March 18, 2016
AKRON, Ohio – A pair of good free throws from sophomore Jacquie Klotz with eight seconds left in the game helped secure a Bucknell 74-70 Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) first round victory over Akron on Thursday night at the Joseph A. Rhodes Arena in Akron. The win marked the first postseason victory for the Bison and the first by a Patriot League team. Bucknell now advances to the second round of the tournament in Ann Arbor, where the Bison (25-7) will take on Michigan (18-13) at the Crisler Center on Saturday, March 19 at 2 p.m.
The Zips opened the contest with a 7-0 run, which forced Bucknell head coach Aaron Roussell to call an early timeout less than two minutes into the game. Out of the huddle, freshman Kaitlyn Slagus scored the Bison’s first points of the game with a jumper, sparking the Bucknell offense to finish the first quarter with a 22-17 lead.
Six-straight points to open the second quarter gave the Bison an 11-point lead, 28-17, and began a second quarter in which Bucknell outscored Akron 17-8 for a 39-25 lead into the break. The Bison finished the first half shooting an impressive 63% from the field, compared to the Zips’ 29%.
Junior Claire DeBoer gave Bucknell its largest lead of the game, 41-25, after converting a layup less than a minute into the second half. However, Akron came back and chipped away at the lead, coming within three twice before beginning the final 10 minutes.
Trailing by five at the start of the fourth period, Akron brought the deficit down to three two more times before six points from Bucknell – which included a layup from Klotz, three-pointer from freshman Kyi English, and a free throw from senior Tyler Craig – put the Bison ahead by nine points before the media timeout with 3:46 on the clock.
A change of pace in the game saw the teams begin trading points until the Zips once again were within three, after a layup by senior Megan Barilla with just over a minute to go. After a Bucknell timeout, senior Anita Brown drained one from downtown to bring the Zips within two with 18 seconds on the clock.
Klotz was sent to the free throw line twice in a matter of two seconds and converted three of her four from the charity stripe to give the Bison a five-point cushion. However, Akron wasn’t backing down as freshman Megan Sefcik hit a trey with 11 seconds to make the score 72-70.
Klotz was once again sent to the free throw line and made both to put Bucknell ahead once again by two scores, 74-70.
With one second on the clock, both Sefcik and Barilla attempted three-point shots that missed a secured the Bison’s first postseason victory.
Bucknell finished the game shooting 57% from the floor, as five players finished with double-digit points. Klotz led the team with 21 points, while DeBoer netted 16. Craig and junior Sune Swart each chipped in 11, and English rounded out the group with 10 points. Swart also grabbed 11 rebounds to record her first career double-double.