Scores

Final

(9) Bucknell 59

(27-4, 14-0 Patriot)

(8) Arkansas 55

(22-10, 10-6 SEC)

    12:30 PM ET, March 17, 2006

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

    1 2 T
    #9BUCK 27 3259
    #8ARK 23 3255

    Top Performers

    Bucknell: C. Lee 24 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    Arkansas: R. Brewer 14 Pts, 5 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    Bucknell clips Arkansas for second straight first-round win

    DALLAS (AP) -- Kansas last year, Arkansas this year. The Bucknell Bison sure are taking down some historic programs on their way to making a name for themselves.

    The Patriot League champions moved to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year Friday, this time taking the unusual route of making more 3-pointers than 2s in a 59-55 victory over the Razorbacks.

    Charles Lee and Kevin Bettencourt combined for 42 points and nine of Bucknell's season-high 11 3s, many of them fired when the shot clock was nearly running out. The Bison (27-6) made only six shots inside the arc, going more than 15 minutes between them at one point.

    "Wow," Lee said, marveling at the bizarre box score. "We were just feeling it today."

    Bucknell usually doesn't play that way. Then again, in their academic-oriented conference, the Bison usually don't face teams as big and quick as Arkansas (22-10).

    "Hey, we held them to 37 percent shooting -- that's great defense," Razorbacks coach Stan Heath said. "You can say we didn't defend the 3, but about four were with 1 second, 2 seconds, left on the shot clock, guys on them and they get it off, and it goes in."

    Bucknell led for most of the game, but began fizzling after going up by 10 midway through the second half. Lee hit the Bison's final 3 with 3:42 left and they had to sweat it out from there.

    The Razorbacks tied it at 55 on a pair of free throws with 1:15 left. Bucknell's fatigue may have shown with Lee and Bettencourt missing three straight free throws with about a half-minute left, but Arkansas failed to capitalize.

    Ronnie Brewer, the SEC's leading scorer and the son of the Hogs' 1978 tournament star Ron Brewer, missed a tying jumper with about 15 seconds left. The rebound caromed off several bodies, then made its way to the shortest player on either team, 6-foot Abe Badmus of Bucknell, and he was fouled with 7.9 seconds remaining.

    Badmus, the starting point guard, was in his 34th minute but hadn't taken a shot -- "Every time I got in the lane, the trees were all over me," he said.

    He made both free throws, even with the Razorbacks breaking his rhythm by calling timeout after the first one.

    "I wasn't really thinking about" the circumstances, he said. "I just let my muscle memory take over. I practice them every day, just like every other college basketball player."

    Bucknell's postgame celebration was more relief than the joy seen following their stunning upset over Kansas last March.

    At least this time they got to hear their own band play the school's fight song. Last year's tournament berth was such a surprise that the band already had made other plans for spring break. All 28 made this trip, with one donning an oversized, orange foam cowboy hat.

    The saga of the bandless team helped make Bucknell such a charming story last year. This year's run has more of a sorrowful twist: The 2-month-old daughter of assistant coach Bryan Goodman died Monday from complications of extreme prematurity and an 11-year-old ballboy died in a fire three weeks ago. Players wrote the children's names or initials on tape or sweatbands worn around their ankles. Goodman flew in late Thursday and was with the team on the bench.

    After becoming the first Patriot League team to win an NCAA game last year, the Bison will try Sunday to become the first to win in the second round. They'll play top-seeded Memphis, meaning a chance to notch another big name on their hit list.

    This win was technically an upset because Bucknell was seeded ninth in the Oakland Regional. The Razorbacks were eighth in their first tournament trip since 2001.

    "We came here for a two-game tournament," Bettencourt said. "That's the mind-set we took. I don't think it's too big of an upset."

    Lee, the Patriot League player of the year, scored 24 points and was 4-of-7 on 3-pointers. Bettencourt was 5-of-10 behind the line for 18 points.

    Arkansas was held to its lowest point total of the season and its lowest in 41 NCAA tournament games, dating to 1984. The Razorbacks had won 19 straight games in Dallas, home to their largest alumni base, ending a roll that began in their days as a Southwest Conference powerhouse. They also now have a four-game NCAA losing streak, the longest in program history.

    "There wasn't much we could really do," said Jonathon Modica, who led Arkansas with 19 points.

    The Razorbacks hurt themselves by going 2-of-12 on 3s and enduring a 5-of-13 stretch at the foul line when the game got close in the second half.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    BUCK
    ARK
    Points 59 55
    FG Made-Attempted 17-44 (.386) 19-47 (.404)
    3P Made-Attempted 11-21 (.524) 2-12 (.167)
    FT Made-Attempted 14-18 (.778) 15-24 (.625)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 15 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 10 2

    Series

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Mar 17, 2006 BUCK 59, @ARK 55Recap