Horbatuck Free Throws Clinch Bucknell Women's Hoops Win, 50-49, at Lafayette
Jan. 19, 2013
EASTON, Pa. - Lindsay Horbatuck (Avon, Conn./Avon) hit a pair of free throws with 0:02 left to clinch a 50-49 victory for Bucknell women's basketball at Lafayette on Saturday afternoon. After leading by 15 in the second, the Bison (11-7, 2-1 PL) saw that advantage drop to just two until Horbatuck's buckets. The senior finished the day with 11 points.
Offense for both sides was a bit lackluster for much of the game. Neither squad made much progress through the first half until the Bucknell defense held Lafayette (7-11, 0-3 PL) without a field goal for more than 10 minutes at the end of the first and the beginning of the second half. The Bison eventually went up by double digits, but their own scoring drought late in the game let the Leopards back into it.
With just 0:11 left in the game and trailing 48-46, Lafayette was forced to foul Bucknell intentionally. That sent Shelby Romine (Centreville, Va./Westfield) to the line for a one-and-one opportunity. The guard came up short and the two-point differential held until Horbatuck was sent to the free throw line for her own chance at a one-and-one with 0:02 remaining on the clock.
Horbatuck hit both to put Bucknell in front 50-46. The baskets proved even bigger than expected as Lafayette's Maddie Peabody hurled a 3-pointer that went in at the buzzer.
Horbatuck finished the day 3-for-4 at the free throw line and 4-for-7 from the field. As a team, the Bison struggled from the line, going 9-for-16 (.563).
To say that offense was sluggish for both teams at the start of the game would be a major understatement. After playing more than 12 minutes, the score read just 12-9 in favor of Lafayette. It wasn't until the final five minutes of the first half that things started to pick it up and when it did, it went Bucknell's way. The Bison ended the half on an 11-2 run and their defense kept the Leopards without a field goal for the last 4:41 before intermission.
Momentum officially went Bucknell's way on a play that looked as if it would be a spark for Lafayette. The Leopards forced the Bison into a couple of tough shots, the first one failing to find rim. Romine put up a desperation three as the shot clock expired but was bailed out by a foul. The guard made two of her three free throw attempts to kick off the run.
Alyssa Dunn (Mason, Ohio/Seven Hills School) followed with a fastbreak layup that gave Bucknell a 19-17 lead, its first scoring advantage since 11-9. Katherine Harris (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) kept things rolling with a 3-pointer and Horbatuck added a pair of layups to send Bucknell into the locker room with a 26-19 halftime lead.
Bucknell's shooting had slowly improved as play wore on in the opening stanza and it eventually posted a percentage of .323 (10-31) at the break. Lafayette continued to struggle with the Bison defense and ended the half with a .200 (7-35) field goal mark. The Leopards' leading scorer Emily Homan was held without a point through the first 20 minutes, shooting 0-for-7.
Homan opened the second half with a pair of free throws, but Lafayette's shooting from the floor continued to be its downfall. Danielle Fiacco broke the field goal drought at 14:08, but by that point the Leopards had gone 10:35 without a bucket from the floor going back to the end of the first half.
Lafayette actually shot better in the second half despite hitting just two field goals in the first 10 minutes. They ended the frame at .367 (11-30) and the game at .277 (18-65).
Bucknell's offense stayed steady enough to keep it front and to give them some breathing room initially. Romine hit a three to give the Bison their first double-digit lead, 33-23, at the 15:25 mark.
Lafayette began to whittle away at that lead over the next few minutes. The Bison went more than seven minutes without a field goal, a streak that ended at 3:30, as the Leopards forced them deep into the shot clock and into some tough passes and shots. At the same time, Lafayette enjoyed a 13-2 run that brought them within four points with less than five minutes to play.
Lafayette continued to threaten down the stretch although both teams were finally hitting shots with some regularity and trading baskets. The Leopards' second wind made things much more interesting than the Bison would have liked in the final minute, drawing to within a single point with 0:58 to play. That basket from Homan was its last until Peabody's buzzer beater.
Bucknell finished the game with a field goal percentage of .328 (19-58). Romine led all players with 14 points and Audrey Dotson (Vienna, Va./Flint Hill School) registered a relatively quiet double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Dotson also led all players with four assists and added two steals and a block.
Lafayette's Fiacco finished with 12 points, half of which came in the final three minutes. The school's all-time leading blocked shots leader, she also had six rejections. Homan tallied nine points and 10 rebounds.
Bucknell will be back in action looking for its third straight Patriot League win when it returns to the Lehigh Valley on Wednesday. The Bison will go up against Lehigh at 7 p.m. in Bethlehem.