Bison Women’s Basketball falls short in season opener

Lea Tarzy, Staff Writer

The Bison women’s basketball team began their 2022-23 season with a loss at Saint Joseph’s University on Monday night. 

The game opened with an even battle. The lead bounced between the two teams until SJU went on a 12-0 scoring run that resulted in a halftime score of 25-20. The Bison battled back all game long, but the Hawks maintained the lead for most of the game. At the start of the third quarter, the Bison scored five of the first six shots from the court, beginning the half with a promising start. However, the Hawks were fouled on a three-pointer and capitalized on all of the awarded free throws to recover the lead.

The Bison eventually surged ahead 34-33 with just five minutes to go in the third quarter. Prior to this, the Bison were behind by four points. Julie Kulesza ’24 was fouled while scoring a layup and made the free throw to bring the Bison within one point of the Hawks’ 33. With just 5:16 left in the third quarter, Tai Johnson ’23 scored another two points to put the Bison in the lead. The Hawks retaliated and doubled their 33 points while fending off the Bison’s offensive efforts to bring the final score to 66-49.

Overall, Bucknell shot 37 percent, making 17 of 46 shots from the court. The Bison also scored five of the 15 attempted three-point shots and made 10 of their 11 free throws.  Throughout the game, Bucknell had 17 turnovers, nine of which occurred in the first 20 minutes of the match. The Hawks were able to capitalize on each of the 17 turnovers.

Emma Shaffer ’23 contributed to the Bison’s efforts with an impressive 11 points and nine rebounds. Johnson and Kulesza each scored 10 points for the Bison and Johnson also recorded two assists. Cecilia Collins ’25, who had a standout rookie year, played just six minutes early on in the game yet still contributed five points and one assist. She also had three rebounds and two steals. Kaylee Reinbeau ’24 made two three-pointers for a career record of six points.  

“St. Joseph’s was a tough competitor and we continued to give a fight throughout the whole game,” Kulesza said. “All mistakes made are easily fixable. We had great moments in the game last night, and there’s a bright future of what our team can accomplish. I’m excited to see how the rest of the season plays out.”

The Bison women are on the road again later this week, traveling to Blacksburg, Virginia. They look ahead to their next game away against Virginia Tech this coming Friday.  

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