Bucknell opens with win over Shenandoah

shenandoah u logoDefending Patriot League regular season champion Bucknell University made the most of its 2015-16 season opener with a 107-61 non-league victory over Shenandoah Friday night.

The Bison (1-0) won in the debut of new head coach Nathan Davis. Davis, who came to Bucknell after six years at DIII Randolph-Macon, saw his squad score 57 first half points to pull away from the Hornets (0-0).

Friday’s game was the season opener for Bucknell but will count as an exhibition for Shenandoah. SU officially opens its 2015-16 season on Sunday with a 2 p.m. non-league contest against John Jay (N.Y.).

After the two teams played a scoreless initial 1:33, the Bison rebounded an Aaron Patterson miss and got a Nana Foulland dunk that gave the hosts the lead for good 17 seconds after Patterson’s miss.

Bucknell ended up scoring the first five points of the game and 14 of the first 19 to take a 14-5 lead by the first media timeout at 15:26.

Freshman Gabriel Gonzalez, who ended with nine points, scored the first points following the media timeout thanks to a Malcolm Clark assist, but BU scored 13 of the next 15 to expand its lead out to 27-9 with 11:59remaining.

Bucknell’s lead would not fall below 13 points the rest of the way.

The Hornets cut the deficit to that 13-point mark following a 10-5 run that ended with a pair of Clark free throws at 8:37, only to see the Bison answer with a 25-12 spurt to take a 57-31 lead at the break.

The second half brought more of the same with Bucknell never allowing its lead to dip below 25 points. The Bison scored 28 of the game’s final 40 points to provide the final margin of victory.

Bucknell shot a sizzling 67.7 percent from the field to 30.3 percent for SU and had a 45-26 advantage on the glass.

The Bison made 54.5 percent of their 3-point shots.

Senior Antwan Pittman led the visitors with 16 points with Clark adding 12 and sophomore Dominic Stewardmatching Gonzalez’ nine.

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