Jan. 7, 2013
ABOUT THE GAME
Just one more game remains until the start of Patriot League play and the Bison will be using it to try to build some momentum. Bucknell women’s basketball will also look to even the young series with NJIT when the two teams square off at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The Highlanders edged out the Bison by a single point when the series began last December, but that game was in Newark, N.J. Tuesday’s showdown will be at Sojka Pavilion.
All the action on Tuesday can be heard live on SportsJuice.com with Danny Will doing the play-by-play duties. Live video on Bison Vision and live stats on GameTracker can also be found at BucknellBison.com.
WITH A VICTORY AGAINST NJIT, BUCKNELL WOULD...
• Improve to 9-6 on the year at the end of non-conference play.
• Even the series vs. NJIT.
• End a series losing streak against an eighth opponent this season.
• Collect its fourth win in seven tries.
• Improve to 5-3 at home this season.
• Audrey Dotson was named the Anaconda Patriot League Player of the Week on Monday for the second time this season (also 12/17). Shelby Romine was also named the league’s Player of the Week on Dec. 27.
• Bucknell leads the Patriot League in scoring (63.1), rebounding (44.4), rebounding defense (33.2), rebounding margin (+11.2), defensive rebounds (31.4), FT% (.743) and FG% defense (.347).
• Felicia Mgbada played in her 100th career game Saturday at Yale.
• Bucknell finished its November/December schedule with a winning record (7-5) for the first time since the 2006-07 team went 8-6 before New Year’s Day.
• Bucknell has allowed 7.5 offensive rebounds per game in the last six contests, including just six allowed at Youngstown State on Dec. 29.
• With 10 rebounds vs. Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 28, Sheaira Jones became the first Bison other than Lindsay Horbatuck and Audrey Dotson to lead Bucknell in rebounding since Jan. 14, 2012.
• Bucknell has eight wins this season (8-6). The Bison totaled five all of last year (5-25).
• Felicia Mgbada finished her junior year ranked seventh at Bucknell in single-season blocked shots (39). She now ranks eighth in career blocks (82).
• Aaron Roussell collected his first win as Bucknell head coach on Nov. 17 at Canisius. The Bison defeated the Golden Griffins 59-50 in Buffalo.
• Aaron Roussell was hired as Bucknell’s ninth head coach in April 2012. Roussell spent eight years at the University of Chicago where he amassed a 161-50 record and led the Maroons to three Sweet Sixteens and one Elite Eight.
• The Bison return four starters and 10 letterwinners from a year ago. Bucknell’s only loss from the starting five was guard Christina Chukwuedo, who led the Patriot League in assist/turnover ratio last season.
LAST MEETING WITH NJIT - DEC. 3, 2011
• NJIT 54, Bucknell 53 (Fleisher Athletic Center)
• The Bison led by as many as 11 points in the first half, but a late attack from the Highlanders gave them a 54-53 win in Newark. A one-point halftime lead flipped back and forth throughout the second half until NJIT’s Uju Nwankwo hit a free throw with 25 seconds left to give it the win.
• The Bison combined high-pressure defense with an efficient offense and jumped out to a 13-2 lead. NJIT struggled to get any look at the basket in the first 13 minutes of play as Bucknell double-teamed the Highlanders nearly everywhere on the court. The defense forced a number of miscues near midcourt, and NJIT eventually ended the half with 15 turnovers.
• Bucknell’s shots quit falling with about 12 minutes to play in the first half. Felicia Mgbada hit a shot to put the Bison in front 15-4, but that was the last field goal for the Orange & Blue until 2:41 when Mgbada hit her second shot of the game. During that stretch, NJIT went on a 15-2 run.
• The high intensity and pace that bookended the first half continued into the second. Neither team was hurting for shots, but neither could get them to drop either. Bucknell continued to force the issue, and with the help of some important hustle on the glass the Bison were able to get a bit of distance from their opponent. The lead was never more than six points in the second half, however. Each time Bucknell looked to be gaining control, NJIT would counter the move and keep the game close.
• After NJIT tied the contest at 49-49, Bucknell had the chance to regain the lead by going to the line for a 1-and-1 opportunity, but Mgbada missed the front end. The Bison then turned the ball over on their next two possessions, and NJIT pulled in front 51-49 on a jumper in the paint. Alyssa Dunn gave NJIT a taste of its own medicine shortly, converting a turnover into a fastbreak layup for 53-51.
• There were seven lead changes in the second half. None were quite as significant as the last one on Uju Nwankwo’s foul shot that ultimately gave NJIT the 54-53 lead.
ABOUT THE HIGHLANDERS
Under first-year head coach Steve Lanpher, NJIT is off to a 7-10 start on the season. Bucknell will be its third straight Patriot League opponent. On Saturday, the Highlanders lost 46-45 to Lehigh and before that was a 72-36 loss at Colgate. Another opponents NJIT has in common with Bucknell is Saint Peter’s, which it defeated 62-35 in mid-December.
While the head coach is new, the players are not. All 11 players from last season return in 2012-13. Among them is Denisa Domiterova, the Great West Conference Newcomer of the Year, as well as All-Great West First Team selection Rayven Johnson and Nicole Maticka, who received honorable mention conference honors. Maticka set an NJIT record in blocked shots with 83, a total that ranked her among the top 20 nationally.
HISTORY VS. NJIT
• NJIT won the only meeting with Bucknell, 54-53, last December in Newark, N.J.
• Series Results:
Dec. 3, 2011 NJIT, 54-53
LAST TIME OUT
• Jan. 5, 2013: Yale 82, Bucknell 62 (John J. Lee Amphitheater)
• Bucknell fell behind early and Yale’s tight defense and quick pace rushed the Bison into mistakes that ultimately sent them to a 20-point loss on the road. It was the second-worst loss in series history.
• Audrey Dotson was the brightest spot on the court for the Bison. The sophomore forward registered a game-high 22 points, giving her two straight games of at least 20 in the scoring column. That total also tied teammate Shelby Romine for the most points in a single-game in the series with Yale. Dotson shot 10-for-13 from the field against the Bulldogs.
• As a team, Bucknell shot .481 (25-52) from the field). Yale finished the night at .508 (31-61), the highest shooting percentage by a Bison opponent this season.
• Bucknell committed 26 turnovers leading directly to 36 points for Yale. The Bulldogs had the 36-11 edge in points off turnovers, although the Bison led in points in the paint, 34-26.
DOTSON DOES IT AGAIN - PATRIOT LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK #2
Audrey Dotson collected her second Anaconda Patriot League Player of the Week honor on Monday. The sophomore averaged 22.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists against Cornell and Yale. Dotson shot 20-for-25 from the floor in those games, making her one of the most efficient and effective players on the court. Her 22 points against each opponent earned the forward her first career set of back-to-back 20-point games. After grabbing eight rebounds against Cornell, second only to Lindsay Horbatuck’s 19, Dotson chipped in two assists and a steal at Yale.
Dotson enters Tuesday’s game ranked second on the team in scoring (12.2) and rebounding (8.8) for the season. She also leads the Bison in blocked shots (1.4) and shares the team lead in steals (1.0) with Shelby Romine.
• In Saturday’s contest at Yale, Audrey Dotson shot 10-for-13 (.769) from the field. The rest of the team finished the night at 15-for-39 (.385).
• Overall, Bucknell shot .481 (25-52) from the floor. It was the second consecutive game for the Bison in which they shot better than .400.
• After Dotson, the Bison with the most field goals made were Alyssa Dunn (3-6) and Rachel Voss (3-5).
KEEPING THEM OFF THE BOARDS
Bucknell has outrebounded 13 of its 14 opponents, and each of the last 12, this season and has a Patriot League-best +11.2 rebounding margin. Its 12 straight games of outrebounding foes is the most since at least the 1994-95 season.
BISON IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
As of Jan. 6, Bucknell maintained a position in the national statistical rankings. The Bison were 10th in rebounding margin (+11.1) and Lindsay Horbatuck ranked 28th nationally in rebounding (10.5). Horbatuck’s 19 rebounds vs. Cornell was also tied for 18th for the most in a single game. Audrey Dotson’s .833 (10-12) field goal percentage against the Big Red was tied 12th nationally as well.
NEW DOUBLE-DIGIT TERRITORY
Through Bucknell’s first 11 contests this season, only one game was decided by more than nine points - a 13-point win over Towson on Dec. 19 - and the Bison had a +3.1 scoring margin. They have found themselves in new territory in the last three games, however. All three have been decided by at least 18 points - an 18-point loss at Youngstown State, a 25-point win against Cornell and a 20-point loss at Yale. Bucknell’s scoring margin for the season now stands at +1.5.
LOSSES WITH HIGH FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE
Bucknell shot .481 (25-52) from the field on Saturday at Yale and lost 82-62. The last time the Bison lost after shooting better than .400 was Feb. 4, 2012 when they went .469 (23-49) from the floor and fell 60-56 at West Point.
Previous to the meeting with Yale, Bucknell’s best field goal percentage in a loss this season was .386 (17-44) at Youngstown State on Dec. 29.
PROMOS COMING UP
Bucknell will host a handful of promotions in January. First up is the Purdy Insurance Feed the Fan night on Jan. 16. Fans in attendance as the Bison take on Colgate can get free pizza at halftime. Jan. 26 will feature a halftime performance by the USA Jump Rope Team. Fans can also play Basketball Bingo for prizes when Bucknell hosts Holy Cross at 7 p.m.
AT THE TOP OF THE LIST
When Audrey Dotson finished the game against Longwood with 27 points and 17 rebounds, the sophomore had the Patriot League’s highest totals in each category. She has since been knocked down one spot in both, but both have been by teammates. Shelby Romine scored 29 at Saint Peter’s and Lindsay Horbatuck grabbed 19 rebounds against Cornell on Jan. 2. No other player in the Patriot League has registered higher scoring or rebounding totals this year.
NEWEST SOJKA RECORDS
Two records were tied when Bucknell hosted Cornell on Jan. 2. Lindsay Horbatuck grabbed 19 rebounds, equaling the mark set by Desire Almind against Akron on Dec. 19, 2003. The Bison also limited Cornell to 11 field goals, which ties the total for fewest by a Bucknell opponent. That “honor” originally went to Lafayette on Feb. 16, 2011.
EIGHT DOWN, LOOKING FOR A NINTH
With the 64-39 victory over Cornell on Jan. 2, Bucknell reached eight wins in 13 games. That is the fifth-quickest run to eight wins in program history and the fastest since 2008-09 also recorded its eighth win in its 13th game.
Bucknell will now turn its attention to collecting its ninth victory. The Bison have reached nine wins in 15 games for fewer seven times in program history.
RALLYING ‘ROUND ROUSSELL
• Aaron Roussell became Bucknell’s ninth head coach when he was hired in April 2012. On Dec. 19, he also became the third coach in program history to improve Bucknell’s wins total in their first season. Cindy Connelley (1983-84) enjoyed a one-game improvement with a 9-17 record, and Juliene Simpson (1991-97) had a five-win improvement with her debut record of 7-20. Roussell inherited a team that went 5-25 a year ago and has since led the Bison to an 8-5 mark so far this winter.
• Of the eight coaches to lead Bucknell prior to Roussell, only one - Rebecca Carr - registered a winning season in her debut campaign. The second coach in program history, Carr went 6-4 in 1976-77 before ultimately finishing her four-year tenure with the Bison with a 31-30 record.
• With eight wins so far, Roussell has the third-most victories by a Bison head coach in their debut season. Kathy Fedorjaka leads the group (12-14 in 1997-98), followed by Cindy Connelley (9-17 in 1983-94).
Bucknell has allowed 45 combined offensive rebounds to its last six opponents - Longwood (7), Towson (9), Saint Peter’s (9), Youngstown State (6), Cornell (7) and Yale (7). The Penguins also managed to grab just 26 total rebounds, the fewest by a Bucknell opponent this season until the Big Red registered a mere 23 one game later. One of the biggest contributors to limiting opponents’ effectiveness on the glass has been the combo Audrey Dotson and Lindsay Horbatuck, who are averaging 9.8 and 10.0 rebounds, respectively, in those six games.
Of Dotson’s 17 total rebounds against Longwood, 10 of them came on the defensive end, surpassing the total of any single Lancer. Dotson also had had 12 rebounds in the first half against Towson, which had just 11 as a team.
Now there are more ways than ever to follow the Bison. Head coach Aaron Roussell (@CoachRous) and assistant coach Christian Stefanopoulos (@CStef23) are both on Twitter. Bucknell Women’s Basketball is also on Facebook.
For up-to-date information, videos and more for all of Bucknell’s teams, don’t forget @BisonSports on Twitter, facebook.com/BuckyBison and youtube.com/BucknellAthletics.
Bucknell will next turn its attention to Patriot League play. The Bison will travel to West Point, N.Y., on Jan. 12 to take on Army at 1 p.m. Bucknell’s Patriot League home opener is slated for Jan. 16 vs. Colgate at 7 p.m.