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Megan McGurk
Megan McGurk
Courtesy: Marc Hagemeier
Women's Basketball Returns to Sojka to Face Loyola on Wednesday
Release:   02/18/2014

What: Bucknell Bison (13-11, 8-6 PL) vs. Loyola Greyhounds (5-20, 2-12 PL)
Where: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
When: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 7 p.m.
Internet Video:  Bison Vision on the Patriot League Network
Radio: WVBU 90.5 FM
Internet Radio: BucknellBison.com
Live Stats: BucknellBison.com
Tickets: 570-577-1000 or buy online
Happenings: National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration (t-shirt giveaways), pizza and chocolate milk tasting (halftime), Bison Girls performance (halftime), Purdy Insurance Feed the Fan

With a Victory Over Loyola, Bucknell Would...
• Improve to 14-11 overall and 9-6 in the Patriot League.
• Improve to 9-2 overall and 6-1 in league action on the road this season.
• Improve to 95-65 in Patriot League home games and 47-36 in conference games at Sojka Pavilion.
• Earn its 7th win over Loyola in the 12th meeting between the two teams, sweeping the Greyhounds in their first season in the Patriot League.
• Win two games in a row against Loyola for the first time in series history.

Last Meeting with Loyola - Jan. 22, 2014       
•  Audrey Dotson scored 28 points, 24 of which came in the second half, and collected 10 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season, leading Bucknell to a 67-60 win over Loyola in the last meeting between the two teams. 
• Dotson, who matched her career-high with 28 points, shot 8-of-12 (.667) from the field and 11-of-13 (.846) from the line in the contest, and added three assists, two blocks and a steal to her stuffed stat line.  Shelby Romine also scored in double digits for the Bison, tallying 17 points to go along with her seven rebounds and five assists, while Claire DeBoer contributed eight points, five rebounds and four assists.
• Lisa Mirarchi topped the Greyhound offense with 16 points and five assists, while Tiffany Padgett and Nai Brown had 14 points and 10 points, respectively. Nneka Offodile and Nicole Krusen each grabbed six rebounds to lead the squad on the glass.
• Pressure in the post and a full-court press resulted in a frustrating end to the first stanza for the Bucknell offense, and it was held to just two points down the stretch. The defense kept the game close, limiting and pressuring Loyola’s shots, but the Greyhounds took a 26-22 lead into the locker room at the half.
• The teams battled for control throughout the second half, but with the scored knotted 53-53 and 2:25 left on the clock, Dotson converted a three-point play to snap the tie. The Bison then relied on the strength of their pinpoint shooting to pull away from the scrambling Greyhounds. The team went 9-for-10 from the line in the final minutes of the contest, with Dotson hitting both of her shots and Romine capitalizing on seven of her eight opportunities to clinch the 67-60 win.
•Loyola held a slight edge from the field in the contest, hitting 46.2 percent (24-of-52) of its shots, while Bucknell finished at 45.5 percent (20-of-44). The Bison were an impressive 79.3 percent (23-of-29) from the line, and they also held a 33-23 advantage on the boards.

About the Greyhounds
Loyola, which currently sits in ninth place in the Patriot League, comes to Lewisburg on Wednesday after suffering a 74-55 defeat at the hands of Boston University on Saturday. The Greyhounds, who are in the midst of a six-game slide, have played to a 5-20 overall mark and a 2-12 record in Patriot League action, with their conference victories coming over Lehigh (70-64) and Colgate (61-54). When playing away from Reitz Arena, the team is 3-11.

Nai Brown leads Loyola in scoring, averaging 15.3 points per contest, but Lisa Mirarchi, who is contributing 8.0 points and 3.3 assists per contest, has also played a vital role. Tiffany Padgett, who is the only Greyhound to record a double-double in league play this season, leads the squad on the glass, pulling down 5.5 boards per outing.

History vs. Loyola
• When Bucknell defeated Loyola 67-60 in January, it tied the largest margin of victory in series history, as the Bison also defeated the Greyhounds 67-70 in the 2009-10 season. Prior to that meeting, Bucknell had won by five points once, three points twice and one point once.
• Bucknell’s margin of victory in the series is 4.3 points per game. Loyola is averaging 4.1 more points per game in its wins.
• In 11 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 in series history, helping her team to a 76-73 win. Audrey Dotson almost matched that total in January with 28 points.
• 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. 

Bison in the Patriot League
• Bucknell is 163-160 (.505) all-time in Patriot League games.
• Bucknell has registered 16 Patriot League seasons at .500 or better. The last was in 2010-11 when the Bison finished with a 7-7 record. The last season at better than .500 was 2008-09 when they went 8-6 in conference action.
• Bucknell has won two Patriot League regular-season titles (1995-96, 2006-07) and two tournament titles (2001-02, 2007-08).
• Bucknell is 94-65 (.591) in Patriot League regular-season games played at home. It is 46-36 (.561) in league games at Sojka Pavilion.
• The Bison hold a 69-95 (.421) record when playing conference games on the road.

Last Time Out
The Bucknell women’s basketball team continues to give the best competition in the Patriot League all that it can handle, but it wasn’t quite enough on Saturday afternoon, as the squad completed its tour of the service academics with a 75-63 loss to Army at Christl Arena. Four Bison scored in double-digits in the contest, a testament to the increasing depth of the offense, but the team fell to 13-11 overall and 8-6 in the Patriot League with the defeat. The Black Knights improved to 18-6 overall and 10-3 in conference action with the victory.

Audrey Dotson led the Bison in scoring against the Black Knights, registering her ninth 20+ point outing of the season with 20 points scored on 7-of-12 (.583) shooting from the field and 6-of-7 (.857) made shots from the line. The forward also contributed six rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block. Megan McGurk chipped in 12 points, scoring in double-digits for the fifth time in the last six games, while Claire Maree O'Bryan recorded a 10-point effort. Shelby Romine was the fourth Bison to surpass the 10-point mark, tossing in 11 to go with her six rebounds and team-high five assists.

There were echoes of January in the opening stanza, with both sides hitting difficult shots and each squad’s defense working overtime to limit the opportunities in an impossibly close match-up. Dotson put the Bison on the board first and kept the points coming, shooting 5-for-6 (.833) to score 11 points in the first half, but the Black Knights continued to come up with answers, resulting in six ties in the first ten minutes of action. The Bucknell defense held Army without a field goal for the last four minutes of the half, but Minato hit all four of her free throw attempts down the stretch, and the Bison found themselves at a 36-27 disadvantage at the break.

Bucknell got a jump on the second half, as Romine converted two three-point plays in the opening minutes to bring the Bison within three. A bit of a scoring lull set in from there however, and the Black Knights opened up a 16-point advantage on the strength of a 15-2 run that spanned five minutes.

There was still a lot of basketball left to be played however, and Bucknell responded with a trademark late surge that turned the contest into a two-point game. Dotson hit a jumper through traffic to spark the 16-2 run, while back-to-back three-pointers from McGurk and O’Bryan drew the Bison within four. Romine concluded the streak, during which Bucknell held Army without a field goal for over five minutes, with expert pinpoint shooting, hitting two from the line to narrow the Black Knights’ lead to two with 9:16 on the clock.

The game remained close for the next few minutes, with the Bison fighting to get themselves back on top, but a crucial three-pointer by Jen Hazlett build Army’s lead back up to ten with 5:45 to play. Bucknell worked it back down to nine when Dotson capitalized on a well-executed feed from O’Bryan, and McGurk sealed the contest with a crafty layup, but the Black Knights walked away with the 75-63 victory. 

Looking Ahead
Bucknell will remain in Lewisburg for its second contest of the week, welcoming Boston University to Sojka Pavilion for a 12 p.m. contest. Heading into Saturday, the Terriers sit in seventh place in the conference with a 6-8 record, but they will take on the American Eagles before squaring off against the Bison. Boston University came out on top when the two squads met back in January, winning 86-58, so Bucknell will be looking for the series split and its first ever win against the conference newcomer this weekend. The game, and all of Bucknell’s home contests, will be video streamed and available free of charge on the Patriot League Network.  

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