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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 19, 3 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Christl Arena (5,043) -- West Point, New York. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Bucknell 4-2, Army 3-4. Away Record: Bucknell 4-5, Army 4-3. Neutral Record: Bucknell 0-0, Army 1-1. Conference Record: Bucknell 3-2, Army 4-1. Series Record: Bucknell leads, 46-19.
GAME NOTES: Coming off their first Patriot League loss of the season, the Army Black Knights get right back to conference work on Sunday, as they play host to the Bucknell Bison at Christl Arena.
The Black Knights were home last Wednesday, but that didn't help them in a 78-75 loss to Holy Cross. The setback spoiled a 4-0 start to league play for Army and ended a five-game win streak.
The Bison had a win streak of their own halted in their last game, as a 62-61 heartbreaking defeat at Navy on Wednesday brought an end to a three-game win streak and dropped Bucknell to just 3-2 in conference play.
Bucknell holds a sizeable 46-19 advantage in the series with Army and has won the last seven meetings.
The Bison trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half and almost pulled off an impressive comeback only to fall by a single point to the Midshipmen last week. Ben Brackney and Steven Kaspar led the team in defeat with 12 points apiece. Kaspar finished off a double-double with 10 assists. Chris Haas almost joined Kaspar, posting 11 points and nine rebounds, while Cameron Ayers chipped in with 10 points in the loss.
Bucknell's 8-8 record is understandable when considering the team is scoring (66.8 ppg) just a little more than it gives up (65.6 ppg). The team lacks any real prolific scoring threats, as Ayers and Haas are the two top performers at 13.9 and 10.5 ppg, respectively. Brian Fitzpatrick (8.9 ppg) and Brackney (8.6 ppg) provide limited depth.
Although the Black Knights lost last time out, they are enjoying their best stretch of games since the 2009-10 campaign, going 7-2 in their last nine outings. The loss to the Crusaders spoiled a terrific performance by Tanner Plomp, who recorded his first career double-double with 29 points and 10 rebounds. Army actually held a 14-point lead in the second half, but Holy Cross closed the game on a 29-12 run to earn the win. Joining Plomb in double figures were Kyle Wilson (17 pts) and Dylan Cox (11 pts).
A modest offensive squad, Army comes in averaging 74.6 ppg, on a healthy .445 shooting. The team has raised its play in conference action, netting a hefty 78.0 ppg on just under 50 percent shooting. Wilson leads the offensive charge and ranks third in the Patriot League in scoring at 18.4 ppg. Plomb is a distant second in the scoring column at 10.9 ppg, but has certainly shown signs of stronger play like the last game.
After a highly successful three-year run, the Bison are coming back to the herd in the Patriot League. They have had Army's number of late, but the Black Knights are a team on the rise and may just end the skid in the series here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Army 66, Bucknell 63
01/19 10:19:51 ET
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