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Bucknell’s Spear focused on wins, not points

LEWISBURG — When asked about it after the game, Bucknell sophomore Khaliel Spear had no idea that he had a five-minute stretch where he scored 13 points. He wasn’t really paying attention during the game to what his point total was climbing to.

All Spear cared about was helping Bucknell earn a victory against Patriot League foe American on Saturday at Sojka Pavilion, which the Bison did, 72-68.

“When you’re playing, I feel like you just kind of get lost in the game,” Spear said. “It was just a product of the offense really. Nothing was forced, everything just happened to fall into the right place.”

That’s the mentality Spear and his teammates have on the court with Bucknell. Sure, Spear was excited he had a new career-high off the bench, but helping the Bison win is more important.

Spear was huge for Bucknell on Saturday afternoon, leading the team in both points (20) and rebounds (nine), not to mention his defensive presence throughout the game, adding a steal and team-high blocks.

The Bucknell sophomore also scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half to help Bucknell keep its lead and not let American rally. American tied the game once in the second half, but never took a lead in the final 20 minutes of the game.

Entering yesterday’s game, Spear had scored just 99 points this year and was averaging 4.1 points off the bench and 3.0 rebounds. He scored almost a fifth of his season points Saturday.

“We all just came in and followed the game plan and it just happened to work in my favor,” Spear said.

Spear opened the season against Fairfield with a 10-point performance, but after that, the sophomore had only scored nine in a game twice and eight in a game twice.

In Spear’s last seven games, he only scored seven or more points twice — seven against Lafayette and nine against Navy. And while 20 points and a new career-high was nice for Spear, he doesn’t see it as a confidence builder to close out the remainder of the season.

For Spear, it was a nice game, but he’s not dwelling on it. He’s focused on Monday’s Patriot League game vs. Holy Cross.

“I mean yeah, it can be hard at times to keep your confidence, but if you want to be a good player, confidence is something that you have to have in yourself just consistently throughout the season,” Spear said. “If you need a good game to get your confidence up consistently, I feel you’re not playing for the team.

“I had a good game, it wasn’t anything I did spectacular I don’t believe. I just believe it happened to me and I happened to be there. Definitely is a confidence booster of course, but I’m just going to look at it as a good game and move onto the next one.”

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