The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 31, 2013

American holds off Bucknell women's late rally

By Todd Hummel

For The Daily Item

LEWISBURG -- After climbing back from 19-points down on Saturday to beat Holy Cross, the Bucknell women's team found itself in the same position on Wednesday night at Sojka Pavilion against American.

The Eagles, one of the four teams tied atop the Patriot League with the Bison, used its full court pressure to put Bucknell in a 19-point hole to start the game.

However, once again the Bison found a way to rally, tying the game with just over four minutes left.

But this time, Bucknell didn't have enough in its tank to finish off the comeback.

Geleisa George had two late driving layups and the Eagles hit all six of their foul shots down the stretch as American held off Bucknell 66-58.

"In some ways it's not fair for us to hang our hat on this, but you take away those 10 minutes (at the beginning of the game), I'm not making excuses, but I think we calmed down and played our kind of game," Bucknell coach Aaron Roussell said. "I was really proud with the way our kids battled back."

The victory puts American in a tie for first-place with Navy at 5-1 in the Patriot League. Bucknell is now tied with Army, who lost 51-46 to Holy Cross on Wednesday, for second place at 4-2. Bucknell travels to Navy on Saturday in another huge league game.

The Bison (13-8) took a 2-0 lead to start the game, but that was the lone positive from the opening 10 minutes. Bucknell turned the ball over eight times and started the game 2 of 13 from the floor.

Meanwhile, the Eagles were building a 25-6 advantage, including a 17-0 run in that stretch.

"I think obviously not a lesson we didn't already know, but you can't dig yourself a hole like that against a good team. There strength is our Achilles' with the pressure and we knew that going in, which is what is disappointing that we buckled against their pressure," Roussell said. "At 25-6, things were looking a little bleak; I think if you'd have offered a free ticket out of the gym to some of our kids at that point, they would have taken it."

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