Nov. 24, 2004
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Bucknell opened its season at the Florida International Traveler's Tournament last weekend with a pair of losses to Florida International and Texas A&M. The Bison are looking to bounce back in their only home game this month as five of their first six contests are away from friendly Sojka Pavilion. Bucknell has a four-game home winning streak of four games and will try to extend it to five Wednesday against the Ivy League's Cornell Big Red. Lindsey Hollobaugh, who led Bucknell in scoring each of the two games in Florida, tallied 16 points in a 68-62 loss to Cornell last year. She totaled 29 points in the two games last week and was named to the All-Tournament Team. The last time Bucknell and Cornell met in Lewisburg, Jan. 6, 2001, the Bison came away with a 74-57 victory. Bucknell has never lost on its home court to the Big Red. A talented group of six freshmen, who combined for 44 points and 25 rebounds in the two games in Florida, will help the Bison veterans in trying to extend that home unbeaten streak against Cornell to eight games.
Cornell, which is led by third-year coach Dayna Smith, split a pair of games at the UMBC Retriever Tournament last weekend. The Big Red opened their season with a 70-60 victory over Mt. St. Mary's despite being outrebounded 47-26, before falling to Coppin State 70-50 in the championship game of the four-team tournament. A pair of sophomores, Amy Lyon and Claire Perry, led the way for Cornell in its two games as each were named to the All-Tournament Team. Lyon totaled 29 points and 12 rebounds in the two contests, including scoring 19 against Mt. St. Mary's. Perry tallied 15 points against the Mountaineers and 13 versus the Eagles.
Bison Versus Big Red
Bucknell is 10-3 all-time versus Cornell. The Bison lost to the Big Red in the Cornell Classic last year, but defeated the Ivy League team 74-57 in their last meeting in Lewisburg in 2001. That contest, which was played at Davis Gym, moved Bucknell to 7-0 all-time against Cornell in home games. The Bison, who won the first six meetings in the series, and nine of the first 10, have lost two of the last three meetings in the series.
Since eighth-year head coach Kathy Fedorjaka took over the helm of the Bison prior to the 1997-98 season, Bucknell has posted a sparkling 19-12 (.613) record in the month of November.
Bucknell opened Sojka (pronounced SOY-ka) Pavilion with a 74-67 loss to Lehigh on Jan. 15, 2003. The Bison have posted a 12-7 record all-time in Sojka. Entering the 2004-05 campaign, Bucknell has a four-game home winning streak in progress. Its last loss came opposite Holy Cross Feb. 1, 2004.
Bucknell has lost its last two home openers, dropping a 56-46 decision to Loyola (Md.) last year, and falling 77-72 to West Virginia in 2002-03. The last time the Bison won their first home game of the year was the 2001-02 campaign, their only season that ended with an NCAA Tournament appearance.
Since the beginning of head coach Kathy Fedorjaka's tenure in Lewisburg, Bucknell has posted a 4-3 mark in home openers. Overall, the Bison are 19-12 all-time in home openers.
Two of the last three years Bucknell has played the day before Thanksgiving. In 2001-02, the Bison lost to Delaware 86-66, while in 2002-03 they tallied 100 points in a 100-91 victory over Canisius.
Third Game Victories
Football coaches often say their teams improve the most between the first and second games of the season. For Bucknell head coach Kathy Fedorjaka, her squads tend to improve between the second and third games. Since taking over the helm of the Bison prior to the 1997-98 campaign, Fedorjaka's teams are 5-2 in their third games of the season.
500 Points for Sophomore
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. She finished the contest against the Aggies with 512 points. Her 16.5 career points per game rank fourth in Bison history.
Sophomore guard Lindsey Hollobaugh was named to the All-Tournament Team for her performance at the Florida International Tournament. In the two games, both losses, Hollobaugh tallied 29 points, six rebounds and 10 assists. She was joined on the All-Tournament squad by Tamea Scales (Texas A&M), LaQuetta Ferguson (FIU), Lasma Jekabsone (FIU), and Jessica Dickson (So. Florida). The tournament MVP was Ezria Parsons from first-place South Florida.
Topping the Patriot League
Sophomore Rachel Hanley, who appeared in just six games as a freshman before suffering a season-ending knee injury, started both games at the FIU Tournament last week and claimed the Patriot League in rebounding. After pulling down eight boards in the opener with FIU, she became the first Bison to grab at least 10 rebounds by tallying 11 against Texas A&M. At 9.5 rebounds per game, she is owns the league lead following the first weekend of play.
Bucknell lost the battle of the boards to Texas A&M, 51-34, and has been outrebounded 85-69 this season. Cornell has faced a much larger rebound deficit in its two games. The Big Red have been outrebounded 86-49 in their two games.
Bison Own Second Half
Despite losing by an average of 16 points per game in Florida, Bucknell held its own in the second half of each game. After being outscored by a combined 76-42 in the first half of the two games, the Bison outscored the opposition 55-53 in the second half. After trailing by 19 at halftime against FIU, Bucknell "won" the second half 26-24. The Bison took a 15-point deficit into the locker room against Texas A&M and played the Aggies even at 29-29 after intermission.
Despite just one of the six heralded freshman earning a spot in the starting lineup during the first two games of the season, the rookies had success in their first taste of college action as freshmen rank second, third and fourth on Bucknell in scoring. Kristina Collymore, who tallied 10 points against FIU, is second on the team behind Lindsey Hollobaugh with 9.0 points per game. Kesha Champion (7.0 ppg.) and Hope Foster (6.0 ppg.) bounced back from a combined 1 of 19 shooting performance against FIU to knock down 9 of 12 against Texas A&M.
With an 0-2 start to the season, Bucknell has started the year with two consecutive losses for the third straight year. On just six occasions have the Bison opened a season 0-3. The last time that occured was the 2002-03 season when they rebounded from the 0-3 start with a three-game winning streak.
Preseason Accolades For Hollobaugh
Sophomore guard Lindsey Hollobaugh was selected to the preseason All-Patriot League team in a poll of coaches and sports information directors last month. 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.
Patriot League Preseason Poll
Bucknell finished the 2003-04 season with a 7-7 record in Patriot League play to place fifth in the eight-team league's standings. The Bison are picked to finish in the same position in 2004-05. In a preseason poll of coaches and sports information directors, Bucknell was picked behind Holy Cross, Colgate, American and Lehigh, but ahead of Army, Navy and Lafayette. Colgate, which knocked Bucknell out of the postseason tournament last year, was the conference's representative in the NCAA Tournament where they lost to Tennessee in the first round.
Since the 1977-78 season, Bucknell has participated in at least one in-season tournament every year. The Bison have won three tournament titles, but own just a 34-81 (.296) mark in those tournaments. Since the 1998-99 campaign, Bucknell posted a nearly .500 record, going 10-11 entering this season. However, the Bison dropped both games at the season-opening FIU Tournament this 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, brings a streak of 18 consecutive starts into this season. The 5-9 guard may begin the season coming off the bench, but she is expected to improve upon her 6.8 points per game average from last year.
After three consecutive years of connecting on at least 31.8 percent of its shots from three-point range, Bucknell dipped below .300 last year. The Bison made 96 of 324 from behind the arc and had just Lindsey Hollobaugh (38), Lindsey Geosits (27) and Brooke Tomovich (15) make more than 10 3-pointers. With an influx of guards, plus the improvement of the veterans, Bucknell should end up on the better side of 30.0 percent this year. However, through two games, Bucknell has made just 1 of 9 from behind the arc. Inside the arc, Bucknell has knocked shots down at a solid .418 clip as it is shooting .386 overall from the field. From the free throw line, Bucknell is ranked first in the Patriot League, making 28 of 35 (80.0 percent).
Head coach Kathy Fedorjaka welcomed a six-person recruiting class to the Bucknell campus this fall. Kesha Champion, Kristina Collymore, Hope Foster, Jessie Lang, Sarah Latham and Ashton Sprouse comprise the freshman class. Fedorjaka expects as many as four or five of the rookies to be in position to start games this year, although for the opener, just one dreaw a starting assignment.
Replacing a Legend
Just one year after losing Bucknell's all-time leading scorer Molly Creamer, the No. 10 pick by the New York Liberty in the 2003 WNBA Draft, the Bison must figure out how to replace Desire Almind, the third-leading scorer in program history. Almind, who played professionally in France in 2004, finished her career with 1,581 points and 873 rebounds. As a senior, the Blairstown, N.J., native led the team in scoring with 17.3 points per game. She also led the squad and the Patriot League with 13.4 rebounds per contest. Her 390 rebounds broke Bucknell's single-season mark of 289 by Kirsten Ellison in 1989-90. The Patriot League Rookie of the Year in 2000-01, Almind was a two-time second team all-league selection. She also added a first team honor to her list of awards last year.
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 will be playing its second full season in its 4,000-seat arena -- Sojka Pavilion (pronounced SOY-ka). The facility is a part of the new Kenneth G. Langone Athletics & Recreation Center, which also includes a 16,000-square foot fitness center, a state-of-the-art natatorium featuring a 50-meter-by-25-yard pool, a new sports medicine center and new office suites for coaches and staff. Bucknell went 8-5 at home last season, including a four-game winning streak that remains intact heading into the 2004-05 campaign.
Setting The Standard Of Excellence
Bucknell garnered a 2003 USA Today Academic Achievement Award after leading the nation in graduation rates with a perfect 100% showing, and the Bison again ranked in the top 10 in the most recent graduation rates survey that was recently released with an 88% figure. Bucknell also ranks third among all Division I institutions (behind Nebraska and Notre Dame) in total number of Academic All-Americans, with 107 since 1970. Bison teams also get it done on the playing fields, winning the Presidents' Cup -- the Patriot League's all-sports crown -- in 11 of 14 years, including the last seven in a row.
The 2004-05 campaign marks the 32nd season of Bucknell women's basketball. The Bison have posted a 13-19 record in season openers, including losses each of the last three years to Florida International, West Virginia and Penn State. Bucknell last won its first contest of the season in 2001-02 when it downed Albany 64-45. The Bison advanced to the NCAA Tournament that year. Under head coach Kathy Fedorjaka Bucknell is 4-4 in its first game of the season.
Patriot League Opening Week
Through the first week of Patriot League play, six teams have won at least one game, with Holy Cross and Lehigh picking up two wins apiece. Bucknell and Navy, who are both 0-2, are the only two teams to not pick up a victory. The Mids are not in action until Saturday, so with a win Wednesday versus Cornell or Friday against St. Francis (Pa.), the Bison will avoid being the last conference team to tally a victory this season.
Bucknell has a busy Thanksgiving weekend ahead as Wednesday's contest with Cornell begins a stretch of three games in five days for the Bison. After one day off, they will travel to Loretto, Pa., for a battle with St. Francis (Pa.) Friday. Two days later the squad will take on Manhattan at 2 p.m. in Riverdale, N.Y.