Antognoli named Patriot League Rookie of the Week after overtime loss to Bucknell

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In their heartbreaking overtime loss to Bucknell, freshman guard Abby Antonogli (pictured) was tied with sophomore guard Makayla Andrews with 14 points apiece. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

Caroline McParland, Sports Editor

The women’s basketball team (10-16 overall, 6-10 Patriot League) lost in a heartbreaker to Bucknell last Saturday in overtime. Lafayette put up a strong fight but ultimately fell to the Bison 68-60, who have double the number of overall and Patriot League wins than the Leopards.

Freshman guard Abby Antognoli was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week after her efforts this past weekend. She tied with sophomore guard Makayla Andrews for most points scored against Bucknell with 14.

“I was very excited to be Rookie of the Week,” Antognoli said. “It’s something that I wanted to get before the end of the season, and I wouldn’t have been able to achieve it without my teammates.”

Antognoli helped Lafayette come back in the second half and force the overtime, making this her third-straight game with double figures. 

Additionally, she received a career-high last Wednesday in the team’s win over Loyola Maryland (77-61) and her 20 points led all scorers in that game as well.

Rounding out her stats for the week, Antognoli added six rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Bucknell was the first to put up points on Saturday after drawing a foul and completing both extra shots. A jumper from Andrews tied up the game at 2-2 with just under seven minutes left in the first quarter. 

“Our first Bucknell game was not a close game, so we knew that we had to tighten up our defense in order to win,” Antognoli said.

The Leopards lost to the Bison 68-40 earlier in the season.

“They had a lot of wide-open three-pointers the first game, so we couldn’t let them get hot beyond the arc,” Antognoli said.

Both teams took advantage of the other’s fouls throughout the game and capitalized on their free throws. Bucknell managed to draw another foul in the first quarter to take a 3-2 lead. After trading baskets, it was finally junior guard Jess Booth’s turn to draw a foul and push Lafayette ahead by four.

Bucknell was able to regain control, however, and the first quarter ended with the Bison leading by one with a score of 12-11.

“If we could cut down on our turnover number I feel like that would be significant because it allows for easy baskets to be scored by the other team,” Antognoli said.

The Bison came out strong in the second quarter with a 5-0 run, quickly extending their 17-11 lead to a 23-13 lead despite efforts from sophomore forward Kayla Drummond to break up the runs. 

After more back-and-forth action, the first half ended with the Bison up 27-20.

Booth opened the third quarter with a layup that cut Bucknell’s lead to five, but the Bison responded with a three that brought the score to 30-22. The Bison then began to pull away, and the score going into the fourth quarter was 35-45.

The Leopards made efforts to chip away at the 10-point lead with three crucial points from Andrews setting Lafayette on fire. Lafayette managed a 7-0 run a few minutes later and the two sides traded buckets until the score stood at 55-50 in favor of Bucknell. 

With only 1:44 left in the fourth quarter, a three from Antognoli’s cut Lafayette’s deficit to two.

“Andrews nailed down two foul shots at the end of the game to send us into overtime. I feel like those two foul shots were so clutch,” Antognoli said.

Andrews’ extra shots fell through the net with just 36 seconds left in regulation, forcing overtime with the score at a 55-point stalemate.

“A lot of people would feel a lot of pressure going to the line, but she was like, ‘This is my moment.’ She knew she was making them, so that was amazing,” Antognoli said.

Both teams came out hot for the five-minute overtime, scoring four points on each side (59-59). With 2:57 left, the Bison managed a 5-0 run to take a 64-59 lead. Ganpo made her two extra shots after being fouled to put the score at 64-60 with 31 seconds left.

“I think we played a very solid team offense. We moved the ball really well and had a bunch of extra passes,” Antognoli said. “I just feel like we played collectively instead of more one-on-one which is something that you need to do towards the end of the season especially.”

The final score read 68-60 as Bucknell was able to put up the four final points needed to secure a victory.

“We knew that we could compete with them, which we showed,” Antognoli said. “It’s unfortunate that we lost by eight…but Bucknell is one of the top teams in our conference, so it showed that we can basically compete with anyone when we play a great team offense and defense.”

Tomorrow, the Leopards will travel to Bethlehem to compete against rival Lehigh at 7 p.m.

“We’ve had two games that were close this season, one was Bucknell and one was Lehigh,” Antognoli said. “I don’t think that our first game against Lehigh displayed who we are as a team, so I feel like this game might be different.”