American looks to start the Patriot League season 2-0 for the first time in five years on Wednesday when the Eagles play Bucknell in a 7:30 p.m. game at Bender Arena. The Bison (3-12, 0-1), who lost to Navy, 71-67, on Saturday, try to avoid their first 0-2 start in five years.
Despite its recent struggles against Bucknell – American has lost eight of its last nine against the Bison and trail the series, 25-18 – the Eagles (9-6, 1-0) should feel pretty good coming into this game. They have won four in a row, including an overtime victory against Lehigh on Saturday, and have an eight-game home winning streak against league teams.
Bucknell, which comes into the game on a six-game losing streak, is not the same team that made back-to-back trips to the second round of the NCAA tournament just two years ago. The Bison have a new coach, Dave Paulsen, who won a Division III national championship at Williams College. They also start two freshmen, including a walk-on, and a sophomore. And they haven’t won a road game this season. Senior guard Justin Castleberry (Archbishop Spalding) is the team’s leading scorer at 12.2 points per game. Forward Patrick Behan (Notre Dame Academy) leads Bucknell in rebounding (5.9 per game) and is third in scoring (11.5 ppg).
American senior guard Garrison Carr, who was stifled by Lehigh’s defense on Saturday, could have a big game against Bucknell. In two games against the Bison last season, Carr sank 11 three-pointers and scored a total of 54 points. He is 20 for 38 from behind the arc during his career against Bucknell.
Though the Eagles won their last four games by double digits, the outcome of this contest could be much closer, if history is any indication. The last four games between these teams have been decided by six points or less.
January 14, 2009; 6:27 AM ET
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