Women’s basketball falls to Bucknell

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Freshman guard Abby Antongnoli drives past a defender in her career high 17 points, five assists performance against Bucknell. (Photo courtesy of Lafayette Woman’s Basketball on Instagram)

Nicky Nathanson, Staff Writer

The women’s basketball team lost 58-40 away at Bucknell, dropping its record to 8-14 overall and 4-8 in the conference. Despite the loss, the underclassmen shone through, as Lafayette was led by freshman guard Abby Antognoli whose 17 points were a career high and sophomore guard Makayla Andrews (11 points).

Scoring was off to a slow start as the Leopards were leading 2-1 more than halfway through the first quarter. Both teams eventually found their rhythm as the Bison ended the first quarter with a 7-4 lead.

After an anticlimactic first frame, the pace began to change. Bucknell unleashed on a 14-3 run midway through the second quarter to take a 21-7 lead. The Leopards countered with back-to-back baskets from freshman guard Kylie Favours and sophomore forward Ashley Evans to reduce the lead to 10. Bucknell kept finding the basket and at the end of the first half, the Leopards trailed 28-13.

“We were turning over the ball a lot which did not lead to many offensive possessions in the first half,” Antognoli said.

The Bison continued to overwhelm the Leopard defense in the third quarter. While both teams continued scoring at will, Bucknell held a 45-25 lead going into the final frame.

As had been a theme through most of the game, Bucknell continued hitting shot after shot despite defensive efforts from Lafayette. The Leopards put 15 points up in the fourth quarter, but Bucknell held the lead to win by 28.

“I feel as if a game like Bucknell is a wake-up call. We have been extremely close to every team we have faced in conference play, but Bucknell was not the case,” Antognoli said. “It has shown us that we need to work extremely hard and focus even more on our defense, as well as getting the right shots come game time.”

Overall, the game partly came down to shooting percentages. While the Leopards shot 33 percent from the field, Bucknell shot 45 percent. The Leopards converted 23 percent of their three-pointers, while the Bison shot at 40 percent. 

“I felt as if we struggled offensively the whole game, so I felt I needed to look to score more and become creative off the bounce,” Antognoli said. “The team was icing ball screens with me so I snaked around the screen and drove at the bigs, which led to a few easier layups for us. I was just in a groove, and when you are in a groove, missing doesn’t cross your mind.”

While not the result the Leopards may have hoped for, Lafayette turned it around Wednesday to beat Navy 58-51. They will have a shot to continue this momentum when they host Lehigh tomorrow on Alumni Day at 2 p.m.