YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Bucknell used an 11-0 run between the third and fourth quarters to pull away and get a much-needed 66-60 win on the road against Youngstown State in a non-conference women's basketball matchup at the Beeghly Center on Friday. Junior Kaitlyn Slagus led all players with 21 points, leading 12 different scorers for the Bison as they evened their record at 3-3 overall.
Slagus broke out of an uncharacteristic shooting slump from the outside, finding her shot while hitting four of six attempts from beyond the arc. She scored in double-digits for the fifth time in six games to open the season.
The bigger story for Bucknell, though, was the contributions it received from literally every player that stepped on the court. All 12 players scored in the game, and 11 pulled down at least one rebound. The Bison out-rebounded the Penguins 44-27 and received 21 points from their bench.
The balanced scoring attack and the quality play from the bench were evident during a 9-0 run to end the third quarter that broke a 40-40 tie. Junior Maegan Mikkelsen had two buckets during that stretch, while freshmen Abby Kapp and Autumn Ceppi added one apiece. Junior Kate Walker tacked on a free throw near the end of the third quarter, and Slagus capped the run with a layup early in the fourth.
“Lots of players came off the bench and played an outstanding quarter,” Roussell said. To have 12 players score and 11 get arebounds was awesome to see. The great thing was our energy, which hadn't been there the last few games. A great practice turned into good performance in the game.”
Youngstown State battled back a few times in the final quarter. They first cut the lead to five, 51-46, with 8:15 to play, but freshman Ally Johnson responded with her first career field goal, a 3-pointer to up the lead to eight. The Penguins would get as close as three, 63-60, with 30 seconds to play. This time it was Slagus with the key basket, taking a nice inbounds pass from Walker and finishing off a 3-point play with a layup and foul.
The Bison opened the game on an 8-0 run, including five points from junior Rachel Dumiak in her first career start. They finished the quarter with a 17-12 lead and kept the five-point advantage with a 30-25 lead at the end of the half.
“I thought our bench was outstanding today, and Rachel Dumiak put in some good minutes as a starter” Bucknell head coach Aaron Roussell said. “The big difference was the third quarter and a lot of that was Rachel's defense on Indiya Benjamin.”
Slagus scored nine points in the first half, shooting 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Sophomore MK Moore came off the bench and provided some solid minutes in the second quarter, including a 3-point play on a putback and foul to give Bucknell a 30-22 edge with 1:11 left before the break.
For the game, junior Kyi English joined Slagus in double-figures with 10 points, while Dumiak scored a season-high seven points. The plus-17 rebounding margin was a team effort as Slagus and Walker led the way with just six apiece. Mikkelsen and Ceppi each pulled down five boards.
Youngstown State was led in the game by Benjamin with 14 points. The Penguins dropped to 2-3 overall.
Bucknell has a short turnaround before its next game as it hosts Canisius for a non-conference matchup at Sojka Pavilion on Sunday at 2 p.m.