March 10, 2008
What: #5 Bucknell (15-15, 8-6 PL) at #2 Holy Cross (19-12, 10-4 PL)
Where: Hart Center, Worcester, Mass.
When: Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 6 p.m.
Radio: WVBU 90.5 FM and SportsJuice.com
Live Video: None
With a Victory Over Holy Cross, Bucknell Would...
► Win its second Patriot League title, and first since 2002
► Become the first No. 5 seed to win a Patriot League title
► Improve to 3-5 all-time at the Hart Center in the Patriot League Tournament
► Post its first four-game winning streak of the season
► Go above .500 for the first time this season
► Improve to 13-16 all-time in Patriot League Tournament play
► Improve to 2-1 in PL championship games
► Advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history
► Snap a two-game losing streak to the Crusaders
About the Game
Bucknell-Holy Cross Series
Bucknell and Holy Cross will meet in the Patriot League championship game for the third time. Holy Cross won (87-63) at the Hart Center in 2000, while the Bison captured their only title on the Crusaders' home floor in 2002 by an 88-74 margin. Bucknell and Holy Cross both advanced to the finals with one easier game and one nail-biter. The Bison had their close game, a 50-47 overtime victory over Army, in the quarterfinals, while the Crusaders came-from-behind to beat Lehigh 46-44 in the semifinals. While Bucknell and Holy Cross have not met in the championship game since 2002, their counterparts on the men's side faced each other in each of the last three Patriot League title games.
Bucknell is in the midst of one of the best stretches any Patriot League team has ever had against Holy Cross. The Crusaders lead the all-time series 33-10, but the Bison are 5-6 over the last 11 meetings. Bucknell swept the season series from Holy Cross last year, becoming just the third Patriot League team to sweep a series from the Crusaders.
Last Meeting - Feb. 16, 2008
► Holy Cross 73, Bucknell 67 (Hart Center)
Hope Foster scored 16 of her game-high 20 points in the second half, but Bucknell's spirited comeback from a 13-point deficit fell short. Bethany O'Dell and Briana McFadden combined for 38 points for the Crusaders. A 3-pointer by Amanda Brown brought Bucknell to within 63-62 within the final two minutes, but the Bison never took the lead.
► Amanda Brown (914 points) - 86 points shy of 900 in career
► Kesha Champion (995 points) - 5 points shy of 1,000 in career
► Kesha Champion (1,027 FGA) - 50 field goal attempts shy of 10th place on Bucknell career list
► Kristina Collymore (99 steals) - 1 steals shy of 100 in career
► Hope Foster (892 reb.) - 10 rebounds shy of equaling Vicki Quimby for first on Bison career list and eighth on PL career list.
► Hope Foster (1,055 FGA) - 22 field goal attempts shy of 10th place on Bucknell career list
► Lauren Schober (790 points) - 10 points shy of 800 in career
Bucknell Patriot League Tournament History
Bucknell has an all-time record of 12-16 in the Patriot League Tournament, including 2-5 against Holy Cross. The Bison have reached the semifinals in five of the last seven seasons and now have three championship game appearances to their credit.
Bison PL Tournament Log (12-16)
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
2007 1 lost Colgate 69-62
2008 5 def. Army 50-47 (OT); def. American 60-52
championship games in bold.
Freshman PL Tournament Scoring
Bucknell freshman Joyce Novacek registered her second double-double this season with a career-high 18 points and a career high-tying 13 rebounds in the semifinal win over American. The 18 points marked a career high for Novacek. Only three other Bison freshmen have scored as many points in a Patriot League Tournament contest.
Bucknell Freshman PL Tournament Scoring
1. Lindsey Hollobaugh - 25 (3/5/04 vs. Colgate)
2. Molly Creamer - 20 (3/4/00 vs. Colgate)
Molly Creamer - 20 (3/8/00 vs. Holy Cross)
Lindsey Hollobaugh - 20 (3/5/04 vs. Holy Cross)
5. Chiara Sockel - 18 (3/3/94 vs. Fordham)
Joyce Novacek - 18 (3/9/08 vs. American)
Another Bucknell-Holy Cross Championship Game
When looking at both the men's and women's basketball Patriot League championship games since 2000, there have only been three years where the two schools have not met in a title game. The Bison and Crusaders have met on the women's side in 2000, 2002 and 2008, while the men's programs advanced to the championship game in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Links to 2002 Championship Team
Bucknell has a pair of faces who were around the last time it was in the Patriot League championship game, and both are on the coaching staff. Eleventh-year head coach Kathy Fedorjaka guided the Bison to the 2002 title, while current assistant coach Monique LeBlanc was a senior on that squad that won the only Patriot League title in program history.
First-Round Loss to Title the Next Year
Bucknell is trying to become the fourth team in the last five years to go from losing in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament one year to a title the next. The Bison lost in the first round to Colgate last season. Colgate (2004), Holy Cross (2005) and Army (2006) all won their championship one year after suffering a first-round loss.
Holding Opponents Under 70
Bucknell has held 47 of its last 48 Patriot League opponents to less than 70 points. The only opponent during that span to net 70 against the tough Bison defense was Holy Cross in its 73-67 victory last month at the Hart Center.
No. 1 Falls Again
After nine consecutive appearances in the Patriot League Tournament championship game, the No. 1 seed has now lost before the finals each of the last two years. Last year Bucknell lost its first-round game to Colgate and this year the Bison knocked off top-seeded American in the semifinals. The last time the No. 1 seed failed to advance to the championship round in back-to-back years was in 1996 and 1997. In fact, only four times has the No. 1 seed not advanced to the championship game. Overall, No. 1 seeds have won 13 of the 17 Patriot League titles.
Another 1,000-Point Scorer?
Senior co-captain Kesha Champion enters Wednesday's Patriot League championship game with 995 career points. With five points against Holy Cross, she will become the 17th player in Bison history with 1,000 points. Classmate Hope Foster crossed the 1,000-point threshold earlier this season. The last pair of Bison teammates to reach 1,000 career points in the same season was Desire Almind and Kate Franks in 2002-03.
Bucknell will be playing its 31st game Wednesday against Holy Cross. That equals the most the Bison have ever played in a single season. The 2001-02 and 2006-07 squads also played 31-game seasons.
Winning Streak Extends to Three Games
With its victory in the semifinals, Bucknell extended its winning streak to three games for the first time this season. The Bison had won two in a row three other times this year.
First to 60 Wins
Bucknell has a solid 10-4 record when netting 60 points this year. Holy Cross sports a 15-2 record when registering at least 60 points. The Bison have scored 60 points just once during their current three-game winning streak.
Holding Opponents Under 30%
Bucknell has held six opponents under 30.0 percent shooting this season. The Bison limited Army and American to 25.8 and 24.3 percent shooting from the field in the first two rounds of the Patriot League Tournament. The last time Bucknell held back-to-back opponents under 30 percent shooting was in January of 2006 against Navy and American.
Opening Month 3-0
Bucknell has opened March with an unblemished 3-0 record. February of 2007 was the last time the Bison started a month with at least three consecutive victories. The 2001-02 campaign marks the only other time in program history Bucknell has won at least three games in March.
Senior co-captain Kesha Champion has started 118 consecutive games. She broke the program record for consecutive starts that was held by Molly Creamer late in February.
Games Played/Started Records Held by Champion
Consecutive Starts (118) - Molly Creamer second with 113
Overall Starts (118) - Molly Creamer second with 116
Games Played (118) - shares with Hope Foster
Foster Among NCAA Blocks Leaders
Senior co-captain Hope Foster broke the Patriot League career blocks record with three blocks Jan. 30 at Lehigh. She now has 340 in her career and ranks 19th in NCAA history.
NCAA Career Blocked Shot Leaders
Rank Name Last Season Blocks
17. Ugo Oha (George Washington) 2004 355
18. Jordan Adams (New Mexico) 2006 344
19. Hope Foster (Bucknell) 2008 340
Cracking the Top 10
While Hope Foster has made headlines throughout her career by blocking shots, she is now drawing attention for her rebounding prowess. The senior cracked the Patriot League top-10 list for rebounding earlier this year and currently ranks eighth in conference history with 892 boards. Next up for her on the Patriot League career list is seventh-place Vicki Quimby, a former Bison, and her 902 career rebounds. Quimby is Bucknell's all-time leader in rebounding as well. Foster is averaging 7.3 rebounds per game this year, including 9.8 over the last six contests.
Patriot League Career Rebounding
Rank Name Last Season Rebounds
6. Becky Dowling (Navy) 1998 923
7. Vicki Quimby (Bucknell) 2002 902
8. Hope Foster (Bucknell) 2008 892
If Bucknell defeats Holy Cross to win its second Patriot League title, the Bison will earn the Patriot League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament selection show will be broadcast on ESPN Monday, March 17, at 7 p.m. The first round of the NCAA Tournament will take place March 22-23. The Bison lost to Baylor in their only NCAA Tournament appearance in 2002.