LEWISBURG, Pa. – It took a gritty offensive performance and top-notch defense, but the Bucknell women’s basketball team gutted out a 64-54 win over Colgate on Saturday night at Sojka Pavilion. Four different Bison scored in double-digits for the second consecutive contest, helping the squad complete the first series sweep of the Raiders since 2011. Bucknell, which remains tied for third place in the conference with American, improved to 12-8 overall and 7-3 in the Patriot League with the win, while Colgate dropped to 5-16 overall and 1-9 in conference play with the loss.
Sophomore Claire Maree O'Bryan scored 15 points off the bench to lead the Bison, hitting 5-of-11 (.455) from the field and a sizzling 3-of-4 (.750) from three-point range. Junior Audrey Dotson and senior Shelby Romine each finished with a double-double, as Dotson collected 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while Romine contributed 12 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and threatened a triple-double with a team-high six assists. Freshman Megan McGurk was the team’s fourth double-digit scorer, tallying 10 points.
Missy Repoli was Colgate’s top scorer for the night, shooting 6-of-11 (.545) from the field and 5-of-8 (.625) from long range. Carole Harris, who had a team-high 6 rebounds, and Lauryn Kobiela each chipped in eight points. Mariah Jones had a game-high eight assists.
Colgate found its way onto the board first, but the first several minutes of the contest were a low-scoring affair, as both teams were plagued by turnovers and stingy defense. The squads tied the score twice at 2-2 and 4-4, but a fast-break layup by O’Bryan at 16:01 put the Bison up 6-4, and they would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the contest.
The Bison held the Raiders scoreless for almost five minutes, taking an 8-4 lead when freshman Claire DeBoer maneuvered her way past her defender for a layup with 12:40 to play. While four points from O’Bryan put Bucknell up 12-6 at the mid-point of the stanza, the game remained close for much of the opening half, with the Raiders slicing the Bison lead to one just two minutes later.
Bucknell began to gain momentum as the clock wound down, and Romine drained a three with 5:38 to play to build her squad’s lead back up to six. Colgate hung around down the stretch, coming within two, but a hard-driving layup from McGurk and an O’Bryan three-pointer from the right wing with four seconds on the clock gave the Bison their biggest lead of the half, a 28-21 advantage, as the squads headed into the locker rooms.
While Bucknell’s 35.5 percent shooting in the first half was considerably better than Colgate’s 20.6 percent average, the true difference-maker in the opening 20 minutes was three-point shooting. The Bison hit an impressive 5-of-8 (.625), while holding the Raiders to just 1-of-11 (.091) from long-range. The home team also held a 28-22 advantage on the boards at the half.
Sophomore Tyler Craig scored three points on a layup and a free throw to open the second half, and the Bison defense held the Raiders scoreless for the first two and a half minutes, giving Bucknell its first double-digit lead of the night. Colgate managed to knock down some shots, and the teams exchanged points through the first media timeout, but a Dotson jumper with 16:29 on the clock sparked a 16-6 run that spanned five minutes, giving the Bison a 49-33 edge.
The last ten minutes of the contest put both team’s defensive units on full display, with Colgate holding Bucknell scoreless for just over four minutes and the Bison silencing the Raiders for just under seven. At the end of the stalemate, the home team held a 53-39 advantage with 3:55 to play.
Repoli hit two of her five three-pointers in the final minutes of the contest, bringing Colgate within 10 points with 2:24 on the clock, but as time ticked away the Raiders were forced to send the Bison to the foul line. Bucknell hit 9-for-13 (.750) from the charity stripe down the stretch, giving the squad a 64-54 win when time expired.
Bucknell finished the contest with a 36.8 shooting percentage, hitting 21-of-57 from the field, and held Colgate to a measly 25.4 percent (18-of-71). The Bison continued their streak of impressive long-range performances, draining 7-of-16 (.438), and dominated the rebounding battle, grabbing 54 boards to the Raiders’ 41.
Bucknell returns to the road on Wednesday, making the short trip to Easton, Pa. to take on Lafayette in a 7 p.m. contest at the Kirby Sports Center. The Leopards, who tarnished Navy’s undefeated conference record with a 70-69 win on Saturday night, have played to a 11-10 overall record and a 5-5 mark in the Patriot League. When the teams met on Jan.8 at Sojka Pavilion, Bucknell overcame a 13-point deficit at the half to win 75-72 in a nail-biter. The contest will be video streamed and will be available free of charge on the Patriot League Network.