Bucknell Women's Basketball Opens Three-Game Homestand vs. Cornell
Jan. 6, 2009
WHAT: Bucknell (7-5) vs. Cornell (4-7) WHERE: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa. WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 7, 7 p.m. RADIO: WVBU 90.5 FM, SportsJuice.com TV: None STREAMING VIDEO: Bison Vision LIVE STATISTICS: BucknellBison.com Complete Bucknell-Cornell Game Notes
With a Victory Over Cornell, Bucknell Would...
About the Game
The Bucknell women’s basketball team wraps up its non-conference schedule with the matchup against the Cornell Big Red. While the Bison are just 2-2 at Sojka Pavilion this year, compared to 5-3 on the road, Cornell is 0-5 away from its home court. Both teams will try to gain momentum with a win as they prepare for their upcoming league openers.
Bucknell and Cornell have one of the longest histories of all of the Bison’s opponents this season, with the series beginning in 1982. The Orange and Blue are 13-4 all-time against the Big Red but are a perfect 9-0 at home. Bucknell fell to its Ivy League opponent last season after taking each of the previous three contests.
Last Meeting - Nov. 25, 2007
Joyce Novacek posted her second double-double of the season and the fourth of her career with 19 points and 14 rebounds at Howard Monday ... Trisha Krewson earned her first Patriot League honor Monday after being voted Rookie of the Week ... Four Bison have scored in double digits in each of the last two games ... Trisha Krewson’s 11 points against Buffalo was a season high for the freshman ... After earning Patriot League Rookie of the Week, Morgan Wrightson posted her first 20-point game versus Wofford, shooting 8-for-10 from the free throw line ... Amanda Brown scored 22 points against the Towson Tigers Dec. 3, which is her highest total since she scored 22 points in the season-opening game at George Mason and 21 points at Yale four days later ... Cosima Higham recorded two double-doubles in the Bison’s first three games, with the most recent one coming at Fordham (16 points-14 rebounds) ... Bucknell has two of the top 21 scorers in program history on this year’s team in Amanda Brown (14th) and Lauren Schober (21st).
History vs. Cornell
About the Big Red
Cornell, which is 4-7 in 2008-09, has struggled away from its home court. The Big Red have lost all five of their contests on the road this season, including their season opener at Duquesne where they fell 93-49. Cornell, which tied for first in the Ivy League last year, has fallen on the road by an average of 24.4 points per game.
Most recently, Cornell dropped a 56-51 decision to Binghamton. Despite a double-double (11 points-10 rebounds) from Shannan Scarsaletta, the Big Red saw their 11-game home winning streak snapped on Monday. Lauren Benson led the team with 14 points, and Allie Fedorowicz also scored 11. The meeting with Bucknell marks its final non-conference game of the season.
Last Time Out
The Bison took their third consecutive game with a 10-point victory over Howard on Monday. Joyce Novacek posted career-high totals in points (19), rebounds (14) and assists (5), while three other Orange and Blue players also scored in double figures. Lauren Schober added 14 points, followed by Cosima Higham (13) and Amanda Brown (10). Novacek, Schober and Higham recorded 30 of the team’s 32 first-half points, but Bucknell received a more balanced attack in the second half, closing the score at 63-53.
Keeping the Opponent Down
Bucknell has continued to play strong defense throughout the season and most recently held Howard to 29.8 percent shooting from the field. The game marked the third time this year the Bison held their opponent to less than 30 percent shooting (Fordham, 27.4%; Drexel, 25.4%), although they also came close to the feat against George Mason (30.9%) and Buffalo (30.5%). Bucknell held its opponents to a sub-30 shooting percentage seven times last season.
The Orange and Blue are no longer relying on just one player for point production. Bucknell has received double-digit scoring from at least three players in each of its last five games, and six total players have contributed to that count. Amanda Brown has accomplished the feat in four of five games (Wofford, Saint Francis (Pa.), Buffalo, Howard), followed Cosima Higham (Saint Francis (Pa.), Wofford, James Madison, Howard), Lauren Schober (James Madison, Buffalo, Howard), Morgan Wrightson (Wofford, Saint Francis (Pa.)) and Trisha Krewson (James Madison, Buffalo).
Bucknell has played just four of its last 12 games within the friendly confines of Sojka Pavilion. Despite the difficult schedule, the Bison are 5-3 on the road, including an 11-point victory over Colonial Athletic Association member George Mason in November and the most recent 10-point win over Howard.
Connecting with the Community
The Bucknell women’s basketball team has always understood the importance of community service, but with the players in the midst of the winter break from classes, the Bison are taking their involvement to another level. The Orange and Blue spent the afternoon playing basketball and other games with children at the Donald Heiter Community Center in Lewisburg on Tuesday. Players and coaches also visited with families at the Ronald McDonald House in Danville on Saturday.
Long Distance Woes
After starting the season with the best three-point field goal percentage defense mark in the country at .167, Bucknell has faced some strong outside shooting teams. Wofford first made a dent in the Bison’s defense by going 9-for-18 (.500) from behind the arc, followed by James Madison, which finished the game 10-for-24 (.417) from long range. On the flip side, Bucknell was unable to connect on any of its nine attempts from three-point range against the Dukes. The Orange and Blue bounced back at Saint Francis (Pa.), going 4-13 (.308) from behind the arc and holding the Red Flash to just 2-of-16 (.125).
Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award
Lauren Schober was named a candidate for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award on Friday. She is joined by 29 other Division I women’s basketball players around the country exemplifying the “Four C’s” - classroom, character, community and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award was launched during the 2001-02 season to honor the attributes of college basketball seniors who remain committed to their university and pursue the many rewards that a senior season and complete college education brings. The winner will be announced during the NCAA Women’s Final Four.
Thousand Point Club
Bucknell women’s basketball welcomed a new member to the 1,000-point club on Nov. 29. Since the game against the Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds, Amanda Brown reached 1,101 points in her career, making her the 18th player in program history to reach the milestone.
Hope Foster (1,256) and Kesha Champion (1,016) became the 16th and 17th members of the club last season. Foster, who is the ninth on the list of all-time scorers at Bucknell, crossed the threshold against Penn State. Champion, tied for 16th with former player Kim Delfs, achieved the milestone when she scored 13 points versus Holy Cross in the Patriot League Tournament. The two were the first teammates to reach 1,000 points in the same season since Desire Almind and Kate Franks in 2002-03.
Lauren Schober is the next Bison in the hunt for the 1,000-point mark. With 918 points, she is 82 points short of the milestone.
Turning the Tides
In the first three games of the season, the Bison were outrebounded by their opponents 41 rebounds per game to 36.3. The team started to turn things around in its home opener versus Drexel when it tied the Dragons with 43 boards. In the next five games, Bucknell pulled back on top in the category, claiming 42.6 rebounds per game compared to 34.6 for its opponents. That includes the matchup with Loyola (Md.) in which Bucknell outrebounded the Greyhounds 51-36. Most recently, it has outrebounded both Buffalo and Howard.
Slides That Led to Success
The four-game losing skid earlier this season was the longest by a Bison team since the 2004-05 squad dropped six in a row. The slide came during Patriot League play and was finally stopped with a 66-60 win over American on Feb. 11. Before that, the 2001-02 team also experienced a five-game drought. The winless streak was not indicative of the team’s final success, however, as the squad eventually went on to win the Patriot League Tournament and qualify for the program’s first NCAA Tournament.
Quick to Three
The Orange and Blue wasted no time in stringing together three consecutive victories in the 2008-09 season. Although it earned victories in each of its first three games this year, Bucknell waited until the end of the season to accomplish the same feat last season. The 2007-08 Bison did not win at least three in a row until March when it defeated Army in the final regular-season game, before upsetting Army, American and Holy Cross in the Patriot League Tournament.
Plenty of Time
Two Bison are averaging at least 30 minutes through the first 12 games of the season. Amanda Brown leads the duo, playing 37.5 minutes per game, including two games with 40 minutes. Her generous amount of time on the court ranks Brown second in the Patriot League for most minutes per game. She is followed by Joyce Novacek (30.4 mpg) and Lauren Schober (28.9 mpg). The high quantity of minutes is not new for Brown and Schober who have played a minimum of 40 minutes in a game a combined 18 times during their Bucknell careers.
20-Plus Points for Brown
Amanda Brown started the season with back-to-back games with more than 20 points. That scoring total makes her the first Bison to post at least 20 points in the first two games of the season since Molly Creamer in 2001. Creamer, who is the all-time leading scorer at Bucknell, tallied 26 versus Albany before dropping 27 to help upset Pittsburgh a few nights later. Brown posted her third performance with at least 20 points when she scored 22 versus Towson on Dec. 3.
NCAA Tournament Appearance
The Bison made their second trip in history to the NCAA Tournament last year. With their automatic bid from winning the Patriot League Tournament, they earned the opportunity to face North Carolina in a first-round matchup in Norfolk, Va. North Carolina came out on top, 85-50. In Bucknell’s only previous appearance at the NCAA Tournament in 2002, the Bison were defeated by Baylor 80-56 in Waco, Texas.
Patriot League Preseason Poll
Bucknell was picked fifth with 53 points in the 2008-09 Patriot League Preseason Poll. The Bison were voted to finish first in the league prior to the 2007-08 season, then slipped to fifth before claiming the Patriot League Tournament championship. Bucknell has finished at or better than predicted seven times in the last 10 years. Holy Cross was picked first with 90 points. Lehigh (83 points), American (75) and Army (60) rounded out the top four.Preseason Patriot League Poll Team (First-place votes) Pts. 1. Holy Cross (8) 90 2. Lehigh (6) 83 3. American (2) 75 4. Army 60 5. Bucknell 53 6. Lafayette 38 7. Navy 35 8. Colgate 14
Mixing It Up
The Bison have mixed things up after using the same starting lineup in each of their first three games. Since then, opponents have seen new lineups in six of their last nine contests. The switches are not new to Bucknell fans, as the team used nine different sets of starters last year, including six different lineups in the season’s first six games. That team tied for second on the list of most lineups used during a single season behind only the 1991-92 squad with 13. The 1981-82, 1983-84 and 1992-93 teams also had nine different starting lineups during the regular season.
Coaching Staff Additions
Bucknell welcomes two new assistant coaches to the program in 2008-09. Mandy Olley, a 2002 graduate of Old Dominion, joins the staff after a playing career that included four trips to the NCAA Tournament and a two-year turn as an assistant at Susquehanna University. Stephanie Marciano, a 2008 Yale graduate, ranks fifth all-time in assists for the Bulldogs, and brings valuable recent on-court experience to the coaching staff.
90 PL Wins for Fedorjaka
With the Bison’s final regular season victory over Army, head coach Kathy Fedorjaka earned her 90th career Patriot League win. Although that ties her for second-most league wins with Lehigh’s Sue Troyan, Fedorjaka’s Patriot League winning percentage at .616 is much better than Troyan’s .529. Bill Gibbons of Holy Cross retains his commanding lead with 192 career Patriot League victories.
Patriot League “Growing Our Community”
In 2008, the Patriot League received a grant as part of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Grant Program that allows it to help its member schools further promote women’s basketball during the 2008-09 academic year. The league is working with its eight member institutions to develop a number of activities and initiatives targeted to include youth organizations, senior groups, community and civic organizations and students and alumni.
The goal is to increase the home attendance for the entire 2009 Patriot League women’s basketball campaign through a variety of promotions and engaging local organizations to attend and learn more about the Patriot league women’s basketball programs, as well as expose individuals to the academic institutions.
Bucknell will continue its homestand with its first Patriot League contest of the season. The Bison face Navy at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 10 at Sojka Pavilion. Bucknell defeated the Midshipmen each of the two times they played last year and are 25-15 in the all-time series with Navy.