MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – Bucknell saw its women’s basketball season end with a loss to a Power-Five team for a third-consecutive year as it fell to West Virginia, 83-50, in the first round of the WNIT on Thursday night at the WVU Coliseum.
The Bison jumped out to an early 5-2 lead thanks to a layup by Catherine Romaine and a 3-pointer by Kyi English, but the Mountaineers countered with an 11-0 run and never trailed again. Teana Muldrow led West Virginia with 20 points and eight rebounds while Kristina King (13 points), Chania Ray (12) and Katrina Pardee (11) joined her in double-figures.
Kaitlyn Slagus paced Bucknell with 15 points and eight rebounds. She closes her junior season with 1,046 career points. Kate Walker and English, two players that will eye the 1,000-point milestone next season, finished with 11 and seven points respectively.
Led by Slagus on the glass, the Bison finished with a 36-35 edge in boards, winning the rebounding battle for the 28th time in 32 games this season. Autumn Ceppi registered six rebounds while Walker and Ellie Mack tallied five apiece.
The Bison made all seven of their free throw attempts and hit five 3-pointers, including three by Slagus. But the Mountaineers shot 50 percent (35-70) from the field and 56.3 percent (9-16) from beyond the arc.
Bucknell’s final opponent each season has been partial evidence of just how successful the team has been. The Bison have qualified for a national postseason tournament for three-consecutive years, falling to Michigan in the second round of the WNIT in 2016, Maryland in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in 2017 and now West Virginia in the WNIT this season.
The Bison finished the year at 22-10 overall, recording their third straight 20-plus victory season after winning 12 of their final 14 games. The Mountaineers, who were listed as one of the first four teams left out of the NCAA Tournament by the selection committee, improved to 22-11 and will play Saint Joseph’s in the second round.
All but two players return for Bucknell next season. Romaine and Carly Richardson, who missed her final season due to injuries, finish their Bison career with the most wins (92) of any class in program history.