By Todd Stanford
For The Daily Item
LEWISBURG - Far from the madding crowd.
That’s where Bucknell sophomore forward Audrey Dotson spotted up for one of the Bison’s biggest shots this season Wednesday night at Sojka Pavilion. Dotson took a pass from Shelby Romine with one second left and made a jumper from just inside the foul line to give Bucknell a 53-51 victory over Colgate.
“That was the first time (making a game-winner),” said Dotson, who — like the rest of the Bison’s post players — had to deal with the Raiders’ sagging, aggressive defense down low in the second half. “It felt pretty good. I like it.”
The victory gave the Bison (10-7) their first Patriot League win of the season (1-1). It was also the first league triumph for first-year coach Aaron Roussell.
“We wanted to get the ball in the post, and we were able to get the ball in the post early,” Roussell said. “(And) we were really good defensively. ... We played some really, really good halfcourt defense.”
Bucknell put four players in double figures Wednesday, registered 15 assists, and held the Raiders (6-10, 0-2 PL) to 26.6 percent shooting from the field. But Colgate just wouldn’t go away.
The Bison led by as many as 11 in the second half, but the Raiders kept battling back. When Colgate’s Jhazmine Lynch buried a 3-pointer with a minute left in regulation, the game was tied at 51. After both teams traded turnovers, Bucknell took over with 19 seconds left. The Bison called timeout with seven seconds left, and then went to work.
Romine took the inbounds pass, dribbled down to the low block on the right side of the basket, and then passed it to Dotson for the game-winner.
“We tried to give space to (Romine),” Roussell said. “It’s one of those things where you put the ball in that kid’s hands and try to clear. ... I can promise you it wasn’t something we drew up, for (Dotson) to pop out there. These two kids just know how to play together.”
“That’s (her) spot, I’ll tell you what,” Romine added. “Coach gives me freedom to make a play. The defense doubled on me and (Dotson) was open.”
Dotson finished with a game-high 14 points, while Romine had 11 and Alyssa Dunn and Lindsay Horbatuck both added 10. Horbatuck also grabbed a game-high 11 boards, with many of those coming on the offensive end in the second half.
Thanks to her and Dotson (nine boards) down low, the Bison had 14 of their 17 offensive rebounds after halftime.
“You try boxing out Lindsay Horbatuck,” Roussell said with a smile. “She was an animal in there.”
Bucknell did most of its damage by getting the ball to its low-post stalwarts, Dotson and Horbatuck. Once they made their presence known, Romine was able to work from the outside, as she went 3-for-6 from beyond the arc.
“The post players were scoring in the first half,” Romine said. “(Colgate) started to double down, and we were getting offensive rebounds. That’s when I got the open shots.”
Colgate stayed close thanks to its bench (25 points) and by hitting the offensive glass. For the night, the Raiders outrebounded Bucknell 51-47.
“Some people will say that we gave up 28 offensive rebounds and won the game,” said Roussell, whose team led 33-32 at halftime. “But our M.O. is that we’re a great rebounding team, and we’ve got to get back to that.”
In addition to Lynch, three other Raiders shared team-high scoring honors with 10 points: Kelly Reid, Missy Repoli and Josie Stockill.