HAMILTON, N.Y. – Bucknell women’s basketball upped its winning streak to six games with a 63-42 victory over Colgate at Cotterell Court on Saturday. The Bison remained tied for second in the Patriot League standings at 16-8 overall and 10-3 in the conference, while Colgate fell to 4-20, 0-13 PL.
Ten players scored for the Bison, led by Kate Walker with 16 points. Walker, who led the team in scoring for an eighth consecutive game, was 4-for-8 from beyond the arc. Kaitlyn Slagus joined her in double-figures for the second straight game with 13 points.
Bucknell received 23 points from its bench, including eight points apiece from Gia Hayes and Ellie Mack. Mack hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Hayes added one as the Bison connected on double-digit 3-pointers for the fourth time this season.
The Bison defense was great again as they improved to 10-0 this season when holding league opponents under 60 points. They held Colgate to four points in the first quarter and 12 in the first half. Over the past two games, Bucknell has held its opponents to a total of nine points in the opening quarter and 30 in the first half.
“Our defense was outstanding in the first half, and really all game except for putting them at the free throw line 19 times in the second half,” Bucknell head coach Aaron Roussell said.
Despite aggressive defense by both teams, neither shot a free throw in the first half. Colgate hit 17 of its 19 free throw attempts in the second half, while Bucknell finished with five attempts for the game. The first Bison free throw attempt finally came with 2:27 left in the third quarter when Hayes converted on a three-point play.
The first quarter was a struggle for both teams as Bucknell finished it with a 5-4 lead. The Bison picked it up in the second quarter with 22 points while taking a 27-12 lead into the break.
After shooting 2-of-13 from the field and 1-of-7 from beyond the arc in the first quarter, Bucknell shot 23-of-50 from the field and 9-of-23 from long range in the final three quarters.
“It was a great way to bounce back after a cold start shooting,” Roussell said. “I thought we got good shots early but just didn’t hit. We trusted they’d fall eventually and they did.”
The Bison finished with a 41-34 advantage on the boards, including a 14-9 edge in offensive rebounds. They took advantage of those offensive boards to the tune of 17 second-chance points while giving up just two on the other end. Rachel Dumiak tallied a career-high seven boards.
The fight for the two seed in the Patriot League Tournament is still a battle as Bucknell and Navy are tied and have a game remaining against each other. Mathematically, American is still catchable, but has a strong three-game lead at 13-0 with five games to play. The same goes for Lehigh at three games back of the Bison and Mids.
Bucknell looks to keep its winning streak intact when it travels to play Loyola on Wednesday at 7 p.m.