Bison dominate again

LEWISBURG — Zach Thomas scored a career-high 27 points, including four of Bucknell’s 13 3-pointers, and the Bison beat Holy Cross 82-68 on Monday night for their seventh straight double-digit victory.

Stephen Brown hit an open 3-pointer, after an extra pass from Kimbal Mackenzie, late in the first half and Mackenzie made a transition 3 on Bucknell’s next possession for a 47-29 lead. The Bison shot 62.5 percent, including 9 of 16 from distance, and had 13 assists on 15 field goals. Holy Cross cut it to 48-33 after Patrick Benzan hit a runner over two defenders at the buzzer.

“I thought we came out with great intensity and purpose,” said Bucknell coach Nathan Davis. “The 1-3-1 zone is hard to replicate in practice, because we don’t play it and Holy Cross has good length in the middle of the zone, which resulted in a few too many turnovers. We just want to take good shots. Yes we took a lot of threes in the first half, but we were able to get the ball inside-out and step into the shots. Those are good looks.”

Thomas made four 3-pointers in the first half and scored 16 points, and Mackenzie added two 2s and 11 points.

Mackenzie finished with 17 points and seven assists for Bucknell (19-6, 11-1 Patriot), which leads the league by three games. Thomas was 7 of 9 from the field and 9 for 10 at the line for his fifth 20-point game of the season.

Robert Champion scored 19 points for Holy Cross (12-13, 6-6). Malachi Alexander and Benzan each added 15 points.

The seven game winning streak is Bucknell’s longest since 2012-13. The Bison have won seven straight, all coming by 10 or more points, four times previously. The last was in 1992-93, and the first three such streaks all came between 1899 and 1907.

Bucknell now has a quick turnaround before traveling to Lehigh Wednesday. The Mountain Hawks are responsible for Bucknell’s only conference loss thus far. Lehigh won 82-71 at Sojka Pavilion on Jan. 11.

HOLY CROSS (12-13)

Alexander 5-13 3-4 15, Charles 3-4 4-6 11, Husek 2-5 0-0 4, Champion 9-19 0-0 19, Thompson 0-3 0-0 0, Floyd 1-1 0-0 2, Stevens 0-0 0-0 0, Flaherty 0-1 0-0 0, Rielly 0-0 0-0 0, Benzan 6-7 2-2 15, Kennedy 0-0 0-0 0, Le Sann 1-2 0-0 2, Zignorski 0-0 0-0 0, Powers 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-56 9-12 68.

BUCKNELL (19-6)

Thomas 7-9 9-10 27, Foulland 2-7 3-7 7, Brown 3-6 0-0 7, Toomer 1-2 4-4 7, Mackenzie 6-12 1-1 17, Moore 2-6 0-0 6, MacLeay 2-2 2-2 6, Azzinaro 2-4 0-0 5, O’Reilly 0-1 0-0 0, Robertson 0-1 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-50 19-24 82.

Halftime–Bucknell 48-33. 3-Point Goals–Holy Cross 5-17 (Alexander 2-6, Benzan 1-1, Charles 1-1, Champion 1-5, Husek 0-2, Thompson 0-2), Bucknell 13-30 (Thomas 4-5, Mackenzie 4-9, Moore 2-5, Toomer 1-2, Azzinaro 1-3, Brown 1-4, O’Reilly 0-1, Robertson 0-1). Fouled Out–Charles. Rebounds–Holy Cross 23 (Alexander 7), Bucknell 30 (Foulland 8). Assists–Holy Cross 18 (Charles 7), Bucknell 18 (Mackenzie 7). Total Fouls–Holy Cross 20, Bucknell 15. A–2,615 (4,000).

COMMENTS