Women beat Niagara, lose to Loyola

By Eric Weiss

Senior Writer

The women’s basketball team split a pair of games this week as the Bison defeated Niagara at home 69-62 on Saturday but lost at Loyola of Maryland 59-55 on Wednesday.

The Bison jumped out to a hot start against Niagara as they led comfortably throughout the entire first half. Shelby Romine ’14, Alyssa Dunn ’13 and Cosima Higham ’11 all scored in double digits to anchor the Bison throughout the contest.

“Our strong first half against Niagara ultimately carried us through the game. We were proud of our defense holding them to 25 points in the first half,” Joyce Novacek ’11 said.

The game became close in the second half as the Orange and Blue’s shooting went cold for nearly six minutes. During that time the Purple Eagles were able to draw closer, going on a 13-3 run, most of their points coming from free throws. But Dunn was able to right the ship quickly and scored eight of the next 14 points for the Bison.

“The team has done a great job responding to adversity over the past five games. We lost a few tough ones on the road, but instead of breaking down, we were able to learn from it and come back even stronger,” Romine said.

Still, Niagara was not finished. Hungry for their first win of the year, the Eagles went on another 13-2 run. This cut the lead to a slim four-point advantage for the Bison with less than 30 seconds to play. The cool composure of Romine at the free throw line helped secure the game for the Bison as she converted three of four attempts in the closing seconds.

“This early in the season, there are still many areas we need to improve, but it felt good to get another win at home,” Novacek said.

The most outstanding statistic for the Bison on the day was the play of their bench. Nonstarters for the Bison scored 41 points for the team, compared to only 11 by the Purple Eagles.

On Wednesday, it was a tough first half for the Bison as they were outscored 36-21 by Loyola in front of a hostile crowd. Twenty turnovers in the first half allowed Loyola to take advantage of Bison mistakes even though the Greyhounds only shot 40 percent from the field. Although the Bison held a slim lead through the halfway mark, Loyola pulled away just before the teams headed into the locker room.

In the second half the Bison rallied as they outscored Loyola 22-15 with just over six minutes to play. The home team used clutch three point shooting to stop a late Bison rally. The Bison were able to come back to within four but time ran out before they could catch Loyola.

Novacek played extremely well for the Bison as she led all scorers with 18 points, which accompanied her 19 rebounds for a double-double. Lindsay Horbatuck ’13 also had a double-double on the night with 11 points and 10 boards.

The team will play its next game on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Baltimore, Md. against UMBC.

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