LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell women’s basketball team took the time to celebrate a championship season with family, friends, and fans with a banquet and alumni game on Sunday afternoon. Nearly 120 people were in attendance for the event, which included speeches by the team’s three seniors.
Claire DeBoer, Megan McGurk, and Sune Swart – the winningest class in school history – all reflected on their careers with the Bison while also introducing the team’s underclassmen. Attendees also heard speeches from Justin Antweil (Patriot League Network/Radio voice) and head coach Aaron Roussell.
The banquet closed with a video collaborated on between assistant coach Martina Wood and Antweil.
► It was a historic season for the Bison women’s basketball team, which captured its second straight Patriot League regular-season championship and its first Patriot League Tournament title in nine years. Bucknell finished the season with the most wins in program history with a record of 27-6 overall and 16-2 in the conference.
► Bucknell was one of just seven teams in the nation to finish the 2016-17 season unbeaten at home. The Bison have won 28 straight games at Sojka Pavilion, which ranks as the third-best active streak in the counrty behind UConn and UCLA.
► The Bison have now captured three Patriot League Tournament titles in program history. They received a No. 14 seed in the NCAA Tournament this year, the best seed in school history.
► Bucknell has now appeared in a national postseason tournament in consecutive seasons. The Bison defeated Akron in the first round of the 2016 WNIT.
► The members of the Class of 2017 — Claire DeBoer, Megan McGurk, and Sune Swart — finished their careers with an 86-40 (.683) overall record and a Patriot League record of 54-18 (.750). These seniors will graduate as the winningest class in program history.
► DeBoer was named the Preseason Patriot League Player of the Year, the Patriot League Player of the Year, the Patriot League Tournament MVP, and earned a spot on the Academic All-Patriot League Team this season. She earned tournament MVP honors after posting a double-double of 30 points and 10 rebounds in an overtime win over Navy in the championship game.
► Aaron Roussell was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year for the seond consecutive season. He is 101-56 in five seasons at Bucknell, which ranks as the best five-year stretch in program history.
► The Bison set a school record with a 17-game winning streak.
► DeBoer graduates third in Bucknell history with 1,678 points, third in rebounds with 899 and ninth in assists with 290 assists. She is the only player to rank in the top 10 in all three categories.
► Bucknell closed the season with a loss to No. 3 seed Maryland in the NCAA First Round. The Terrapins were ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation at the time of the game.
WHITE TEAM PREVAILS IN 2017 BUCKNELL WOMEN’S ALUMNI GAME
Claire Maree O’Bryan ’16 Returns from Australia To Lead White Squad With 27 Points
Although the turnout in numbers for the annual Bucknell Women’s Basketball Alumni game may not have been as high as in previous years, the women who returned to campus teamed up with the current Bucknell seniors to put on an entertaining game in Sojka Pavilion over the weekend.
The White Team fought its way back from a nine-point first-quarter deficit to claim a 63-45 win behind a game-high 27 points from Claire Maree O’Bryan ’16. O’Bryan arrived in the United States from her homeland of Australia on Thursday and showed little signs of jet lag, sinking five 3-point baskets and completing her day with a 10-point fourth quarter. Classmate Tyler Craig ’16 was also in double-figures for the White Team with 13 points and a handful of pretty assists. Current senior Claire DeBoer (9 pts), Ashley Baxter ’13 (6 pts), Tara Wilk ’15 (6 pts) and Lindsay Horbatuck ’13 (2 pts) all landed in the scoring column, as well.
The Blue Team began the game with a flurry of 3-point baskets and jumped out to a 21-12 lead after the first quarter. Audrey Dotson ’15 and current senior Megan McGurk each canned a pair of three’s in the session, and current senior Sune Swart also hit from long range. In the end the lack of a sub clearly caught up to the Blue Team, and it was outscored 36-18 in the second half of the contest. McGurk led the way in the scoring column with 15 points, followed by 12 points and 11 points from Dotson and Swart, respectively. Katherine Harris ’15 had four points and Micki Impellizeri ’15 added a pair to round out the scoring.