For the second straight home game, the Buffalo Bulls Women's Basketball team built up a double-digit lead, and then saw the opponents tie the game in the last few seconds of regulation. On January 18, they lost an 18 point lead to Eastern Michigan, only to win in overtime. Last night, they had a 10 point lead with three minutes left (and a 5 point lead with one minute left), only to see Miami tie the game up with 13 seconds to go.
And then Buffalo's Karin Moss hit the gas pedal hard. Moss is easily the fastest player on the team. She got the ball in the back-court and raced towards the basket, going 1-on-3 from the free throw line to the basket, making a dazzling layup that bounced on the rim three times before dropping through the basket, her only basket of the game. Four seconds left, 58-56 Buffalo, game over.
Still, both home games displayed the same worrisome pattern. Buffalo builds up a big lead, and then in the face of withering full-court pressure, Buffalo crumbled and committed turnover after turnover, resulting in easy buckets for the opposition.
And despite these problems, Buffalo has a five game winning streak in the MAC, second place in the MAC East, and 12-7 overall. It has been a long time since UB WBB has seen records like that.
Buffalo got a huge game offensively from Margeaux Gupilan, who made six three-pointers in the first half, including a spectacular step-back three pointer at the buzzer at the end of the half. MacKenzie Loesing did what MacKenzie Loesing does, finishing with 19 points and a strong all-around game.
There are nights when the UB front line looks like the best front line in the MAC. And then there was last night, when the front line disappeared on offense. Kristen Sharkey made only two baskets, but in her defense, Miami was double-teaming her all night. Christa Baccas took only five shots, making two, one of them an offensive rebound put-back. Alexus Malone had only two baskets on five shots. Buffalo got out-rebounded as well, although Baccas had 12 of her own. And to give Christa Baccas credit she deserves, she helped keep Buffalo in the game with eight blocked shots and Buffalo's interior defense was strong all night.
The bench wasn't really much help. The bench players accounted for only two baskets all game, one of which was Moss's game winner. It didn't help that forward Cherridy Thornton missed the game due to injury.
So, five-game winning streak? Yes, that's great! UB finds a way to win difficult games? Yes, that's great! Major concerns? Yes, definitely.