PL fit to be tied after night of upsets

(Last updated 9:37 a.m.)

We told you there would be upsets, and sure enough, there were. The shocker is Navy's win over Colgate, though it happened as predicted. The jump shooting ways of the Red Raiders left them at a tremendous disadvantage at the free throw line and Navy took advantage.

The not so surprising one was American's win over Bucknell, which probably was ripe for the picking against a tough opponent in a tough gym.

The result: A pair of teams, Bucknell and Holy Cross, tied for first and two others, Lehigh and American, tied for third. At least until Sunday.

Here's the roundup:

American 68, Bucknell 59:Sooner or later Bucknell's inconsistent play was bound to catch up with them. Last night in bender it did. The Bison tried to turn it on after falling behind by as many as 20 points, but against a good American team, playing on its home court, and coming off an embarrassing loss at Holy Cross, it was going to take a full 40 minute effort for the Bison to extend their win streak.

Surprisingly, American won the game despite a tough night for Andre Ingram, who was 1-for-13 from the floor and finished with only 4 points. Even more surprisingly, American won the game in the paint, not on the perimeter, oustcoring Bucknell 26-16 from close range.

As Tom Housenick of the Daily Item points out, the Eagles reaction to Monday's loss at Holy Cross was as predicted:
American came out to start the game like a wounded dog after getting embarrassed Monday at Holy Cross, putting together a 15-0 run and making 12 of its first 18 field goals en route to a 33-14 advantage at the 6:14 mark.
Bucknell's Kevin Bettencourt, who, like Ingram, had a tough shooting night (1-for-8 from the field), admitted to Housenick:
"Maybe this was the best thing for us. We've been falling into a pattern of starting slowly, but we've been winning. That was making it tough for us to realize it was a bad pattern."
Nobody realistically expected the Bison to run the table anyhow. What remains to be seen, though, is how this team will react to this loss. Last season, a less mature Bison team saw a win streak end late in the season at Holy Cross and went in the tank, losing three of the next four to finish the year.

But here's a deja vu scenario that will spook the Holy Cross fans just a little. In 2003, Holy Corss came into Bender unbeaten in the league and riding an eight game win streak. Holy Cross even had a non-conference win over a Big East team (Boston College), though not one as highly ranked as the Pitt team that Bucknell beat. The Eagles blew HC out that night, 72-49. The Crusaders next loss came 13 games later in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

We offer that not as a prediction, but simply as a reminder to folks who want to make too much out of one loss, or one win.
Box score | AU recap | BU recap | Wash. Post story

Navy 82, Colgate 71: Some dude named George O'Garro scored 24 points to lead the Midshipmen to an upset win over Colgate, ending Navy's 8-game losing streak. If you never heard of O'Garro, you're not alone. The 24-point showing was a career best for the 6-6 senior forward, who had only started 5 of Navy's first 18 games and was averaging less than 8 ppg before last night.

Defensively, Navy unveiled a matchup zone that coach Billy Lange told Bill Wagner of the Annapolis Capital they just put in two days ago. As Wagner points out, it worked:
Alvin Reed, Andrew Zidar, Jon Simon and Kyle Roemer - all of whom average in double figures - combined to shoot 17-for-46 from the field. The Raiders were 3-for-18 from 3-point range before suddenly draining five in the final three minutes.
Navy won this one at the foul line, getting to the stripe 35 times, making 24, led by O'Garro's 10-for-13 night. Colgate shot only 15 free throws, making 9.
Box score | Navy recap | Colgate recap | AP wrap | Baltimore Sun story

Lehigh 63, Army 45: Lehigh's losing streak ends at 2; Army's win streak ends at 1. Nick Monserez led Lehigh with 20 points, including a 4-for-5 night from three-point range.

Andre Williams of the Morning Call writes the Mountain Hawks were without the services of Joe Knight, who sat out the game with a foot injury. Williams says Knight is expected to play Sunday against Holy Cross
Box score | Army recap| Lehigh recap| AP wrap

Holy Cross 74, Lafayette 57:Watching Holy Cross put this one away was like watching a fine carpenter craft a piece of handcarved furniture. The process was boring as hell but the end result looked pretty good. See story below.
Box score | Lafayette recap | HC recap | AP wrap | Morning Call story | Express-Times story

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