Bucknell Women's Basketball Falls Short in Comeback, Drops 53-49 Decision to American
Feb. 10, 2010
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell women's basketball nearly overcame a 14-point deficit in the second half with a late push by Trisha Krewson (Sandusky, Ohio/Perkins), but the Bison (7-15, 3-6) fell just short in a 53-49 defeat to American at Sojka Pavilion on Wednesday night. Krewson finished with 18 points to lead Bucknell. American's (15-8, 8-1) Michelle Kirk paced all scorers with 19 points.
With the exception of a 2-0 lead for the Bison at the game's outset, the Eagles had maintained a comfortable advantage throughout much of the first half. That continued into the second as Kirk put the Eagles up by a game-high 14 with a layup and a free throw at the 18:10 mark. Bucknell then claimed eight of the game's next 11 points to bring the difference down to single digits.
Krewson, who was limited to six first-half points, then came alive with just over 11 minutes to play, hitting her second 3-pointer of the night. That shot set the score at 41-35 and helped the Bison to add some spark to their play. Although American briefly went up by 10 points again after the next two possessions, Bucknell answered with a 10-2 run to bring the Eagles' lead down to just two points with 5:16 to play. Krewson again had a hand in the action, tallying five points for the Bison during that stretch.
That last hurdle proved to be the toughest to clear for Bucknell. Kirk was fouled on a layup attempt with 4:04 remaining but missed her second free throw attempt to keep the Bison within a single possession of going ahead. The Eagles stayed up from three to five points for the remainder of the game with the help of a Bucknell scoring drought that lasted nearly five minutes.
Krewson finally put an end to the skid with :41 left in the contest to set the score at 50-47, but as American made late trips to the free throw line, the door began to close on the Bison's hopes of an upset. At :08, Kirk again hit one of her two free throw attempts. Bucknell's inability to get a last-chance shot off, however, put an end to the comeback with a final score of 53-49.
Bucknell proved to be the better shooting team in the second half. Not only did it outscore American 29-27 in the final frame, but it also shot 46.2 percent (12-for-26) from the field compared to 33.3 percent (8-for-24) for the Eagles. American's success came on the charity stripe, as it hit 10 of 14 shots in the second, while Bucknell was just 3-for-5.
Krewson scored 12 of her 18 points on the night, and Morgan Wrightson (Gaithersburg, Md./Notre Dame Academy (Va.)) saw her best production in the second half as well. Wrightson finished with 11 points, eight of which came down the final stretch.
The need for a comeback started early for the Bison. Cosima Higham (Brooklyn, N.Y./Poly Prep Country Day) scored off an offensive rebound in the first minute of play, but American quickly erased Bucknell's only lead of the night on the next possession. The layup by Ohemaa Nyanin started a 12-0 Eagles run that put them ahead 12-2 five minutes later.
Bucknell made its first push of the night after American's run, scoring the game's next seven points. The Bison's run came from around the court. Higham started things off with a layup, Krewson followed with a 3-pointer and Rachel Voss (Cincinnati, Ohio/Loveland) added a jumper to get their team within three points at 12-9.
Bucknell experienced yet another drought, going more than five minutes between scores. Lindsay Horbatuck (Avon, Conn./Avon) put the Bison on the scoreboard with a pair of free throws after more than five minutes between baskets. American was still able to take its advantage to double digits one more time before the halftime buzzer, but not before Bucknell had one final say. As the teams headed to the locker room at the break, the score stood at 26-20.
Horbatuck led all players in rebounds with 10. It is the freshman's second career game with double-figure boards with the first coming in the Bison's previous contest against Navy last Saturday. Horbatuck had a strong all-around outing, adding four points, three assists, two blocks and three steals to her impressive night on the glass.
As a team, Bucknell outrebounded American by 15. After winning the battle of the boards 42-27, the Bison's rebounding margin this season improves to +5.7.
Krewson's 18 points came on 7-for-15 shooting, including 3-for-5 from 3-point range. Wrightson reached her total of 11 points by going 4-for-9 from the field. The sophomore was a key component in allowing the Bison to outscore the Eagles 15-2 in bench points. Joining Horbatuck among the game's leading rebounders was Joyce Novacek (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) with nine boards.
Like the Bison's leading scorers, Kirk did the majority of her scoring in the second half. After being limited to just two points in the first, the Patriot League's leading point-getter erupted for 17 in the second. Liz Leer also finished in double digits with 16 points, 12 of which came in the first half. Nyanin led the Eagles with eight rebounds.
Bucknell will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 13 when it travels to Holy Cross. Tipoff in Worcester, Mass., is slated for 3 p.m.