Bison Women's Basketball Overcomes 14-Point Deficit for 62-59 Win over Holy Cross
Jan. 26, 2013
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell women's basketball ended the game on a 20-3 run to come from behind for a fourth straight victory, defeating Holy Cross 62-59 at Sojka Pavilion on Saturday afternoon. A well-rounded effort spurred the Bison to come back from a 14-point deficit midway through the second half and improve their record to 13-7 overall and 4-1 in the Patriot League.
With 7:30 left in the game, Alex Smith hit a jumper to give the Crusaders (9-11, 1-4 PL) a 56-42 lead. That was the last Holy Cross would score until a Smith's 3-pointer more than five minutes later. In between the guard's buckets, Bucknell enjoyed a 14-0 run, including eight points from Audrey Dotson (Vienna, Va./Flint Hill School). With Dotson's last basket, a jumper from the right wing, Bucknell had tied it up at 56-56 and forced Holy Cross into a timeout.
Dotson finished the day with a team-high 14 points, 12 of which came in the second half, on 7 of 13 shooting. She also had six rebounds and four assists.
Having erased the double-digit deficit, it looked as if Bucknell was closing in on another victory but more than two minutes remained. That was when Smith hit her three to put Holy Cross back in front. The Bison once again responded, this time from Katherine Harris (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy). Harris drilled a 3-pointer of her own to re-tie the game at 59-59 with 1:49 to go.
Continuing with its pressure defense that had allowed them to get back in the game, the Bison caused a Crusaders turnover on the very next possession and one minute later, Felicia Mgbada (Edison, N.J./Blair Academy) made a solid defensive stop in the paint, keeping the score knotted up.
Mgbada was fouled as Bucknell took possession on the play and earned a trip to the free throw line. The senior hit both attempts, although the first one hit the back of the rim and rolled its way in, and gave the Bison a 61-59 lead. It was Bucknell's second lead of the day and its first since it went up by one point at 7:15 in the first half.
Bucknell secured the win with two more strong defensive sets, twice forcing Holy Cross into long threes that fell well short. With an insurance free throw from Lindsay Horbatuck (Avon, Conn./Avon), the Bison enjoyed one of their best come backs in recent years. It is not often that Bucknell has rebounded from a double-digit hole in the second half and still pulled out the win. The last was on Feb. 26, 2011 when they overcame an 11-point deficit early in the second against Army and still managed a 44-40 victory at West Point.
Part of Bucknell's comeback was its improvement on the boards. After trailing in the rebounding battle 24-19 at halftime, the Bison eventually outrebounded the Crusaders 40-36.
While Holy Cross led big in the second frame, play through much of the game had remained close. With the exception of Bucknell's 18-17 lead after Shelby Romine (Centreville, Va./Westfield) hit a jumper with just over seven minutes until intermission, the Crusaders enjoyed an advantage of anywhere from two to six points throughout the first half.
Both teams suffered lengthy scoring droughts. Holy Cross had a 5:10 scoreless streak that allowed Bucknell to take its brief lead, and the Bison struggled through a 5:17 stretch without a field goal that gave the Crusaders a six-point advantage. At halftime, that lead still stood at six, 30-24, in favor of Holy Cross.
Nearly every Bison had a hand in what turned out to be Bucknell's seventh win on its home court. Mgbada registered 11 points off the bench, shooting 3-for-3 from the field and 5-for-7 from the free throw line and two blocked shots. Alyssa Dunn (Mason, Ohio/Seven Hills School) also had 11 points and Harris finished with eight points. Horbatuck led all players with 13 rebounds.
Smith led all players with 17 points. Most of those came from behind the arc as she was 3-for-7 from 3-point range. As a team, Holy Cross shot 6-for-21 (.286) from three and 25-for-64 (.391) overall. The Bison closed things out shooting 22-for-56 (.393) overall and 3-for-12 (.250) from behind the arc. One of the biggest differences came at the free throw line, however. Bucknell was 15-for-19 (.789), compared to just 3-for-4 (.750) for Holy Cross.
With 13 victories through its first 20 games this winter, only two teams in program history reached 13 wins faster than this year's squad. The 2000-01 team reached 13 in 18 contests, while the 1986-87 team did so in 19.
Bucknell will attempt to make it 14 victories on the season next Wednesday when it hosts American. Tipoff against the Eagles at Sojka Pavilion is set for 7 p.m.