Jan. 20, 2005
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Bucknell travels to the Lehigh Valley this weekend to complete a stretch of four of its first five Patriot League games on the road. It is the second consecutive year the Bison have opened the conference schedule with four road contests in their first five games. The Bison will not return to the road until a Feb. 11 contest with American. Bucknell has struggled on the road winning just one game away from Sojka Pavilion. However, after losing by an average of 20 points in its first seven games away from home, Bucknell has dropped its last two road games by a combined nine points. Friday's game with Lafayette will feature two of the best freshman inside players in the Patriot League in Bucknell's Hope Foster and the Mountain Hawks' Vanessa Van De Venter. Sunday's contest with Lehigh will include the league's top three scorers in Jessica DePalo (19.1 ppg), Lindsey Hollobaugh (15.8 ppg) and Sara Ellis (15.1 ppg).
Lafayette has already surpassed last year's victory total, but still owns just a 2-13 record. After going 1-27 last year, the Leopards won two of their first four games this season, but have lost 11 straight going into the Bucknell game. Lafayette is being outscored by an average of nearly 13 points per game, but that figure has dropped to just over eight in Patriot League play. Head coach Tammy Smith, who is in her fifth year at the helm of the Leopards, owns just a 7-80 record since taking over the program. However, Smith has some young talent at her disposal in freshman Vanessa Van De Venter. Van De Venter is averaging a team-high 10.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. She has been named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week three times this year. Senior guard Lindsay Myers helps on the offensive end as well, averaging 8.3 points. She is the only Leopard to start all 15 games.
Bison Versus the Leopards
Lafayette, which is Bucknell's most common opponent, holds a 29-24 advantage in the all-time series. However, the Bison have dominated in recent years, winning eight straight games and 11 of the last 12 meetings. Bucknell has lost just four times in the last 21 games and has not lost two consecutive games to Lafayette since 1994.
Heading into the weekend Lehigh was tied with Holy Cross for first place in the Patriot League with a 3-0 record. The Mountain Hawks were also the only league team with at least 10 wins, owning an 11-5 mark. Tenth-year head coach Sue Troyan has two of the top three scorers in the Patriot League leading her team this year. Jessica DePalo (19.1 ppg) and Sara Ellis (15.7 ppg) have combined to score more than 50% of Lehigh's points, and rank first and third in the conference in scoring. The duo has tallied five Patriot League Player of the Week certificates this year. The Mountain Hawks are second in the PL in scoring (64.8 ppg), while ranking third in scoring defense (61.4 ppg).
Bison Versus the Mountain Hawks
Prior to defeating Lehigh at Sojka Pavilion last year, Bucknell had lost three straight in the series. The victory gave the Bison a 26-25 all-time edge. Bucknell has lost two consecutive games in Bethlehem, last winning at Lehigh in 2002.
Sunday's game against Lehigh will feature a match-up of sisters Lindsey Geosits (Bucknell) and Emily Geosits (Lehigh). Lindsey, a junior, has started all 16 games for the Bison at point guard and is averaging 2.9 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. Emily, a sophomore guard, has appeared in seven games for the Mountain Hawks and played 25 minutes. Lindsey averaged 12.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists in two games against Lehigh last season.
Bucknell has settled into a pattern of alternating wins and losses its last seven games. The Bison posted a 48-47 win over Akron on Dec. 29 to post its first two-game winning streak this season. Since that time Bucknell has alternated wins and losses to go 4-3 over its last seven contests.
Eight Straight 20-Point Performances vs. PL
Sophomore guard Lindsey Hollobaugh scored 26 points against Colgate on Jan. 12. It marked the eighth consecutive game against league foes that Hollobaugh scored at least 20 points. That string was broken Jan. 15 against Army when she scored just 10 points. The Loganton, Pa., native has reached double figures in 21 of her last 22 games and is second in the Patriot League in scoring at 15.8 points per game.
Bucknell has posted a 7-9 record this season. Eight of its nine losses have come on weekend days - Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All seven victories have come during the week - Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The lone loss during the week came to Bowling Green on Thursday, Dec. 30.
6-0 at Home
With its 80-64 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Jan. 17, Bucknell improved to 6-0 at home. The start is the best since the 1997-98 squad won its first six games. Bucknell's best-ever home start came in 1995-96 when it finished the campaign 12-0 at Davis Gym.
Bucknell's Most Consecutive Home Wins to Start Season
Bucknell opened Sojka (pronounced SOY-ka) Pavilion with a 74-67 loss to Lehigh on Jan. 15, 2003. The Bison have posted a 18-7 (.720) 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 10 with an 80-64 victory over Colgate in their sixth home game this season. Their last home loss came opposite Holy Cross Feb. 1, 2004.
Bucknell's 10-Game Home Win Streak
2/7/04 American* W, 51-39
2/11/04 Lehigh* W, 74-59
2/20/04 Lafayette* W, 81-63
2/22/04 Army* W, 73-68
11/24/04 Cornell W, 86-63
12/7/04 Buffalo W, 68-56
12/20/04 Maryland-Eastern Shore W, 60-48
1/3/05 Iona W, 90-66
1/12/05 Colgate* W, 67-65
1/17/05 Fairleigh Dickinson W, 80-64
One Block Short
Freshman Hope Foster blocked a career-high six shots during an 80-64 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Jan. 17. That figure was one short of tying the Bucknell single-game mark of seven, set by Stacey Spitko in 1986. All of Foster's six rejections came in the first 13 minutes of the game as she fouled out in the second half after spending just 17 minutes on the court.
Bucknell Single-Game Blocked Shots
Stacey Spitko 7 2/8/86
Hope Foster 6 1/17/05
Susie Hopper 6 2/3/90
Hope Foster 5 12/7/04
Susie Hopper 5 1/16/88
Susie Hopper 5 12/6/86
Susie Hopper 5 12/27/85
Marie Kocornik 5 12/27/85
Jill Henry 5 12/5/80
Sophomore forward Rachel Hanley has been a key factor in Bucknell's 6-0 start at home. Hanley is averaging 13.2 points per game at home, but just 3.9 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.
It Takes Time to Warm Up
Despite being outscored by 58 points this season (1,034-976), Bucknell has come up just three points short in the second half (530-527). The first half has been the downfall for the Bison as the opponents hold a 504-449 advantage in the first 20 minutes of play.
For the second consecutive season Bucknell opens Patriot League play with four of its first five games on the road. The Bison, who are 1-2 in conference play, opened last year with a 2-3 record in their first five games.
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 six occasions this year and has won each of the five. The Bison are just 1-9 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 five games. In the season's first 11 contests a Bison scored at least 10 points on just 22 occasions. However, over the last five games, Bucknell has had 17 double-figure scorers, including five against Iona.
Junior guard Lindsey Geosits has a team-high 60 assists this year. For her career, she has 243 assists to rank 10th on Bucknell's career list. Geosits and Kathryn Hudock, who has one assist and no turnovers, are the only two Bison to have positive assist-to-turnover ratios. As a team, Bucknell has dished out 229 assists on 359 field goals (63.8 percent). Opponents have not been nearly as unselfish, registering assists on 210 of 376 field goals (55.9 percent).
Bucknell's defense is allowing opponents to shoot just 38.1 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 per game over the course of a season.
Freshman Hope Foster ranks sixth in the Patriot League, and leads the team, in rebounding with 6.2 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 206 of 286 (.720) 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 20 of 22 (90.9 percent) leads the team, while Lindsey Hollobaugh (81.5 percent) ranks fifth in the Patriot League. As a team, the Bison have made at least 70 percent of their free throws in six of their last seven games and 11 times overall this season.
Through 16 games Bucknell has blocked 70 shots as a team. If the Bison continue averaging 4.4 blocks per game they will finish the regular season with 118. 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 34 blocks (2.1 per game), which ranks first in the Patriot League. She already ranks fourth on the Bucknell single-season list, and is just eight rejections from second place. She is also three blocks from creeping into the career top-10 list.
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 5.6 rebounds per game, is second on the squad with 24 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.
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.
Hollobaugh Eclipses 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 736. Her 16.4 ppg career scoring average ranks fourth in Bucknell history.
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.
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 hosts back-to-back home games for the first time this season next weekend when it welcomes American and Navy to Sojka Pavilion. The Bison play the Eagles Friday, Jan. 28, while the Mids come to town Sunday, Jan. 30. Bucknell holds an 18-14 all-time advantage over Navy, while it is 4-7 all-time versus American.