Bison Men’s Basketball’s season comes to heartbreaking end


Chris Azzam

Lauren Medeiros / The Bucknellian

Charlotte Dursee, Senior Writer

Bison Men’s Basketball finished off their regular season with games against Lafayette and Lehigh. They then headed into post season play where they faced American University on the road.

The week started out with an away match against Lehigh. The Bison were slowed to start, which hurt them in the end. Lehigh led strongly offensively, with five of their players scoring in double figures. Off the bat, Lehigh managed to get a 12-2 lead. The first half ended 36-23 with the Bison not too far behind.

The Bison started hitting shots in the second half. Six of the Bison’s nine threes were made at the start of the second half, with Jack Forrest ’24 hitting three in a row. With about 12 minutes left in the half, the Bison trailed 48-40. 

Lehigh managed to protect their lead with back to back three point plays. The Bison struggled to tighten the score, and Lehigh managed to lead by at least 13 for the rest of the game. The final score was 78-62.

Forrest ended with 18, Xander Rice ’23 with 16 and Alex Timmerman ’23 with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Thursday, the Bison were back home taking on Lafayette to close out their regular season play, as well as celebrate their seniors.

After the senior honoring ceremony, the Bison hit the court. On the offensive end, the Blue and Orange shot better than 50 percent. At one point the team was down 15-12 but soon turned that around with a 15-2 run. 

Ian Motta ’25, Jake van der Heijden ’23 and Rice each added three-pointers but Lafayette soon answered with their own 12-2 run.

At halftime, the Bison led 34-32. Both teams were slow to start the second half. Andre Screen ’24 helped jump start the offense with six straight points, soon followed by a three-pointer from Forrest. The Bison went on a 17-3 run that would help seal the lead for the remainder of the game. 

The seniors, Rice, van der Heijden and Timmerman, finished with a combined total of 33 points, 16 rebounds and 12 assists in their senior day match up. The team as a total finished with 20 assists and only nine turnovers.

The Bison hit the road once again to start their Patriot League Championship match-ups. As the 10th seed in the tournament, they faced American University.

The Bison were hot from deep, making nine of 18 attempts, but American was playing well too, making 6 of 13 from the arc. American led for the majority of the end of the first half, but Elvin Edmonds IV ’25 hit an 80-foot shot at the buzzer to cut the score to 42-29.

As the Bison neared the end of regulation, they trailed 54-46. Screen, Timmerman and Rice helped close the lead to 54-52 as the clock read 4:06. 

Rice was fouled on a three point shot and sank every free throw. Forrest soon hit a step-back jumper as time neared one minute. With 40 seconds left, American hit a crucial elbow shot to put them up 62-59. The Bison were unable to make a comeback and lost 64-59. 

Rice finished with an impressive 17 points and five assists. 

The Bison closed out their season with a 12-20 regular season record and 5-13 record in Patriot League play.

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