, but then the Bison scored 11 straight points to take command. Willman had five points in that run, and Cohen hit a 3-pointer.
Bucknell led by as many as 24 at 56-32 after the Singleton dunk, and they survived a foul-plagued final seven minutes to bring home the win.
Bucknell finished with a 48-31 rebounding edge and shot 40.4 percent overall (3-14 from 3-point range).
Bucknell is back in action on Saturday against Lafayette at 7 p.m. The contest will air live on ESPN3, ESPN Full Court, RCN cable systems and WBPH-60 in Eastern Pennsylvania.