LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell women’s basketball team won its first home opener under second-year head coach Aaron Roussell in convincing fashion on Thursday night, playing to an 89-48 victory over Binghamton at Sojka Pavilion. Four different Bison scored in double figures in a sizzling offensive effort, as Bucknell registered 50 points in the first half for the first time since Nov. 19, 2007. The team improves to 1-1 with the triumph, while Binghamton falls to 0-2.
“I’m proud of our kids,” said Roussell after the win. “The defense triggered our offense. I’m really impressed with our break tonight, and I think we set the tone scoring off the break early. We didn’t run a lot of our sets tonight, we just kind of let them play basketball and I was proud of the way they played together.”
Co-captains Shelby Romine and Audrey Dotson both surpassed the 20-point mark to lead Bucknell, while sophomores Claire Maree O'Bryan and Sheaira Jones netted 12 and 10 points, respectively. Romine registered the second double-double of her career with 25 points and a career-high 10 assists, while Dotson collected 22 points, six rebounds and four blocks. Both players were perfect from the free throw line, and Dotson shot 80 percent from the field, while Romine connected on 9-of-13 and 4-of-5 from long range.
The Bison were dynamic defensively, stifling the Bearcats from the opening whistle and holding them to a measly 22.6 percent from the field, but it was the young squad’s scorching offense that stole the show. Ten different players scored in the win, as Bucknell sunk 35-of-54 from the field and 9-of-15 from beyond the arc to shoot 64.8 percent in the contest. The last time a Bucknell team put forth such impressive offensive statistics was in January of 2005.
Sherae Swinson led the Bearcats with 17 points, six rebounds and four steals, while Kim Albrecht also scored in double-digits, netting 10 points for Binghamton.
Dotson connected on a jumper early in the contest to send the Bison on a 22-6 run, and the squad only continued to build on its lead, never allowing the Bearcats to come closer than 12 and extending its edge to 20 with just under five minutes on the clock.
Romine, who exploded for 22 points in the first half, turned two steals into four points as the clock wound down, extending Bucknell’s lead to 28, and then connected on a pair of free throws in the final minute to send her team into the locker room with an impressive 50-19 lead at halftime.
Bucknell was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line in the first 20 minutes, while a staunch defensive performance limited Binghamton to 21.9 percent from the field.
The Bison remained in control in the second half, playing with confidence and extending their lead to 37 on a three-point bucket from O’Bryan. Romine continued to drive the ball in the paint, setting her teammates up for easy lay-ups, and the Bison stayed true to their defensive strengths, eventually outrebounding the Bearcats 41-27.
A layup by Tara Wilk with 5:54 left on the clock pushed the Bucknell lead to 40 and gave the junior her first career points, and the team carried that momentum through to the finish, securing the 89-48 win when freshman Stephanie Purnell nailed a free throw in the final seconds of play.
It has been almost four years since the Bison earned such a dominant win, with their last 40+ point victory coming against Lycoming on Dec. 30, 2009. In addition, the Dotson-Romine duo is the first to score over 20+ in the same game since Lindsey Hollobaugh (22 points) and Hope Foster (20 points) did it in an 85-77 win over Hampton on Nov. 10, 2006.
Bucknell will hit the road for its next three games, kicking things off with a 2 p.m. contest at Virginia Tech on Sunday, Nov. 17.