Women Make It to the ‘Dance’
The basketball team and coaches celebrate after their March 17 victory.
Photo: Emily Paine
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The team and coaches celebrate after their March 17 victory.

“They weren’t going to be denied.”

These words sum up Head Coach Aaron Roussell’s comments following the Bison women’s basketball team’s 66-54 victory over American University to win the Patriot League championship and extend a record-breaking season into the NCAA Championship Tournament. The team lost its first game to Florida State, 67-70.

Reflecting on the championship, the second in three years for his team, Roussell says, “I can’t say enough about what a special group this is.” The 28-5 mark going into NCAA play is a program record, and the 102 career victories for seniors Rachel Dumiak, Kyi English, Maegan Mikkelsen, Kaitlyn Slagus and Kate Walker are a Patriot League record.

The league championship final was played before 1,672 fans (despite students being on spring break) and a national television audience. Slagus dominated on both ends of the floor with 23 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots to earn Tournament MVP honors. She was joined on the All-Tournament team by Walker and Ellie Mack ’20. Earlier, Mack and Slagus were named to the All-Patriot League First Team and Walker to the Second Team. English was also special in the championship game with 14 points and six assists.

Bucknell almost had two teams at the “dance.” The Bison men shared regular-season Patriot League honors with Colgate but lost to the Raiders in the tournament title game, coming up just short of a third-straight league crown. — Brad Tufts