Nov. 13, 2012
ABOUT THE GAME
Bucknell women's basketball will look for its first win of the season but its third straight victory in a home opener this Wednesday when it hosts Saint Francis (Pa.) at 7 p.m. at Sojka Pavilion. The Bison lost the last meeting with the Red Flash but won the previous two, including a 21-point decision at home in 2007. The first 250 fans to the Bucknell-Saint Francis bout on Wednesday will receive a free Bucknell Basketball schedule poster.
Wednesday's game can be heard live locally on the radio at WVBU 90.5 FM and anywhere online at SportsJuice.com. Danny Will will call all the action. Live streaming video and stats on GameTracker are also available at BucknellBison.com.
WITH A VICTORY OVER SAINT FRANCIS, BUCKNELL WOULD...
Win its home opener for the third consecutive year.
Improve to 13-6 overall and 8-2 at home in the series with the Red Flash.
Give Aaron Roussell his first win as Bucknell's head coach.
End a five-game losing streak dating back to the end of last season.
Win its first non-conference game since defeating Fordham 49-39 at Sojka Pavilion on Dec. 6, 2011.
Bucknell tied with Colgate for seventh in the 2012-13 Patriot League Preseason Poll. Defending champions Navy were voted to the first-place spot.
Aaron Roussell was hired as Bucknell's ninth head coach in April 2012. Roussell spent eight years at the University of Chicago where he amassed a 161-50 record and led the Maroons to three Sweet Sixteens and one Elite Eight.
Lindsay Horbatuck and Shelby Romine were chosen as Bucknell's co-captains ahead of the 2012-13 campaign. It is their second consecutive season in the leadership position.
Lindsay Horbatuck grabbed 251 rebounds last winter, placing her 10th at Bucknell in single-season boards. Her 9.4 rebounding average during conference play ranked her first in the Patriot League.
The Bison return four starters and 10 letterwinners from a year ago. Bucknell's only loss from the starting five was guard Christina Chukwuedo, who led the Patriot League in assist/turnover ratio last season.
Shelby Romine is currently ranked eighth all-time at Bucknell in career 3-point field goals (83). The junior also has 700 career points, leading all current Bison.
Although still very early in the season, Bucknell leads the Patriot League in defensive rebounds. The Bison grabbed 32 against Xavier last Saturday. Audrey Dotson had 10 of those defensive boards.
Rachel Voss was named to the Academic All-Patriot League Team at the end of the 2011-12 season. Now a senior, Voss had a 3.80 grade-point average while majoring in management and Spanish.
Felicia Mgbada finished her junior year ranked seventh at Bucknell in single-season blocked shots (39). She is now tied for ninth in career blocks (72).
LAST MEETING WITH SAINT FRANCIS - NOV. 27, 2011
Saint Francis 70, Bucknell 53 (DeGol Arena)
Lindsay Horbatuck recorded her first double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds, but her full effort was not enough to keep Bucknell from falling to Saint Francis (Pa.) at DeGol Arena on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The Red Flash's Alli Williams led all players with 25 points and 14 rebounds, including 14 points and 10 boards in the first half alone.
Bucknell shot 4-for-21 (.190) from the floor in the first half, but Saint Francis was just 9-for-34 (.265), making the halftime score 26-14 in favor of the Red Flash. Bucknell's shooting improved in the second half, but so did Saint Francis'. The Bison trailed by as many as 32 in the second half.
Bucknell was 0-for-7 from behind the 3-point line. It was the fourth game of the season in which the Bison failed to hit a 3-pointer.
Several Bison recorded career-best stats that still stand today. Horbatuck's 15 points is a career high, as is Katherine Harris' seven points. Shelby Romine had nine rebounds.
ABOUT THE RED FLASH
Saint Francis (Pa.) comes to Lewisburg off a 69-61 win over Howard in its season opener last Friday. Junior Alli Williams finished with a double-double (20 pts.-12 reb.) in the winning effort as Joe Haigh claimed the victory in his first appearance as the Red Flash's head coach.
Saint Francis went 14-16 overall and 11-7 in the Northeast Conference last season. Williams was named Second Team All-NEC after leading the Red Flash in scoring (16.9), rebounding (8.8), steals (3.0) and blocked shots (0.63). Alexa Hayward, who tallied 11 points against Howard last week, was named to the conference's All-Rookie squad. Three starters and 13 of their 17 letterwinners return in 2012-13.
HISTORY VS. SAINT FRANCIS (PA.)
Bucknell leads the all-time series with Saint Francis 12-6. The series is even more in Bucknell's favor when the teams play in Lewisburg. The Bison lead 7-2 when playing on their own court.
Bucknell's largest margin of victory in series history is 30 points thanks to a 82-52 decision at Davis Gym on Feb. 8, 1988. Saint Francis' largest margin of victory came just last season as it won by 23 points, 70-53, on Nov. 27, 2011 in Loretto, Pa.
In the series' 18 games, Bucknell is +2.11 in scoring margin against Saint Francis. When the Red Flash win, it has typically been by a larger margin as they have won two games by 20 or more points and only one by single digits. Saint Francis has won its six games in the series by an average of 16.5. Bucknell's win have been by an average of 11.4 points, having won three games by at least 20 points and eight by single digits.
Bucknell won the first seven games of the series and did so by an average of 9.3 points. The Bison have lost consecutive games to the Red Flash just once in series history. They dropped three straight in 1996, 1997 and 1999.
No Bison on the current roster has faced Saint Francis more than once in their careers.
Nov. 25, 2001 Bucknell, 67-50
Nov. 26, 2004 Saint Francis, 81-61
Dec. 18, 2007 Bucknell, 64-43
Dec. 28, 2008 Bucknell, 61-56
Nov. 27, 2011 Saint Francis, 70-53
HOME OPENER GIVEAWAY
Bucknell has several promotions planned for the upcoming 2012-13 campaign. First up is a poster giveaway. The first 250 fans to the women's home opener vs. Saint Francis (Pa.) on Wednesday will receive a free poster with Bucknell men's and women's basketball's 2012-13 schedules.
HOME OPENER HISTORY
Bucknell is 22-15 in known home openers (records for 1973-74 are incomplete).
Bucknell has won its last two home openers. The Bison defeated Saint Peter's 46-35 last season and Rider 53-48 the year before that.
If Bucknell wins Wednesday's matchup with Saint Francis (Pa.), it will be the fifth time in program history that the Bison have won at least three consecutive home openers. Bucknell also won three straight from 1995-1997, 199-2001 and 2004-06. The Bison won four straight home openers from 1976-79 and five straight from 1985-89.
Bucknell has played Saint Francis in its home opener one other time in program history. The Bison won that meeting, 75-54, on Nov. 30, 1991 at Davis Gym.
Bucknell is 5-4 in home openers at Sojka Pavilion.
HEAD COACHES' HOME OPENERS
Aaron Roussell will coach his first game in Sojka Pavilion on Wednesday. Excluding Bucknell's first coach in program history Barbara Testa due to incomplete records, Bucknell head coaches are 3-4 when making their home debuts. The Bison's two coaches prior to Roussell - Juliene Simpson and Kathy Fedorjaka - both won their first games on their home court.
Aaron Roussell became Bucknell's ninth head coach when he was hired in April 2012. He inherits a team that is coming off a season in which it went 5-25 overall and 3-11 in the Patriot League and returns all but two of its letterwinners.
Of the eight previous Bucknell head coaches, only one - Rebecca Carr - registered a winning season in her debut campaign. The second coach in program history, Carr went 6-4 in 1976-77 before ultimately finishing her four-year tenure with the Bison with a 31-30 record. Two coaches - Cindy Connelley (1983-84) and Juliene Simpson (1991-97) - improved Bucknell's wins totals in their first seasons. Connelley's nine wins was a one-game improvement, while Simpson had a five-win improvement with her debut record of 7-20.
MORE FRESH FACES
Joining head coach Aaron Roussell in their first season with the Bison are assistant coaches Christian Stefanopoulos and Mike Lane, manager of basketball operations Brittany Pinkney and three freshmen, Tyler Craig, Sheaira Jones and Claire Maree O'Bryan. Stefanopoulos comes to Bucknell after her most recent turn as an assistant at Morehead State University. Lane, who previously served on Roussell's staff at the University of Chicago, was most recently the head coach at Division III Dominican University.
On the player side, Craig and Jones come to Bucknell after successful high school careers in Ohio, while O'Bryan brings experience both from The Hill School (Pa.) and several runs with under-18 and club teams in her native Australia.
Audrey Dotson led all players in rebounds at Xavier with 12 boards. The sophomore, who had entered the game with a career-best eight rebounds, needed six games to reach 12 boards last season. Dotson averaged 2.1 rebounds during her rookie campaign.
REBOUNDING DUOS IN DOUBLES
Audrey Dotson and Lindsay Horbatuck combined for quite the rebounding effort at Xavier, totaling 12 and 11 boards, respectively. The last time Bucknell had two players with double-digit rebounding totals was Nov. 22, 2011 when Amy Zehner had 13 and Felicia Mgbada added 11 against Morgan State. Horbatuck (11) and Zehner (10) also hit double figures in the 2011-12 season opener against Saint Peter's on Nov. 11.
GETTING TO THE POINTS
Although Bucknell lost 71-62 to Xavier on Saturday, the Bison registered their highest point total since defeating Lehigh 62-56 on Feb. 15, 2012, a game that ended a 10-game losing streak to the Mountain Hawks. Bucknell hit 60 points five times last season, going 3-2 in those games. The first time the Orange & Blue reached 60 during the 2011-12 campaign was against Army on Jan. 7, the 16th game of the season. Bucknell fell 67-64 to the Black Knights in the Patriot League opener.
SPLIT SUCCESS AT THE FREE THROW LINE
Sheaira Jones (4-4), Shelby Romine (4-4) and Felicia Mgbada (2-2) combined to go 10-for-10 at the free throw line against Xavier last Saturday. The rest of the team shot 4-for-10 from the line. With her perfect 4-for-4 mark, Romine is now 9-for-9 in her last four games and 27-for-32 in her last seven.
MOVING UP THE LIST
Shelby Romine's 700 career points ranks her 31st in program history. Next on the list are Monica Nawarskas (1990-94) at 701 and Shannon McGowan (1993-97) at 744.
OPENING WITH 20+
When Shelby Romine scored 21 points against Xavier last Saturday, the junior joined an impressive group of Bison to hit the 20-point mark in a season opener. The last to score at least 20 points in the first game of the season was Amanda Brown, who had 22 against George Mason on Nov. 14, 2008. Bucknell's all-time leading scorer Molly Creamer also surpassed 20 points in the season opener of her sophomore through senior campaigns.
20-Point Performances in Season Openers Since 2000-01
||at Xavier (Nov. 10, 2012)
||at George Mason (Nov. 14, 2008)
||vs. Hampton (Nov. 10, 2006)
||vs. Hampton (Nov. 10, 2006)
||at No. 14 Penn State (Nov. 15, 2002)
||at No. 14 Penn State (Nov. 15, 2002)
||vs. Albany (Nov. 16, 2001)
||vs. American (Nov. 18, 2000)
||vs. American (Nov. 18, 2000)
||vs. American (Nov. 18, 2000)
Shelby Romine leads all current Bison with 10 career 20-point games. Those scoring outputs have not necessarily spelled success for Bucknell, however. The Bison are 3-7 when Romine hits the 20-point mark, but that record was 2-1 last year during her sophomore campaign.
Romine has twice recorded 20 points in back-to-back games. The first set came in January 2011 when she put up 22 against Yale and 20 against Navy six days later. Romine then scored 26 points against Lafayette on Feb. 11, 2012, followed by 23 against Lehigh on Feb. 15.
In games in which she scores 20 points, Romine is shooting .526 (70-133) from the field, including .564 (31-55) from 3-point range, and .833 (55-66) from the free throw line. Compare that to her career percentages of .347 (233-671) from the field, .362 (83-229) from 3-point distance and .763 (151-198) on free throws.
Rachel Voss has two career 20-point games, and Alyssa Dunn has one. All three of those have come during Patriot League play.
Despite only heading into the second game of the season, several Bison are already staring down some career milestones. Shelby Romine hit 700 points against Xavier, and the junior is now looking for her 200th career assist. She enters the contest with Saint Francis (Pa.) with 197. Three more assists will make her the 19th in program history to reach 200.
Felicia Mgbada grabbed her 300th career rebound at Xavier. That is the second-highest total among current Bison trailing only Lindsay Horbatuck, who stands at 491 career boards.
SOJKA PAVILON RECORDS - PART I
Several Sojka Pavilion records were tied or fell during the 2011-12 season. Among them were the team steals and blocked shots marks. The Bison had 16 steals against Canisius on Nov. 30, 2011 and 10 blocks opposite Youngstown State on Nov. 16. It was the third time in facility history that Bucknell had 10 blocks in a single game. The 16 steals also tied the mark, equalling that set against Maryland-Eastern Shore in 2004.
SOJKA PAVILION RECORDS - PART II
Four Bison enter the 2012-13 season ranked among the Sojka Pavilion individual leaders. Shelby Romine is fifth in the facility recordbook in both 3-point field goals made (27) and attempted (86), while Lindsay Horbatuck is fifth in rebounds (231) and Rachel Voss is fifth in games started (35). Felicia Mgbada has inked her name to the No. 4 slot on the blocks list with 37 rejections in her first three seasons.
Bucknell has struggled in recent years with its non-conference schedule. Since 2009-10, the Bison have earned a 9-35 record against non-Patriot League opponents with two wins apiece over Fordham and Cornell. Their other non-league victories have come at the expense of Loyola (Md.), Lycoming, Niagara, Rider and St. Peter's.
KEEPING THE STREAKS ALIVE
Forward Lindsay Horbatuck entered her senior season with a 32-game scoring and rebounding streak, and has since extended that to 33 consecutive games. The last time she went without a point or a board was on Feb. 26, 2011 when she played just two minutes at Army. During her current streak, Horbatuck twice recorded a career-best 15 points (vs. Saint Francis (Pa.), Army) and twice grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds (vs. Buffalo, Colgate). She also had seven double-doubles during that same stretch.
Horbatuck's 33-game scoring streak is the second longest on the team. Junior guard Shelby Romine has scored in all 59 contests of her career at an 11.9 points per game clip. Alyssa Dunn also has a 21-game scoring streak.
RACKING UP THE MILES
Bucknell made its longest road trip of the year right out of the gates. The distance from Lewisburg, Pa., to Cincinnati, Ohio, for the game at Xavier is 503 miles. The Bison's next longest trip will be to Holy Cross on Feb. 23, 2013, with a distance of 342 miles to Worcester, Mass.
Bucknell returns all but one starter from the 2011-12 campaign, meaning that a majority of its production will be back on the court this winter. Of the 10 returning letterwinners, no class has put up better numbers than the current senior class of Ashley Baxter, Alyssa Dunn, Lindsay Horbatuck, Felicia Mgbada and Rachel Voss. The quintet recorded 55.4 percent of the team's points (825) and 52.4 percent of its rebounds (557) a year ago. They also accounted for much of Bucknell's defensive effort, totaling 64.2 percent of the team's blocked shots (70) and 53.4 percent of its steals (135).
LEADING THE WAY
Senior Lindsay Horbatuck and junior Shelby Romine will serve as Bucknell's team captains for the second consecutive year. The duo is the latest in long list of Bison who have served as captains multiple seasons. Fifteen Bucknellians have previously captained the team at least two seasons, including Hall of Famers Barbara Castens (1976-78), Karin Wegener (1977-79), Ann Kirwin (1985-87), Stacey Spitko (1985-87) and Lisa Fink (1991-93).
Last season Romine was the first sophomore to be named a captain since K.C. Vlah in 1993-94. Vlah went on to serve in the leadership role in her junior and senior campaigns as well.
With 700 career points, junior guard Shelby Romine has a good look at becoming Bucknell's 20th 1,000-point scorer before her time as a Bison is over. Among Bison who finished their careers with 1,000 points, Romine's 679 was the fifth-highest total after the first two seasons, while her 11.7 scoring average ranks seventh in that group. Of the 19 players currently in the 1,000-point club:
All-time scoring leader (4 years): Molly Creamer (2,462 points)
Most points in first two years: Molly Creamer (1,008)
Highest scoring average after first two years: Molly Creamer (17.4 ppg)
Fewest points in first two years: Juliet McGee (201)
Lowest scoring average after first two years: Juliet McGee (4.7 ppg)
Most recent addition to 1,000-point club: Lauren Schober (2005-09): 1,129 points
BACK IN TIME
Bucknell will return to historic Davis Gym for a regular-season game for the first time since the 2002-03 season when it hosts Buffalo on Dec. 1. The Bison began play at Davis Gym in 1974 and registered a 169-118 (.589) record in 29 years on that court. Bucknell finished at .500 or better 22 times when playing at Davis Gym. The Bison had one perfect season at home, going 12-0 in 1995-96. In its last full season playing at Davis Gym (2001-02), Bucknell went 9-4. The Bison were 3-2 at Davis the following season before moving to Sojka Pavilion midway through the campaign. Buffalo is 1-0 when playing Bucknell at Davis Gym. The Bulls won 84-69 on Jan. 18, 1993.
HITTING THE BOARDS
Bucknell recorded a fourth consecutive season with a positive rebounding margin last winter when it came in at +1.3. It was the first time in program history that the Bison had outrebounded their opponents four straight years. Bucknell posted a rebounding margin of +2.1 in 2008-09 followed by a +5.8 margin in 2009-10 and +5.0 in 2010-11.
HORBATUCK HITTING THE GLASS
Senior Lindsay Horbatuck ranked first in Patriot League play in total rebounds last fall, averaging 9.4 boards. It was the second time in her career that she had ranked among the leaders. Horbatuck also tied for third in conference action with a 5.0 average as a freshman.
HITTING THE BOOKS
Bucknell continues to have plenty to smile about in the classroom. The Bison placed nine of their 12 players on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll last year with environmental studies major Ashley Baxter leading the way with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. Rachel Voss, who is majoring in management and Spanish, became the second Bison in as many years to be voted to the Academic All-Patriot League Team after posting a 3.80 GPA and averaging better than seven points and four rebounds during the season.
With a 3.282 GPA as a team, Bucknell closed out the season ranked 21st nationally on the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Top 25 Team Honor Roll. It was the third consecutive season in which the Bison were included on the list. That streak also includes a ranking as high as second, coming in 2010-11.
HITTING THE ROAD
Lindsay Horbatuck and Shelby Romine got some international experience this summer, playing overseas with the Global Sports Academy. The Bison duo toured Belgium, Germany and France during the offseason, promoting international goodwill through sports.
Now there are more ways than ever to follow the Bison. Head coach Aaron Roussell (@CoachRous) and assistant coach Christian Stefanopoulos (@CStef23) are both on Twitter. Bucknell Women's Basketball is also on Facebook. For up-to-date information, videos and more for all of Bucknell's teams, don't forget @BisonSports on Twitter, facebook.com/BuckyBison and youtube.com/BucknellAthletics.
Bucknell will hit the road again to take on Canisius at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y. The Bison and the Golden Griffins renewed the series last season after nine years off. Canisius won that meeting 55-47 at Sojka Pavilion. Neither team has won back-to-back contests since they first played in 1987, leaving the series tied at 3-3.