GUAYNABO, P.R. — The Bucknell women’s basketball team outscored Cincinnati 13-5 in the fourth quarter and limited the Bearcats to 1-of-14 from 3-point range to grab a 56-48 victory in the final game of the Puerto Rico Clasico on Thursday. With the win, Bucknell went 2-0 during the Thanksgiving tournament and collected its first win over an American Athletic Conference opponent in program history.
Bucknell (4-3) was led by a 13-point effort from Abby Kapp, who sank three from beyond the arc in crucial moments. Ally Johnson also reached double-figures with 11 points and three from the arc. Ellie Mack hauled in a season-high 12 rebounds.
The Bearcats led the majority of the first half, but Bucknell took a 30-29 lead into halftime. Bucknell then limited Cincinnati (3-4) to 23.8 percent shooting in the second half and just four points over the last 6:34 of the game.
The first quarter remained close through much of its duration, but Cincinnati went on a 10-2 run that resulted in an 18-12 deficit after the first 10 minutes. Cincinnati shot 9-of-14 in the first, while Bucknell shot 30 percent.
The Bearcat run was halted by five straight points for Tessa Brugler that brought the lead back within reach. With 6:30 left in the second quarter, Kapp hit back-to-back threes that sparked an 11-4 Bucknell run and gave the Bison their first lead of the quarter.
The Bison also began to step up on defense in the second quarter, cutting the Bearcats’ shooting percentage in half. After allowing Cincinnati to score 14 points in the paint in the first quarter, Bucknell gave up just four in the second.
Kapp scored each of the first five points in the third quarter that included her third 3-pointer of the game. However, Cincinnati regained momentum and the lead with five made field goals and five points at the line. At that point, Johnson got hot and hit two 3-pointers to even the score at 43 apiece heading into the fourth.
With six minutes to go in the final quarter, Johnson hit her third from deep to give the Bison a 51-44 lead. Although Bucknell would sink just one more field goal in the game, Cincinnati struggled to a 2-of-14 quarter and missed three of its four fourth quarter free throw attempts, resulting in the 56-48 Bucknell win.
Bucknell finished the game 8-for-22 from the arc and made 12-of-14 from the line. Marly Walls led the team with five assists and contributed eight points. Mack provided a pair of assists and two blocks. Taylor O’Brien scored seven and grabbed six boards.
“We’re starting to build an identity, which is a very difficult thing to do,” said head coach Trevor Woodruff. “We’re trying to build it on toughness, being smart, and being together. TST is what we talk about, and so for us, that’s what it’s all about.”
Bucknell concludes the Puerto Rico Clasico tournament 2-0, winning back-to-back games for a second time this season. The four wins on the season put Woodruff at 300 NCAA victories for his career.
“I thought we played pretty good defense through four straight halves down here, and the key is to make sure we put it in our bags when we get out of here and take it with us,” said Woodruff.
On Wednesday night, Bucknell shot 50 percent, led by a 16-point effort from Tessa Brugler, to knock off Howard 70-60 in the team’s first game of the Puerto Rico Clasico. Bucknell held Howard to 3-of-15 shooting in the final quarter to fend off any attempt at a comeback.
The teams traded leads throughout the first two quarters, as each was hot from the floor. The first quarter was the only one in which Howard outscored Bucknell, sinking 5-of-9 and one from the arc to take a 13-12 lead into the second.
Both teams were over 60 percent in the second quarter, but it was Bucknell’s 6-of-9 effort and four made free throws that gave the Bison a 34-27 edge. Bucknell distributed the ball evenly throughout the first half, as three different players posted seven points apiece.
Each team shot 50 percent in the third, but Bucknell went 3-for-3 from the arc and a perfect 6-for-6 at the line to outscore Howard 21-17 in the third. Bucknell also outrebounded Howard 20-12 through the first three quarters.
Bucknell maintained a double-digit lead through the first five minutes of the fourth, but Howard crept within six of tying after forcing four turnovers and keeping the game within reach at the free throw line. However, solid defensive effort by Bucknell held Howard to only three made field goals and none from the arc on five attempts.
For the game, Bucknell went 6-of-11 from beyond the arc and 10-for-12 from the charity stripe. Ellie Mack added 12 points to the Bison’s efforts and Abby Kapp contributed 11. Carly Krsul matched her career high with six points, and Tai Johnson sank the first 3-pointer of her career. In all, nine Bison scored for Bucknell. Howard was led by Sarah Edmond’s 15 points, two assists, and two steals.
Bucknell returns to play on Wednesday, Dec. 4 for an 11 a.m. game at George Mason.
Bucknell 70, Howard 60
Wednesday at Puerto Rico Clasico
Bucknell 12 22 21 15—70Howard 13 14 17 16—60Bucknell (3-3)
Tessa Brugler 5-7 5-5 16; Ellie Mack 3-3 5-6 12; Abby Kapp 4-4 2-3 11; Marly Walls 2-8 4-4 8; Ally Johnson 1-5 2-2 4; Taylor O’Brien 3-8 0-0 7; Carly Krsul 2-3 2-3 6; Autumn Ceppi 1-2 0-0 3; Tai Johnson 1-3 0-0 3.
Sarah Edmond 5-14 4-4 15; Jayla Thornton 3-14 6-7 14; Ayonna Williams 3-5 1-2 7; Krislyn Marsh 3-7 1-2 7; Imani Bryant 1-2 1-2 3; Gia Thorpe 2-3 2-2 6; Jayla Myles 2-2 0-0 4; Curstyn Moore 1-1 0-0 2; Iyanna Warren 1-1 0-0 2.
3-point field goals: Bucknell 6-11 (Brugler 1-1; Mack 1-1, Kapp 1-1, O’Brien 1-2, Ceppi 1-1, Tai Johnson 1-1) Howard 3-15 (Edmond 1-7, Thornton 2-7). Fouled out: Bucknell, Kapp. Howard, Williams. Rebounds: Bucknell 25 (Walls 5), Howard 26 (Marsh 5). Assists: Bucknell 7 (Brugler 3), Howard 8 (Thorpe 3). Total fouls: Bucknell 16, Howard 25. Technical fouls:
Bucknell 56, Cincinnati 48
Thursday at Puerto Rico Clasico
Bucknell 12 18 13 13—56 Cincinnati 18 11 14 5—48
Abby Kapp 4-8 2-2 13; Ally Johnson 4-9 0-0 11; Marly Walls 4-12 0-0 8; Tessa Brugler 2-4 4-5 8; Ellie Mack 1-8 3-4 6; Taylor O’Brien 2-8 2-2 7; Autumn Ceppi 1-2 1-1 3.
Angel Rizor 6-1 2-2 14; IImar’I Thomas 3-8 2-5 8; Antionette Miller 3-7 1-3 7; Sam Rodgers 1-13 0-0 2; Florence Sifa 1-3 0-0 2; Addaya Moore 3-6 0-0 6; Jordan Tuff 1-4 0-0 3; Aleah Nlson 1-3 0-0 2; Nesma Khalifa 1-3 0-0 2; Chellia Watson 1-1 0-0 2.
3-point field goals: Bucknell 8-22 (Kapp 3-7, Ally Johnson 3-7, Mack 1-3, O’Brien 1-3) Cincinnati 1-14 (Tuff, 1-4). Fouled out: None. Rebounds: Bucknell 39 (Mack 12), Cincinnati 37 (Thomas 7). Assists: Bucknell 9 (Walls 5), Cincinnati 8 (Rodgers, Nelson 2). Total fouls: Bucknell 16, Cincinnati 15. Technical fouls: None.