ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Sophomore Felicia Mgbada scored a career-high 19 points and the Bucknell women had a season-low 11 turnovers, but top-seeded Navy hit nine 3-pointers to end the Bison's late-season surge on Wednesday night in the Patriot League semifinals.
The Midshipmen beat the Bison for the third time this season, putting four players in double figures to outlast Bucknell 55-41 at Alumni Hall. The victory puts Navy (19-11) into Sunday's Patriot League title game. The Midshipmen will host third-seeded American, a 69-64 winner in overtime against No. 2 Lehigh.
Bucknell, which had won five of six entering the semifinal, ends the year at 11-17. The Bison were predicted to finish eighth in the preseason poll, but finished strong with a three-game win streak to close the year, finishing 7-7 in league play — after going 3-11 last year — to earn the fourth seed.
The top-seeded Midshipmen got 52 of their 55 points from their starters. Senior center Cassie Consedine led the way with 15 points while Erin Edwards, Angela Myers and Jade Geif all scored 11.
Against a Bucknell defense that has shut teams down over the past few weeks, Navy hit 9-of-19 3s. The Bison had allowed opponents to make just 30 percent this year. Consedine hit 4-of-7 and Edwards was a perfect 3-of-3.
The Bison scored just 13 points in the first half, but managed to stay within striking distance by holding Navy to 23. After Bucknell got within four at 10-6 on a bucket by Taylor Phillips with more than 12 minutes to play in the half, Bucknell did not make another field goal until Lindsay Hortabuck's layup with 3:53 left. In the meantime, the Midshipmen went on an 11-1 run to take a 21-9 lead.
Bucknell got within seven points on four different occasions in the second half, the last coming on Mgbada's 3-pointer with eight minutes left that made it 41-34. Navy then went on a 7-0 run to pull away one final time.
Mgbada's career-high 19 led the Bison. Joyce Novacek, playing in her final game for the Bison along with classmates Cosi Higham and Taylor Phillips, added a dozen rebounds and six points.