Lords and Ladies of the Dance
Women’s and men’s basketball teams relish historic season in NCAA play
By Matt Hughes
Kyi English ’ 19 drives the ball against Maryland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
in the Patriot League Tournament
final — a game in which Tournament
MVP Zach Thomas ’ 18 dropped
his 1,000th career point and finished
the game with 17, and guard Kimball
Mackenzie ’ 19 contributed a team-high 18. League Player and Defensive
Player of the Year Nana Foulland ’ 18
added 17 points and three blocks.
Four days later, the women
sealed their tournament bid with a
79-71 overtime win over No. 2 seed
Navy in a tight game that featured
nine ties and seven lead changes.
Forward Claire DeBoer ’ 17, the
Patriot League Player of the Year
and tournament MVP, led the Bison
to victory with a double-double,
grabbing 10 rebounds and scoring 30
points, just one shy of the record for
points in a championship game.
The men’s tournament saw the
13-seeded Bison take on a four-seed
West Virginia team that finished its
season ranked 13th nationally in the
AP Top 25 before a crowd of more
than 17,000 in Buffalo, N. Y. While
they never recovered an early lead,
the Bison were able to break West
Virginia’s vaunted press defense and
kept the game close through much of
the second half. They trailed by as few
as five points with less than a minute
to go before losing 86-80.
The women’s team had more
trouble on the home court of a fast
and physical Maryland squad, a
three-seed that finished its season
ranked fourth in the AP Top 25.
Four minutes into the first quarter
the Bison tied the game at 7, but
the Terrapins quickly pulled away,
knocking out Bucknell 103-61.
It was a heartbreaking end to a
standout season for both teams. But
among the reasons Bison fans still
have to brag: Multiple news outlets,
including TIME and the education
news website Inside Higher Ed, picked
the Bison men to win the tournament,
“if academics mattered most.”
Both squads took home the
Patriot League regular-season
and tournament titles, clinching
automatic NCAA Tournament bids.
The men finished their season at an
impressive 15-3 in league play and
26-9 overall, while the Bison women
fared even better, going undefeated
at home and 16-2 in the Patriot
League, 27-6 overall.
The men punched their ticket
to the big dance March 8 with an
81-65 victory over No. 3 seed Lehigh