Women’s basketball wins & advances to semifinal game

Kaelyn Long, Senior Writer

The No. 1-seeded Bison women’s basketball team came out on top during its Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal game with a 65-50 win against the No. 8-seeded Loyola Greyhounds. This game took place nearly 35 days after its last competition, with postponements owing to COVID-19 complications within the team. Thankfully, the Orange and Blue was able to earn its bid to the semifinal game for the sixth season in a row. Both Tessa Brugler ’21 and Taylor O’Brien ’22 contributed double-doubles, while Ally Johnson ’21 added a crucial additional 16 points. For the first time in program history, the Bison have cinched a 9-0 record, winning a program-record 18 games in a row (including last season).

The Bison kept its advantage throughout the course of the whole game, leading by as many as 24 points. In the second quarter, the score closed in as the Bison had a narrow 12-11 lead. That did not last long as the Bison ended the half on a 15-0 run, leading 27-11 going into halftime. Defensively, they held the Greyhounds to just 11 points in the first half. By halftime, the Greyhounds were shooting only 17.2 percent from the field.

In the third quarter, the Bison came out hot, shooting a game high 61.5 percent (8-of-13). O’Brien had a standout quarter, adding 11 of her 22 points. Entering the fourth, the score sat at 47-30. The closest the Greyhounds came to a comeback was a 59-50 divide with a minute remaining in the fourth quarter; the Greyhounds decided to force fouls at this point in the competition, while the Bison remained calm, making 6-of-10 free throws to secure its win.

Overall, the Bison shot 41.4 percent, hitting 7-of-19 from beyond the arc, while the Greyhounds shot 32.8 percent. The Bison also dominated the boards, outperforming the Greyhounds in rebounds 42-38.

O’Brien’s 22 points and 11 rebounds matched both her season highs, while Brugler finished with her sixth double-double of the season. Autumn Ceppi ’21 had a well-rounded performance with eight points, two blocks and four assists. Abby Kapp ’21 added to the Bison’s solid performance with four assists, three steals and a block.

The Bison had more to celebrate than just the win, as the team honored the four senior players and team manager including: Brugler, Ceppi, Johnson, Kapp and Sebi Herrera ’21.

“It was great to be able to celebrate my fellow seniors on our senior day. Playing with them for the past three years has been something that I will always cherish and am glad that I have been able to be with three of my best friends. I’m excited to see the things that we will do in the following games, I think we have so much potential,” Brugler said.

“It was great to be back on the court with the team. It took a little bit for us to get our rhythm back, but once we did it was just fun. All of the seniors are extremely grateful for our teammates and we are excited to finish the season strong all together,” Ceppi said.

Next up for the Orange and Blue will be the Lehigh Mountain Hawks on Thursday, March 11, in the semifinal game at Sojka Pavilion. The winner of this match up will advance to the Patriot League Championship game on Sunday, March 14, also at Sojka Pavilion were the Bison to advance.

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