Bison clinch top seed in Patriot League Tournament

Scott Goldstein, Staff Writer

After suffering a one point loss to Loyola, the Bison men’s basketball team was able to rebound and defeat Boston University to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League tournament for the third straight season.

The Orange and Blue traveled to Baltimore on Feb. 15 to take on the Loyola Greyhounds. The Greyhounds got off to a quick start, pulling out to a 36-23 lead in the beginning of the first half. The Bison were able to close the gap to 43-34 by halftime.

Early in the second half, Loyola was able to extend their lead to 15 points, but John Azzinaro ’17 brought a spark off the bench, making three 3-pointers within a three-minute span. He helped to spur a 20-2 run for the Bison, giving them the lead at 62-59. With the score favoring the Bison, Loyola bounced back and went on a quick 7-0 run. The Bison responded by hitting two 3-pointers, putting the Orange and Blue up 74-73 with 1:12 minutes left in the game.

Loyola proceeded to score, going up 75-74 before stealing the ball. Forced to foul, the Bison put Loyola  at the line, where they sealed the game by hitting both free throws. The Orange and Blue fell by a final score of 78-77. Nana Foulland ’18 led the Bison with 17 points. Zach Thomas ’18 also had a strong performance, scoring 13 points accompanied by five assists and five steals.

The Bison then hit the road on Feb. 19 to play Boston University, looking to bounce back from their loss at Loyola. With a win, the Orange and Blue would clinch the regular season Patriot League Championship. The Bison got off to a quick start, jumping out to a 21-9 lead. However, Boston rallied and went on a 9-0 run, pulling the game within two points at 30-28. Thomas responded by hitting a three-pointer and the Bison were able to closeout the first half up 39-32, following a dunk by Foulland and an 18-footer by Stephen Brown ’18.

Despite a seven-point lead at halftime, the Bison exploded in the second half, starting out on a 26-7 run over the first nine minutes. Despite going scoreless over about a three and a half minute stretch later in the half, the Bison were able to finish out the game strong, winning 86-66.

The win at Boston gave the Bison the first seed in the Patriot League Tournament. It is their 11th regular season championship in the 27 year history of the Patriot League, and their sixth in the past seven years. No other team in the league has more than five regular season championships.

The Bison return to action at home against Navy on Feb. 25 at 12 p.m. for Senior Day.

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