LEWISBURG — A crowd of more than 1,000 — including approximately 750 students from local schools — were treated to a 55-52 Bucknell women's basketball victory over Iona Tuesday at Sojka Pavilion.
It was a close game that featured 13 lead changes, and seven ties with the largest lead for either team being just five points. The Bison outscored the Gaels 16-11 in the final period after trailing at the conclusion of each of the first three quarters.
Remi Sisselman led Bucknell (2-3) with a career-high 16 points and six rebounds, including a key rebound in traffic with just under 20 seconds to play, and the Bison leading 53-52. Emma Shaffer and Cecelia Collins made free throws in the final seconds to extend Bucknell's final margin to three. Collins made 1-of-2 free throws with five seconds left, and Iona had a last-second chance at a 3-pointer, come up short.
Shaffer totaled 13 points on 6-for-13 shooting, and grabbed eight rebounds. Collins finished with 10 points, four rebounds, and a team-high six assists.
Ketsia Athias led Iona (2-3) with 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
"I'm happy. Obviously, winning is hard. Our biggest point of emphasis with the team since the challenging start, and really since that FDU game, has just been that we have to compete harder," said coach Trevor Woodruff. "I thought today there was some good stuff and some bad stuff, like always, but we competed for the entire game."
Coming off a 15-point game at Cornell just three days earlier, Sisselman started the game hot by scoring six of Bucknell's 10 points in the first quarter and ending the half 4-for-4 with a pair of 3-pointers. The Bison were 4-for-5 from beyond the arc over in the second quarter and shot 54.5% from the field.
The Gaels were also strong offensively in the second, shooting 58.3%. Eight of the game's 13 lead changes occurred over the first 20 minutes, and neither team saw runs of more than five straight points. Still, Iona remained in front most of the way and ended up leading for over 21 minutes of the contest while the Bison were in front for less than 12 minutes.
"Outside of Virginia Tech, where we were overmatched to a large extend, this was the best we've competed, and right now that's where my head is. Let's compete and figure out some of the detailed things as we go through," said Woodruff.
The Bison hit the road Thanksgiving morning to travel to Syracuse for a 7 p.m. game against the 4-1 Orange on Friday.
Bucknell 55, Iona 52
Ketsia Athias 7-13 1-2 15; Juana Camilion 4-14 2-2 11; Thoranna Hodge-Carr 4-6 0-0 9; Kate Mager 2-7 0-0 5; Judith Gomez 0-2 0-0 0; Natalia Otkhmezuri 3-8 0-0 8; Isabelle Lipinski 2-3 0-0 4; Marina Cenis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-53 3-4 52.
Remi Sisselman 5-9 3-4 16; Emma Shaffer 6-13 1-2 13; Cecelia Collins 3-9 2-3 10; Isabella King 3-8 0-0 7; Blake Matthews 2-6 0-0 5; Tai Johnson 1-2 0-0 2; Kaylee Reinbeau 1-1 0-0 2; Caroline Dingler 0-2 0-0 0; Grace Sullivan 0-1 0-0 0; Julie Kulesza 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-52 6-9 55.
Halftime: Iona, 27-26. 3-point goals: Iona 5-19 (Camilion 1-5; Hodge-Carr 1-1; Mager 1-5; Gomez 0-2; Otkhmezuri 2-6); Bucknell 7-18 (Sisselman 3-7; Collins 2-2; King 1-6; Matthews 1-2; Kulesza 0-1). Rebounds: Iona 31 (Athias 8); Bucknell 29 (Shaffer 8); Assists: Iona 13 (Athias 4); Bucknell 15 (Collins 6); Steals: Iona 5 (Camilion 2); Bucknell 4 (four with one); Turnovers: Iona 13, Bucknell 13. Totals fouls: Iona 14, Bucknell 7. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: none. A-1,024.