UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Bucknell women’s basketball team faced a formidable opponent, battling from tip-off to buzzer but falling, 92-49, to No. 15/14 Penn State at the Bryce Jordan Center. There were several bright spots in the challenging matchup, as the Bison competed for a full 40 minutes, but the squad fell to 1-3 overall with the loss. Penn State improves to 3-1 with the victory.
Audrey Dotson led the Bison in scoring for the third time this season, netting 13 points in spite of the constant defensive pressure the Lady Lions heaped on her. The junior pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to compile the sixth double-double of her career and her second of the season. Dotson, who also chipped in three steals and handed out two assists, has scored in double-digits for each of Bucknell’s first four games.
Freshmen Alex Henning and Megan McGurk each scored nine points, with Henning shooting 4-of-9 from the field, while senior Shelby Romine had six points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals in a solid all-around effort. Romine moved into the15th spot on Bucknell’s all-time scoring list with tonight’s performance.
The Bison shot 25.5 percent from the field and 60.7 percent from the free throw line on 28 attempts, as both teams experienced considerable foul trouble throughout the game.
Five different Lady Lions scored in double-digits in the contest, and Maggie Lucas led the way with 17 points. Candice Agee had 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while Ariel Edwards and Kaliyah Mitchell each contributed 14. Alex Harris led the way on the boards with 11 rebounds.
Penn State shot 49.3 percent from the field in the contest, sparked by 22-of-39 shooting in the first half, and 80 percent from the line, but Bucknell held them to just 11.1 percent from long range.
The Bison stayed right with the Lady Lions in the opening minutes, pulling within one when McGurk drained a three-pointer at 17:31 on the clock. Bucknell answered each of Penn State’s baskets with one of its own, playing smart and refusing to back down, and the Lady Lions had just a four-point advantage at the first media timeout.
A 16-4 run by the Lady Lions gave them a 29-11 lead with just under eight minutes to play, but the Bison continued to push back, working the defense to create quality scoring chances. Both teams found themselves in foul trouble as the clock wound down however, and in spite of hitting 6-of-6 from the line down the stretch, including a pair from freshman Sune Swart with less than a minute to play, the Bison found themselves trailing by 30 at the half.
Bucknell came out with increased fortitude in the second half of the game, holding the Lady Lions to 13-of-32 shooting, but they could not find a way to gain ground on Penn State. A three by Henning and a lay-up by sophomore Sheaira Jones sparked the offense, and Dotson followed that up with a pair of free throws to narrow the gap to 30 with 11:10 to play, but that was as close as Bucknell would come, as Penn State ended the night with a 92-49 victory.
Bucknell will play its last of three consecutive road games on Saturday, Nov. 23, traveling to Ithaca, N.Y., for a 1 p.m. matchup with the Cornell Big Red.