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Claire Maree O'Bryan
Claire Maree O'Bryan
Courtesy: Marc Hagemeier
Women's Basketball Welcomes Binghamton to Sojka for Home Opener
Release:   11/13/2013

What: Bucknell Bison (0-1) vs. Binghamton Bearcats (0-1)
Where: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa. 
When: Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, 7 p.m.
Internet Video: Bison Vision on the Patriot League Network (free)
Radio: WVBU 90.5 FM
Internet Radio: BucknellBison.com
Live Stats: BucknellBison.com

With a Victory Over Binghamton, Bucknell Would...
• Win its first home opener under Aaron Roussell.
• Increase its winning streak over Binghamton to three.
• Improve its overall record with the Bearcats to 4-2 and 3-1 at home.
• Earn its first win over a team from the America East conference since playing to a 59-55 victory over the Bearcats on Nov. 28, 2007.
• Win its first non-conference game since defeating NJIT 52-35 at Sojka Pavilion on Jan. 8, 2013.

Quick Facts
• Bucknell was voted seventh in the 2013-14 Patriot League Preseason Poll. Defending champion Navy was voted to the first-place spot.
Aaron Roussell was hired as Bucknell’s ninth head coach in April 2012. He led the Bison to the largest turnaround in program history during his debut campaign, and set a Bucknell women’s basketball record for most wins by a first-year head coach.
Shelby Romine and Audrey Dotson were chosen as Bucknell’s co-captains ahead of the 2013-14 campaign. Romine will serve in the leadership position for the third consecutive season, while Dotson is a first-time captain.
• Bucknell made huge strides in its defensive play last season, ranking first in the league and 15th nationally in field goal percentage defense (.345) and second in the conference and 35th in the country in three-point field goal percentage defense (.271).
• The Bison also led the Patriot League with 42.0 rebounds per game and a +5.9 rebounding margin, a number that placed them 35th in the NCAA rankings.
• The Bison return three starters and eight letterwinners from a year ago. Lindsay Horbatuck, the leading rebounder in the Patriot League last season, and Alyssa Dunn both graduated from the starting five in May.
Shelby Romine, who led the Bison in scoring for the third consecutive season in 2012-13 and earned second team All-Patriot League honors, scored the 1,000th point of her career on Feb. 9, 2013. She currently ranks 16th in program history with 1,098 points.
Audrey Dotson was the team’s second-leading scorer (11.8 points per game) and rebounder (7.5 rebounds per game) last season.
• The Bison finished the 2012-13 season with a record of 15-16 overall and 5-9 mark in the Patriot League.

Last Meeting with Binghamton - Nov. 28, 2007
• Bucknell 59, Binghamton 55 (Events Center)
• Kesha Champion connected on 4-of-4 free throws in the final minute to lift the Bucknell women’s basketball team over Binghamton in the last matchup between the two squads. The Bison improved to 2-4 on the season as they picked up their first road win of the campaign, while the Bearcats fell to 0-5.
• Bucknell used a pesky full court pressure defense throughout the game to force 21 Binghamton turnovers and limit the Bearcats to 27.6 percent shooting from the floor, the lowest by a Bison opponent since at least 2005-06. The squad, which shot 39.1 percent from the floor, was led by Amanda Brown and Hope Foster, as Brown tallied 17 points and Foster recorded her 14th career double-double off the bench with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
• Binghamton had three players in double figures, led by 17 from Laura Sario, while Laura Franceski posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Bearcats, who also had Laine Kurpniece pull down 10 boards, outrebounded the Bison 49-37.

About the Bearcats
Thursday’s contest will be the first road game of the season for the Bearcats, as Binghamton fell to Buffalo, 65-47, in its season opener at the Events Center on Nov. 8. Junior forward Sherae Swinson finished with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds to lead the Bearcats’ effort, while freshman forward Kristin Ross came off the bench to add nine points.

Binghamton finished the 2012-13 season with a 6-24 overall record and a 5-11 mark in the America East Conference. The team returns three starters and nine letterwinners from a year ago, including Swinson, who led the Bearcats in scoring last season with 9.9 points per game and recieved third team All-America East for her efforts.

History vs. Binghamton
• Bucknell leads the all-time series with Binghamton 3-2, with two of the Bison’s three wins coming in Lewisburg.
• Bucknell’s largest margin of victory in series history is 31 points thanks to a 60-29 decision at Davis Gym in the 1973-74 season. Binghamton’s largest margin of victory came in 2001, as it won by 13 points, 84-71, on Jan. 22, 2001 in Lewisburg, Pa. Two of the games between the teams have been decided by one point, with the Bearcats coming out on top, 58-57, on Dec. 8, 2001, and the Bison earning a 65-64 victory in overtime on Dec. 19, 2006.
• No Bison on the current roster has faced Binghamton in their career.

History vs. America East
The last time Bucknell faced an opponent from the American East conference was on Dec. 4, 2010. The Bison fell 63-57 to UMBC in that matchup, and are 14-12 (.538) all-time against those squads currently in the America East. Bucknell has fared best against Albany and UMBC, winning four games against each of the two schools.

Home Opener History
• Bucknell is 22-16 in known home openers (records for 1973-74 are incomplete).
• Bucknell had won two consecutive home openers, defeating Saint Peter’s 46-35 in 2010 and Rider 53-48 in 2011, before falling to St. Francis (Pa.) 62-54 in last season’s home opener.
• If Bucknell wins Thursday’s matchup with Binghamton, the Bison will win their first home opener under head coach Aaron Roussell.
• Bucknell is 5-5 in home openers at Sojka Pavilion.

Home Opener Giveaway
Bucknell has several promotions planned for the 2013-14 campaign. First up is a poster giveaway. The first 250 fans to the women’s home opener vs. Binghamton on Nov. 14 will receive a free poster with Bucknell men’s and women’s basketball’s 2013-14 schedules.

Last Time Out
Bucknell opened the 2013-14 season with the 1,000th game in program history, falling 66-51 to Pittsburgh, one of the ACC’s newest members, at the Petersen Events Center. Playing in front of a crowd of 4,698, Audrey Dotson led all players in the contest with 23 points and 14 rebounds, while Shelby Romine scored eight points and collected eight rebounds. Six different Bison played in their first collegiate game against the Panthers, while Micki Impellizeri and Megan McGurk each earned their first career starts.

They Didn’t Miss a Beat
In spite of the fact that they graduated the top rebounder in the Patriot League when Lindsay Horbatuck (10.5 rebounds per game) walked across the stage last May, Bucknell did not miss a beat in its first contest of the new season, outrebounding Pittsburgh 59-38. The Bison collected 24 offensive rebounds and 35 on the defensive end, and currently lead the league in all four rebounding categories. Audrey Dotson, who averaged 7.5 rebounds per game last season, led the way with 14 boards, while Shelby Romine and Claire DeBoer each grabbed eight.

Double Threat
Audrey Dotson opened her junior campaign with a bang against Pittsburgh, leading all players with 23 points and 14 rebounds to record the fifth double-double and the fourth 20+ point performance of her career. The forward also rebounded in double-digits in last season’s opener, collecting 12 rebounds at Xavier on Nov. 10, 2012. She shot 9-of-14 and 5-of-6 from the free throw line this year, grabbing six offensive rebounds and eight defensive boards to threaten at both ends of the court. Dotson, who currently leads the Patriot League in rebounding and ranks second in scoring, also collected her 300th career rebound against the Panthers.

Opening with 20+
When Audrey Dotson scored 23 points against Pittsburgh last Friday, the junior joined an impressive group of Bison to hit the 20-point mark in a season opener. The last to score at least 20 points in the first game of the season was her co-captain, Shelby Romine, who had 21 against Xavier last season. Prior to the performances of these two stars, it had been four years since a Bison had accomplished the feat.

A Fantastic First
Aaron Roussell became Bucknell’s ninth head coach when he was hired in April 2012 and the Bison experienced the biggest turnaround in program history under the tutelage of he and his staff.

Roussell lifted Bucknell from a five-win outing in 2011-12 to a 15-16 overall record and a 5-9 mark in Patriot League action during his debut season. His 15 wins set a Bucknell women’s basketball record for victories in a coach’s rookie season, and his work with the Bison was recognized nationally, as he was named a finalist for the WBCA Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award.

Only two other coaches – Cindy Connelley (1983-84) and Juliene Simpson (1991-97) – improved Bucknell’s wins total in their first season. Connelley’s nine wins was a one-game improvement, while Simpson had a five-win improvement with her debut record of 7-20.

Youthful Exuberance
In addition to the six players who contributed to last season’s succes, this year’s Bison squad features eight players who have never seen action in a collegiate basketball game prior to the start of the campaign. In addition to the six newcomers, junior Tara Wilk has been sidelined by injury for the past two seasons and sophomore Claire Maree O’Bryan was forced to sit out her rookie campaign due to an NCAA technicality based on her international student-athlete status.

Leading the Way
Senior Shelby Romine and junior Audrey Dotson will serve as Bucknell’s team captains for the 2013-14 season. While Dotson assumes the role for the first time, Romine becomes just the second Bison to be named captain for three seasons. In 2011-12 Romine was the first sophomore to be named a captain since K.C. Vlah in 1993-94. Vlah went on to serve in the leadership role in her junior and senior campaigns as well.

The Newest Member of the Club
With 1,090 points after her first three seasons, senior guard Shelby Romine became Bucknell’s 20th 1,000 point scorer on February 9, 2013. Romine’s current total ranks her 16th all-time and she became the most recent 1,000-point scorer since Lauren Schober, who totaled 1,129 points from 2005 to 2009.

Destructive Defense
Under Roussell’s guidance, Bucknell made huge strides in its defensive play, ranking first in the league and 15th nationally in field goal percentage defense (.345) and second in the conference and 35th in the country in three-point field goal percentage defense (.271). The Bison also led the Patriot League with 42.0 rebounds per game and a +5.9 rebounding margin, a number that placed them 35th in the NCAA rankings. By the end of the season, Bucknell had set a new program record with 1,302 total rebounds.

A Significant Leap
Junior Audrey Dotson exploded onto the scene during her sophomore campaign, becoming the team’s second-leading scorer (11.8 points per game) and rebounder (7.5 points per game), and leading the Bison in both blocks (42) and steals (36). She ranked second in the Patriot League with a .451 field goal percentage, and found herself amongst the conference’s top 10 in six additional categories. A Patriot League Player of the Week in December, she led Bucknell in scoring in 10 contests and in rebounding in nine games.

Patriot League Preseason Poll
After placing seventh in the conference standings for the past two seasons, Bucknell held its ground in the 2013-14 Patriot League Preseason Poll, in spite of the two new additions to the conference. Navy, who won last year’s Patriot Leauge Tournament, earned the top spot for the second season in a row, while newcomer Boston University garned three first-place votes and took the third spot. Loyola Maryland, the other new face in the Patriot Leauge, came in at eighth place, just below Bucknell

Navy’s Jade Geif was selected the Preseason Patriot League Player of the Year for the third consecutive campaign.

Opponents by the Numbers
Bucknell will face Boston University and Virginia Tech for the first time in program history this season, but the Bison have a long history with many of thier other 2013-14 opponents. Bucknell has faced six of the foes on this season’s schedule at least 50 times and none more often than Lehigh with 73 previous bouts. Bucknell and Lafayette, which is the Bison’s oldest opponent, have squared off 71 times including their first meeting on Feb. 19, 1977. Bucknell has seen the most success against Cornell with a .773 (17-5) winning percentage, but the series vs. Colgate is not far behind at .644 (38-21), the highest percentage against conference opponents.

High Marks
Bucknell continued to rewrite the program top-10 lists last season. The Bison set a new program record in total rebounds with 1,302, while their 57.0 scoring defense ranked third. 

A Leader On and Off the Court
Romine, a two-time All-Patriot League selection, led Bucknell in scoring for the third consecutive season in 2012-13 by averaging 13.3 points per game, a number that ranked her third in the Patriot League, and her 116 assists were also a team-high. A Patriot League Player of the Week in December, she ranked amongst the top 10 in the conference in six different categories last season.

Hitting the Books
Bucknell continues to have plenty to smile about in the classroom. The Bison placed 10 of their 14 players on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll last year with senior environmental studies major Ashley Baxter, senior elementary education major Lindsay Horbatuck and senior management major Rachel Voss leading the way with perfect 4.0 grade point averages. In addition, Horbatuck earned a spot on the Academic All-Patriot League team for her performances on the court and in the classroom.

Sojka Pavilon Records
Both Shelby Romine and Audrey Dotson moved onto the Sojka Pavilion Career Records list in 2012-13, with Romine ranking second in assists made at home with 146 and Dotson’s 30 blocked shots ranking fifth. Romine has also played her way to the third spot in field goals attempted (469), three-point field goals made (54), three-point field goals attempted (163), free throws made (95) and free throws attempted (125), while her 471 career points in Sojka ranks fourth.

Bison Online
Now there are more ways than ever to follow the Bison. In addition to the Bucknell women’s basketball account (@BucknellWBB), head coach Aaron Roussell (@CoachRous), assistant coach Christian Stefanopoulos (@CStef23), assistant coach Katie Adams (@CoachKAdams12) and assistant coach Mike Lane (@MLane417) are all on Twitter. Bucknell Women’s Basketball is also on Facebook.

For up-to-date information, videos and more for all of Bucknell’s teams, don’t forget @BisonSports on Twitter, facebook.com/BuckyBison and youtube.com/BucknellAthletics.

Looking Ahead
Bucknell will make one of its longest trips of the season this weekend, traveling to Blacksburg, Va. to take on Virginia Tech on Sunday, Nov. 17. The contest marks the first ever meeting between the Bison and the Hokies, and the game is scheduled to tip at 2 p.m. Bucknell will be on the road for three contests before returning to Sojka Pavilion on Nov. 26 for a 7 p.m. tilt with Youngstown State. The team is sponsoring a Take-A-Kid-to-the-Game night against the Penguins, allowing fans to recieve a free kid’s ticket with every adult ticket purchased.

 

 

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