HACKENSACK, N.J. — The Bucknell women's basketball team trailed for nearly 34 minutes in its second game of the season at Fairleigh Dickinson, but a strong defensive effort in the final quarter limited the Knights to just 2-of-15 shooting, and propelled the Bison to their first win of the season, 66-56.
Bucknell outscored the Knights by 16 points over the final 10 minutes of the game after trailing by nine in the third quarter as the Bison shot 7-of-12 from the floor in the fourth quarter.
Taylor O'Brien led the Bison (1-1) in scoring for a second straight game, pouring in 18 points with five steals, three assists and a team-high seven rebounds. Fellow senior Marly Walls added a career-high 14 points with four steals. In all, Bucknell forced 17 Fairleigh Dickinson turnovers. Junior Carly Krsul came on strong in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory, and finished with a career-best 13 points.
"I don't think it was necessarily playing harder or anything like that. We just were more united defensively. We were in our gaps better, tightened down on some of the drives, and I thought our help came quicker around the rim to contest those shots," said coach Trevor Woodruff. "Then, they missed a couple of open ones. It was a combination of things, but I'm really proud we continued to fight and gave effort. The first thing we talk about is toughness, and I thought we showed that, particularly in the fourth quarter."
Bucknell struggled shooting early on, going 2-for-11 in the first quarter, and committing four turnovers. Fairleigh Dickinson, on the other hand, knocked down a pair from beyond the arc and sent the Bison into the second quarter trailing 14-10.
Bucknell picked it up in the second, and Walls made back-to-back layups in the opening minutes of the quarter to tie the game. Bucknell knocked down 50 percent of its shots with a pair of triples, but the Knights stayed hot as well and shot 50 percent to match the Bison's 16 points. The Knights went up by as many as eight in the frame, but O'Brien strung together six straight points to pull within two with 3:30 to play. Bucknell entered halftime trailing 30-26.
The Bison scored first in the second half, but Fairleigh Dickinson followed with an 8-2 scoring run and grabbed its largest lead of the contest at 44-35 with 4:41 to play in the third after opening the quarter 6-for-7. The Bison were unable to get any closer than four of tying, but the defense started to appear as the Knights ended the quarter missing on four of their final five field goals.
Bucknell 66, Fairleigh Dickinson 56
Taylor O'Brien 6-15 5-6 18; Marly Walls 5-9 3-4 14; Cecelia Collins 4-8 1-1 10; Emma Shaffer 1-2 2-2 4; Tai Johnson 0-3 2-2 2; Carly Krsul 5-9 3-3 13; Julie Kulesza 2-5 0-0 5; Remi Sisselman 0-2 0-0 0; Caroline Dingler 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-53 16-18 66.
Fairleigh Dickinson (0-3)
Madison Stanley 6-9 1-2 16; Chloe Wilson 5-11 2-2 12; Dahomee Forgues 4-10 0-0 9; Rachael Niles 2-10 1-2 6; Devyn Scott 1-6 2-2 4; Sierra DeAngelo 2-6 0-0 4; Celia Carbonell 1-1 0-0 3; Aniya Bell 0-1 2-2 2; Taylor Crystian 0-0 0-0 0; Abby Conklin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-54 8-10 56.
Halftime score: Fairleigh Dickinson, 30-26. 3-point goals: Bucknell 4-12 (O'Brien 1-3; Walls 1-2; Collins 1-2; Johnson 0-1; Kulesza 1-3; Sisselman 0-1); Fairleigh Dickinson 6-14 (Stanley 3-4; Wilson 0-1; Forgues 1-3; Niles 1-4; DeAngelo 0-1; Carbonell 1-1). Rebounds: Bucknell 30 (O'Brien 7); FD 35 (Forgues 8); Assists: Bucknell 9 (O'Brien 3); FD 11 (Scott 5); Steals: Bucknell 10 (O'Brien 5); FD 1 (Bell 1); Blocks: Bucknell 3 (Johnson 2); FD 5 (Stanley 4). Turnovers: Bucknell 9, FD 17. Team fouls: Bucknell 15, FD 19; Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: none; A-213.