Lewisburg, PA—Jimmy Sotos drained three free throws with five seconds left to help Bucknell to a 71-68 win over Loyola (MD). This was the fifth game for Bucknell in conference that has been decided by five or less points. They are 5-0 in those games. Bucknell (6-1) leads the Patriot League while Loyola drops to 3-4 in the conference.
Loyola was lead by do it all guard Andrew Kostecka. Kostecka leads the conference in scoring (20.7 ppg). Kostecka went for 26 points in the contest and showed a diverse scoring arsenal. While he did not make a 3-pointer, he was a thorn in the side of Bucknell in the lane. Guarded by Bucknell’s best defender, Avi Toomer. Kostecka was able to score in isolation. He also used screens to curl around and take mid-range jumpers. He could not be denied going to the rim as he would either get fouled or score. Kostecka, when defended well was able to dish the ball out to 3- point shooters including a pair to Isaiah Hart. Hart played second fiddle to Kostecka on the night. Wynn used a nice crossover to get to the rim a couple of time in the second half. He also showed range on a deep 3.
Bucknell’s leading scorer Nate Sestina struggled on the night going 3-of-13 from the field. His post-up game was inconsistent and despite his high shot quality in the paint, he missed numerous shots that he normally hits. Forward Bruce Moore was in foul trouble for most of the night only playing 18 minutes. He did show good versatility at the end of the first half on a pair of post-ups against a smaller defender capped by hitting a contested 3-pointer for seven straight points. Kimbal Mackenzie played a great game for Bucknell with 16 points while going a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Mackenzie showed his ability to bust up Loyola’s zone with his 3-point shot as well as his pump fakes and drives that led to five assists. Avi Toomer scored 14 points including a 3-pointer to push the Bucknell lead back to four points after Loyola got within 1 at 59-58. Bucknell got out to a 12-point lead at hal time thanks to the sharpshooting of senior guard Nate Jones and freshman forward Khaliel Spear who combined to go 5-of-6 from 3. Jones also played lockdown defense in his 19 minutes frustrating Kostecka into a number of missed shots.
Bucknell will look to carry their season high five game win streak into Washington D.C. when they face American for the second time on Saturday. Their first battle was a one-point Bison victory. Loyola will host Colgate on Saturday on CBSSN.