Bucknell Women's Basketball Downs NJIT 52-35 in Non-Conference Finale
Jan. 8, 2013
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Led by Shelby Romine's (Centreville, Va./Westfield) 20 points and a strong defensive effort, Bucknell women's basketball capped off its non-conference schedule with a 52-35 victory over NJIT at Sojka Pavilion on Tuesday night. The Bison, which head into the Patriot League season with a 9-6 record, held the Highlanders (7-11) to 23.6 percent shooting and their 35 points was the fewest by a Bucknell opponent this season.
At 9-6, Bucknell has its best record through the non-conference season since the 2000-01 squad went 9-4. That team ultimately finished 20-8 overall, giving the Bison their first 20-win season in program history.
NJIT finished the night shooting 13-for-55 from the field. While Bucknell's field goal percentage was only slightly better at 16-for-56 (.286), the Bison did not suffer the extended scoring droughts that the Highlanders did. NJIT ended the first half on dry spell that ran into the beginning of the second. By the time their woes ended at 18:06 after halftime, the Highlanders had gone 9:52 between scores and trailed 29-16.
Bucknell had seen its early lead dip down to a slim two points in the first half just before NJIT's longest scoreless streak started. The Highlanders' Denisa Domiterova hit a three at 7:58 to make it 16-14. Katherine Harris hit a foul shot and made a three of her own for the Bison a few minutes later to get things rolling again and by the intermission, Bucknell had brought its advantage back up to 26-14.
The 12-point lead at halftime was Bucknell's largest at that time. The Bison had done a better job of handling the ball than they had in recent games and had been tagged with just five turnovers. NJIT had turned the ball over six times, but the major difference was in how the teams responded to the miscues. The Bison led in points off turnovers 11-0 at the break. That stat came to 14-5 in Bucknell's favor by the end of the game.
Romine also had 10 points at halftime to lead all scorers. When she added her final 10, she did it in a major way. With 7:49 left in the game, the Highlanders had gotten the Bison lead back down to 11. Romine then ran off the next 10 points for Bucknell and did so in just 59 seconds. That streak included a three-point play after being fouled on a layup along the left baseline. She followed that up with a second-chance layup after Lindsay Horbatuck (Avon, Conn./Avon) dove out of bounds to save a missed shot and then hit her fourth 3-pointer of the night to make set the score at 47-30. The Romine run ended with a pair of free throws after the NJIT coach received a technical foul coming out of a timeout. With 6:23 to play, Bucknell's lead was up to 49-30.
Romine finished the night 6-for-13 from the field, including 4-for-10 from the 3-point arc. In addition to her 20 points, the junior guard also collected eight rebounds. Romine now has 14 career games at 20 points or better with five of those coming this winter. Tonight's performance also raised her career scoring total to 892 points.
Bucknell's defensive effort also included outrebounding its 13th consecutive opponent. The Bison won the battle on the boards, 49-37. Horbatuck led all players with 11 rebounds, holding her season average at 10.5 rebounds per game. Audrey Dotson (Vienna, Va./Flint Hill School) put together another well-rounded performance with three steals and one blocked shot to go along with nine points and five rebounds.
NJIT's 35 points were the fewest points by a Bison opponent this season and missed the Sojka Pavilion record for lowest opponent point total by just three. Tuesday was also the second straight home game in which Bucknell limited the other team to fewer than 40 points as it also defeated Cornell 64-39 on Jan. 2. Cornell shot just 11-for-49 from the field. Together with NJIT's 13-for-55, Bucknell has limited its last two opponents at home to a .231 (24-104) field goal percentage.
NJIT's bright spot on the individual front came from Rayven Johnson. Johnson finished with a double-double, tallying 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Bucknell begins Patriot League play on Saturday at Army. Tip off at West Point is slated for 1 p.m.