Bucknell took advantage of key runs at the end of the first and second halves to earn a 59-50 victory over the Canisius College women's basketball team on Saturday afternoon at the Koessler Athletic Center. The Griffs fall to 1-2 on the season, while the Bison earns its first win of the campaign and is also 1-2 this year.
Junior Jamie Ruttle led the Griffs with 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting to go along with five rebounds. Freshman Tiahana Mills added eight points and four assists for Canisius.
Senior Allison Braun and junior Jen Morabito led the Griffs with six rebounds on the afternoon, while Ashley Wilkes posted a team-best five assists to set a career high.
"We turned the ball over too much early and it put us in a big hole," said Canisius head coach Terry Zeh. "We cut into their lead but gave up key baskets on easy execution and that is what really hurt us today."
Both teams took awhile to find their offensive rhythm on the day. The Griffs held the Bison without a field goal for the first 7:40 of the contest, forcing the team into 0-for-8 shooting from the field and six turnovers while building a 7-2 lead.
However, Canisius struggled to build on its strong defensive start, committing a turnover on 7-of-10 possessions as the Bison eventually knotted the contest at seven.
The Griffs responded by converting three of their next four shots for a 14-8 lead but it was all Bucknell for the remainder of the period. The Bison finished the first half on a 19-4 run for a 27-18 advantage at the intermission. Canisius missed its final eight shots from the field as Bucknell built the nine-point halftime lead.
Bucknell extended its edge to as many as 14 points, 37-23, with 14:11 remaining in the game but Canisius came back with a big run of its own to get back in the contest. The Griffs scored 13 of the next 14 points to pull within two, 38-36, with 9:24 left in the contest. Ruttle scored seven of her team-best 18 points during the stretch to help the Griffs climb back into the contest.
The Bison halted the stretch with a three-pointer only to see the Griffs net the next four points for a 41-40 game with 6:56 remaining. Wilkes had an opportunity to knot the game at 41, but could not complete a three-point play.
Bucknell then responded and put together one final stretch to earn its first victory of the season. The Bison used a 12-2 run to claim a 53-42 lead and Canisius was unable to get any closer than eight points the remainder of the game.
Canisius shot 35.1 percent from the field (20-57), including 26.3 percent (5-19) from 3-point range. The Griffs committed 16 turnovers on the afternoon, including 12 in the first half as Bucknell built its lead.
The Bison converted 40.4 percent (21-52) of its shots and outrebounded the Griffs, 42-31. Alyssa Dunn scored a career-best 22 points to lead Bucknell.
Canisius returns to action on Tuesday night, hosting Oakland at the Koessler Athletic Center. The game is set to tip off at 5:30 p.m.
Game Notes: Canisius is 1-2 through three games for the fifth-consecutive season ... Bucknell finished the game with a 30-18 advantage in points in the paint and a 14-3 edge in second-chance points ... Bucknell now owns a 4-3 all-time advantage against the Griffs.