March 2, 2007
What: #1 Bucknell (20-9, 12-2 PL) vs. #8 Colgate (5-24, 4-10 PL)
Where: Alumni Hall, Annapolis, Md.
When: Saturday, March 3, 2007, 11 a.m.
Radio: WVBU 90.5 and SportsJuice.com
Live Video: Patriot League All-Access
Bucknell opens the 17th Patriot League Tournament Saturday as the No. 1 seed for just the second time. The Bison lost their only contest as a No. 1 seed to Colgate in the semifinals of the 1996 tournament. They will look to win for the 10th time in 11 games and advance to the semifinals for the fifth time in six years. Bucknell dominated the regular-season series against the Raiders, winning the two games by an average of 29.0 points per game. The Bison will be led by First Team All-Patriot League selections Hope Foster and Amanda Brown. After a subpar showing in her postseason debut against Lehigh two years ago, Foster averaged 13.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in a pair of games last March. Foster is not the only Bison to have strong postseason showings as senior guard Lindsey Hollobaugh is averaging 19.4 points in her five career postseason contests, including three 20-point outings. She has made 38 of 67 field goal attempts in the postseason.
Colgate has undergone its fair share of lineup changes this season with only three players on the roster starting at least 20 games, and no one starting all 29. In fact, only Gretchen Polinski and Katie Garman have seen action in every contest this year. Junior guard Melanie Cargle leads the team in scoring at 11.9 points per game, but missed a handful of contests prior to returning to the lineup in the regular-season finale, a 54-52 loss to Navy, last weekend. Polinski, a 6-1 sophomore, is the squad's best rebounder and outside shooter. She is averaging 6.4 rebounds per contest and has knocked down a team-best 41 3-pointers.
BISON VS. RAIDERS
Bucknell has won the last four games in the series with Colgate by an average of 22.8 points to take a 29-17 advantage in the all-time series. The Bison have won five of the last six contests, and the last five matchups, regardless of winner, have been decided by 21.8 points per contest.
WITH A VICTORY OVER COLGATE, BUCKNELL WOULD...
...win a game as a No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament for the first time
...win five games in a row against the Raiders for the second time in series history
...equal the program record for wins (21)
...advance to the Patriot League Tournament semifinals for the fifth time in six years
...improve to 3-3 all-time in Patriot League Tournament play against the Raiders
...avoid its second losing streak of the season
BISON VS. COLGATE IN PL TOURNAMENT
March 3, 1995 (First Round): No. 5 Bucknell 53, No. 4 Colgate 52
March 3, 1996 (Semifinals): No. 5 Colgate 65, No. 1 Bucknell 53
March 4, 2000 (Semifinals): No. 2 Bucknell 69, No. 3 Colgate 66
March 3, 2001 (First Round): No. 7 Colgate 85, No. 2 Bucknell 69
March 7, 2004 (Semifinals): No. 1 Colgate 61, No. 5 Bucknell 57
Bucknell had three players honored with All-Patriot League selections following the regular season. Junior forward Hope Foster and sophomore guard Amanda Brown earned First Team All-Patriot League plaudits, while freshman forward Le'Le' LeSeur copped All-Rookie Team honors despite missing the first 12 games of the season with a foot injury. The Bison have now earned 41 postseason honors from the Patriot League, including 13 first-team honorees, 14 second-team awards and 14 members of the All-Rookie squad. Bucknell has had at least one First Team All-Patriot League selection in eight of the last nine years, while it has had the same streak on the All-Rookie team.
While Bucknell's ultimate goal is to win the Patriot League Tournament and claim the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament for the second time, the Bison will still continue postseason play even with a loss in the conference tournament. By virtue of finishing first in the regular-season standings, Bucknell earned an automatic berth into the WNIT should they fail to win the Patriot League Tournament.
Bucknell has posted a 12-3 mark since the calendar flipped to 2007, winning those 12 contests by an average of 16.9 points per game. The Bison have lost to Iona, Lafayette and Army by a total of 10 points over that span. In fact, since 2007 commenced, Bucknell has outscored the opposition by a whopping 193 points after playing to a nine-point deficit in the first half of the season.
IMPROVED ACCURACY FROM CHAMPION
Junior guard Kesha Champion, who has tallied 39 points in her last three games, has made at least half of her field goal attempts in those three contests. It is the first time in her three-year career she has accomplished that feat. She is shooting 15 of 26 over that span. She had converted at least half of her shots in back-to-back games on only two previous occasions.
BUCKNELL TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Bucknell has an all-time record of 10-15 in the Patriot League Tournament, including 2-3 against Colgate. The Bison have reached the semifinals in four of the last five seasons and have one championship-game appearance to their credit.
Bison PL Tournament Log
Year Seed Results
1991 7 lost Fordham 103-75
1992 7 lost Lafayette 64-58
1993 5 def. Army 50-46; lost Holy Cross 75-63
1994 8 lost Fordham 57-51
1995 5 def. Colgate 53-52; lost Holy Cross 62-39
1996 1 lost Colgate 65-53
1997 4 lost Lafayette 60-47
1998 4 lost Lehigh 59-55
1999 2 lost Army 72-67
2000 2 def. Navy 62-43; def. Colgate 69-66; lost Holy Cross 87-63
2001 2 lost Colgate 85-69
2002 2 def. Navy 72-57; def. Army 83-67; def. Holy Cross 88-74
2003 4 def. Navy 79-69 (OT); lost Holy Cross 66-63
2004 5 def. Holy Cross 94-75; lost Colgate 61-57
2005 7 lost Lehigh 54-52
2006 3 def. Lehigh 64-54; lost Holy Cross 64-60
championship games in bold.
PATRIOT LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
For the first time since 1995-96 Bucknell won the Patriot League regular-season title this year. The Bison are the first current Patriot League squad other than Holy Cross to win multiple regular-season crowns.
All-Time Patriot League Regular-Season Titles (more than one)
Holy Cross 11
GAMES ABOVE .500
Before falling to Army in the regular-season finale, Bucknell had climbed to 12 games above .500, marking the first time since the conclusion of the 2002 Patriot League Tournament it had been that many games over .500. If the Bison pick up two wins this weekend to advance to the championship game they will equal the program record of 13 games over .500, which the 2000-01 team achieved on two different occasions late in the campaign.
20-WIN PATRIOT LEAGUE TEAMS
For just the second time in the 17-year history of the Patriot League two 20-win teams met during the regular season when Bucknell and Army squared off last Saturday. The Bison owned a 20-8 record entering the contest, while the Black Knights were 23-5. The only other time two 20-win teams met during the regular season was on Feb. 22, 1997 when Navy (21-4) battled Holy Cross (22-3). A pair of 20-win teams have squared off in the Patriot League Tournament on two occasions, but not since the 1998 championship game.
Patriot League Games between 20-Win Teams
Teams, Date, Outcome
Holy Cross (23-5) vs. Army (20-9), March 2, 1991, Holy Cross, 65-52
Navy (21-4) at Holy Cross (22-3), Feb. 22, 1997, Holy Cross, 79-47
Holy Cross (20-8) vs. Navy (23-5), March 4, 1998, Holy Cross, 67-60
Bucknell (20-8) at Army (23-5), Feb. 24, 2007, Army, 61-57
Bucknell and Army this year increased the list of Patriot League teams to reach 20 wins in the regular season to nine. Holy Cross has reached the 20-win plateau in the regular season on four occasions, while Bucknell and Navy have each done it twice. This is the first time the Black Knights have won 20 games in the regular season since the inception of the Patriot League.
NOT THE ONLY BISON DOING WELL
While Bucknell claimed the top spot in the Patriot League standings on the women's side, the Bison men tied Holy Cross for first during their regular season schedule. Bucknell's women completed the regular season with a 12-2 conference mark, while the men were 13-1. Their combined 25-3 conference record is among the best in the nation.
Men's and Women's Combined Conference Records (through Wednesday, Feb. 28)
School Record Pct.
1. Ohio State 29-2 .935
2. Bucknell 25-3 .893
3. Marist 27-4 .861
4. Gonzaga 24-4 .857
5. Belmont 29-5 .853
Southern Illinois 29-5 .853
UNDEFEATED HOME RECORD
Bucknell completed its home Patriot League slate undefeated at 7-0. It is the second time the Bison have gone undefeated at home against conference foes, having gone 6-0 in 1995-96.
Bucknell is outscoring opponents 1,783-1,599 (184 points) this season, the second-highest margin in program history. Only the 2000-01 squad, which outscored its opponents 2,139-1,942 (197 points) had a larger advantage. The Bison are winning games by an average of 6.4 points per game, second only to 2000-01, which had a scoring margin of 7.0 per contest.
WINS FOR SENIOR CLASS
Bucknell seniors Lindsey Hollobaugh and Jacquie Seawright played their final regular season home contest against Colgate on Feb. 17. While Seawright transferred from South Plains Junior College prior to her junior campaign, Hollobaugh will be trying to lead the Bison to their 64th win during her four years against Colgate. The 2002, 2003 and 2004 senior classes all won 69 games to share the program record.
20-4 WHEN LEADING AT HALF
Bucknell led Lehigh 30-26 at halftime on Feb. 20, marking the 24th time this season the Bison led at halftime and they are 20-4 in those contests. Bucknell is outscoring its opponents by 170 points in the first halves of games this season.
BACK-TO-BACK .500 RECORDS
Bucknell has clinched its second consecutive record of at least .500. It marks the first time the Bison will finish with a .500 record in back-to-back years since 2000-01 and 2001-02. Additionally, Bucknell has won 38 games the last two years, marking the second-highest two-year figure behind 2000-01 and 2001-02.
Bucknell's Most Wins in Two-Year Span
Bucknell's 500-point club has swelled this year as Hope Foster, Kesha Champion and Amanda Brown joined teammate Lindsey Hollobaugh in the exclusive club. Brown was the latest addition, crossing the 500-point plateau Jan. 20 against Colgate as she became the 39th member of the club. Foster currently ranks 20th on the list with 880 points, while Champion is 28th with 664. Brown is 29th, just 20 points behind Champion.
18. Jessica Mathieson 885
19. Joy Sandler 883
20. Hope Foster 880
27. Jenny Burke 665
28. Kesha Champion 664
29. Amanda Brown 644
WINNING THE JUMP
Thanks to 6-foot-2 forward Hope Foster, Bucknell has won the opening jump ball 23 times this season. The Bison are 15-8 in games they have possession first and 5-1 when the other team gains control of the opening tip.
The Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal matchup with Colgate will be Bucknell's 30th game of the season. This year is the third time in program history the Bison have played at least 30 games. The 2001-02 squad that finished with a 21-10 record and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Baylor holds the Bucknell record with 31 games played. The 1999-2000 team that went 15-15 also played 30 games.
SUCCESS FOR FEDORJAKA
With Bucknell's recent nine-game winning streak, 10th-year Bison head coach Kathy Fedorjaka saw her record at Bucknell climb to 157-127, marking the first time she was 30 games over .500 in her career. With last week's loss to Army she is now 157-128. Second in career Patriot League victories, one ahead of Lehigh's Sue Troyan, Fedorjaka has more than doubled the win total of Lori Howard, who holds down second place on the Bison career wins list with 77.
60+ POINTS USUALLY LEADS TO WIN
With its 63-53 win over Lehigh on Feb. 20, Bucknell improved to 16-1 when netting at least 60 points. The Bison are just 4-8 when falling short of that figure. Bucknell was 14-4 when registering at least 60 points in 2005-06 and is 33-6 in its last 39 games with at least 60 points.
After playing 10 games last year that were decided by six points or less, Bucknell has played a game that close just six times this season. Twenty of the 29 games for the Bison have been decided by margins of at least 10 points. Fifteen of those 10+-point games have been Bucknell victories, the second-highest figure in school history.
Most Wins by at Least 10 Points in a Season
While Bucknell has tallied 70 points seven times this year, just one opponent (Hampton) has eclipsed that figure this season. Eighteen opponents have failed to reach 60 points as the Bison defense is yielding just 55.1 points per game this season. That figure would rank first in program history by 1.8 points per contest. Taking out last year, the next five best scoring defense figures all came in 1980-81 or earlier.
BUCKNELL HOLDS COLGATE SCORELESS FOR 15 MINUTES
On Feb. 17, Bucknell hosted Colgate and held the Raiders without a point for the first 14 minutes, 56 seconds of the game. The Bison jumped out to a 27-0 lead. Colgate was 0-for-16 from the floor with 11 turnovers before Elise Bronzo finally netted its first field goal. The Raiders exhausted all five of their timeouts just over 13 minutes into the contest. Bucknell led 36-10 at halftime and won by a 64-32 margin as it won for the fourth consecutive time against Colgate.
With a win, Bucknell will move on to the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament for the fifth time in six years. The Bison would take on either No. 4 American or No. 5 Navy in the semifinals. If Bucknell would fall to Colgate its season is not over. By virtue of finishing first in the Patriot League regular-season standings the Bison earned an automatic bid into the WNIT if they fail to win the PL title and claim the league's automatic NCAA bid.