Bucknell Women's Basketball Earns First Road Win with 69-55 Victory at Cornell
Jan. 6, 2010
ITHACA, N.Y. - Cosima Higham (Brooklyn, N.Y./Poly Prep Country Day) and Joyce Novacek (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) each recorded double-doubles, and Trisha Krewson (Sandusky, Ohio/Perkins) added her own double-digit scoring night as Bucknell women's basketball defeated Cornell 69-55 at Newman Arena on Wednesday night. Higham led all players with 21 points and 13 rebounds, while Novacek added 16 points and 11 boards.
The Bison (4-9) made much of their scoring progress in the paint with Higham leading the way. The forward wasted little time getting on the board, sinking her first bucket one minute into play. She later claimed six straight points for her team, putting Bucknell ahead 17-15 midway through the first half.
Bucknell used the game's physical paint play to its advantage, using it to spark several high-energy defensive plays against Cornell (5-8). Through the first frame, the Bison had recorded five blocks, compared to none for the Big Red. They also had six steals to Cornell's three.
Higham had a hand in the Bison's final steal of the half. After picking off a pass at the top of the key, Higham drove the length of the court and hit a layup for a game-best 14 points.
Despite its efficient play in which it turned over the ball just nine times in the opening half, Bucknell found itself leading by a mere five points, 30-25, as it headed into the locker room. Unlike the Bison, Cornell stayed in the hunt on the strength of its outside shot, going 4-for-9 through the first 20 minutes.
The same type of play continued into the second half for the Bison as Higham led off the scoring with her 16th point of the game, setting a new career high. Novacek got in on the action as well. After her personal record-breaking bucket, Higham rejected a Cornell shot on the defensive end that led to a fastbreak layup for Novacek.
The duo eventually combined for eight of the team's first nine baskets in the half, a stretch that included giving the Bison their first double-digit lead at 36-25 less than two minutes after play resumed.
Although the Bison's forwards were able to put up some impressive numbers throughout the second half, a drought for Bucknell that lasted more than four minutes without a field goal allowed Cornell back in the hunt and make it a little closer than the visiting team would have liked. With 9:58 to play, Bucknell's lead was down to 45-41.
Novacek got the ball rolling again, however, with two free throws. A pair of layups from the two forwards again put some distance between the Bison and their opponent. Novacek and Higham helped Bucknell outscore Cornell 40-24 in the paint on the night.
As the game wound down to the final minutes, it turned into a battle of free throws with Bucknell coming out on top. The Bison shot 13-for-15 in the final three minutes, including 8-for-8 from Krewson. Bucknell did not make a field goal during that run at the charity stripe. After Krewson drilled her second three-point shot of the half at 3:38, the Bison did not make another bucket from the field until a Felicia Mgbada (Edison, N.J./Blair Academy) layup with :13 left.
The Bison finished the night 18-for-24 from the free throw line, while Cornell closed out the evening 14-for-24.
Higham's 21 points marked the first time the junior has reached the 20-plus plateau in her career. It also pushed her over 400 points in her more than two years in the Orange and Blue. She also had a career-high six blocked shots, two assists and two steals.
Behind Higham and Novacek was Krewson with 14 points after being held scoreless in the first half. Novacek had a career milestone of her own, surpassing 400 boards in her career.
Leading the way for Cornell was Allie Fedorowicz with 15 points and Alexandra Munson with 11.
With the Bison's non-conference schedule officially closed now, Bucknell will look forward to the Patriot League opener at Navy on Friday. Tipoff in Annapolis, Md., is slated for 7 p.m.