What: Bucknell Bison (9-7, 4-2 PL) vs. Loyola Greyhounds (4-13, 1-5 PL)
Where: Reitz Arena, Baltimore, Md.
When: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, 7 p.m.
Internet Video: Patriot League Network
Internet Radio: BucknellBison.com
Radio: WVBU 90.5 FM
Live Stats: loyolagreyhounds.com
With a Victory Over Loyola, Bucknell Would...
• Improve to 10-7 overall and 5-2 in the Patriot League, tying its conference wins total from 2012-13.
• Improve to 5-5 overall and 3-1 in league action on the road this season.
• Improve to 69-91 in Patriot League road games.
• Gain a 6-5 advantage in the all-time series with Loyola, earning a win in the first Patriot League match-up between the two teams.
Last Meeting with Loyola - Dec. 1, 2010
• Loyola 59, Bucknell 55 (Reitz Arena)
• A relentless second-half effort brought Bucknell to within single digits of taking a late lead, but the Bison could not overcome a shaky first half, falling to Loyola 59-55 at Reitz Arena in the last meeting between the two teams.
• Joyce Novacek led the Bison with 18 points and a career-high 19 rebounds, while Lindsay Horbatuck posted her first career double-double with 11 points and 10 boards.
• The Bison took a 15-point deficit into the second half but eventually worked it down to four by the time the final buzzer sounded. In addition to Novacek’s performance on both ends of the court - the forward had seven offensive boards and 12 defensive - Bucknell made its headway with an intense defense that held Loyola without a field goal for more than nine minutes.
• During that stretch, Bucknell benefited from an 11-0 run that took it from 49-31 down to just 49-42. Novacek capped off the run with a power move in the paint that gave her a layup despite being double teamed.
• Among the bright spots for the Bison at that time was a 25-15 rebounding advantage and a 4-for-4 mark from the free throw line. The Greyhounds by comparison was a mere 0-for-1 from the line.
• Joining Novacek and Horbatuck in double-digit scoring was Shelby Romine. Romine finished with 13 points, giving the freshman her fourth double-digit point total of the season. Six of those points came on last second 3-pointers, once before halftime and again as time expired for the night. Horbatuck’s 11 points and 10 rebounds were both season highs.
• Novacek’s and Horbatuck’s effort on the boards played a key role in Bucknell’s ability to outscore Loyola 24-7 in second-chance points. The Bison’s reserves also topped the Greyhounds, as Bucknell had 14 points off the bench compared to two for Loyola.
About the Greyhounds
Conference newcomer Loyola, which currently sits in a tie with Colgate for last place in the Patriot League, has played to a 4-13 record thus far, earning victories over Howard (72-62), St. Peter’s (66-65), UMBC (56-49) and Lehigh (70-64) . The team is 1-5 in conference play, having fallen to Navy (67-44), Army (66-62, OT), American (52-34), Lafayette (65-53) and, most recently, Boston University (70-60).
Nai Brown currently leads the team in scoring, averaging 15.9 points per game, including 18.3 in Loyola’s first six league match-ups, and is also contributing 5.4 rebounds in each game. Kara Marshall averaged in double-digits in the non-conference portion of the season, scoring 13.5 points per game for the Greyhounds, but has not see action in league play, while Tiffany Padgett’s 5.9 boards per contest leads the team on the glass.
History vs. Loyola
• When Bucknell defeated Loyola 67-60 in the 2009-10 season, it earned its largest margin of victory in series history. Prior to that meeting, the Bison had won by five points once, three points twice and one point once.
• Bucknell’s margin of victory in the series is 3.8 points per game. Loyola is averaging 4.6 more points per game in its wins.
• In ten meetings in series history, three or more Bison have scored in double-figures at least nine times. A series-best four Bucknellians reached double digits in the 2009 meeting between the squads. Records for the 1985 matchup were incomplete.
• With 32 points on Dec. 3, 2002, Molly Creamer earned the highest point total for a Bison against Loyola in series history. Bucknell’s all-time leading scorer shot 9-for-19 from the floor and 13-for-15 from the free throw line in that game. Although Desire Almind added 23 points and Kate Franks finished with 12 in the contest, Bucknell just pulled out the victory, 76-73.
• Creamer also recorded a series-best six steals against the Greyhounds in 2002. That total went unmatched until 2009 when Lindsay Horbatuck earned a career-high six steals at Sojka Pavilion.
Last Time Out
With one-third of the league season in the rearview mirror, one thing has become perfectly clear. The Bucknell women’s basketball team can never be counted out. Down by 14 with 13:49 to play in the second half, the squad battled its way back and senior Shelby Romine hit a jumper at the buzzer to seal a thrilling 56-55 win over Army at Sojka Pavilion on Saturday evening. The buzzer-beater was Bucknell’s fourth in the last three games, two of which led to triumphs. The Bison improve to 9-7 overall and 4-2 in Patriot League action with the win, their first over Army since March 5, 2011, while Army falls to 12-5 overall and 4-2 in conference play with the loss.
Romine led all players in the contest with 19 points scored on 5-of-8 (.625) shooting from the field, 3-of-4 (.750) from three-point range and 6-of-9 (.667) from the free throw line. The senior also collected seven rebounds and handed out three assists. Audrey Dotson also had a strong night for the Bison, collecting her fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and a game-high 11 boards, while Claire Maree O’Bryan provided a spark off the bench for the Bison, tallying all 11 points of her points in the second half of the contest.
The first half of the contest was a low-scoring affair, with Bucknell playing to just a 9-8 lead after the first ten minutes of action. The defensive battle continued for the remainder of the stanza, with the Bison holding a 17-13 lead with 5:26 on the clock, but the Black Knights used a 10-4 run in the final minutes of the half to take a 24-21 lead into the locker room at the break.
Tyler Craig drove in for a layup to tie the score at 51-51, and while Army regained the edge with a two-point basket of its own, a Romine three-pointer from the top of the key gave Bucknell a 54-53 lead with 24 seconds remaining.
The visitors capitalized on their final possession of the night to take back the one-point edge with four seconds on the clock, but the Bison, who are becoming well-practiced in beating the odds, knew just whose hands to put the ball into. Romine raced down the right side of the court, drove the baseline and fired off a jumper over two Army defenders, beating the buzzer to give Bucknell the 56-55 win.
The Bison’s shooting improved drastically in the final minutes of the game, and they shot 41.9 percent (18-of-43) in the contest, including 47.8 percent (11-of-23) in the second half. The squad, which held the Black Knights to 33.3 percent (21-of-63), was also 50 percent (5-of-10) from three and finished with a 39-34 advantage on the boards.
Bucknell hits the road again on Saturday, traveling to Boston, Mass. for a 7 p.m. game against Patriot League newcomer Boston University. The contest will be available free of charge on the Patriot League Network.