WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bucknell women’s basketball saw its program-record 12-game winning streak come to an end Wednesday night with a 59-47 loss to American at Bender Arena. Despite the loss, the Bison are still in first place in the conference standings at 17-4 overall and 9-1 in the Patriot League. The Eagles improved to 10-11 overall and 7-3 in the conference.
The defeat was the Bison’s first since losing on the road to Rutgers on Dec. 3. All four losses have come on the road this season.
The Bison were plagued by 23 turnovers and shot just 39 percent from the field, including a 2-for-16 mark from beyond the arc. It was the first time they had shot below 40 percent during conference play and just the fifth time all season. They are 16-0 on the year when shooting at least 40 percent.
Bucknell had erased double-digit deficits to win each of the past two games in the series with American, but was only able to get as close as seven, 47-40 on a layup by senior Claire DeBoer with 7:37 to play, after trailing by as much as 16 in the first half.
"Unfortunately, it just wasn't our night," Bucknell head coach Aaron Roussell said. "American played very tough, very smart, and they took us out of what we wanted to do. When they jumped on us early, it forced us to play from behind the whole night, and we were never really able to get over the hump to get the game back in our favor."
Michael Harris scored a team-high 16 points to help American finish with an 18-5 advantage in bench points. Bucknell was without sophomore Kate Walker (illness), who leads the Bison reserves at 9.0 points per game.
DeBoer paced the Bison with 17 points and six rebounds, while sophomore Kaitlyn Slagus tallied 11 points, seven boards, and four assists. Senior Sune Swart scored seven of her eight points in a span of 1:26 between the third and fourth quarters that looked like it could spark another comeback, but the Bison scored just two points in the following seven minutes of play.
In addition to its overall winning streak, Bucknell saw its streak of 18 consecutive wins in Patriot League regular season games come to an end. The Bison’s last league loss came at Army West Point on Jan. 30, 2016.
"We will learn from this, watch film, and fix things, and this will make us a better and more dangerous team moving forward," Roussell said.
Bucknell is back on the road for its next game as it travels to play Holy Cross on Saturday at noon.