LEWISBURG, Pa. – Senior Claire DeBoer and sophomore Kaitlyn Slagus each recorded double-doubles, and Bucknell finished with a 54-27 advantage on the boards in a 67-36 win over visiting NJIT in a non-conference women’s basketball game Thursday night at Sojka Pavilion.
The Bison improved to 3-0 and ran their winning streak at Sojka Pavilion to 13 straight games dating back to last season. They also have a winning streak of 12 games in regular season contests. NJIT suffered its first loss of the season, falling to 2-1.
Both Slagus and DeBoer were able to lessen their minutes with the team playing with a double-digit lead for most of the game. Each player finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds, with Slagus playing 24 minutes and DeBoer playing 27 minutes. It was the second time in four regular season games that the Bison had two players record double-doubles. Slagus was also a part of the last one, posting 16 points and 11 rebounds in last year’s regular season finale at Lafayette.
Slagus did most of her damage in the first half, specifically the first quarter. She had 14 points and seven rebounds in the first quarter alone. That’s what she would finish the half with as Bucknell took a 31-17 lead into the break. For the game, she shot 8-of-9 from the field, including a perfect 3-for-3 mark from beyond the arc, and hit all three of her free throw attempts. She is 10-for-10 from the line through three games.
DeBoer, the Preseason Patriot League Player of the Year, came alive in the second half. She scored 16 points in the final two quarters to help her record a season-high in scoring. She was 7-of-13 from the field, 7-of-8 from the line, and hit her only 3-pointer.
The Bison entered the game ranked first in the Patriot League in rebounding margin at +19.5 and raised that to 22.0 by finishing with twice as many boards as the Highlanders. They had three players grab double-digit rebounds as senior Sune Swart matched DeBoer and Slagus with 10. Megan McGurk, a senior guard, tallied six boards.
“That’s something we take pride in and it’s nice to see our three starting forwards each put up 10 rebounds,” said Bucknell head coach Aaron Roussell. “I also thought Megan McGurk was phenomenal, especially in the third quarter. It may not have been a big game in the box score, but she kept us composed and knew where to get the ball.”
It was the first time since 2012 that the Bison had three players with double-digit rebounds. They have now out-rebounded their opponent in 60 of their past 66 games, including all three contests this season.
All 11 healthy players saw the floor for Bucknell. Sophomore Kyi English tallied six points and four rebounds, while McGurk added three assists to her six boards. Sophomore Maegan Mikkelsen drained a 3-pointer for her first points of the season, and freshman Gia Hayes made a bucket in the second half for her first career points.
Bucknell held NJIT to 25 percent shooting. Alana Dudley led the Highlanders with 10 points.
The Bison will now head south to play a pair of tough opponents. They will take on North Carolina at Carmichael Arena on Sunday, and will follow that up with a game at Elon on Tuesday. The Tar Heels are 2-0, while the Phoenix are 2-1 with a 66-54 win over Rutgers in their most recent game.
A win at North Carolina would put the Bison at 4-0 for the first time since the 2000-01 season.