Early Deficit Proves Too Much for Leopards
EASTON, Pa. – After falling behind early to the visiting Bison, the Leopards weren’t able to find the offense to get back into the contest as Bucknell earned an 80-57 at Kirby Sports Center.
Bucknell’s offense was effective all afternoon, led by a game-high 21 points from Kate Walker. Alexis Santarelli led the way for the Maroon and White with a career-high 17 points while Natalie Kucowski finished with 16. Bucknell separated themselves in the third quarter after outscoring the Maroon and White by 12 points. This included a 25-6 run over the final six minutes of the third quarter. Turnovers hurt the Leopards again as Bucknell scored 23 points off of Lafayette’s miscues.
Anna Ptasinski got the first points for the Leopards, knocking down a three from the top of the arc. Bucknell responded with seven straight points before Sammy Stipa knocked down a jumper to bring the score to 7-5. The Bison took a 11-5 lead heading into the media timeout after hitting a pair of jumpers and two free throws. Coming out of the timeout, Bucknell scored four straight points before Kucowski laid one in, bringing the score to 15-7. Each team traded buckets to close out the first quarter but the Leopards trailed 19-9.
The Bison remained hot to start the second quarter, as Kyi English dropped in five unanswered to start the period. The Maroon and White recovered from their shooting woes to hit at a 43 percent clip in the quarter, but they couldn’t find an answer for the Bison’s attack which added 24 points in the period compared to 14 from the Leopards.
Kucowski got the Leopards their first points leaving the Maroon and White trailing 24-11. Both teams were able to hit their shots over the last five minutes of the half, but Lafayette headed into halftime down, 43-23. Lafayette shot 38.5 percent from the field in the first half, but eight turnovers kept the Bison out of reach.
Coming out of the half, Kucowski scored seven straight points, but the Bison responded with five points of their own. Bucknell lead the Leopards by a score of 48-32 heading into the media timeout. Out of the timeout, Bucknell found their stroke from the field by going on a 20-4 run to close out the third quarter. Bucknell lead 68-36 headed into the fourth quarter. Lafayette only shot 33% from the field while Bucknell shot 75% for the quarter.
The Leopards were able to find their shooting stroke prior to the media timeout in the fourth quarter, pouring in 12 points, with 11 coming from Santarelli. Unfortunately, the damage was already done to the Leopards as Bucknell maintained its lead through the quarter to close out an 80-57 victory.
Lafayette outrebounded the Bison, 32-28. Bucknell had an efficient day from the floor shooting 51 percent while the Leopards hit at a 41 percent clip. The Maroon and White finished with eight steals compared to five from the Bison.
The Leopards hit the road for their next contest on Wed. Feb. 7, when they visit Army. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.