BALTIMORE, Md. – Bucknell tied a program record with its 10th consecutive win, beating Loyola 72-66 in a Patriot League women’s basketball contest Wednesday at Reitz Arena. The Bison improved to 15-3 overall and 7-0 in the conference, while the Greyhounds dropped to 7-11 overall and 3-4 in league play.
Senior Claire DeBoer led Bucknell in scoring for the sixth straight game, scoring 17 points in addition to eight rebounds. Sophomore Kaitlyn Slagus recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Kate Walker and senior Sune Swart joined the pair in double-figures with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
“We played against a tough team that plays a tough style, and we made some big-time plays to come away with a nice conference road win,” Bucknell head coach Aaron Roussell said.
Swart, Slagus, and Walker combined for 34 points in the second half as Bucknell out-scored Loyola 43-39. Swart’s best run started at the end of the third quarter when she scored seven straight points for her team in the final 1:45. She then gave the Bison a 51-45 lead with a 3-pointer on their first possession of the fourth quarter. She tallied 13 points in the second half.
Slagus went scoreless in the third quarter but made up for it with a huge fourth quarter, scoring 13 points. She scored nine straight points at one point for the Bison, including three buckets on possessions after Loyola had cut the lead to five. With the Bison leading 64-59 following a Greyhounds’ 3-pointer by Molly Taylor with 31 seconds to play, Slagus responded yet again with a pair of free throws. She is shooting 84 percent (52-62) from the line this season.
“We had our droughts offensively and lapses defensively but had a lot of players make plays at different points in the game,” Roussell said. “It was great to see because that’s how we are built. I was really proud of the balance that we showed offensively tonight.”
Bucknell was shut down offensively in the second quarter, including no points in the final 4:42 of play, but still managed to take a 29-27 lead into the locker room thanks to a big first quarter. DeBoer scored 10 in the opening period, senior Megan McGurk hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Walker gave the Bison a double-digit lead, 20-10, on a 3-pointer with 1:44 to play.
Loyola cut the lead to seven, 22-15 by the end of the first and then out-scored Bucknell 12-7 in the second quarter. Bri Betz-White had 11 points in the first half, and Stephanie Karcz contributed eight. DeBoer led the Bison with 12 points at the break. Walker had eight.
Loyola took a 30-29 lead on a Betz-White 3-pointer with 7:16 to play in the third quarter. It was the first time Bucknell trailed since midway through the second quarter of a game against Holy Cross on Jan. 8, a span of 118 minutes. The stretch included back-to-back wins over Lehigh and Colgate in which the Bison never trailed.
Betz-White finished with a career-high 25 points, while Karcz had a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Led by Walker, who was 6-8 from the field and 3-4 from 3-point range, and Swart, who was 5-7 from the field, Bucknell shot 46 percent. The Bison improved to 14-0 in games that they shot at least 40 percent.
Bucknell is back on the road for a Patriot League game at Boston University on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Terriers are 6-12 overall and 4-3 in the conference following a 96-87 overtime loss at Colgate.
With a win at Boston University, the Bison would start 8-0 in league play for the second consecutive season.