LEWISBURG, Pa - The Bucknell Women's Basketball team used hot shooting to defeat Lafayette 83-53 on Monday at Sojka Pavilion. The Bison set a program record by making 14 of their 25 3-point field-goal attempts and Abby Kapp, Ally Johnson and Ellie Mack all set career highs in scoring off the bench for the Orange and Blue. The win came in front of 1,638 fans, including nearly 1,000 students in fifth through eighth grade from area schools.
"I know it may not have looked like it during certain stretches today, but that's going to be a really good team this year," Bucknell head coach Aaron Roussell said of Lafayette, which has already won more games than it did all of last season. "I'm really impressed with what Kia (Damon) is doing there. Today was just our day. We knocked down shots."
Bucknell (9-6, 3-1 PL) found itself down by one, 8-7, with three minutes and 11 seconds to go in the first quarter, but used a 14-2 run to close the quarter and establish a 21-10 lead against the Leopards (6-8, 2-2 PL). The Bison led by as many as 34 points in this one and received balanced scoring and rebounding from throughout the lineup in the victory.
Kaitlyn Slagus scored a game-high 18 points, including two 3-pointers, to go along with six rebounds in 24 minutes of play. Kapp (15 points), Johnson (13) and Mack (13) each hit three shots from beyond the arc on their way to establishing new individual scoring marks. Kate Walker added a 3-pointer as part of her nine points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Rachel Dumiak rounded out the 3-point barrage with two of her own.
The Bison connected on seven of their 13 attempts from beyond the arc in the first half, and then added six in the third quarter to break the school record for a single game. Kapp hit the record-tying trey with 2:56 to play in the third quarter, and then added the record-breaking shot with 1:46 showing on the clock. The previous best mark for 3-pointers was 12. That feat was accomplished five times, most recently in a win over Lafayette at Sojka Pavilion last season.
"You can be a good shooter in practice, but it's very difficult to be a good shooter in the game. It takes a lot of work," Roussell said. "Our players have put in a lot of time with our assistant coaches lately to work on their shots, and I think there is a connection between our success today and the work they have put in."
The production by Kapp, Mack, and Johnson fueled a 47-29 advantage in bench points for Bucknell. Mack added a career-high eight rebounds, while Kapp contributed four. Tessa Brugler came off the bench to pull down four rebounds, all on the offensive end. One game after finishing +13 on the boards in a win over Army West Point, the Bison posted a +17 (43-26) difference in rebounds against the Leopards.
It wasn't all offensive highlights for Bucknell, as Catherine Romaine stepped up defensively yet again. The Bison held Natalie Kucowski, who entered the game averaging 12.0 points and 12.0 rebounds, to six points and four boards. That came one game after they limited Madison Hovren, the Preseason Patriot League Player of the Year, to five points and seven rebounds. Kucowski and Hovren were the only players in the Patriot League averaging a double-double at the time of the past two games.
Bucknell matched a season-high with 18 assists on its 29 field goals. Kyi English dished out five assists and averaged 5.0 helpers over the Bison's past two wins. The five against the Leopards came in just 18 minutes of playing time.
The Bison, winners of three straight games, will go on the road to play Lehigh on Thursday at 6 p.m.