'Saders duel Bison in PL; Top seed likely prize.


LEWISBURG, Pa. - The Holy Cross men's basketball team will play Bucknell tonight (7 p.m., WTAG-AM 580) at Sojka Pavilion. The Crusaders hope it's their last trip here this season.

Holy Cross is 10-0 in the Patriot League, and a win over the 9-1 Bison would go a long way toward helping secure the top seed in the league tournament. The reward for that is home court for the championship game. If the teams finish the regular season with the same record, the top seed will go to the school with the higher RPI, according to Collegiate Basketball News.

"It's going to be extremely loud, but this game is a lot easier to prepare for than at Colgate, when nobody's there," said HC coach Ralph Willard, whose team has won 11 straight. "It's what kids on both teams enjoy."

The Bison have won the last two league titles, defeating the Crusaders at home last season and at the Hart Center in 2005. But to hear Bucknell coach Pat Flannery talk, Holy Cross is the standard-bearer.

"It's their commitment to basketball," Flannery said. "That's always who you're chasing."

Especially this season. Holy Cross beat Bucknell last month in Worcester to hand the Bison their only conference loss. The Bison beat HC the four games before that and six of the last seven.

Bucknell has won seven straight since losing to HC, though the Bison will likely have to play tonight without key forward Donald Brown, who has a broken hand.

"As long as I've been in the Patriot League, we've been neck and neck for that top spot," said Bucknell junior forward Darren Mastrapaolo. "It gives it a little bit of...

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