Women’s basketball survives buzzer-beater against the Eagles

Kaelyn Long, Senior Writer

On Feb. 15, the Bison women’s basketball team played American University, beating the Eagles 60-57. Autumn Ceppi ’21 was the spark the Bison needed to earn its win, contributing a career-high 20 points to help the Bison survive this suspenseful game. The Bison now sit at 11-2 in Patriot League play and have achieved the third series sweep of their 2019-20 season.

“It is always tough to play American at their gym, but we were able to come together and get a great team win. The end of the game was too close for our comfort, but we were confident that we could lock in and get a good stop. We hope to keep this momentum going into another tough week,” Ceppi said.

Ellie Mack ’20 also contributed double digits with 12 points, while Ally Johnson ’21 and Taylor O’Brien ’22 added nine apiece. Johnson also added a career-high six assists. Mack and O’Brien gathered five rebounds, while Mack chipped in a career-high four blocks. Offensively, the team shot 44.6 percent while recording 15 assists and 12 turnovers.

The Eagles, who trailed by as much as 11 points during the third quarter, missed their opportunity to tie the game at the final buzzer. The game had a total of four lead changes from start to finish. The Eagles came back from a 7-2 Bison lead in order to take their own 12-9 lead early on. By the time the second quarter started, the Bison regained their lead of 18-14.

In the second quarter, the Bison shot a game-low 30 percent. They began the quarter 1-for-7, while the Eagles went on a 6-0 run. The Orange and Blue ended its scoring drought as Emma Shaffer ’23 scored the bucket that would initiate their own 7-0 run. Going into halftime, the Bison led 29-24.

In the third quarter, the Bison went on an 8-0 run, putting them up by double digits for the first time in the game. Defensively, the Eagles were held to just two made baskets, and five of their 11 points came at the foul line alone. Ceppi came alive during the third quarter as she more than doubled her total for the game with seven points.

This spark continued in the fourth quarter with Ceppi scoring seven of the team’s total 16 points. The Eagles shot 57.1 percent during this quarter alone, outscoring the Bison 22-16. The Orange and Blue were able to hold on to their lead despite the Eagles’ efforts to cut their deficit down to three.

With only 16 seconds left on the scoreboard, the Bison let the pressure get to them and missed two pivotal free throws. Despite giving the Eagles a chance to tie the game on the final possession, the Eagles came up just short as their shot bounced off the rim and sealed the Bison victory.

The Orange and Blue were able to inch closer to clinching their second consecutive Patriot League regular-season title with a win over Holy Cross by a score of 63-45. With four games left in the regular season, the Bison currently hold a two-game lead in the standings over Boston University and Colgate.

Despite a slow start to the game, the Bison were able to overcome adversity by outscoring Holy Cross 35 to 21 in the second half. Once again, the Orange and Blue played tough defense holding the Crusaders to 33.3 percent shooting from the field and keeping them off the three-point line, only two made. Additionally, the Bison pressed their advantage inside all night dominating the glass by a margin of 40 to 29.

The Orange and Blue used a balanced scoring attack throughout the game so that Holy Cross was unable to key in on any one player. Abby Kapp ’21 led the way with 16 points, while Johnson and Mack both chipped in 11 points each. Taylor O’Brien ’21 stuffed the stat sheet collecting a massive 11 rebounds while also scoring eight points and dishing out 3 assists. Tessa Brugler ’21, Mack and Kapp were also crucial for the Bison on the boards.

The Orange and Blue will look to creep closer to a regular-season title as they take on Lehigh on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Sojka Pavilion. This game is also the Bison’s Play4Kay Pink Game, so remember to wear pink.

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