Nov. 18, 2011
WHAT: Bucknell (1-2) at Buffalo (1-1) Women's Basketball
WHERE: Alumni Arena, Buffalo, N.Y.
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 19, 5:30 p.m.
RADIO: WVBU 90.5 FM, SportsJuice.com
STREAMING VIDEO: buffalobulls.com
LIVE STATISTICS: buffalobulls.com
Complete Game Notes
ABOUT THE GAME
Looking to recover from two difficult but very different types of losses, Bucknell women’s basketball will now make its second road trip of the young season. The Bison head north to Buffalo for a 5:30 p.m. matchup with the Bulls on Saturday. The game will be Buffalo’s first at home this winter, and it will be looking for a recovery of its own after taking a 44-point loss at Duquesne earlier this week.
Live stats and video for Saturday’s contest can be found at buffalobulls.com. Kevin Foedinger will also have the radio play-by-play call for Bucknell on WVBU 90.5 FM and SportsJuice.com.
WITH A VICTORY OVER BUFFALO, BUCKNELL WOULD...
• End a two-game losing streak to the Bulls.
• Win in Buffalo for the first time since Dec. 28, 2005 when the Bison came out on top 74-63.
• Claim its first non-conference road victory since Jan. 6, 2010 when it defeated Cornell 69-55 in Ithaca, N.Y.
• Avoid its first set of three or more consecutive losses since dropping five in a row in December 2010.
LAST MEETING - NOV. 21, 2010
• Buffalo 72, Bucknell 53 (Sojka Pavilion)
• With a team-best 21 points, Shelby Romine became the first freshman in program history to lead the Bison in scoring in each of her first three collegiate games, but the rookie’s effort was not enough to push Bucknell women’s basketball past Buffalo at Sojka Pavilion as it dropped to 1-2 on the year.
• Despite tying the game twice in the first half, Bucknell led just once on the day. The lone advantage came at 2-0.
• After leading 39-23 at the half, Buffalo opened the second on a 10-0 run that was finally snapped by Christina Chukwuedo’s layup at 16:48. By that time the Bison were in a 49-25 hole that they never recovered from.
• Bucknell’s shooting did eventually pick up in the second half as it went 12-for-29 (.414) from the field. The Bison ended the day 20-for-59 (.339). The team’s four 3-pointers was then a season high. Entering the game, the Bison had just one successful long-range shot in six attempts.
• Cosima Higham’s two blocked shots gave her 80 for her career, which tied Shannon McGowan for seventh all-time in Bucknell history.
• The loss was Bucknell’s second straight to Buffalo. It was also the first loss to the Bulls at Sojka Pavilion since Dec. 29, 2006.
• With a 57-56 defeat to Youngstown State on Wednesday, Bucknell suffered its first one-point loss since Jan. 3, 2007 (L, Iona, 45-44).
• Bucknell has had a different leading scorer in each of its first three games.
• Although it’s still early in the season, Bucknell leads the Patriot League in rebounding defense (31.7), rebounding margin (+5.0) and blocked shots (7.7).
• Bucknell tied a Sojka Pavilion record against Youngstown State on Wednesday night when it recorded 10 blocked shots. Amy Zehner led the team with six.
• The Bison went 8-5 at home but 3-12 on the road during the 2010-11 season. All three road victories came during Patriot League play.
• Bucknell won its first ever game against Saint Peter’s on Nov. 11. The Bison are now 1-3 in the series.
• The Bison were voted fourth in the 2011-12 Preseason Patriot League Poll.
• Bucknell returns three starters and eight letterwinners from the 2010-11 squad that went 11-17 overall and 7-7 in the Patriot League. Despite that, the squad is still relatively young. The Bison feature just one senior and six freshmen and two new assistant coaches on their 2011-12 roster.
HISTORY VS. BUFFALO
• Bucknell is 1-3 all-time against the Bulls when playing at Buffalo. The lone win came on Dec. 28, 2005 by a score of 74-63. The Bison’s Jacquie Seawright and Amanda Brown both set career highs in scoring with 22 points apiece off the bench. The totals were Bucknell series highs until Trisha Krewson scored 25 at Buffalo on Jan. 3, 2010.
• Few contests between the Bison and the Bulls have been close. Only two meetings in the series have been determined by a single-digit differential. Buffalo won by three points (58-55) in 1991, and Bucknell won by nine (72-63) in 1993.
• Bucknell’s Jan. 2, 2009 win was the team’s largest margin of victory at 18 points. The Orange and Blue’s largest margin of defeat was 19 points (72-53) last year.
• The Bison have been held to fewer than 60 points four times in the 10 meetings with the Bulls. They have never been limited to fewer than 50 points.
• Recent Results:
Dec. 29, 2006: Buffalo, 69-51
Jan. 2, 2008: Buffalo, 78-65
Jan. 2, 2009: Bucknell, 75-57
Jan. 3, 2010: Buffalo, 64-51
Nov. 21, 2010: Buffalo, 72-53
ABOUT THE BULLS
Buffalo played its first two games of the season on the road with varying degrees of success. The Bulls opened with a 65-54 win at Niagara where Brittney Hedderson led with 19 points and 10 rebounds. They shot .471 from the field and out-rebounded the Purple Eagles by seven. Buffalo then lost 90-46 to Duquesne on Monday. It’s shooting percentage dropped to .298, but it still out-rebounded the Dukes by a narrow 38-36.
Hedderson is the Bulls’ leading returning scorer from a team that went 16-16 overall and 8-8 in the Mid-American Conference last year. After averaging 10.7 points last season, the senior guard is now up to 13.5 points per game. Gone is Kourtney Brown, the 2011 MAC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Brown led the MAC in scoring (22.1), rebounding (11.6) and blocks (3.3) last winter.
GOING OFF FOR 20
When Amy Zehner scored 25 points against Youngstown State on Wednesday, she became the 21st freshman to tally 20 or more points in at least one game during her freshman year. Bucknell has now had a rookie reach the 20-point mark at least once in each of the last four seasons, a stretch unequaled since the 1982-83 through 1985-86 campaigns. The Bison with the most 20-point games in their freshman seasons? Jane Meyer (1982-83), Molly Creamer (1999-2000) and Lindsey Hollobaugh (2003-04) with nine apiece.
HOW DID SHE DO THAT?
You can’t score 25 points without putting the ball in the basket, and Amy Zehner did just that. The Bison newcomer shot 12-for-23 (.522) from the field, making her the first Bucknellian to make 12 field goals in a single game since Desire Almind. Almind was 12-for-16 (.750) against Iona on Jan. 6, 2004, finishing with 29 points and 20 rebounds. Bucknell won that contest, 86-76. Almind finished her career as Bucknell’s third all-time leading scorer (1,581 points) with a .478 career field goal percentage.
RECORDS ALREADY AT RISK
Bucknell has played just two games at Sojka Pavilion this year, but already five facility records have been tied or broken. The most recent came against Youngstown State on Wednesday when the Bison tied the record with 10 blocked shots. They also had 10 rejections against Hampton (Nov. 10, 2006) and Colgate (Jan. 23, 2010). On the other end of the spectrum, Bucknell set a new low for three-point field goals attempted with just three against the Penguins.
SOJKA PAVILION RECORDS TIED OR SET IN 2011-12
• Blocks - Bucknell High: 10 (tie), vs. Youngstown State (11/16/11)
• 3FG Attempted - Bucknell Low: 3, vs. Youngstown State (11/16/11)
• 3FG Made - Bucknell Low: 0 (tie), vs. Saint Peter’s (11/11/11)
• 3FG Percentage - Bucknell Low: .000 (tie), vs. Saint Peter’s (11/11/11)
• Free Throws Made - Opponent Low: 3 (tie), vs. Saint Peter’s (11/11/11)
Bucknell has done most of its damage in the first half. The Bison, which have held a halftime lead in all three games so far, are outscoring their opponents 91-68 in the opening 20 minutes. That production drops off in the second half, however, as foes lead 87-54 in scoring.
INDIVIDUAL SCORING BREAKTHROUGHS
Felicia Mgbada and Christina Chukwuedo experienced some scoring breakthroughs in the first few games of the season. Mgbada, who scored 11 points in the first three games, now has consecutive double-figure point totals for the first time in her career. That streak extends to four games if you include her 19-point performance in the season-ending loss to Navy in last year’s Patriot League Tournament semifinals. The junior entered the 2011-12 campaign with six career double-digit scoring games, all of which came last winter.
Chukwuedo just broke into double figures for the first time in her career. Before taking on Rider on Sunday evening, the senior’s personal best was nine points against American on Jan. 12, 2011. The guard dropped 16 points on the Broncs last weekend with career highs in field goals made (7) and attempted (11).
NOT MUCH BUSINESS DOWNTOWN
Bucknell did not make a three-point field goal in the first two games of the season. The Bison shot 0-for-5 from behind the arc against Saint Peter’s and 0-for-8 at Rider. The last time Bucknell went back-to-back games without a three-pointer was Jan. 24 and Jan. 26, 2000. Bucknell shot 0-for-4 at Stony Brook and lost 65-44 in the first case. It then went 0-for-7 in a 59-57 win against Colgate. Felicia Mgbada snapped the drought from behind the arc against Youngstown State on Wednesday, hitting just her third career three-pointer.
A HALF TO REMEMBER
Bucknell got off to a good start at Rider on Sunday, shooting .586 (17-for-29) in the first half and taking a 36-32 lead into the break. The percentage for the half is the team’s best since it shot .611 (11-for-18) in the second half at Army on Feb. 26, 2011. That average was a major turnaround from the first half when Bucknell went 4-for-25, or .160, against the Black Knights. Bucknell went on to win 44-40 at West Point.
The Bison posted a .600+ shooting average three times last season: .654 vs. Lehigh, Jan. 26; .607 vs. Holy Cross, Feb. 12; .611 at Army, Feb. 26.
A HALF TO FORGET
Bucknell suffered perhaps its worst stretch in program history on Sunday night when it shot just 1-for-21 (.048) from the field and totaled seven points in the second half against Rider. The next fewest field goals recorded in a half by a Bison squad was a 3-for-26 performance in the first half against Army on Jan. 20, 1993 and a 3-for-14 in the second at Fordham on Nov. 17, 2010. Despite the .115 shooting against the Black Knights in 1993, which is the lowest since at least the 1988-89 season, Bucknell still managed 16 points in that half. The lowest single-half scoring total (since at least 1983-84) was nine points at UMBC on Nov. 23, 1997.
GETTING STRAIGHT TO WORK
Freshman Amy Zehner did not waste much time to show Bucknell fans what she was capable of. The guard recorded a double-double in her collegiate debut, claiming 10 points and 10 rebounds to help the Bison past Saint Peter’s 46-35. Zehner becomes the first Bison to record a double-double in her rookie season since Joyce Novacek did it twice at the end of 2007-08. She is also the first Bison freshman to post a double-double in the first game of the season since Shannon McGowan tallied 11 points and 11 rebounds at Monmouth on Dec. 1, 1993.
FEWER THAN 40 FOR FOES
When Bucknell defeated Saint Peter’s 46-35 on Nov. 11, it was the third time in four games, and the fourth in six outings, that it held opponents to 40 points or less. The Bison limited Army to 40 points twice at the end of last season, winning 44-40 and 54-40. The 35 points is the fewest allowed to a Bison opponent since beating Lafayette 46-34 on Feb. 16, 2011 and the third-lowest total during head coach Kathy Fedorjaka’s tenure.
NOT GIVING THEM A LOOK
Bucknell did not give its opponents the offensive looks they wanted last winter. At the close of the season, Bison foes had averaged just 60.4 points, which ranks ninth in program history for scoring defense. A new top-10 mark has been added to the list each of the last six seasons with the 2006-07 squad setting the record at 56.1 points per game.
Through the first three games of the 2011-12 season, Bucknell’s scoring defense comes in at 51.7.
SUCCESS WITH DOUBLE FIGURES
Bucknell has seen a fair amount of success when two or more players score in double figures as was the case in the Bison’s 46-35 win over Saint Peter’s on Nov. 11. Felicia Mgbada led the way with 11 points, and Amy Zehner added 10 against the Peahens. Unfortunately, Bucknell then fell 63-43 at Rider despite double-digit scoring from Christina Chukwuedo (16) and Mgbada (11), and again against Youngstown State despite performances from Zehner (25) and Mgbada (11). During the 2010-11 season, the Bison were 8-8 in games when at least two players hit double figures. In non-conference games, however, that record dropped to just 2-6.
STILL POWERFUL IN THE PAINT
The Bison might have been concerned about their paint play with the recent graduation of forwards Joyce Novacek and Cosima Higham. The departed duo accounted for 23.4 percent of the team’s points and 36.9 percent of its rebounds last season. That worry seems to be unfounded after the first game of the 2011-12 season as 28 of the Bucknell’s 46 points came in the paint. The Bison also out-rebounded Saint Peter’s 43-29.
HORBATUCK HOUNDING THE BOARDS
Lindsay Horbatuck claimed her sixth career double-digit rebounding game on Nov. 11 against Saint Peter’s with a team-best 11 boards. That marked the ninth time in her career that the junior has led the Bison in rebounding, an area that she has dominated in recent years with former teammates Joyce Novacek and Cosima Higham. Before that game, the last time a Bison other than Horbatuck, Novacek or Higham led Bucknell in rebounding was Jan. 8, 2010 when Trisha Krewson grabbed seven boards against Navy.
STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
With its 11-point win on Nov. 11, Bucknell is now 17-22 all-time in season openers. The Bison had been alternating wins and losses in their openers since 2005, but with a 53-48 win over Rider last season, have now won back-to-back debuts for the first time since the 1999-2000 through 2001-02 campaigns. Bucknell beat Delaware State 79-68, American 79-73 and Albany 64-45 during that stretch.
MIXING IT UP
Bucknell did its fair share of mixing and matching when it came to starting lineups in 2010-11. The Bison used nine different combinations, but none was as successful as the grouping of Christina Chukwuedo, Felicia Mgbada, Joyce Novacek, Shelby Romine and Rachel Voss. The quintet went 6-10 when starting the game together. No other lineup recorded more than one victory during the season. Just three games into the 2011-12 season, Bucknell has already used two brand-new starting lineups.
Bucknell named three captains prior to the start of the 2011-12 season. Senior Christina Chukwuedo, junior Lindsay Horbatuck and sophomore Shelby Romine were voted by their teammates to be the formal leaders of the squad. Romine is the first sophomore to be named a captain since K.C. Vlah in 1993-94. Not surprisingly, Vlah went on to serve in the leadership role as a junior and senior as well.
For the third consecutive campaign, Bucknell earned at least two selections to All-Patriot League teams. Cosima Higham was a second team honoree in 2010-11, while Shelby Romine was named to the All-Rookie Team. After claiming a league-leading six Patriot League Rookie of the Week awards, Romine became the 17th Bison to be voted one of the conference’s top newcomers.
Kathy Fedorjaka has long been at the top of the list for most wins in program history, but that has not kept the head coach from racking up milestones just the same. In 2010, she hit the century mark in Patriot League victories with a 60-47 win over Colgate and now has a league record of 108-80. Last season, Fedorjaka reached 200 wins for her Bucknell career when the Bison defeated Lafayette 57-49 on the road. Now in her 15th year, she has amassed an overall mark of 208-197.
UNDER THE RADAR
Felicia Mgbada did not often receive fanfare last year, but that doesn’t mean the junior wasn’t contributing. After recording her first career double-double and her first game with double-digit rebounds at Wofford, Mgbada nearly put together her first 20-point game when she tallied 19 against Navy in the Patriot League Tournament semifinals. Over the course of the season, the forward led all Bucknell sophomores in scoring, assists, blocked shots, steals and minutes played.
NEW TO THE SCHEDULE
Bucknell has a long history with several of its opponents, including the Patriot League’s Lehigh, whom the Bison have played 68 times in the program’s 38-year history. Some of their 2011-12 foes are a little less familiar, however. Bucknell will have its first-ever meeting with Morgan State and NJIT during non-conference play. It also be renewed its series with Saint Peter’s, which until Friday was last contested during the 1986-87 season, and Mount St. Mary’s. The last time the Bison and The Mount squared off was in 1994-95.
Success in the classroom has long been the norm for Bucknell women’s basketball, and last year was no different. For the second consecutive season, Bucknell led the way in the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll with 10 selections, while Joyce Novacek was named to the inaugural Academic All-Patriot League Team. The award was just one of many for the recent graduate, who also claimed her third Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team citation. Novacek joins Bucknell Hall of Fame member Jennifer Walz as the only Bison to be named All-District three times.
Bucknell was also ranked second nationally among Division I schools for its team grade-point average. The Bison were named a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Academic Top 25 Team in July with a collective GPA of 3.632.
Bucknell will return to Sojka Pavilion for its last contest before Thanksgiving when it hosts Morgan State at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 22. It will be the first-ever meeting between the Bison and the Bears.