LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell women’s basketball team, clad in pink uniforms for its Play4Kay game, battled to a 62-50 win over Boston University on Saturday afternoon at Sojka Pavilion, guaranteeing a bye in the first round of the Patriot League tournament and a winning record for the first time since the 2008-09 season. The Bison, who defeated the Terriers for the first time in program history, improved to 15-11 overall, equaling their win total from last season, and lifted their Patriot League record to 10-6 with the triumph, while the visitors dropped to 11-18 overall and 6-10 in conference action with the defeat.
Senior Shelby Romine was one of two Bison to register a double-double in the win, scoring a game-high 20 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Romine, who is in the midst of a 15-game double-digit scoring streak, tallied 20+ points for the second consecutive contest, highlighted by a 3-for-6 effort from three-point range and a 9-for-10 outing from the line. The senior guard, who moved into fifth place on Bucknell’s all-time scoring list with her 21-point effort against Loyola on Wednesday, has hit 21-of-42 from long-range since Jan. 25, giving her a 53.7 percent shooting accuracy in that time span.
Freshman Claire DeBoer joined Romine in the double-double club on Saturday afternoon, collecting the sixth of her young career with 11 points and 13 rebounds, five of which came on the offensive glass, while also handing out a team-high three assists. Sophomore Claire Maree O'Bryan notched her 10th double-digit outing of the season with 11 points, while junior Audrey Dotson contributed another well-rounded effort in 30 minutes of action, scoring eight points, collecting nine rebounds and making two blocks.
Rashidat Agboola led Boston University with 14 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal, while Melissa Gallo chipped in with nine points. Clodagh Scannell had eight rebounds and seven points, while Danielle Callahan handed out three assists and made three steals for the Terriers.
The Bison played to a 10-6 lead in the opening five minutes of the contest, helped considerably by five quick points from Romine, but a seven-point surge book-ended by long-range shots from Boston University’s Sarah Hope handed the four-point edge to the visitors. Both teams created an almost impenetrable defense in the paint, forcing their opponents to the outside and limiting scoring for most of the half, but the Terriers were able to cling to their lead for several minutes.
A three-minute scoring lull for both teams was halted when sophomore Sheaira Jones hit two from the line to knot the score at 17-17, but Boston University quickly regained the lead on a three-pointer from Scannell. Dotson gave Bucknell’s answer to that play, draining a three of her own when pressure in the paint forced her outside, and while the Terriers scored the next four points, the momentum seemed to slowly be shifting in the Bison’s favor.
Romine hit a three to bring the Bison within one with 3:10 to play and then attempted to take the lead for her squad just over a minute later, but her jumper fell just short. O’Bryan was there to scoop up the offensive rebound however, sending the ball up to Romine who sunk a wide-open three from the top of the key to push Bucknell out to a 26-24 lead.
The Bison allowed just one more free throw in the first half, and O’Bryan made both of her shots from the line, giving Bucknell a 28-25 edge over Boston University at the half. Neither team was breaking records with their shooting accuracy, with the visitors hitting 25.7 percent (9-of-35) to the home team’s 22.6 percent (7-of-31) effort, but the Bison out-rebounded the Terriers 30-24 in the first 20 minutes alone.
The defensive battle resumed at the beginning of the second half, with both teams having to fight their way into points, but Boston University held a slight edge through the first six minutes, outscoring Bucknell 9-4 to take a 34-33 lead with 14:01 to play. Romine went 2-for-2 from the line to reclaim Bucknell’s advantage for good, and then freshman Sune Swart, who matched her career-high with five rebounds for the second consecutive contest, shut down Agboola on the Terriers’ next possession, sparking a 16-4 run that gave the Bison a 13-point edge with 6:57 to play.
Boston University came within eight points with just over three minutes remaining, but Bucknell buckled down as the time ticked off the clock, limiting the Terriers to just four points until the buzzer sounded. Romine went 6-for-6 from the line to close out her impressive afternoon, and O’Bryan capped the 62-50 win with a crafty layup.
Shooting improved slightly in the second half of the contest, but Bucknell finished the day at just 28.3 percent (17-of-60) from the field, while Boston University made 30.8 percent (20-of-65) of its shots. The Bison were dominant in other areas of the game however, hitting 23-of-29 (.793) from the line and out-rebounding the Terriers 55-38, including a 17-9 edge in offensive boards.
Bucknell will play its final road contest of the regular season on Wedneday, making the short trip to Bethlehem, Pa. to square off against Lehigh. Heading into the weekend, the Mountain Hawks sit in eighth place in the conference with a 4-10 record, but they will take on both Lafayette and Army before squaring off against the Bison. Bucknell earned an 82-68 victory when the squads met at Sojka on Jan.29, led by a 28-point effort by Romine. The game, and all of Bucknell’s league contests, will be video streamed and available free of charge on the Patriot League Network.