Sheaira JonesCourtesy: Marc Hagemeier
What: Bucknell (1-1) at Virginia Tech (3-0)
Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va.
When: Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, 2 p.m.
Internet Video: HokiesXtra (for a fee)
Radio: WBVU 90.5 FM
Internet Radio: BucknellBison.com
Live Stats: BucknellBison.com
With a Victory Over Virginia Tech, Bucknell Would...
• Improve to 2-1.
• Earn its first win over Virginia Tech and hold a 1-0 mark in the series between the two teams.
• Earn its first win over an ACC team.
• Win its first non-conference game on the road since defeating St. Peter’s 69-62 in overtime in Jersey City, N.J., on Dec. 22, 2012.
• 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.
About the Hokies
Virginia Tech has opened the 2013-14 season with a 3-0 mark, grabbing wins over Howard, Old Dominion and Florida in the first week of the new campaign. The Hokies most recently beat the Gators, 71-59, at Cassell Coliseum on Thursday evening, led by Vanessa Panousis’ 24-point performance.
Virginia Tech finished the 2012-13 season with a 10-20 overall record and a 4-14 mark in the ACC, but the team returned four of its top five scorers to this year’s squad. Monet Tellier led the team with 13.2 points per game, while Uju Ugoka added 12.5 points per game and pulled down a team-best 8.5 rebounds per game. Taijah Campbell and Lauren Evans both added 4.7 points per game during the 2012-13 campaign.
History vs. ACC
Bucknell has already faced one ACC squad this season, falling 66-51 to Pittsburgh in its season opener, and the Bison are 2-8 (.200) all-time against those squads currently in the ACC.
Last Time Out
Bucknell won its first home opener under second-year head coach Aaron Roussell in convincing fashion on Thursday night, playing to an 89-48 victory over Binghamton at Sojka Pavilion. Co-captains Shelby Romine and Audrey Dotson both surpassed the 20-point mark to lead Bucknell, while Claire Maree O'Bryan and Sheaira Jones netted 12 and 10 points, respectively. The Bison sunk 35-of-54 from the field and 9-of-15 from beyond the arc to shoot 64.8 percent in the contest, while holding the Bearcats to a measly .226 shooting percentage.
Girl on Fire
Shelby Romine had a truly impressive night against Binghamton, stuffing the stat sheet with 25 points, a career-high 10 assists, six rebounds and four steals in 29 minutes of play and recording the second double-double of her career. Twenty-two of her points came in the first half of the contest, and she shot 9-of-13 from the field and 4-of-5 from long range for one of her most dominant offensive outings.
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 has not missed a beat, outrebounding Pittsburgh 59-38 and Binghamton 41-27. The Bison currently lead the Patriot League in both rebounding offense (50.0) and rebounding margin (+17.5), while Claire DeBoer, Audrey Dotson and Shelby Romine are all ranked among the league leaders in boards.
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 dominance continued in Bucknell’s home opener, as the forward tallied 22 points and made four blocks against the Bearcats. Dotson, who currently leads the Patriot League in scoring and ranks second in both blocks and field goal percentage, is currently shooting a sizzling .708 in the young season.
It’s Been Awhile
The scorching offensive performance that the Bison put forth in their home opener surpassed anything that Bucknell fans have seen in recent memory. Bucknell registered 50 points in a half for the first time since its Nov. 19, 2007 game against Howard, holding a 50-19 lead over Binghamton at halftime, and the team’s last 40+ point victory came against Lycoming on Dec. 30, 2009. The Bison have not shot over 60 percent since hitting 32-of-51 against Iona on Jan. 3, 2005, and the Dotson-Romine duo is the first to score over 20+ in the same game since Lindsey Hollobaugh (22 points) and Hope Foster (20 points) did it in an 85-77 win over Hampton on Nov. 10, 2006.
The sophomore class was well-represented in Bucknell’s win over Binghamton, with Claire Maree O'Bryan recording 12 points and Sheaira Jones scoring 10 of her own. O’Bryan was 2-of-3 from long range, while Jones was 4-of-6 from the field.
Opening with 20+
When Audrey Dotson scored 23 points against Pittsburgh, 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.
In addition to the six players who contributed to last season’s success, 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.
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 among 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 League 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 their 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.
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 among 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.
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.
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 receive a free kid’s ticket with every adult ticket purchased.