ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Bucknell women's basketball put itself in great position to get the second seed in the Patriot League Tournament with a 49-40 win over Navy at Alumni Hall on Wednesday. The Bison broke a tie with the Mids, improving to 19-8 overall and 13-3 in the conference. The Mids dropped one game back of the second spot at 22-5 overall and 12-4 in the league with two games to play.
“It was another hard-fought win against a tough and well-coached Navy team,” Bucknell head coach Aaron Roussell said. “Nothing was easy for us today, but we toughed through and really earned this one.”
Kaitlyn Slagus tallied 12 points and 13 rebounds to post her third straight double-double, Ellie Mack scored 13 points, and Kate Walker tallied 11 to help Bucknell put an end to Navy's 16-game home winning streak. The Mids hadn't lost at Alumni Hall since falling to the Bison 63-54 on Feb. 25, 2017.
Meanwhile, Bucknell kept its winning streak alive with a ninth consecutive victory. That sets up a matchup with first-place American, winners of 17 straight, at Sojka Pavilion on Saturday. The Eagles have already clinched the PL regular season title, while the Bison can secure the second seed with either a win or Navy loss in the final two games.
Mack went off the in the second quarter, scoring nine points in the final 5:29 of play to give her team a 27-22 lead at the half. She connected on all four of her shots during that stretch and added three rebounds. Prior to that it was Slagus leading the way for Bucknell, scoring six points to help the Bison take a 16-11 advantage after one quarter.
After the teams matched each other with 13 points in the third quarter, Bucknell scored the first seven points of the fourth to take its largest lead of the game, 47-35 with 4:22 to play. Autumn Ceppi, Walker, Mack, and Kyi English all scored during the 7-0 run.
Bucknell finished with a 44-35 advantage on the boards. Mack, who shot 6-of-9 from the field and led all scorers, was second on the team with six rebounds. The teams each had 15 offensive rebounds, but the Bison turned those into 13 second-chance points compared to just five for Navy.
“We had some stretches that I thought we gave up too many offensive boards, but we found ways to survive most of those,” Roussell said. “I thought when we got our separation, rebounding was the difference on both ends.”
Laurel Jaunich paced Navy with 10 points. The Bison held the Mids to 28 percent shooting, including a 20 percent from beyond the arc. The Mids entered as the top-scoring team in the Patriot League, as they did in the first matchup with the Bison, but were held to an average of 39.5 points in the two-game regular season series.
Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. tipoff. Seniors Catherine Romaine, Carly Richardson and team manager Danielle Baer will be honored prior to the game. Romaine and Richardson make up the winningest class in program history.