Women’s basketball ties program-record 12-game winning streak

Kaelyn Long, Senior Writer

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The women’s basketball team came out with a spark to win its 11th straight game in a 76-58 victory over the Colgate Raiders on Feb. 16. The team then tied the program record for consecutive wins with their 12th straight in an 87-55 win over Loyola on Feb. 20. With the win against Colgate, the Bison secured a top-four seed and a home game in the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League Tournament. The Bison now hold a 22-4 overall record and a 13-1 record in Patriot League play.

 

As the team celebrated Senior Day prior to taking on the Raiders, the starting five lineup consisted of Kaitlyn Slagus ’19, Maegan Mikkelsen ’19, Kyi English ’19, Rachel Dumiak ’19, and Kate Walker ’19 who combined to score 35 points and collect 16 rebounds. Walker was also recognized before tip-off for scoring her 1,000th point in a win against Lehigh on Feb. 13. In addition, the Bison celebrated Play4Kay Day, honoring survivors and those currently fighting against cancer.

 

“It was a different feeling celebrating our Senior Day,” Slagus said. “Having been on the other side of it for the past three years, it was weird having our names being called. One thing that was extra special for our class was that we have all been here from the start, so to celebrate having gone through the past four years together was a lot of fun.”

 

It was a balanced scoring effort for the Orange and Blue. Slagus lead the Herd with a game-high 18 points, while Walker put up 10. Ellie Mack ’20 contributed 13 points and Taylor O’Brien ’22 added 10. Abby Kapp ’21 added six points, while Marly Walls ’22 and Autumn Ceppi ’21 notched five apiece.

 

The Bison gained control of the game, going into halftime up 44-26 after going on a 15-0 run in the first half. They then extended that advantage to a 61-31 lead over the Raiders in the second half, their largest lead of the game.

 

The team was on fire from beyond the arc, with eight Bison players combining to score nine 3-pointers. Offensively, English was a dangerous threat, contributing five assists and two steals. Defensively, the Bison totaled 10 blocks, including four from Slagus and three from Kapp. In the battle of the boards, the Orange and Blue came out on top with a 40-33 advantage.

 

“One thing we really focused on when preparing for the game was limiting penetration in the paint and getting clean stops on defense,” Kapp said. “This allowed us to transition into our offense smoothly for most of the game and allowed us to get easy buckets on the back end. We also wanted to make sure we were winning hustle plays, getting to offensive rebounds, and providing more energy on the floor and from the bench the whole game.”

 

On Feb. 20, the Orange and Blue took on the Loyola Greyhounds in Sojka Pavilion and notched their 12th-straight win by a final score of 87-55, matching their program record for consecutive victories. English led the team with 15 points on 7-7 shooting, while Slagus loaded the stat sheet with 11 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. Her 900 career rebounds leave her just five short of breaking the school record in that category. Another difference-maker was bench play, as the Bison bench outscored the Greyhounds’ bench 25-3.

With four games left to play, the Bison are still neck-and-neck in a first-place tie with American University. A crucial head-to-head matchup with the Eagles looms on March 2 that could have major playoff implications.

The Bison will look to fine-tune their play prior to the postseason and secure a program-record 13th straight victory when they face Holy Cross on Feb. 23 at 1 p.m.

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