The Bucknellian

Mackenzie’s career-high carries Bison to win over Lafayette

Justin Schaumberger, Staff Writer

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The Bison men’s basketball team kept pace atop the Patriot League standings with a 94-66 win over Lafayette on Feb. 2 in Easton, Pa. Kimbal Mackenzie ’19 led the team with a career record of 31 points. The win improved the Bison’s overall record to 14-8 and 8-2 in conference play. After Lehigh suffered a home defeat to Colgate on Feb. 4, the Orange and Blue retain sole possession of first place in the Patriot League.

 

Mackenzie, the Patriot League’s fifth-leading scorer, went 7-for-12 shooting, including 3-for-4 from behind the arc and a near-perfect 14-for-16 from the free throw line. This scoring output topped his previous career-high of 28 set earlier this season against St. Bonaventure.

 

“When Kim [Mackenzie] gets going, so do we,” Nate Sestina ’19 said. “We’re going to go as far as his leadership allows us, along with the skills and talents of the other guys of the team.”

 

In addition to Mackenzie, the Bison had three other players finish in double digits. Andrew Funk ’22 put in a career-high 15 points off the bench to go along with five rebounds. Sestina notched 22 points on an efficient 10-for-12 shooting night.

 

Bruce Moore ’20 tallied his third double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. On a day when the Bison were missing starting point guard Jimmy Sotos ’21, Avi Toomer ’20 stepped in as a facilitator for the team. Toomer tallied a career-high six assists along with six rebounds.

 

“We lost a person [Sotos] who can run the offense extremely well; a person who has the best court vision I’ve ever played with,” Moore said. “Jimmy is a really pivotal piece for our team’s success. With that being said, our ability to get wins without him shows that we have guys that can step up their game.”

 

The key stretch for the Orange and Blue came at the end of the first half. With the scored tied at 26 and 6:49 remaining, the Bison defense locked in and held the Leopards without a field goal for the rest of the half. Then, in the first 3:36 of the second half, the Bison extended their lead to 21. Altogether, the Bison held the Leopards to only one made field goal over 10:30 while going on a 27-6 run.

 

Just a few days later on Feb. 6 in a mid-week game against the Greyhounds of Loyola, the Bison secured an 84-72 victory, further propelling their momentum. Mackenzie led the team with 24 points while Sestina followed close behind with 22.

 

Despite being atop the Patriot League standings, the Bison are focusing on each individual game and not looking too far down the road.

 

“If you focus on anything other than what you can control you will get yourself in trouble,” head coach Nathan Davis said. “We will continue to focus on the quest to improve each and every day and let the rest take care of itself.”

 

The Bison will be back in action when they take on Boston University on Feb. 9 at 12 p.m, and then again on Feb. 11 when they face Lehigh at 7 p.m.

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Mackenzie’s career-high carries Bison to win over Lafayette