Season over

Bucknell gave Arizona all it could handle in the first round of the NIT, as the Wildcats lost on Wednesday night.

Bucknell played harder and was more efficient on Wednesday, as it defeated Arizona 65-54 in the first round of the NIT.

Bucknell opened a quick 4-0 lead behind Mike Muscala and Joe Willman, as Jordin Mayes put Arizona on the board only to be answered by Willman. The teams then exchanged buckets before a follow-up dunk by Solomon Hill brought Arizona to within 8-7 with 15:49 left. After a free-throw by Angelo Chol, Muscala scored again and Cameron Ayers hit a three. Perry matched the three with one of his own, but Willman hit another jumper and Bucknell led 15-11 with 11:59 left.

Bryan Cohen hit a three out of the timeout and after a free-throw by Jordin Mayes, Bryson Johnson hit another three for Bucknell, as a Perry basket made it a 21-14 game going into the timeout with 8:48 left. Muscala and Cohen hit two free throws each to extend the lead to 11 and Arizona continued to struggle from the field with 5:52 left, down 25-14.

After Muscala scored again, Arizona tried to get something going with five consecutive points from Fogg to close the gap to 27-19 with 3:42 left. After a three by Bryson Johnson, Chol came back with a layup and Hill hit a three of his own, as Sean Miller took timeout with the Wildcats down six with 1:51 left. Perry proceeded to make a layup out of the timeout, but Muscala made two free throws to answer it and make the score 32-26 going into the half.

Arizona came out of the half on fire, as Hill started it with a jumper and Mayes followed with a three-point play off a turnover. Chol then added a nice jump hook and after a three-point play by Muscala, Hill hit a three and Arizona took the 36-35 lead with 15:49 left. After a Muscala free throw, Ayers hit a three to get the lead back, but Perry nailed a jumper to put Arizona within one with 11:10 left.

Ayers and Muscala helped bringed the lead to five before Perry cut it right back down to three and tried to get some momentum going, but Muscala got to the line and hit both his free throws to make it 45-40 with about eight minutes left. Willman then made a basket, forcing Miller to call timeout not too long after.

Out of the timeout, Cohen hit a basket, but Hill was able to get to the line and match the production with two free throws. However, Johnson was able to nail a three-pointer to put Bucknell back up ten and that was once again matched by Arizona, with Nick Johnson making a three as well. Johnson then added two free throws and the Wildcats were within five.

Muscala was once again able to free himself up in the pain and put Bucknell back up seven, only to be answer by two free throws from Johnson. Hill then added two of his own to put Arizona within striking distance with 4:27 left in regulation. Arizona continued to have difficulty getting over the hump, however, as Ayers nailed two free throws to extend the lead to 56-51.

Perry was able to get to the line and make both of his free throw attempts to bring the Wildcats to 56-53 before he proceeded to make one of two at the line shortly after and make it a two-point game.

The game continued at the line, as Cohen made two free-throw attempts to put Bucknell back up four with 2:40 left in regulation. The score held until under a minute to go when Bucknell's Johnson hit a three-pointer to basically seal it.

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