English uses energy, efficiency to lift Bison women

LEWISBURG — On the game’s third possession, Kyi English made her way down to the post block. It was an unusual spot for the generously listed 5-foot-5 point guard. But she wanted to play big, and yesterday, she did.

English came out with energy, efficiency and precision as she got Bucknell off on the right foot as it dominated Lafayette, 75-43, on Saturday afternoon at Sojka Pavilion.

English had five points and three assists in that first quarter as the first-place Bison (19-4 overall, 10-1 Patriot League) jumped out to a 20-4 first-quarter lead and the game never got any closer, thanks to English’s major post presence.

“That was interesting. It was kind of fun,” English said with a laugh. “My teammates reassured that if I get it down there that I know what I’m doing.”

“We were able to set the tone and maybe we got a little bit too cute trying to post her up in that first possession,” Bucknell coach Aaron Roussell said. “It ended with her getting a layup anyway. It wasn’t the way we drew it up but I thought we liked that matchup and she’s set the table for us so much this year.”

She continued to do that yesterday, mostly on the perimeter. The senior, who, with her classmates, became the winningest senior class in program history with 93 career wins, finished with eight points and five assists. But all that came in just 13 first-half minutes when the game was in hand by halftime with a 41-17 lead. She had five points and three assists in the opening five minutes and put all her skills on display. The East Orange, New Jersey, native threaded pinpoint bounce passes into the post, accurately threw cross-court passes to open shooters, and hit 3-pointers late in the shot clock. She did all this while playing tenacious perimeter defense and was playing full court man defense late in the game.

“She and I have had some 1-on-1 conversations, at some point in the year, she’s going to have to make some shots and help us in big games,” Roussell said. “We wanted to get her going and make sure she was aggressive and looking for her shot early. If we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing, somebody’s gonna be left open on that weak side and a lot of times it’s going to be Kyi and we gotta get her knocking down those shots. It was great for us to see that today.”

English didn’t have to do it alone. All 13 players scored, with Kaitlyn Slagus (8 rebounds, 3 assists), Kate Walker (6 rebounds, 2 assists), who is just seven points away from 1,000 career points, and Taylor O’Brien all scoring 10 points.

“I thought a really solid effort across the board. One through 13 scored if I’m not mistaken. We’ve talked a lot about how much we like our depth and 8-13 we feel like we’re just as good as anybody out there,” Roussell said. “That showed last time we played Lafayette. I thought our bench really contributed and in most ways won us the game. I thought today was really balanced.”