By Ajan Caneda
In the women’s basketball team’s final home game of the season, a last-second American three-point shot gave the first-place Eagles the edge they needed to come away with a 62-59 victory. Despite two second-half runs by the Bison, American kept its undefeated conference record intact.
Five ties and six lead changes in the first half kept the gap between the two teams within single digits. A three-point basket by guard Shelby Trotter ’14 broke a 17-17 tie with 8:40 left, but American ended the half on a 12-4 run that gave them a 29-24 lead at halftime.
The Eagles continued their balanced shooting and built a 10-point lead at the 15:10 remaining mark of the second half. The Orange and Blue answered as a three-point play by Felicia Mgbada ’14 sparked a 15-0 run for the Bison. Three-pointers by Shelby Romine ’14 and Rachel Voss ’13 capped the run. American regained control, taking a 59-52 lead with 2:43 to go, but the Bison fought back with another 7-0 run. With 14 seconds left, Alyssa Dunn ’13 hit two free throws that knotted the game at 59. But American nailed a buzzer-beating three-point shot that gave it the victory.
Dunn had 20 points and was eight-for-eight from the free throw line. Romine and Mgbada were also in double figures scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively.
On Senior Night last Saturday, the Bison’s winning streak stopped at three as shooting woes downed the Orange and Blue 49-38 against Holy Cross.
Both teams shot 20 percent from the field in the first half. After the Bison cut the Holy Cross lead to two with 7:55 left, the Orange and Blue went scoreless for the remainder of the half, allowing the Crusaders to gain a 19-12 lead to close out the first half.
“Unfortunately, you have shooting nights like those and I thought our defense was good enough to win,” interim head coach Bill Broderick said. “We held them under 50 points, but we simply just did not make enough shots to win the game.”
Holy Cross’s field goal percentage improved to 54.2 percent in the second half, allowing the Crusaders to build a 15-point lead in the early minutes of the half. Dunn scored a three-point play that capped a 14-4 run for the Bison, trimming the lead to five with 4:14 remaining. But shooting struggles sunk the Orange and Blue as the Crusaders closed the game with a 10-4 run, sealing the win.
Lindsay Horbatuck ’13 posted her third consecutive double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Dunn was the leading scorer for the Bison with 13 points.
“I think that we showed that we could make a comeback from a 15-point deficit against a good team and that we are never out of it when we fire on all cylinders,” Broderick said. “This game showed us that our offense is still a work in progress, which is understandable given the short amount of time that we have had to install our new system.”
The Bison close out the regular season at Navy on Saturday.