Mike Muscala scored six of his 20 points during a decisive second-half stretch to help Bucknell capture its second NCAA tournament berth in three seasons with a 64-56 win over Lafayette on Wednesday night in the Patriot League title game.
Joe Willman had 14 points and eight boards to form a potent frontcourt duo with Muscala, the conference player of the year for the top-seeded Bison (28-5). Muscala also had 11 rebounds.
Just like two years ago, Bucknell beat Lafayette (19-15) on its home floor to advance.
Joey Ptasinski had 15 points for Lafayette, including several buckets during a key second-half sequence that helped narrow a 12-point deficit to single digits. Ptasinski's layup off a backdoor cut drew the Leopards within 41-38 with 7:17 left.
That's when the 6-foot-11 Muscala took over, hitting turnaround jumpers and dominating the post during a 10-2 run that extended the lead to 51-40 with 3:52 left.