Nov. 17, 2012
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Alyssa Dunn (Mason, Ohio/Seven Hills School) recorded a career-best 22 points, sparking Bucknell women's basketball to a 59-50 win over Canisius at the Keossler Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon. The victory gives head coach Aaron Roussell his first win as Bison head coach and improves Bucknell's record to 1-3 on the year.
The win gives Bucknell its first non-conference road win since defeating Cornell on Jan. 6, 2010. It also kept Canisius (2-1) from winning back-to-back games against the Bison for the first time in program history.
Despite those milestones looming, it was not the start the Bison were looking for, although they recovered and gained steam as the game wore on. At the first media timeout, Bucknell was still looking for its first field goal. That finally came at 12:21 thanks to Rachel Voss (Cincinnati, Ohio/Loveland). Up to that point, Bucknell's lone points came on free throws from Dunn and Lindsay Horbatuck (Avon, Conn./Avon).
By the time the clock hit 11:41, Bucknell had tied it at 7-7 despite shooting just 2-for-10 from the floor. Canisius had been having its own offensive struggles and was 3-for-10 from the field during that same stretch.
While both teams saw its share of turnovers, it was Dunn who kept Bucknell in the hunt and eventually gave it its first lead of the day. The senior hit a fast break jumper from the elbow to put the Bison in from 17-16 with just over five minutes to play until halftime. She helped Bucknell increase that advantage over the final few minutes until the Orange and Blue had a nine-point lead at the break.
Dunn went into the locker room at halftime with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Shelby Romine (Centreville, Va./Westfield) was scoreless to that point but had five assists. After the sluggish start, Bucknell improved to 11-for-28 (.393) from the field, while the Golden Griffins were 7-for-24 (.292).
With its undefeated start on the line, Canisius made a push in the second half that put Bucknell on the ropes. The Bison had gone up 37-23 before the Golden Griffins went on a 15-4 run that made things closer than the Orange and Blue would have liked. Jamie Ruttle had seven points during that stretch for Canisius, helping her game total to 18.
Despite their opponent's effort, the Bison never gave up their lead. Romine finally got in the scoring column with a 3-pointer at the 8:24 mark to wake the offense back up. Felicia Mgbada (Edison, N.J./Blair Academy) kept it going by scoring nine of Bucknell's next 13 points, taking the lead to 53-42.
A good portion of Mgbada's points came from the free throw line where she finished the day 5-for-7, all in the second half. As a team, the Bison were 15-for-23 (.652) from the line.
Shooting from the field improved for both teams in the second half. Bucknell was 10-for-24 (.417) after play resumed and ultimately finished the day at .404 (21-52) clip. Canisius came in at .351 (20-57) for the day after improving to .394 in the second half.
Canisius' comeback bid was helped in part by its ability to cut down on turnovers. After committing 12 miscues in the first half that led to 10 points for the Bison, the Golden Griffins handed the ball over just four times in the second half. Bucknell committed 15 turnovers on the day.
Dunn's 22 points came on 8-for-13 shooting from the floor and a 6-for-6 performance from the free throw line. Mgbada finished with a season-best 11 points on 3-for-4 shooting. On the boards, Horbatuck recorded her third consecutive double-digit outing with 13 boards. The senior is now averaging 13.0 rebounds on the season. As a team, Bucknell outrebounded Canisius 42-31. Romine finished with a career-best eight assists.
Bucknell will return home for its next contest, hosting Niagara at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Sojka Pavilion.