MT. PLEASANT, MI (UB Athletics) – Senior Kourtney Brown became UB’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder on Wednesday afternoon as the Bulls defeated Central Michigan, 92-89. In addition to Brown’s accolades, fellow senior Jessica Fortman also became the 19th member of the 1,000-point club.
Brown finished the game with 33 points, 16 rebounds, six blocks, two assists and three steals. She passed Brenna Doty in the scoring column and now has 1,720 points, breaking a record that has stood since the 1996-97. Brown also broke the school rebounding mark with her first rebound of the game and now had 998 for her career, breaking Janet Lilley’s record that had stood since the 1980-81 season.
Not only did Brown set the school record, but her record-setting bucket came at a very important time for the Bulls. The Chippewas had retaken a two-point lead on a three-pointer from Shonda Long, but Brown answered on the layup, breaking the mark and tying the game up for the Bulls. Following that point, UB would never trail for the rest of the game.
Not to be overlooked is the play of Fortman, who now has 1,012 points, recording 13 of her 19 points in the second half. Fortman’s milestone basket came early on in the second half on a jumper in the paint. With the achievement in the bag, Fortman was a key member down the stretch, hitting on six straight free throws over the final minute of the game.
UB’s starting five combined for 90 of the team’s 92 points as four players finished in double figures, with a fifth adding in nine points. Senior point guard Ashley Zuber had a career-high 15 points, breaking her old career mark of 14. Zuber and Fortman each had six assists to pace the UB offense. Junior Brittany Hedderson added 14 points and a career-high nine rebounds. Senior Bridgette Kendricks added nine points and nine boards for the Bulls.
Buffalo never trailed by more than four in the game, which it did at the 10:40 mark of the first half. The Bulls responded with six straight points and the Chippewas led just one more time all contest.
CMU began the second half on a 7-2 run to get within two, but Zuber answered with a huge three pointer and then Kendricks would create a fast break layup on the next CMU possession with one of two steals on the day. The Bulls would go on to get their lead up to as many as 12 on a three-point play from Brown with 7:43 to go, but the Chippewas would make one final push. Two free throws from Kaihla Szunko pulled CMU within four, but the Bulls responded with a pair of free throws. CMU got it to within four on two other occasions, but UB responded each time with made shots from the charity stripe.
The 92 points scored by the Bulls are the most they have ever scored in a MAC game and the most since putting up 92 last season against Youngstown State.
"I am extremely proud of the way we played in what was a very good atmosphere for a college basketball game," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "We limited their runs and did a better job getting out to their shooters in the second half. I can’t say enough about our performance on the offensive end. Kourtney and Jess both had milestone games and as a coach I am so proud of them because I know the hard work they each put in every day at practice."
After playing five of their first seven MAC games on the road, the Bulls will now be home for two straight beginning on Saturday afternoon against Ball State. Tipoff will be at 2:30 and will be the second game of a doubleheader with the UB men, which begins at Noon.