Jan. 13, 2005
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With Patriot League play two games old, it appears Bucknell is reaching its high point of the season in terms of achievement at exactly the right time. The Bison opened league play with their closest loss of the year at Holy Cross, and then defeated Colgate at home to extend their winning streak at Sojka Pavilion to nine games. That figure is just six shy of equaling Bucknell's all-time mark. Unfortunately for Bucknell, it leaves the familiar confines of Sojka Pavilion Saturday to face Army at West Point, N.Y. The Bison have lost two consecutive games at Christl Arena, and will attempt to win there for the first time since 2002. Lindsey Hollobaugh, who has netted at least 20 points in eight straight games against Patriot League opponents and has seen her scoring average increase from 13.7 points per game to 15.4 over the last three games, will try to lead Bucknell to the victory. She is just one point away from 700 in her career and has scored 65 points in the last three games. The Black Knights, who have been nearly as successful at home as Bucknell by posting a 5-1 home record, will be led by sophomore Jen Hansen. The second-leading three-point shooter in the Patriot League, Hansen has made 40 shots from behind the arc and is averaging 12.3 points per game.
Under seventh-year head coach Sherri Abbey-Nowatzki, Army has posted a 7-7 record this year, including 1-1 in Patriot League play after losing at Holy Cross 70-53 Wednesday. The Black Knights entered the season with the prospect of replacing All-League performer Katie Macfarlane, who averaged 18.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game as a senior as she set records for the most points and rebounds in program history. Army has used a balanced scoring attack to replace the four-year starter. Sophomore guard Jen Hansen leads the team in scoring (12.3 ppg), while freshman guard Cara Enright (10.5 ppg) and senior forward Lindsay Brent (9.2 ppg) have shown the ability to score as well. Enright has earned the Patriot League Rookie of the Week award three times this season. Hansen has been the Black Knights' top outside threat, making 40 of 106 from three-point range. She ranks second in the league in three-pointers made. Brent, who is pulling down 6.7 rebounds per game, ranks fourth in the conference in that category, one spot ahead of Bucknell's Hope Foster.
Bison Versus the Black Knights
Bucknell owns a 20-12 advantage in the all-time series that dates to 1984. The teams split a pair of meetings last year with each winning on its home court. The Bison won eight straight in the series from 2000-2003, but a 91-79 loss at Christl Arena in 2003 snapped that streak.
Eight Straight 20-Point Performances vs. PL
Sophomore guard Lindsey Hollobaugh scored a season-high 26 points against Colgate on Jan. 12. It marked the eighth consecutive game against league foes that Hollobaugh scored at least 20 points. She tallied 21 points against Army last year at Sojka Pavilion, but managed just five in the game at Army.
Bucknell has posted a 6-8 record this season. Seven of its eight losses have come on weekend days - Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All six victories have come during the week - Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The lone loss during the week came to Bowling Green on Thursday, Dec. 30.
5-0 at Home
With its 67-65 win over Colgate on Jan. 12, Bucknell improved to 5-0 at home. The start matches the 2000-01 season for the best start to the home schedule since the 1997-98 season when the Bison won their first seven home games. Bucknell's best-ever home record came in 1995-96 when it finished the campaign 12-0 at Davis Gym.
Bucknell's game with Army snaps a string of six consecutive league games in which the Bison have played either Colgate or Holy Cross. In a scheduling oddity, Bucknell wrapped up the 2003-04 campaign with a road trip to Holy Cross and Colgate. The Bison then met those same two teams in the 2004 Patriot League Tournament. They then opened the 2004-05 league slate against those same two squads.
Last year Lindsey Hollobaugh and Desire Almind combined to score more than half of Bucknell's points, and only eight players scored 20 points during the course of the season. With this year's regular season half over, 10 Bison have already reached 20 points this year. Also, the top three scorers (Hollobaugh, Brooke Tomovich, Rachel Hanley) account for half of Bucknell's points, rather than the top two.
Sophomore forward Rachel Hanley has been a key factor in Bucknell's 5-0 start at home. Hanley is averaging 13.2 points per game at home, but just 4.1 on the road. Hanley has also been a defensive force at home, recording seven of her eight steals at Sojka, while blocking four of her six shots in home games.
Bucknell opened Sojka (pronounced SOY-ka) Pavilion with a 74-67 loss to Lehigh on Jan. 15, 2003. The Bison have posted a 17-7 (.708) record all-time in Sojka. Entering the 2004-05 campaign, Bucknell had a four-game home winning streak in progress. The Bison extended that streak to eight with a 67-65 victory over Colgate in their fifth home game this season. Their last home loss came opposite Holy Cross Feb. 1, 2004.
Junior guard Lindsey Geosits recorded seven steals during a 67-65 win over Colgate Jan. 12. That figure easily eclipsed her career high of four, and gave her the most steals by a Bison since Desire Almind had eight swipes against Holy Cross Feb. 27, 2004.
Bucknell has led at halftime on five occasions this year and has won each of the five. The Bison are just 1-8 in games in which they trail after the first 20 minutes of play.
Bucknell has seen a sudden surge in double-figure scorers over its last three games. In the season's first 11 contests a Bison scored at least 10 points on just 22 occasions. However, over the last three games, Bucknell has had 11 double-figure scorers, including five against Iona.
Foster Rookie of the Week
Freshman Hope Foster garnered Bucknell's first Patriot League weekly award on Tuesday, Dec. 28, when she was named the league's Rookie of the Week for her performance against Maryland-Eastern Shore the previous week. The 6-2 forward scored 12 points, grabbed four rebounds and had three blocks and four steals in leading Bucknell to a 60-48 victory. Current sophomore Lindsey Hollobaugh was the PL Rookie of the Week a record eight times last year.
Sophomore forward Rachel Hanley grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds in a 48-47 win at Akron Dec. 29. Included in those 12 boards were a career-high eight offensive rebounds. It was the highest offensive rebound total by a Bison since Kim Delfs hauled in nine offensive rebounds Nov. 24, 1996 against Robert Morris. For the season, Hanley, who is averaging 5.8 rebounds per game, is second on the squad with 23 offensive boards.
52-Point First Half
The 52 points Bucknell scored in the first half of its 90-66 victory over Iona on Jan. 3 were the most for the Bison since they tallied 56 points in a 115-92 win versus Canisius Jan. 6, 1996. That game established a new Bucknell record for most points scored in a game.
Bucknell's 48 points in its 48-47 victory over Akron Dec. 29 was its second-lowest point total in a victory since eighth-year head coach Kathy Fedorjaka took over prior to the 1997-98 season. The Bison defeated Navy 46-43 Feb. 5, 2000 the only time they tallied less than 48 points in a victory during Fedorjaka's tenure. Only three other times in the 32-year history of the Bucknell program had the Bison won in games they scored less than 48 points. Two of those came in 1973-74, while the other came during the 1979-80 campaign.
Finally, a Road Win
Bucknell opened the season 0-6 away from home before defeating Akron 48-47 Dec. 29. The road start was the worst for the Bison since they opened 1994-95 with an 0-9 mark away from Lewisburg. In 1990-91, Bucknell posted its worst-ever record in games away from home, going 0-15.
Junior guard Lindsey Geosits has a team-high 49 assists this year. For her career, she has 232 assists. With just four more helpers, Geosits will reach 10th place on Bucknell's career assists list. As a team, Bucknell has dished out 199 assists on 301 field goals (66.1 percent). Opponents have not been nearly as unselfish, registering assists on 189 of 332 field goals (56.9 percent).
In its 90-66 win over Iona on Jan. 3, Bucknell equaled a 29-year-old record with 28 assists on its 32 field goals. The total equaled a mark that was set Feb. 9, 1976, during a 66-49 victory over Juniata.
Bucknell's defense is allowing opponents to shoot just 38.0 percent from the field this year. The Bison have not held their opponents to that low of a percentage since the 1994-95 season when the opposition connected on just 37.6 percent of its field goals. Along with the low field goal percentage defense, Bucknell is allowing only 64.6 points per game. Only twice in Kathy Fedorjaka's first seven years at the helm of the Bison has Bucknell allowed fewer points over the course of a season.
Foster's Five Blocks
Freshman forward Hope Foster had five blocks during Bucknell's 68-56 win over Buffalo on Dec. 7. That total equaled the third highest single-game total in Bison history. The last Bucknell player who had more than five blocks was Susie Hopper, who had six rejections Feb. 3, 1990 against Lafayette.
Hollobaugh Nearing 700
In just the second game of her sophomore season Lindsey Hollobaugh eclipsed the 500-point mark for her career. After scoring 16 points in the opener against Florida International, the Loganton, Pa., native needed just one point to reach the 500 mark. With 15:33 remaining in the first half against Texas A&M, the school's all-time freshman scoring leader made a jumper to even the score at 8-8 and give her 501 career points. Since that time Hollobaugh has increased her career point total to 699. Her 16.3 ppg career scoring average ranks fourth in Bucknell history.
Despite just two of the six heralded freshmen earning spots in the starting lineup during the first 14 games of the season, the rookies have had success in their first taste of college action as three freshmen rank among the team leaders in scoring. Kristina Collymore, Kesha Champion and Hope Foster are all averaging 6.4 points per game to tie for fourth on the squad. Collymore and Champion have each tallied double figures on four different occasions, while Foster has scored at least 10 points three times.
Freshman Hope Foster ranks fifth in the Patriot League, and leads the team, in rebounding with 6.3 per game. The last freshman to lead the Bison in rebounding was Vicki Quimby, who averaged 7.4 boards per game in 1998-99.
Great From the Line
Bucknell is shooting 187 of 259 (.722) from the free throw line this year. That mark would rank as the fourth-best in the history of the Bison program. The best three marks all came within the last four years. Brooke Tomovich, who has made 18 of 20 (90.0 percent) leads the team, while Lindsey Hollobaugh (81.0 percent) ranks fifth in the Patriot League. As a team, the Bison have made at least 70 percent of their free throws in each of their last five games, and in seven of the last eight.
Through 14 games Bucknell has blocked 59 shots as a team. If the Bison continue averaging 4.2 blocks per game they will finish the regular season with 114. That figure would rank as the most in the history of the program. Last year's squad tied the 1989-90 team for the top position with 106. Hope Foster leads this year's squad with 27 blocks (1.9 per game), which ranks first in the Patriot League. Desire Almind, who blocked 62 shots in 29 games last year, is the only player in program history to average at least 2.0 blocks per game.
Preseason Accolades For Hollobaugh
Sophomore guard Lindsey Hollobaugh was selected to the preseason All-Patriot League team in a preseason poll of coaches and sports information directors. The Loganton, Pa., native was second on the team with 16.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as a freshman. Her 483 points broke Molly Creamer's freshman scoring record of 475. Hollobaugh was the only non-senior to appear on the preseason all-league squad. The 5-9 Hollobaugh became the fourth Bison to be named Rookie of the Year in the Patriot League last year.
Patriot League Preseason Poll
Bucknell finished the 2003-04 season with a 7-7 record in Patriot League play to place fifth in the eight-team league's standings. The Bison are picked to finish in the same position in 2004-05. In a preseason poll of coaches and sports information directors, Bucknell was picked behind Holy Cross, Colgate, American and Lehigh, but ahead of Army, Navy and Lafayette. Colgate, which knocked Bucknell out of the postseason tournament last year, was the conference's representative in the NCAA Tournament where they lost to Tennessee in the first round.
Seniors Emilie Barruet and tri-captain Amy Ketcham are the only two Bison in their fourth year with the program. Bucknell has four seniors on its roster, but Brooke Tomovich and Lillian Drumgold are in just their second years in orange and blue after transferring from Loyola (Md.) and UNC Wilmington, respectively. Tomovich played in all 29 games last year and was third on the team in scoring at 9.4 points per game. The 6-2 center connected on 15 of 38 3-point attempts to lead the team at 39.5 percent. Drumgold, who battled an injury during the preseason, brought a streak of 18 consecutive starts into this season. The 5-9 guard has provided valuable minutes off the bench so far this season.
Seniors Amy Ketcham and Brooke Tomovich, along with junior Lindsey Geosits were chosen as team captains by their teammates prior to the season. It is the first time since 2001-02 Bucknell has had more than two captains.
Bucknell will be playing its second full season in its 4,000-seat arena -- Sojka Pavilion (pronounced SOY-ka). The facility is a part of the new Kenneth G. Langone Athletics & Recreation Center, which also includes a 16,000-square foot fitness center, a state-of-the-art natatorium featuring a 50-meter-by-25-yard pool, a new sports medicine center and new office suites for coaches and staff. Bucknell went 8-5 at home last season and ended the season on a four-game home winning streak. With the 67-65 win over Colgate on Jan. 12, the Bison extended that streak to nine games.
Setting The Standard Of Excellence
Bucknell garnered a 2003 USA Today Academic Achievement Award after leading the nation in graduation rates with a perfect 100% showing, and the Bison again ranked in the top 10 in the most recent graduation rates survey that was recently released with an 88% figure. Bucknell also ranks third among all Division I institutions (behind Nebraska and Notre Dame) in total number of Academic All-Americans, with 109 since 1970. Bison teams also get it done on the playing fields, winning the Presidents' Cup -- the Patriot League's all-sports crown -- in 11 of 14 years, including the last seven in a row.
Bucknell plays its final non-league game Monday, Jan. 17, when it hosts Fairleigh Dickinson at 7 p.m. The game was originally schedule for Jan. 5, but was pushed back due to conflicts with the Knights' conference schedule. The Bison own a 5-7 mark against non-league opponents this season.