MARCH 15 2012 06:05h

COL BKB: Bucknell 65, Arizona 54

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TUCSON, March 15 (UPI) -- Mike Muscala dominated inside Wednesday to send Bucknell to a surprising 65-54 conquest of Arizona in their NIT opener.

Bucknell, regular-season champion in the Patriot League, was seeded eighth by the NIT selection committee but came through down the stretch after the 6-11 Muscala had fouled out with 2:59 to play.

The Bison scored nine straight points after Muscala left the game and got a key 3-pointer from Bryson Johnson with 50 seconds to play that boosted their lead to seven points.

Muscala scored 20 points, had nine rebounds and blocked four shots. Johnson added 14 points for Bucknell (25-9). The Bison will meet Nevada in the second round Sunday.

Arizona (23-12) lost its chance to play in the NCAA Tournament when it fell to Colorado in the finals of the Pac-12 Tournament.