Women’s Basketball Falls To Bucknell, 82-79

Lisa Mifsud

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell senior guard Shelby Romine tallied game-highs of 19 points (17 in second half) and 11 rebounds to help lead the Bison to an 82-79 victory over Holy Cross in Patriot League women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Sojka Pavilion. With the win, Bucknell improves to 13-9 overall and 8-4 in the league, while the Crusaders fall to 14-9 on the season and 6-6 in the conference.

Bucknell started the first half strong, as it gained the early 7-2 lead with 18:48 on the clock. Holy Cross, however, responded with a 15-2 surge to grab the 17-9 advantage (15:22). Crusader junior forward Emily Parker (Johnston, Iowa) tallied four points during the run. The Bison worked their way back into the contest with a 10-3 rally to cut the deficit to one point (20-19) with 11:57 left in the first half. Holy Cross held the slim margin until the 8:34 mark, as Micki Impellizeri hit a layup to give Bucknell the 27-26 edge.

The two teams went back and forth over the next 5:10 of the contest, as there were six lead changes, but a key three-pointer by Holy Cross senior Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) gave the Crusaders the 40-38 lead (3:24). Bucknell knotted the score at 40-40 just over a minute later, but a layup by Crusaders senior Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) and a pair of free throws by Malone gave Holy Cross the 44-40 lead at the intermission.

In the second half, the Crusaders used a quick 6-0 spurt to grab the 50-40 lead (16:57). Holy Cross kept up the offensive pressure and pushed the margin to 14 points (63-49) midway through the second half. After a Bucknell timeout, the Bison responded and were able to claw their way back into the game. A 10-2 run by Bucknell got its momentum going, as Romine had five points during the initial rally to make the score 65-59. The Bison kept up the pressure, as they were able to tie the score at 68-68 with 6:06 on the clock. Bucknell completed its offensive comeback with a 9-2 run over the next 2:11 to grab its largest lead of the contest, 77-70 (3:55). In total, the Bison went on a 28-7 run from 10:03 to 3:55 in the second half to gain the seven-point advantage.

After the two teams traded baskets to make the score 79-72, Holy Cross used a pair of buckets to cut the deficit to three points (79-76) with 2:38 left in the half. Romine canned one free throw with 55 seconds on the clock to give Bucknell the four-point lead, but a three-pointer by Holy Cross sophomore guard Lisa Mifsud (Erie, Pa.) made it a one-point game (80-79) with 21 seconds to go. After Romine hit a pair from the charity stripe (82-79), Holy Cross had one final chance to force overtime, as Mifsud had an opportunity from behind the arc, but the ball bounced off the rim as time expired.

Holy Cross had five players in double-figures, as Mifsud led the way with 16 points and five assists. Malone posted 15 points, four assists and four steals, while senior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) totaled 12 points and five helpers. Parker recorded 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds, as sophomore forward Raquel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) scored 10 points in only 16 minutes of action due to foul trouble. In addition to Romine for Bucknell, Maree Claire O'Bryan scored 16 points, while Claire DeBoer and Audrey Dotson tallied 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Bucknell shot 53.7 percent for the game (29 of 54), as the Crusaders connected on 31 of their 70 shots from the field (44.3 percent). The Bison drilled 46.2 percent from downtown (6 of 13), while Holy Cross hit seven of 20 from behind the arc (35.0 percent). The Crusaders held advantages in points in the paint (44-38), assists (18-15) and second chance points (16-9), while they were outmatched in rebounding (36-33), points off turnovers (14-9) and blocked shots (8-4).

Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 12, when it stays on the road to take on Army at 7:00 p.m.