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Claire Maree O'Bryan
Claire Maree O'Bryan
Courtesy: Marc Hagemeier
Women's Basketball Heads to Cornell for Saturday Afternoon Tilt
Release:   11/22/2013

What: Bucknell (1-3) at Cornell (2-1)
Where: 
Newman Arena, Ithaca, N.Y.  
When: 
Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, 1 p.m.
Internet Video: 
Ivy League Digital Network (for a fee)
Radio: 
WBVU 90.5 FM
Internet Radio: 
BucknellBison.com
Live Stats: 
BucknellBison.com

With a Victory Over Cornell, Bucknell Would...

• Improve to 2-3.

• Improve to 18-5 over Cornell in a series that dates back to Jan. 5, 1982.

• Improve to 28-23 over teams from the Ancient Eight.

• Win its first game on the road this season.

• 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.

Last Meeting with Cornell - Jan. 2, 2013

• Bucknell 64, Cornell 39 (Sojka Pavilion)

Audrey Dotson and Lindsay Horbatuck each put up standout performances for the Bison, but it was a team defensive effort that pushed Bucknell women’s basketball to a 64-39 victory over Cornell at Sojka Pavilion when the teams last met on Jan. 2.

• Horbatuck finished with eight points and 19 boards and Dotson had 22 points and eight rebounds, as they helped to lift Bucknell to 8-5 on the season. Both shot .500 or better from the floor, although it was Dotson who had the stronger offensive night, shooting 10-of-12 (.833) from the field.

• Allyson DiMagno had 14 points to lead Cornell, while Clare Fitzpatrick added 11. The duo tied for the team high in rebounds with six apiece.

• The Bison shot .463 from the field for the game and totaled 52 rebounds, while holding the Big Red to 22.4 percent shooting and 23 boards.

About the Big Red

Cornell started its season at 2-0, earning wins over Colgate (76-62) and Buffalo (79-72), before falling to Syracuse, 89-48, on Monday. Allyson DiMagno and Nia Marshall both scored 13 points against the Orange, and DiMagno led the team with eight rebounds. Shelby Lyman added six points for the Big Red, who hit 31.6 percent from the field and 20.8 percent from three-point range at the Carrier Dome.

DiMagno leads the team in both scoring (16.3 ppg) and rebounds (6.0 rpg), and tallied a season-high 20 points against Colgate in Cornell’s season opener.

History vs. Cornell

• Bucknell is 17-5 all-time against Cornell and a perfect 12-0 when playing in Lewisburg.

• The Bison won the first six games of the series between the two teams, and that still marks the longest  winning streak by either squad. The Big Red have never been the victors in back-to-back games.

• Bucknell’s largest margin of victory against Cornell came on Nov. 25, 1988 when it won 70-39 on the Big Red’s own court..

History vs. the Ivy League

Bucknell has played at least one game against seven of the eight Ivy League schools, and has experienced considerable success against the Ancient Eight, compiling a 27-23 (.540) record since 1982. Bucknell has seen the most success against Cornell with a .773 (17-5) winning percentage, but the team has also won all three of its games against Columbia.

Last Time Out

The Bucknell women’s basketball team faced a formidable opponent on Wednesday, battling from tip-off to buzzer but falling, 92-49, to No. 15/14 Penn State at the Bryce Jordan Center. Audrey Dotson led the Bison in scoring for the third time this season, netting 13 points in spite of the constant defensive pressure the Lady Lions heaped on her. The junior also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to compile the sixth double-double of her career and her second of the season. Alex Henning and Megan McGurk each scored nine points, with Henning shooting 4-of-9 from the field, while Shelby Romine had six points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals in a solid all-around effort. The Bison shot 25.5 percent from the field and 60.7 percent from the free throw line on 28 attempts, as both teams experienced considerable foul trouble throughout the game.

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.

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 dominance continued in Bucknell’s home opener, as the forward tallied 22 points and made four blocks against the Bearcats. Dotson, who currently ranks second in the Patriot League in scoring and rebounding, is currently shooting an impressive .551 in the young season and has scored in double-digits in each of Bucknell’s four games.

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.

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.

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 of 1,135 points places her 15th all-time, and she is 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.

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.

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.

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 returns 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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