Late Run Pushes Bucknell Women's basketball Past Army 44-40
Feb. 26, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Tension ran high with both teams fighting for the fourth seed and home-court advantage in the Patriot League Tournament, and it was Bucknell that answered the call, winning 44-40 at Christl Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Bison (10-16, 7-7) erupted for a 22-4 run in the second half to secure their spot in the top half of the standings. They will take on either Army or Holy Cross in the quarterfinals on March 5 in Davis Gym.
Cosima Higham (Brooklyn, N.Y./Poly Prep Country Day) finished with a double-double. The senior finished with 10 points, eight of which came in the second half, and 13 rebounds. Shelby Romine (Centreville, Va./Westfield) led all scorers with 15 points.
The Bison trailed by 11 early in the second half. Erin Anthony collected an offensive rebound and hit a jumper for a 27-16 lead with 14:15 to play. That was the last of Army's scoring for six minutes. During that time, Bucknell went on a 10-0 run to pull within a single point, 27-26 with just under nine minutes to play.
The Bison finally regained its lead as Romine drilled a 3-pointer, putting Bucknell up 31-30. It was the Bison's first advantage since leading 4-3 in the first half. Romine ran off nine of Bucknell's 10 points at one time, capping off her run with a jumper at the 1:35 mark. That gave the Bison a 38-31 advantage.
Bucknell's intensity continued throughout play while Army (13-17, 7-7) struggled to find solutions for some time. Four different Bison scored during their 22-4 run, including Romine who put up 10 points in the second half. The Black Knights put up a fight down the final stretch, outscoring Bucknell 10-6 in the final minute, but the home team ran out of time.
By the final buzzer, Bucknell had improved its shooting significantly. The second half saw the Bison shoot 61.1 percent (11-for-18) from the field. That brought their shooting to 34.9 percent (15-for-43) for the game.
As strong as the shooting was in the second half, the opening frame was the opposite. For the second time this season, Bucknell managed just 12 points in the first half, tying a season low. The point total came on a dismal 4-for-25 (16.0 percent) shooting from the field, marking their fewest field goals for the Bison in a half since their 64-42 loss to Fordham on Nov. 17. Bucknell was just 3-for-14 in the second half against the Rams in their second game of the year.
Army fared little better in the shooting department, going 8-for-31 (25.8 percent) from the field. Nalini Hawkins and Jessie Coiffard combined for four 3-pointers in the half to give the Black Knights some breathing room.
The score remained close for much of play as neither team could put the ball in the basket. At the first media timeout, Army led just 3-2. Hawkins' three opened play, and Higham put the Bison on the board with a jumper. Bucknell then went nearly 10 minutes without a field goal, but Army's lead was still just 7-6.
After spending much of the half putting up long jumpers, the Black Knights started to hit a few down the stretch. That grew their lead to 20-9 with less than a minute remaining. The Bison escaped a single-digit score in the half as Taylor Phillips (South Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South) hit Bucknell's first 3-pointer of the day with three seconds left on the clock.
As the teams headed into the locker room, Army led 20-12. Higham and Anthony had battled it out on the boards and were tied for the game high with eight rebounds apiece. Coiffard had eight points for Army, while Romine had five points, three of which came off free throws. Despite a frenzied pace and tight defense from both teams, the Black Knights did not make a single trip to the free throw line in the first 20 minutes.
With the game officially in the books, Army had just four players in the scorers list. Hawkins and Coiffard tied for the team lead with 13 apiece. Anthony, who leads the league in scoring and rebounding, finished with eight points and 12 boards.
With a final score of 44-40, the teams combined for the fewest points in series history. The previous low had been a combined 86 points in a 49-37 win for Army on Feb. 28, 2010. It was also the ninth consecutive game in which neither team scored 60 points.
Bucknell's season will continue on March 5 as the No. 4 seed in the Patriot League Tournament. The game will be played in historic Davis Gym.