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Women's Basketball: Buffalo loses MAC openers to Bowling Green, Western Michigan

The Bulls drop a pair of MAC contests to open 2014, while also losing star guard MacKenzie Loesing to a concussion.

Joanna Smith has been pressed into service while MacKenzie Loesing is out with a concussion.
Joanna Smith has been pressed into service while MacKenzie Loesing is out with a concussion.
UB Athletics

This is not how I hoped Buffalo would start MAC play in 2014.

Actually, no. Roll it back a second.

The Bulls shot into 2014 out of a cannon, opening up a 7-0 lead on Bowling Green and leading 12-4 at the first media timeout.

Then that changed.

Star sophomore MacKenzie Loesing fell to the ground trying to tip in an offensive rebound at 15:02 and would not return. After singlehandedly accounting for the Bulls' lead with 8 points in the first five minutes - against one of the upper tier teams in the conference, no less - Loesing was out. While she worked on the sidelines throughout the first half to try to return, Loesing came out of the half in warmups and would not play again in the Stroh Center.

The Bulls would fall 50-62 to the Falcons, scoring 25 to Bowling Green's 31 in each half. Margeaux Gupilan put in 15 for the Bulls, but UB was unable to overcome 22 and 17 from BG's Alexis Rogers and a significant disparity on the boards.

Then they got stuck in this weekend's snow storm on the drive towards Lake Michigan:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Driving to Kalamazoo MI 😳😁😱🙏 we are all cheering&quot;Let&#39;s Go Luke&quot; he&#39;s our bus driver 👏👍👌 <a href="http://t.co/0nqtVCINv8">pic.twitter.com/0nqtVCINv8</a></p>&mdash; Felisha Legette-Jack (@UBCoachJack) <a href="https://twitter.com/UBCoachJack/statuses/419920341217996800">January 5, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>We are in a major snow storm, Cherridy comes up to Luke and ask for hand sanitizer! WE R in A BLIZZARD! WHAT <a href="http://t.co/XZOKMkYGTA">pic.twitter.com/XZOKMkYGTA</a></p>&mdash; Felisha Legette-Jack (@UBCoachJack) <a href="https://twitter.com/UBCoachJack/statuses/419939875144470528">January 5, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Stuck on a bus in a blizzard and the Bengals are losing in their most opportune playoff game of my lifetime. What a disappointing day 😒</p>&mdash; Mackenzie Loesing (@mloesingg) <a href="https://twitter.com/mloesingg/statuses/419930055955849216">January 5, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The entire bus just started screaming at her, NOT NOW! HE IS BUSY! LOL. <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Ilovebustrips&amp;src=hash">#Ilovebustrips</a>! She may never wash her hands again😅</p>&mdash; Felisha Legette-Jack (@UBCoachJack) <a href="https://twitter.com/UBCoachJack/statuses/419940462556753920">January 5, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/UBCoachJack">@UBCoachJack</a> but Coach, there are germs on my hands</p>&mdash; Paja Grasevova (@UBPaja) <a href="https://twitter.com/UBPaja/statuses/419941133016633344">January 5, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Thank you God for getting us to Kalamazoo in this blizzard!! 🙈</p>&mdash; Jenna Rickan (@jrrick13) <a href="https://twitter.com/jrrick13/statuses/419948291241934848">January 5, 2014</a></blockquote>

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In non-weather news, UB would later announce that the guard had suffered a concussion, and Freshman Joanna Smith was inserted into the starting lineup against Western Michigan on Tuesday, while Loesing would not play.

Looking to even up their MAC record, the Bulls would head into the half with a slim 29-28 lead, but came out flat in the second half and ultimately fell by ten, 82-72, in Kalamazoo. Kristen Sharkey (14 pts, 11 rebs) and fifth-year senior transfer (from Syracuse soccer) Jenna Rickan (15 pts) would help pace the Bulls, who matched the Broncos in many of the rate stats, but turned the ball over upwards of 20 times, and sent too many Broncos to the charity stripe - Western Michigan was 22-32 from the line, while UB was only 10-16.

The Bulls will next play Sunday, January 12 when they host Central Michigan and possible MAC Player of the Year Crystal Bradford in Alumni Arena.