LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell women’s basketball team shot 51.1 percent from the field on Wednesday night, propelling it to a 78-62 win over Towson at Sojka Pavilion. All five Bison starters scored in double-digits in the triumph, preserving a four-game unbeaten streak at home and improving the team’s record to 4-4. Towson, which received an impressive 31-point effort from Dominique Johnson, falls to 2-5 with the loss.
“They are a good team,” said senior Shelby Romine. “They came out hot. I think this win shows a lot about our team and our ability fight back, not just after a tough loss like we had on Saturday, but within each game. We made a decision to play one stop at a time and win this game.”
The Bison have proven repeatedly that every player on their roster is able to put up points when the team needs it, and tonight was no exception. All five starters turned in impressive offensive outings, led once again by Audrey Dotson. The junior, who battled through a tough match-up with Towson’s LaTorri Hines-Allen for most of the contest, tallied 22 points, collected six rebounds and handed out three assists. Freshman Megan McGurk kept the Bison in the game early, knocking down 4-of-5 from beyond the arc on her way to scoring a career-high 14 points.
Romine chipped in with her second double-double of the season, contributing 14 points on 4-of-6 (.667) shooting and collecting a game-high 11 rebounds, and freshman Claire DeBoer and sophomore Sheaira Jones notched 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Johnson’s 31 points included seven three-pointers and accounted for half of the Tigers’ offense in the game, while Hines-Allen was also tough to stop, scoring 17 points before fouling out in the second half. Markell Smith spearheaded a strong rebounding game for Towson, contributing nine boards and helping the Tigers beat the Bison 40-33 on the glass.
The first half of the contest featured nine lead changes and a tie, as the two teams battled point-for-point through the opening stanza. McGurk went 4-for-4 from three-point range in the first seven minutes, putting Bucknell up 14-12, but the visitors reclaimed the advantage six minutes later on a jumper by Hines-Allen.
Two free throws from DeBoer sparked a 7-0 run for Bucknell, and the squad continued to hit shots down the stretch, with three different players scoring in the paint and Jones draining a three with 1:16 on the clock to give her squad a 37-32 edge. The Tigers got one point back in the final minute, but the Bison, who shot 54.2 percent (13-of-24) from the field in the first half, took a 37-33 lead into the locker room.
Bucknell continued to build on its momentum at the start of the second, taking a 46-36 lead just under four minutes in, but Towson quickly made things interesting with a 12-0 run that ended with the Bison down by two. A well-timed layup from DeBoer, who came alive in the second half of the contest, knotted the score 48-48, but the Tigers made one final push, taking a two-point advantage with 11:39 on the clock.
The lead was short-lived however, as just over a minute later Romine raced down the court on a breakaway, feeding the ball to DeBoer at the rim for a layup that put Bucknell ahead of Towson for good.
The Tigers kept things close, coming within one when Johnson sunk two free throws with 7:52 to play, but the Bison owned the boards and dominated around the basket as the clock wound down, capitalizing on every chance to open up the score.
Dotson blew the game open with just over four minutes to play, drawing Hines-Allen’s fifth foul before nailing both free throws and a subsequent three-pointer to put the Bison up 66-55. Junior Katherine Harris played some of Bucknell’s best on-ball defense of the night as the clock wound down, halting a previously unstoppable Johnson, and the Bison remained steady as ever from the line, allowing a Romine layup to seal a 78-62 victory.
“In the last six minutes of this game, Katherine just locked up Johnson,” reflected head coach Aaron Roussell. “She allowed her just one basket on a really tough shot. Harris’ impact might not show up in the box score, but she really won that game for us in the last six minutes on the defensive end.”
Bucknell hit 23-of-45 (.551) from the field in the contest, including 5-of-10 (.500) from beyond the arc and 25-of-32 (.781) from the line, in a well-rounded offensive effort. Defensively, the squad held Towson to 35.7 percent (25-of-70) shooting.
The Bison, who remain unbeaten at home this season, return to Sojka Pavilion on Saturday afternoon for a 4 p.m. contest with the Penn Quakers. Women's action will be followed by a 7 p.m. men's game against Columbia, and all fans who bring a new or gently used toy to donate will receive a voucher for free popcorn to be used at the concession stand.