Women’s basketball clinches first round bye with victories over Boston U, Lehigh

Doug Hendry, Assistant Sports Editor

The women’s basketball team earned redemption against Boston University on Feb. 22, outscoring them 62-50 at Sojka Pavilion. The Bison won their third straight game after defeating Lehigh 87-78 at Stabler Arena on Feb. 26. They finalized a first-round bye in the Patriot League Tournament and a winning record for the first time since 2008-09.

A low-scoring first half against the Terriers kept the game close throughout the 40 minutes. Shelby Romine ’14 started it off with five points after four minutes with the Orange and Blue jumping to an 8-4 lead. Romine finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds, her seventh game this season with 20+ points.

Boston University regained the lead, making the Bison’s shooting woes evident early. The Orange and Blue shot 22.6 percent from the field in the first half. Their defense held strong though and ushered them into a 28-25 halftime lead.

The second half was more of the same back-and-forth play with a 34-33 Boston lead. The Bison finally started to hit shots in succession with an 18-4 run, and they never relinquished the lead. Boston was held to 50 points on the night, with the Orange and Blue out-rebounding the Terriers 55-38.

“In the second half of the Boston game we definitely put more of an emphasis on getting defensive stops in order to run and score in transition,” Suné Swart ’17 said.

Megan McGurk ’17 logged heavy minutes in the second half while Swart played key possessions during the 18-4 run, ending with five rebounds and stellar defensive stops. Claire DeBoer ’17 grabbed 13 boards and recorded 11 points. Romine earned her third career Patriot League Player of the Week Award for her performances against Boston and Loyola. DeBoer got her eighth Patriot League Rookie of the Week Award, tying a conference record.

Lehigh stood in the Bison’s way of another win on Feb. 26. A win would’ve earned them a home game in their first game of the Patriot League Tournament.

“A home game in the tournament would be great, but we really try to focus on one game at a time. Lehigh is going to be a tough match up and we definitely won’t be overlooking them,” Audrey Dotson ’15 said.

The rivals started off slow in an otherwise high-scoring duel. Tied 2-2 after the first 3:37, Micki Impellizeri ’15 broke the drought with an open jumper. The scoring opened after that, and Sheaira Jones’ ’16 layup on the final possession of the half put the Bison up 41-40. The hot stretch continued in the second half, and a 16-5 run put them up 68-56. Lehigh couldn’t recover, and this was the first road victory for the Bison in over a month.

Dotson led the Bison with 19 points on 8-16 shooting and two blocks. DeBoer added 15 points and nine rebounds while Claire Maree O’Bryan ’16 scored 15 points with a .750 FG percent.

The Bison (16-11, 11-6 PL) have their final game of the regular season at 2 p.m. tomorrow against American at Sojka Pavilion.

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