By The Daily Item
NEWARK, N.J. -- Three Bucknell women scored in double-digits and the squad jumped out to an 11-point lead in the first half, but the New Jersey Institute of Technology came charging back in the second to defeat the Bison, 61-59, at the Fleisher Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon.
Junior Audrey Dotson led Bucknell in scoring for the fifth time this season, contributing a game-high 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting (.500) from the field and 4-of-7 at the free throw line. The forward, who has scored 10-plus points in each of Bucknell's first seven contests, also collected seven rebounds, dished two assists and made one block in a solid all-around effort.
Sophomores Claire Maree O'Bryan and Sheaira Jones also scored in double-digits for the Bison, with O'Bryan scoring nine of her 15 points from the line and Jones collecting eight of her 10 in the first half. Senior Shelby Romine led Bucknell on the glass, collecting nine boards, and also dished five assists.
Alyssa Albanese was NJIT's top scorer, tossing in 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting (.455), while Uju Nwankwo turned in a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Highlanders.
The Bison fall to 3-4 overall, while the Highlanders improve to 2-6.
Bucknell jumped out to a 17-6 lead, holding the Highlanders scoreless for five of the opening eight minutes. NJIT cut Bucknell's advantage to seven on layup by Nwankwo, but two points each from freshman Megan McGurk and Dotson returned the Bison edge to 11 with 6:22 on the clock.
NJIT chipped away significantly at Bucknell's lead in the final minutes of the half, spurred by two 3-pointers from Denisa Domiterova, but the Bison hung on, taking a 26-23 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
The second half featured 20 hotly contested minutes of basketball, as the teams tied things up on five occasions and neither side was able to build more than a five-point edge. The Bison hung on to their lead through the first five minutes of play, with Dotson and freshman Claire DeBoer each overcoming the Highlander presence around the hoop to connect on layups, but a 3-pointer by Martina Matejcikova at 14:36 put NJIT on top 34-32.