In its season opener against Xavier on Nov. 10, the women’s basketball team gave the Musketeers all they could handle, but second half shooting woes led to the Bison’s 71-62 defeat in Cincinnati, Ohio. Guard Shelby Romine ’14 led the Orange and Blue with 21 points and four assists. Head coach Aaron Roussell made his regular season debut for the Bison.
“Although we didn’t win the game against Xavier, I think our team realized how much potential we have to do really well this season. We competed and challenged a strong team and I’m really proud of how we fought back when it seemed as if they might pull away,” forward Audrey Dotson ’15 said.
The Bison kept the game close in the first half, as a three-pointer by Romine gave the Orange and Blue a 12-11 lead. Xavier regained the advantage but couldn’t put the lead into double digits. In the half, the Orange and Blue shot 43.3 percent from the field on 13-30 shooting, while the Musketeers were close behind with a 39.3 shot percentage on 11-28 shooting. The Bison finished the half with an 11-0 advantage in second chance points. Despite the offensive efficiency, Xavier was 11-11 from the free throw line and carried a 37-33 lead into the half.
“I was able to provide some offensive spark because our posts did a great job of rebounding. This allowed for a number of second chance opportunities and open jump shots,” Romine said.
After their strong offensive showing in the first half, the Bison struggled to duplicate the effort in the second, as they shot 29.0 percent from the field on 9-31 shooting. Xavier took their first double digit lead of the game at the 10:48 mark of the second half, where the Musketeers led 56-45. Romine answered back with consecutive jump shots to trim the lead to six. Unfortunately, that was as close as they would get, as Xavier claimed the victory 71-62.
“Our shots were rushed in the second half because they started pressuring us heavier on defense,” Romine said. “Overall, there were a lot of positives to take away from our first game.”
Along with Romine’s 21 points, Sheaira Jones ’16 was also in double figures, scoring 10 points in her collegiate debut. Alyssa Dunn ’13 had seven points and four assists, while Dotson, Felicia Mgbada ’13 and Rachel Voss ’13 each scored six points. Forwards Dotson and Lindsay Horbatuck ’13 held strong in the paint grabbing 12 rebounds and 11 rebounds, respectively.
“I was very nervous about my first collegiate game. I knew that it would be very different from high school,” Jones said. “I think our team played great and I am excited about our future.”
On Nov. 14, the Bison fell 62-54 in their hard fought home opener against St. Francis (Pa.). Romine led again in scoring with 12 points. Dunn tallied 11 points, and Horbatuck pulled down 15 rebounds. The Orange and Blue carried a 23-20 into halftime, but St. Francis’ 36 points in the paint and 24 points off turnovers guided them to the win.
“Lindsay [Horbatuck] is one of the hardest workers I know and playing with her has taught me a lot. I’m really looking forward to playing with her more this year and giving our team a strong presence in the post,” Dotson said.
The Bison’s next contest is against Canisius, which will take place tomorrow afternoon in Buffalo N.Y.