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Lafayette Takes Patriot League

Brian Ehlers scored 16 points and Tim Bieg and Tyson Whitfield added 15 apiece to help Lafayette defeat Bucknell 67-63 for its first Patriot League championship Friday night.

Lafayette (22-7) advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1957, ending the nation's second-longest drought behind that of Harvard (1946). Bucknell (16-13) was also seeking its first Patriot League title as well as its first berth to the NCAA since 1989.

Tom Bowen paced Bucknell with a game-high 19 points and Jake Ramage had 14. Bucknell entered the game with 12 wins in its last 14 games.

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  • Lafayette built its biggest lead of the second half at 63-54 on Ted Cole's tip-in with 3:57 left to cap a 11-2 run.

    Bucknell drew to 63-58 on consecutive inside baskets by Bowen, and Valter Karavanic hit a 3-pointer to help the Bisons close to 63-61 with 21.5 seconds left.

    But Bieg hit two free throws with 20.6 seconds left and Frank Barr blocked a layup attempt by Willie Callahan.

    Ehlers, who had 14 of his 16 points in the second half, followed with a pair of free throws with 12.4 seconds left to give Lafayette a 67-61 lead. Bowen hit a jumper in the final seconds.

    Lafayette shot just 32 percent from the field in the opening period but managed a 28-26 halftime advantage.

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