LEWISBURG, Pa. – Sophomore Kaitlyn Slagus recorded her third straight double-double, and sophomore Kate Walker scored 10 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter to help Bucknell women’s basketball open Patriot League play with a 67-64 win over visiting Navy on Friday at Sojka Pavilion. The Bison improved to 9-3 overall, winning their fourth straight game overall and the 17th straight at home.
Bucknell trailed 64-63 after a 3-pointer by Navy’s Hannah Fenske with 40 seconds left in regulation. On the ensuing possession, Slagus had the ball with her back to the basket at the top of the paint, but managed to see Walker cutting to the hoop. She turned and made a nice pass, and Walker finished the easy layup to put the Bison up 65-64 with 33 seconds remaining.
Senior Claire DeBoer came up big with a steal on the other end, setting the stage for senior Megan McGurk to hit two clutch free throws. Navy missed a 3-pointer, but got a second chance following two missed free throws by Bucknell with six seconds left. The Mids’ final possession ended on an illegal screen call, dropping their record to 7-5 overall.
Walker was 4-of-5 from the field in the final quarter and helped preserve Bucknell’s lead with eight straight Bison points. The Bison started that stretch with a 48-44 lead and closed it with a 56-51 advantage following her 3-pointer with 5:23 showing on the clock. Two of Walker's three baskets during that individual run came with her team leading by two points.
Free throw shooting proved pivotal for Bucknell in the win. After neither team went to the line in the first half, the Bison made 12 of their 15 attempts in the second half. DeBoer was a perfect 6-for-6 on her way to 14 points, while Slagus was 3-for-3.
Slagus registered her seventh double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds. She added five assists to give her 13 over the past two games and had two blocks to give her 12 over the past three games.
McGurk was 2-for-3 from the field and finished with eight points. She hit a key 3-pointer to put the Bison up 59-54 with 3:41 to play. Sophomore Kyi English scored eight points on 3-of-3 shooting, including a 2-of-2 mark from long range.
The Bison took 19 fewer shots than the Mids, but went 51 percent from the field. They had 17 assists on 24 field goals and have now averaged 18.3 assists over the past three games.
Bucknell continued to have success in the paint, scoring 32 points, including six by senior Sune Swart. Navy countered with an 18-8 advantage in points off turnovers. The teams battled to two ties and 13 lead changes.
Fenske went 4-for-6 from beyond the arc and led Navy with 17 points. Justice Swett finished with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Bucknell is 18-1 in Patriot League play over the past two seasons. The Bison hope to continue that success when they travel to play Army West Point on Monday at 7 p.m. The Black Knights improved to 10-2 with a 75-71 win over Lehigh on Friday.