Women's Basketball Loses Heart-Breaker, 62-59, To Bucknell

Christine Ganser

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell forward Audrey Dotson scored 12 of her team-best 14 points in the second half as she led the come-from-behind, 62-59, victory for the Bison over Holy Cross in Patriot League women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Sojka Pavilion. With the win, Bucknell improves to 13-7 overall and 4-1 in the conference, while Holy Cross slips to 9-11 on the season and 1-4 in league games.

With 7:32 left in the second half, Holy Cross held the 56-42 lead. Over the next five minutes of action, Bucknell scored 14 straight points and tied the game at 56-56. Dotson scored eight of the 14 points, including the tying bucket at the 2:32 mark. On the Crusaders next possession, HC junior guard Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) drilled a trey to give Holy Cross the 59-56 lead with 2:05 on the clock, however, Bucknell's Katherine Harris answered on the other end with a three-pointer to tie the score again (59-59) with 1:51 left in the stanza. The Bison were able to hold Holy Cross scoreless over the final minutes of play as they would finish the game with three foul shots for the 62-59 win.

Holy Cross began the contest strong as it held the 10-6 lead at 15:09 of the first half on a junior forward Christine Ganser (Needham, Mass.) layup. The Crusaders pushed the lead to five points (13-8) just two minutes later as junior guard Brisje Malone (Springfield, Mass.) made a layup-plus-one. Bucknell then went on a 10-4 surge to grab its only lead of the half (18-17) at the 7:05 mark. Holy Cross doubled up the Bison with an 8-4 rally over the next four minutes, as it grabbed the 25-22 advantage on a Ganser three-pointer. Smith increased the lead as she drilled a trey with 1:39 left in the half to make the score 28-22. After the Bison countered with a bucket on the other end, Malone hit a buzzer-beating jumper to give HC the 30-24 halftime lead.

The Crusaders were able to push their lead to nine points on two occasions over the first five minutes of action in the second half to lead 41-32 at the 15:01 mark. Bucknell scored five straight to make the score 41-37, before Holy Cross went back on top by nine (50-41) with 10:40 on the clock. The Crusaders went on a 6-1 rally over the next three minutes to lead 56-42, which set the stage for the dramatic finish.

Smith led all scorers with 17 points as she also chipped in with seven rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. Malone tallied 13 points, seven caroms, a game-high six assists, and three swipes, while freshman center Molly Hourigan (Memphis, N.Y.) scored eight and had seven boards. Senior forward Amy Lepley (Norfolk, Mass.) posted eight points for HC. In addition to Dotson for the Bison, Alyssa Dunn and Felicia Mgbada scored 11 apiece, as Lindsay Horbatuck grabbed a game-best 13 rebounds.

Holy Cross shot 39.1 percent from the field (25 of 64), while Bucknell converted on 22 of its 56 shots (39.3 percent) in the contest. The Crusaders drained 28.6 percent of their shots from downtown (6 of 21), as the Bison hit 3 of 12 from behind the arc (25 percent).  Holy Cross held advantages in steals (9-6), points in the paint (28-24) and points off turnovers (21-16).

The Crusaders return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 30, when it travels to Army for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff.