Walker leads women’s basketball past the Crusaders

Kaelyn Long, Contributing Writer

The women’s basketball team traveled to Worcester, Mass. on  Jan. 20 to take on Holy Cross. With a commanding 71-47 win against the Crusaders followed by another victory against Navy on Jan. 24, the team improved to a record of 12-8 overall and 6-3 in the Patriot League. With playoffs quickly approaching, the Bison are currently sitting tied with Lehigh and Navy for second place in the conference, three games behind leader American.

Kate Walker ’19 led the effort with a stellar performance, ending with a career-high 25 points to go along with six assists and five rebounds.

“Holy Cross is a solid team and we knew going into the game that we were going to have to put together a complete 40 minutes to get the win. We shot well, and our energy was probably the best it has been all year, and that made all the difference,” Walker said.

Scoring was well-balanced, with 11 players contributing to the Bison’s 71 points. The scoring leaders consisted of Abby Kapp ’21 with 11 points, Kaitlyn Slagus ’19 with eight points, and Ellie Mack ’20 and Catherine Romaine ’18 with six points each. Kyi English ’19 also had a strong performance as point guard, tallying a career-high of six rebounds, four assists, and zero turnovers.

“We came out with a ton of energy which allowed us to get good stops on defense. We moved the ball well and it was really exciting to see our hard work pay off,” English said.

The defensive effort for the Orange and Blue was strong, as well. Though the Crusaders’ dynamic scoring duo of Lauren Manis and Infiniti Thomas-Waheed combined for 39 points, the Bison defense held the rest of the lineup to only eight points.

In the battle of assists, the Orange and Blue led with 14, while the Crusaders had eight. When it came to turnovers, the Bison finished with 13 turnovers versus the Crusaders’ eighteen. In five of their last six games, the Orange and Blue have recorded a double-digit rebounding margin, out-rebounding Holy Cross 41-31. They shot 11 for 12 from the free throw line, bringing their total for the last two games to 31 of 35 from the charity stripe.

The Bison notched another conference win with a 47-39 victory over Navy on Jan. 24. Thanks to a 15-5 first quarter, the Orange and Blue jumped out to an early lead and were able to hold off a rally from the Mids midway through the second half. With just under six minutes left to play, the Bison went on an 8-0 run to take a 12 point lead and seal the win.

Walker again led the offense with 14 points and the defense held the Mids, the highest-scoring offense in the league, to their lowest scoring output this season. The Orange and Blue grabbed 44 rebounds to Navy’s 31, with Slagus tallying 11 and Romaine adding seven.

“We knew it could be a grind-it-out type of game. It always is against Navy. They’re always a really tough battle,” Head Coach Aaron Roussell said. “Our players were locked in and were excited to give the effort they knew it would take. You could see that energy in the first quarter.”

The team is looking to separate themselves from the pack on the Patriot League charts as they continue on to play in the conference on Jan. 27 at 2 p.m., when they host the Boston University Terriers.

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