HAMILTON, N.Y. – Four members of the starting five scored in double-digits on Sunday afternoon, leading the Bucknell women’s basketball team to its first Patriot League win of the season, an 88-72 triumph over Colgate on Cotterell Court. Freshman forward Claire DeBoer spearheaded the effort with a career-high 24 points, as the Bison bounced back from a tough loss to American on Thursday, improving to 6-6 overall and 1-1 in conference play with the win. Colgate falls to 4-9 overall and 0-2 in the Patriot League with the loss.
“I think this win started in practice on Friday,” said second-year head coach Aaron Roussell. “This group was locked in. You can’t guarantee that it’s going to translate into a good performance on Sunday, but I think there was a bit of a pride check for these girls after losing to American on Thursday. The way they bounced back on Friday was so impressive, and then to put that into practice out there on the floor today shows how much heart they have. It was a good showing for us.”
DeBoer’s 24 points, scored on 7-of-14 (.500) shooting from the field and 10-of-15 (.667) from the line, led all players in the contest, and the rookie also pulled down 12 rebounds for the second double-double of her young career. Her four assists and two steals both matched career-highs. Junior Audrey Dotson tallied 20 points in just 19 minutes of action, hitting 10-of-13 (.769) shots for her fifth 20+ point performance of the season and the eighth of her career.
Senior Shelby Romine put forth another stellar all-around effort for the Bison, playing to her second double-double of the season and the fourth of her career with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The guard also handed out an impressive seven assists, all in the first 20 minutes of action. Sophomore Sheaira Jones also shined on Cotterell Court, scoring a career-high 13 points buoyed by a .500 (2-of-4) percent effort from beyond the arc.
Jones opened up the scoring for the Bison in the first half, answering a Carole Harris layup with five quick points to give her team the 5-2 edge and swing momentum in Bucknell’s favor. An 8-2 run for the Bison widened their advantage to eight, but the Raiders were able to hang around, eventually knotting the score at 15-15 with 11:56 to play.
Bucknell responded to Colgate’s push with some of its best offensive production of the day however, going on a 23-9 run as the clock wound down to take a 46-33 lead into halftime. The Bison shot an impressive .552 in the first stanza, hitting 16-of-29 shots, while holding Colgate to .406 (13-of-32) from the field.
The beginning of the second half was all orange and blue, as Bucknell opened play with a 7-0 streak that put the visitors up 53-33 with less than two minutes off the clock. Colgate found its way onto the scoreboard again with a jumper at 17:53, but the Bison were relentless in their on-ball defensive play, forcing turnovers and mistakes on the Raiders while continuing to hit shots on their end of the court.
With 12:09 to play and the Bison up by 21 after junior Katherine Harris turned an offensive rebound into a crafty layup, the Raiders began to exert offensive pressure, scoring seven straight to narrow the gap to 14 points. A string of three layups in 43 seconds, two by Dotson and one by freshman Megan McGurk, allowed Bucknell to stymie the rally however, and a DeBoer layup through traffic with 7:53 on the clock opened up a 75-52 advantage, the biggest of the afternoon.
Trips to the foul line were abundant for both teams down the stretch, with the Raiders hitting 7-of-8 and the Bison sinking 10-of-17 in the final eight minutes, but Bucknell continued to stave off Colgate’s advances, letting shots fall and using smart defense to fend off the feisty Raiders. It was a 12-point game with 12 seconds on the clock, but Jones and freshman Sune Swart combined to hit 4-of-6 from the line in the final seconds, giving the Bison the 88-72 win and its first Patriot League victory of the season.
Josie Stockill led the Colgate offense with 17 points, while Paige Kriftcher and Mariah Jones put up 11 and 10 respectively. The Raiders earned a 45-42 victory on the glass, but Carole Harris, their top rebounder, came away with just six boards.
Bucknell shot 48.3 (28-of-58) percent from the field in the contest, including 28.6 (4-of-14) percent from three-point range and 73.7 (28-of-38) from the line. The squad held the Raiders to 35.3 (24-of-68) percent overall and 25.0 percent from long range.
The Bison continue conference action on Wednesday, Jan. 8, returning home to Sojka Pavilion for their first contest in Lewisburg since Dec. 7. Bucknell’s Patriot League home opener is a 5 p.m. match-up with Lafayette, which dropped a 67-53 decision to Navy at home on Sunday. The game, and all of this season’s conference match-ups, will be streamed live on the Patriot League Network.