WORCESTER, Mass. — Bucknell limited Holy Cross to just four makes from the arc and 27.6 percent shooting from the floor to seal a 51-40 victory and move to 4-0 in the Patriot League Saturday afternoon. The Bison led for nearly 35 minutes and held Holy Cross to just six fourth quarter points in the victory. Bucknell is one of two 4-0 teams left in the league.
Ellie Mack led Bucknell with 17 points and 12 rebounds, collecting her fourth career double-double and first of the season. Marly Walls added a career-high 13 points, all of which came in the first half. As a team, the Bison made six threes, shot 33.3 percent, and blocked seven Holy Cross shots.
The Crusaders jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter, but Bucknell strung together an 11-2 run to grab the lead and set the tone for the remainder of the game. Bucknell forced five turnovers in the first 10 minutes, while Holy Cross sank only 5-of-15 attempts.
Mack grabbed the first seven Bucknell points and blocked two shots in the first five minutes. The Bison went up 11-7 before the Crusaders brought it back to a 2-point game by the quarter’s end.
An early three in the second quarter by Holy Cross tied the game at 14 before Bucknell went on a 10-2 run to take the lead for good. Walls contributed eight points to the Bison run. She and Mack each reached double-digit points by the 4:40 mark in the second quarter.
Bucknell went up by as many as nine in the first half when Autumn Ceppi made a layup at the buzzer. The 22 points Holy Cross scored in the first half matched its season season-low.
A 5-0 run to open the second half gave the Bison a 36-22 lead, but the threes began to fall for both teams in the third quarter. The Crusaders hit back-to-back from beyond the arc to cut the Bison lead to seven until Ally Johnson responded with two in a row, stumping the Holy Cross comeback. Johnson was followed by a pair of Ellie Mack triples, giving the Bison 4-of-7 (57.1 percent) for the quarter.
Both teams struggled to find points in the final 10 minutes, scoring six apiece and both shooting under 30 percent. Holy Cross went 0-for-5 from beyond the arc and sank just two field goals, allowing the Bison to hold onto the 51-40 victory.
The Crusaders made just 4-of-11 free throws and wound up 4-of-15 from the arc. Holy Cross had entered the game leading the country with a .421 3-point shooting percentage and an average of eight made per game. It was also the third straight game Bucknell has held an opponent to under 30 percent shooting and 40 points or less.
Walls’ 13 points came from 5-of-9 shooting, and the sophomore led the team with three assists. Johnson contributed eight points, three boards, and a pair of steals.
Holy Cross was led by Preseason Player of the Year Lauren Manis, who scored 15 points on 6-of-16 shooting. The Crusaders also had a 44-38 advantage in rebounds.
Up next, Bucknell returns to Sojka Pavilion to host American on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The Eagles lead the all-time series 25-21, but the Bison have won four in a row including a 66-54 victory in last season’s Patriot League Championship game.
Bucknell 51, Holy Cross 40
Saturday at Holy Cross
Bucknell 13 18 14 6 – 51Holy Cross 11 11 12 6 – 40Bucknell (11-4)
Ellie Mack 6-12 2-2 17; Marly Walls 5-9 2-2 13; Tessa Brugler 1-3 2-4 4; Taylor O’Brien 1-6 1-2 3; Abby Kapp 1-9 0-0 2; Ally Johnson 2-9 2-2 8; Autumn Ceppi 2-5 0-0 4; Carly Krsul 0-1 0-0 0.
18-54 9-12 51.
Holy Cross (10-5)
Lauren Manis 6-16 2-5 15; Megan Swords 4-8 0-0 8; Madalyn Smith 2-6 1-2 5; Avery LaBarbera 0-6 0-0 0; Kathryn Pedi 0-3 0-0 0; Jenay Faulkner 2-6 1-2 6; Oluchi Ezemma 1-6 0-2 3; Addisyn Cross 1-6 0-0 3; Nicole Morris 0-1 0-0 0; Kerry Flaherty 0-0 0-0 0; Shannon Murphy 0-0 0-0 0; Kelly Petro 0-0 0-0 0.
16-58 4-11 40.
3-point goals: Bucknell 6-21 (Mack 3-6, Johnson 2-7, Walls 1-2, O’Brien 0-1, Kapp 0-5); Holy Cross 4-15 (Cross 1-1, Ezemma 1-2, Faulkner 1-3, Manis 1-3, Smith 0-1, Pedi 0-2, LaBarbera 0-3). Rebounds: Bucknell 38 (Mack 12); Holy Cross 44 (Swords 11). Assists: Bucknell 8 (Walls 3); Holy Cross 7 (Smith 3). Technical fouls: None. A: 847.