Missouri 66 - Bucknell 64
Watched the game on ESPN3.com
- A tough loss. Tempted to call it heartbreaking. In any other year playing the #12 team in the country on the road and losing by 2 points would be a huge win. But this team is different. There really can’t be any moral victories. This team is good enough to play games like this against good teams and could have easily won.
- Bucknell did a great job controlling the tempo in the 1st half and was aided by some sloppy play from Missouri. After the half Missouri’s Phil Pressey started to take over by hitting a series of unbelievable shots. Bucknell stuck to it’s game plan and went under the screens, but Pressey consistently made them pay.
- Mike Muscala. What can you really say at this point? Just a huge performance against a power conference team with legit big men. 25 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks. Muscala did seem to get banged up throughout the game and there was a stoppage at one point due to blood from his knee. About the only complaint you could have is that he uncharacteristically went 5-9 from the foul line although one was on purpose at the end of the game.
- Bucknell finishes the non-conference schedule at 13-3 which was my optimistic prediction before the season. I had the losses coming at Purdue, Penn State, and Missouri so all things considering trading a win at Purdue for a loss at Princeton probably isn’t the worst swap.
- This Bucknell performance came on the same day that Lehigh played a very good VCU team close without CJ McCollum for most of the game. Initial reports are that McCollum could have a broken foot, something that could majorly shake up the Patriot League.
Overall Performance: 4 out of 5 Bison
Bucknell is getting a lot of positive press for playing Missouri so close, but this was one the Bison really needed to convert. At this point Bucknell can’t plan for anything other than winning the conference tournament. Though today’s performance showed if the Bison do make it to the NCAA tournament they have the right combination to cause opponents trouble.