Zach Thomas scored 18 points and hauled down 11 rebounds for his third double double of the season, and the Bucknell men's basketball team defeated visiting Loyola Maryland, 76-63, on Wednesday night to climb atop the Patriot League standings.
The Bison (14-6) entered in a tie with Boston University, but the Terriers lost their second straight game, giving Bucknell the Patriot League lead at 6-1. Loyola (9-9, 3-4) has beaten Lehigh and Boston University, the preseason favorites.
All the Bucknell starters scored at least nine points; Stephen Brown had 13, Nate Foulland and Kimbal Mackenzie 11 each. Foulland reached 1,000 career points. Avi Toomer scored nine as Bucknell made 18 of its first 25 shots (72 percent).
KaVaughn Scott led Loyola with 12 points. Loyola's guard duo of Jarred Jones (John Carroll) and Andre Walker, who average 32.1 points per game, were held to a combined eight points on 3-for-21 shooting.
Navy 66, Lehigh 64: Taylor Dunham made a 30-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the visiting Midshipmen (13-5, 6-1 Patriot League) over the Mountain Hawks (5-13, 0-7).
Navy has won six in a row, while the loss was the 10th in a row for Lehigh.
The Mountain Hawks inbounded the ball in front of their bench leading 64-63 with 2.2 seconds left on the clock. The Mids, who had committed just one foul in the quarter to that point, committed another on the inbounds pass, leaving 1.7 seconds to play. The Mountain Hawks inbounded again, and this time, Bianca Roach stepped in front of a Lehigh player to grab the ball and proceeded to immediately call timeout with 0.6 of a second left.
"We said we had to get a steal here and call timeout," Navy coach Stefanie Pemper said. "Bianca doing just that was huge."
Under this year's new rules, the Mids were allowed to advance the ball to the other end of the court.
Ashanti Kennedy inbounded the ball to Dunham, who was moving away from the basket with two defenders around her. She caught the ball 10 feet in front of the bench already in the shooting position, turned slightly toward the hoop and fired. Her attempt fell through the net to give the Mids the win.
Dunham finished with 12 points, and Hannah Fenske had 14 for Navy.
Bucknell 72, Loyola Maryland 66: Junior Bri Betz-White led all players with a career-high 25 points and freshman Stephanie Karcz recorded her third doubledouble, but the host Greyhounds (7-11, 3-4 Patriot) fell to the Bison (15-3, 7-0).
Claire DeBoer led four Bison in double-digit scoring with 17 points. Kate Walker was second on the team with 16 points, while Sune Swart added 15 and Kaitlyn Slagus finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Bucknell opened the scoring in the game with a 3-pointer, but back-to-back baskets from Betz-White and Karcz gave Loyola a 4-3 advantage, marking the first time in more than two games and 10 quarters of play that the Bison had trailed.
The deficit didn't last long, as Bucknell regained a 6-4 lead, then strung together a 9-0 run after senior Lisa Mirarchi tied the game at 6, giving the visitors a 15-6 advantage with 3:07 to play in the first quarter.
From there, the teams traded baskets until seven unanswered points from the Greyhounds pulled Loyola within two, 22-20, at the 7:51 mark of the second quarter.
Bucknell worked its lead back to seven, 27-20, but the Greyhounds closed out the half on a 7-2 run to trail the Bison by two, 29-27, at halftime, marking Bucknell's smallest halftime advantage since it trailed Navy 31-30 on Dec. 30.