March 19, 2008
What: #16 Bucknell (16-15, 8-6 PL) vs. #1 North Carolina (30-2, 14-0 ACC)
Where: Ted Constant Convocation Center, Norfolk, Va.
When: Sunday, March 23, 2008, 12 p.m.
TV: ESPN2 ("whip-around" coverage)
Internet Video: ESPN360
Radio: WVBU 90.5 FM and SportsJuice.com
Live Statistics: Gametracker
With a Victory Over North Carolina, Bucknell Would...
► Win an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in program history
► Defeat a current member of the ACC for the first time
► Guarantee a final record above .500 for the third consecutive year
► Become the second Patriot League team to win an NCAA Tournament game
► Extend its winning streak to a season-high five games
Bucknell-North Carolina Series
Bucknell and North Carolina have never met in women's basketball. The Tar Heels are the fourth first-time opponent for the Bison this year, joining Duke, Illinois-Chicago and James Madison. Bucknell is 0-3 in those contests.
Bucknell vs. ACC
North Carolina is the second ACC foe Bucknell has faced this season. The Bison lost 92-49 to Duke, a No. 3 seed in the Oklahoma City Regional, in December. Bucknell is 0-6 all-time against teams that are currently in the ACC, having also played Maryland, Miami and Virginia once each and Wake Forest twice. Prior to this year, the last time the Bison faced a current ACC school was in 1992 against Miami, which was not a member of the ACC at the time.
► Amanda Brown
(928 points) - 72 points shy of 1,000 in career
► Kesha Champion
(1,040 FGA) - 36 field goal attempts shy of 10th place on Bucknell career list
► Kesha Champion
(1,125 minutes) - 18 minutes shy of equaling Molly Creamer
for the most minutes played in a season
► Hope Foster
(896 reb.) - 6 rebounds shy of equaling Vicki Quimby
for first on Bison career list and eighth on PL career list.
► Hope Foster
(1,064 FGA) - 13 field goal attempts shy of 10th place on Bucknell career list
Bucknell NCAA Tournament History
This is Bucknell's second trip to the NCAA Tournament. As a No. 15 seed the Bison lost to No. 2 seed Baylor 80-56 in 2002.
History of the 16 Seed
The NCAA Tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1994 and since then No. 16 seeds are 1-55 in the first round, with Harvard pulling off an improbable 71-67 victory at Stanford in 1998. Overall, No. 16 seeds are 1-56 as the Crimson lost in the second round to eventual Final Four participant Arkansas. The four No. 16 seeds last year lost by an average of 48 points to No. 1 seeds Connecticut, Duke, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Bucknell vs. NCAA Field
Bucknell is 0-3 this year against fellow NCAA Tournament teams. The Bison lost to No. 16 seed Cornell (74-63), No. 7 seed Marist (68-56) and No. 3 seed Duke (92-49). All three of those contests were on the road.
The Patriot League in the NCAA Tournament
The Patriot League has won one game in NCAA Tournament play. That victory was by Holy Cross in 1991, the first year of the Patriot League. Since that time Patriot League squads have lost 15 straight NCAA Tournament games by an average of nearly 35 points per contest. Bucknell's 80-56 loss to Baylor in the 2002 tournament was the second-lowest margin of defeat for a Patriot League team.
Patriot League NCAA Tournament Results (1-15)
Year Team Seed Result
1991 Holy Cross 11 def. Maryland, 81-74 (Worcester, Mass.)
lost to Auburn, 84-58 (Auburn, Ala.)
1994 Fordham 16 lost to Penn State, 94-41 (State College, Pa.)
1995 Holy Cross 16 lost to Colorado, 83-49 (Boulder, Colo.)
1996 Holy Cross 15 lost to Old Dominion, 83-56 (Norfolk, Va.)
1997 Lehigh 16 lost to Connecticut, 103-35 (Storrs, Conn.)
1998 Holy Cross 14 lost to Louisiana Tech, 86-58 (Ruston, La.)
1999 Holy Cross 14 lost to Duke, 79-51 (Durham, N.C.)
2000 Holy Cross 15 lost to Rutgers, 91-70 (Piscataway, N.J.)
2001 Holy Cross 14 lost to Florida, 84-52 (Gainesville, Fla.)
2002 Bucknell 15 lost to Baylor, 80-56 (Waco, Texas)
2003 Holy Cross 13 lost to Penn State, 64-33 (State College, Pa.)
2004 Colgate 16 lost to Tennessee, 77-54 (Tallahassee, Fla.)
2005 Holy Cross 15 lost to Ohio State, 86-54 (College Park, Md.)
2006 Army 15 lost to Tennessee, 102-54 (Norfolk, Va.)
2007 Holy Cross 16 lost to Duke, 81-44 (Raleigh, N.C.)
Bucknell's Road to the NCAA Tournament
Bucknell won the Patriot League Tournament to earn the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Here is a brief recap of Bucknell's Patriot League Tournament run:
Bucknell 50, Army 47 (OT) (PL Quarterfinals) - Amanda Brown makes game-winning 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left in overtime ... Brown leads Bison with 19 points ... Bison limit Black Knights to 17 percent shooting in second half.
Bucknell 60, American 52 (PL Semifinals) - Joyce Novacek records second career double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds ... Novacek scored 13 of Bucknell's first 18 points in second half ... Bison become first No. 5 seed to advance to Patriot League championship game ... Bucknell snaps top-seeded American's 11-game winning streak.
Bucknell 57, Holy Cross 45 (PL Championship) - Patriot League Tournament MVP Kesha Champion tallied 13 points and eight rebounds, including the 1,000th point of her career ... freshman Cosima Higham gave a big lift off the bench with a career-high 10 points and six rebounds ... Bison end first half on 17-2 run ... Bucknell wins second PL title (and first since 2002).
Ties to 2002
Two members of this year's Bucknell coaching staff were also involved with the Bison program in 2002, the only other time the team was in the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Kathy Fedorjaka was in her fifth year at the helm of the squad, while current assistant coach Monique LeBlanc was a senior on that 2001-02 team that won the first Patriot League title in school history.
Bucknell Familiar with Ted Constant Convocation Center
While many members of the Bucknell women's basketball team have never set foot inside the Ted Constant Convocation Center, many Bison administrators were in Norfolk just last month. Bucknell's men's basketball team played at Old Dominion as part of the ESPNU BracketBusters.
Homecoming for Champion
Bucknell senior guard Kesha Champion will get a chance to play in front of a hometown crowd in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Chesapeake, Va., native lives less than seven miles from the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
First-Round Loss to Title the Next Year
Bucknell became 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 and came back to win the title this year. Colgate (2004), Holy Cross (2005) and Army (2006) also won their championships one year after suffering a first-round loss.
Holding Opponents Under 70
Bucknell has held 48 of its last 49 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.
In Bucknell's last 91 games (2005-06 to 2007-08), it has allowed...
...90+ points 2 times
...80-89 points 1 time
...70-79 points 9 times
...60-69 points 25 times
...50-59 points 28 times
...40-49 points 20 times
...30-39 points 6 times
Bucknell was well represented on the Patriot League All-Tournament Team. Senior co-captain Kesha Champion was named the tournament MVP, while juniors Amanda Brown and Lauren Schober earned All-Tournament Team honors. Champion averaged a team-best 12.3 points and pulled down 6.3 rebounds per game during the tournament. Brown, who made a buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointer in the quarterfinals against Army, averaged 11.0 points per game, while Schober averaged 8.0 points per contest, but tallied double figures in both the semifinals and championship contest.
Patriot League Tournament Defense
Bucknell held all three of its opponents in the Patriot League Tournament under 30.0 percent from the field. Army (16-62), American (17-70) and Holy Cross (17-59) shot a combined 50-for-191 (26.2 percent) from the field. The Bison had never before held three consecutive opponents under 30 percent from the field. The 144 points Bucknell yielded in the three games was the best in Patriot League Tournament history for a team that played three games.
Second Consecutive Postseason Tournament
After advancing to one national postseason tournament in its first 33 seasons, Bucknell is now in its second straight year participating in a national tournament. The Bison earned an automatic berth to the WNIT last year, falling at Hartford by a 70-54 score in the first round.
Another 1,000-Point Scorer
With 13 points in the Patriot League championship game at Holy Cross, senior co-captain Kesha Champion became the second Bison player this year to record her 1,000th career point, joining classmate Hope Foster in the exclusive club that has just 17 members. Champion currently has 1,008 points to rank 17th in program history. Foster, who tallied the 1,000th point of her career in December against Penn State, stands ninth in program annals with 1,253 points. 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.
The first round of the NCAA Tournament will mark the 32nd game of the season for Bucknell, the most in program history. The 2001-02 and 2006-07 squads played 31-game seasons.
Winning Streak Extends to Four Games
With its victory in the Patriot League championship game, Bucknell extended its winning streak to four games for the first time this season. Entering the final game of hte regular season, the Bison had won two games in a row three separate times, but had been unable to extend that to three in a row.
Senior co-captain Kesha Champion went over 1,000 minutes played this season earlier this month. Since 1984, she is the 12th different Bison to have logged at least 1,000 minutes in a season. Overall, it has been accomplished 22 times by those 12 players. With 18 minutes in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Champion will tie Molly Creamer for the top spot on Bucknell's minutes played list.
Most Minutes Played in a Season (since 1984)
1. Molly Creamer - 1,143 (2001-02)
2. Kesha Champion - 1,125 (2007-08)
3. Stacey Spitko - 1,098 (1986-87)
4. Molly Creamer - 1,091 (2002-03)
5. Stacey Spitko - 1,086 (1987-88)
Opening Month 4-0
Bucknell has opened March with an unblemished 4-0 record. February of 2007 was the last time the Bison started a month with at least three consecutive victories. Bucknell has never before won four games in the month of March.
Patriot League Rebounding
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 896 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 7.2 rebounds per game this year, including 9.0 over the last seven 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 896
Senior co-captain Kesha Champion has started 119 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 (119) - Molly Creamer second with 113
Overall Starts (119) - Molly Creamer second with 116
Games Played (119) - 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 343 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 343
Bucknell head coach Kathy Fedorjaka put together a very difficult non-league schedule for her Bison squad this season. In fact, the nine non-conference teams Bucknell lost to this season owned a combined 170-107 (.614) record through March 16.
Since the current seniors were freshmen in 2004-05, Bucknell has posted a 4-5 record on neutral courts, including 1-0 this year.
Three Players in Double Figures
Bucknell has three players averaging in double figures this season with Hope Foster (11.4 ppg), Amanda Brown (11.2 ppg) and Kesha Champion (10.5) all pouring in better than 10 points per game. It is the first time a trio of Bison have done that since 2005-06. Those three veterans are among the top-11 scorers in the Patriot League this year. No other league team placed more than two players among the league's top 15 scorers.
Bucknell has had a total of 27,491 spectators watch it play this year. The last time the Bison had more fans watch their games, home and away, was 2002-03 when 29,293 people went through the turnstiles. Bucknell has played in front of crowds of at least 1,000 on seven occasions this year, two more than last year's total.
Playing Well Into March
Last year Bucknell played its final game of the season on March 15, equaling the 2002 team for the latest date to wrap up a season in program history. The Bison will eclipse that by more than one week this year.
If Bucknell pulls off the second-ever No. 16 over No. 1 upset in NCAA Tournament history, it will face the winner of the No. 8 Georgia vs. No. 9 Iowa contest that is played at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Norfolk, Va.