PHILADELPHIA – Junior Kyi English scored a career-high 25 points, but a bad stretch midway through the third quarter by Bucknell proved costly in a 63-54 loss at Drexel in a non-conference women’s basketball game at the Daskalakis Athletic Center on Saturday. The Bison dropped to 2-2 on the season, while the Dragons improved to 2-1.
"There were great signs today and lots of reasons for optimism down the road," Bucknell head coach Aaron Roussell said. "We need to make shots and stop turning it over so much. Once we get better with that, this team will be tough to stop."
English had her best game of the season, scoring her 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting and a 7-of-9 mark from the line. The point guard carved her way through the Drexel defense for most of the game and found the finishing touch that she was struggling with in the previous two games.
Drexel countered with a balanced scoring attack. One game after all five of their starters scored in double-figures in a win over La Salle, the Dragons had five players score at least eight points. Aubree Brown led the way with 13 points, while Chelsea Woods was right behind her with 12.
Bucknell led for most of the first half, but Drexel went on an 11-2 run to close the second quarter and took a 26-24 edge into the break. The Bison were whistled for three offensive fouls in the second quarter, including two that erased buckets by Gia Hayes and Maegan Mikkelsen
The Bison tied the game at 28-all on a layup by junior Kaitlyn Slagus to open the third quarter, and then again at 30-all with another Slagus layup on the next possession. But Drexel responded with a 15-1 run to take a 43-29 lead with 4:39 to play in the quarter.
Bucknell would get as close as four, 54-50, with 5:17 left in regulation following back-to-back buckets by senior forward Catherine Romaine and English. The Bison point guard scored 10 points in the final quarter.
"They are a tough team to stop, but I thought we were great defensively early, and then later in the game our defense helped us get back into it," Roussell said.
Slagus finished with 11 points and nine rebounds, coming up just one rebound shy of a double-double for the second straight game. She had double-doubles in each of the first two contests. Junior Kate Walker led the team with four assists.
The Bison are back in action on Tuesday when they host St. Bonaventure. The non-conference matchup is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Sojka Pavilion.